Suns to see if history repeats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns to see if history repeats

Darren Cartwright 24/06/2011 04:52:01 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast Suns coach Guy McKenna will be hoping history doesn't repeat in a number of ways when they host the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Bulldogs are the first AFL team the Suns will play for the second time and the game shapes as an improvement barometer for McKenna and his young side.

The Suns were on the end of an 11-goal hiding in round three but it was also the Suns' second-ever AFL clash after having a bye in the opening round.

This time around they have a stadium to call home, a couple of wins and a string of in-form stars to judge their improvement individually and collectively over the past 11 weeks.

McKenna intends to put many of his youngsters on the same opponents they eye-balled in round three so they can judge their own progress.

"Match-ups on match-ups and (they can) see how and where they have come from," McKenna said.

"It's a great opportunity and, for our blokes, it's about experience and education and for them to have another go on some of these opponents is going to be fantastic."

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade has no doubt the Suns are a far more polished and improved unit than the starry-eyed side at Etihad Stadium earlier this year.

He doesn't expect to win by the same margin nor will he underestimate the Suns who have recently served it up to West Coast and competition leaders Geelong.

"Against Geelong they were in front at half time so we know they have lot of talent," Eade said.

"I'd just be happy to win, margin is not an issue for us.

"There is no doubt they have improved ... they certainly have a lot of talent."

The Suns brought back young dynamic duo ruckman Zac Smith and midfielder David Swallow who add a touch of raw class to the on-ball division.

McKenna said he would assess the team effort on statistics and he placed no relevance on the winning or losing margin.

"If we lose by more than 71 points, so be it, but individually we will see these guys grow and collectively when that happens those margins will come down," McKenna said.

Eade said they had deliberately kept full forward Barry Hall back one week to make sure had had fully recovered from injury and and he was primed for his return on Saturday night.

He said it was important they built on their solid finish against Adelaide and started off strongly against the Suns.

"We had patches of good play, we just haven't had consistency.

"Last week we had a slow start and the last three quarters were pleasing.

"We need to play well and we started to turn the corner last week and we need to keep that momentum."

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