Bailey Humphrey celebrates a goal during the R1 match between Gold Coast and Adelaide at People First Stadium on March 16, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

DAMIEN Hardwick was delighted with Gold Coast's second straight win on Saturday night, but said his team still had plenty of room to improve.

The Suns survived a huge scare from Adelaide, hanging on to win by six points after conceding the final five goals of the game at People First Stadium.

SUNS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

It was the second game in a row they had allowed the opposition back into the contest after establishing a healthy lead, following Richmond's run of seven consecutive goals a week earlier.

But Hardwick was all about the positives against the Crows, who the Suns kept to just three goals in the first three quarters.

"Arresting momentum is a thing within AFL at the moment that is really challenging at times … we probably lost momentum of the game and Adelaide took their chances," he said.


"We’ll get better. We’re learning. 

"I thought our first three quarters … probably set up the victory. Late, we couldn’t get our hands on the ball and arrest momentum, but we’re pretty pleased with the 80 per cent tonight."

Hardwick said with Gold Coast spending most of its pre-season learning his new gameplan, it hadn't done much "situational training", which would come later on.


He said rather than worry about the fourth-quarter troubles against the Crows and the third-quarter stutter against the Tigers, he was taking notice of everything else.

"There's a couple of simple breakdowns, but sometimes the opposition do some special things," he said.

"Like, bloody hell, they're good goals. We aren't going to hang guys getting beaten in a contest.


"We can look at one quarter or at the six out of the eight that we’ve been very dominant and probably had the opposition on the back foot.

"What I like to look at is this is what we’re doing really well and what we can continue to do really well. 

"We're on the journey, still a long way to go with a lot of things.

"We're winning at home, now we get to travel away (against the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat). Let's see how we go."


Hardwick's counterpart Matthew Nicks was left to rue the Crows' slow first half, where they kicked just one goal.

Nicks said while his team missed Taylor Walker (back), Gold Coast worked harder to outnumber its forwards, which was something that took too long for his team to address.

"It hurts a little more when you get that close after really not having the game on our terms for a half," Nicks said.

"We had our chances, but the first half we didn't look like scoring, which was disappointing.

"In the end we just needed that little bit of luck to get a couple more, but it would have been one we stole, because I felt like they beat us on the day, convincingly."


Nicks said there was still plenty of positives to take from the match, led by Izak Rankine's 19 disposals and two goals, Josh Rachele's (three goals) blistering final term and the workrate of Ben Keays.

"We were forced to play a contest style and we didn't get that right in the first half," he said.

"We definitely got it right in the second half and it showed we can score quickly no matter what the conditions.

"We'll take some positives out of that, that we can score different ways.

"This is one game in the season. it hurts and we're disappointed as a group, but we've got to get back on the horse now."