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Sparkling debutants can add polish Suns need

Dew: 'The game got away from us' Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew says his side ran out of legs in the final term
Debutants Charlie Ballard and Brayden Crossley celebrate a goal - AFL,Gold Coast Suns,Stuart Dew
Debutants Charlie Ballard and Brayden Crossley celebrate a goal

GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew believes a bit of polish is all that's needed to turn the Suns around, especially with the enthusiasm debutants Brayden Crossley and Charlie Ballard showed in the nine-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.

An undermanned Gold Coast is seven weeks into an 11-week road trip and without not one, but two co-captains.

Tom Lynch is sidelined for another three weeks with a knee issue, while Steven May is a chance to return next week for the Suns' clash with Melbourne.

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Other players who would normally make the 22 who are on the injury list include Brayden Fiorini, Pearce Hanley, Kade Kolodjashnij, Sean Lemmens, Jesse Lonergan, Darcy MacPherson and Peter Wright (who is building match fitness in the NEAFL after a calf injury).

"The guys that came in, Crossley gave us great energy. Hopefully our supporters and members can see [a Gold Coast] Academy product come in and really impact the game and enjoy the way he goes about his footy," Dew said.

"Charlie Ballard also showed glimpses as well, which is what he's been doing at NEAFL level. This week we focused on who was in, as opposed to who was out, and I thought the players embraced that."

Gold Coast blew an opportunity to push for a top-eight spot, not taking advantage of early dominance and struggling to deliver the ball effectively inside 50.

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"This was a game we felt got away from us. We're proud of our effort for three quarters, but that's not going to cut it against anyone, particularly the Western Bulldogs, which is what we'll hone in on.

"I think we went away from the basics a bit in the last quarter, certainly it is what it is, no excuses.


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"We butchered it, no doubt. That's what we talk about, our effort is there, it's just our method and finish to get some reward for such hard work. We mentioned in the box at times, 'Gee, it's really hard work for us to score at the moment'.

"We just need to keep working on the connection.

"It was a little bit of a different look [up forward] today, I understand that, but again, the big boys presented well, we just didn't capitalise."

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The Suns still have another three weeks (which includes a bye after their match against Port Adelaide in Shanghai) before they can play a home game at Metricon Stadium, which was used for the Commonwealth Games.

"It's real routine now. On the way back from Perth (after round four), we were still looking at a bit of travel, but it's not like we're going to the same place, either," Dew said.

"You're not getting sick of anywhere, you're seeing different parts of Australia. A bit of time in Ballarat, great venue, surface was fantastic and great crowd, so no complaints."