Suns feel heat for no forwards - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns feel heat for no forwards

Darren Cartwright 12/06/2011 04:40:27 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast Suns are paying the price for not recruiting an experienced key forward after midfield domination counted for zip against North Melbourne.

The fledgling AFL club smashed the Kangaroos in clearances yet failed to kick a goal in the opening term at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

They had only two majors by halftime and the game was effectively lost.

North Melbourne ran out 18.14 (122) to 9.9 (63) winners in skipper Brent Harvey's club-record 312th match.

The Suns' recruiting policy was to take the cream of the young talent and secure the best midfielders on the market with Gary Ablett their prized scalp.

The Ablett-led midfield won 50 of a possible 79 clearances against the Kangaroos, giving the Suns first use of the ball.

Ablett had a game-high 38 disposals and was well supported at stoppages by veteran Daniel Harris, Michael Rischitelli and ruckman Zac Smith who roved his own hit-outs for six clearances.

Yet the high clearances count meant little when the ball was pumped into a vertically challenged, pop-gun attack.

Coach Guy McKenna said without a gun forward the Suns were doing it tough.

"We need some composure around the footy ... it's an area we have to get better on," McKenna said.

"The majority of our experience is around the ball.

"It's just the fact our forward line that is fairly limited in experience and size and it bounces out too quick.

"We've got what we've got."

The Suns' use of the ball is also a major concern as more than a third (71) of their 191 disposals by foot were ineffective.

"Almost one in two balls we are giving straight back or not using it well," he said.

"If you don't use it well it's back in your face."

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said persistent rain after quarter time reduced the match to a scrappy affair but the work rate of his midfield in trying conditions was encouraging.

Daniel Wells was the ideal link man and forward Aaron Edwards capped the work with five goals while Harvey chipped in with four.

After losing their opening four matches, Scott said he had seen constant improvement in his side.

"He (Wells) was the most dominant player on the ground and the most influential player," Scott said.

"A lot of the ball he won himself.

"We though the improvement has been pretty solid over the last month.

"We are starting to get what we think is pretty close to our best team back together."

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