Dion Prestia says Gold Coast is quickly gaining belief
GOLD Coast no longer fears the competition's elite teams after giving Hawthorn a huge scare at the MCG on Sunday.
Following the 26-point loss to the competition leaders, Suns midfielder Dion Prestia said the team would face its next daunting test - against Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Saturday night - full of confidence.
"Maybe before the weekend, but we know we can challenge them now," Prestia said on Monday.
"We'll have a lot more confidence going into Geelong knowing we can probably match it with the best teams.
"We got a bit of confidence the last two weeks, beating Melbourne and the Bulldogs, so we're winning the games we should win, and challenging Hawthorn who are probably the best team in the comp at the moment … it's just about backing it up now.
"We can't have two or three good weeks and then one bad one."
Gold Coast has vastly improved in 2013, also matching the Swans in Sydney in round two in a gutsy performance.
The were ultimately beaten by 41 points on that wet day, but they matched strides with the premiers for much of the first three quarters.
Prestia was one of the Suns' best on Sunday with 32 disposals and said Hawthorn had taught them some valuable lessons.
"We probably learnt a lot more in that game than we did in our two wins," he said.
"The way they spread and the way they attack inside.
"We know we can match pretty much any team in contested footy and tackles, it's just our balance we have to get right … winning that uncontested footy and spreading hard."
Jared Brennan (knee) and Jesse Lonergan (hamstring) will both get scans today to assess the extent of their injuries suffered against Hawthorn.
Michael Whiting covers Gold Coast news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting