- from afl.com.au
AFTER watching his team blow a 49-point lead and lose on Thursday night to the Western Bulldogs, you could be forgiven for thinking Rodney Eade might lose his cool post-match.
But the Gold Coast coach did anything but, praising his team for taking it up to the reigning premiers for much of the Metricon Stadium contest.
The Suns blew their more fancied rivals off the park in the opening two quarters, kicking eight straight goals at one stage with slick ball movement and a hunger around the contest.
But the Bulldogs stormed home, running all over their younger rivals with nine final-quarter goals.
"I thought the positives were that far ahead of the negatives," Eade said.
"There was a lot to like. I'm really pleased.
"The last quarter was disappointing, we seemed to run out of legs a bit, but when you can do that to the best team in the competition, there's a lot to like."
Eade said fatigue led to mistakes, including three dropped marks in the defensive 50 in the final quarter that led directly to Bulldogs goals.
"I think the exciting thing is the way we played, and what we can do, and the potential for growth - how much better we can get."
Eade said the match had given him cause to reconsider two or three places in his round one team.
He said small defender Sean Lemmens (hamstring) and midfielder Jesse Lonergan (quad) would come into calculations for the opening round against the Brisbane Lions, as would young half-back Jesse Joyce, who was composed under pressure against the Bulldogs.