Damien Hardwick speaks to his players during Gold Coast's clash against Carlton in round 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

IT'S MORE than a year since Gold Coast won a game away from home.

The last time the Suns were victorious away from People First Stadium, or their home away from home in Darwin, was against West Coast on May 12, 2023.

That's 11 consecutive road losses – or 12 if you want to count losing at Mount Barker against Greater Western Sydney in Gather Round.

Although it might be unfair to drag up statistics from last year where the club was undergoing a coaching handover from Stuart Dew to interim Steven King, comparing data in home matches this season against road is absolutely relevant.

Ahead of Sunday's critical match against Essendon at Carrara, Damien Hardwick's men are a perfect six-from-six at home.

Before we look at how, and why, there's such a disparity between results, it's pertinent to put some context around them.


Gold Coast's home matches this season have come against Richmond, Adelaide, Hawthorn, West Coast, North Melbourne and Geelong.

With the exception of the Crows (it was their first game of the season) and particularly the Cats in the Top End, they were expected to romp to victory in the rest.

The road matches have been much tougher, confronting the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat, the Giants, Sydney, Brisbane and Carlton last Saturday.

They started all those matches as underdogs, but the nature and margins of defeat have been well below expectation.

Champion Data statistics show the Suns have been belted all over the park when travelling, with an average winning margin at home of 45 points and average losing margin on the road of 41.

Perhaps of most concern on the road is their work around the contest. With co-captains Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller leading a midfield that also includes Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and contributions from Bailey Humphrey, David Swallow and more recently Alex Davies, Gold Coast has been outworked and outplayed in this facet.

Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller lead Gold Coast off the ground after beating Carlton in R4 on April 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Their contested possession differential drops from almost plus-13 down to a minus-nine.

Clearances go from a plus-seven to a minus-seven, with the differential in scoring from that source dropping by about four goals. Gold Coast simply struggles to get its hands on the ball, with disposals going from a plus-52 to a minus-73.

"To go on the road and play quality teams is a great opportunity to put your brand out there and play well," Witts told AFL.com.au.

"We pride ourselves on our contest and unfortunately it wasn't good enough on the weekend.

"It's disappointing because away crowds, with momentum, you need to be up in the contest to get the game on your terms and get on the front foot and play the game in your half.

"The midfield got shown up on the weekend and it's frustrating."

Gold Coast players look dejected after losing to Carlton at Marvel Stadium in R11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

In every road loss the Suns have trailed at quarter-time. To their credit, they've inevitably fought back to give themselves some semblance of a chance of victory during the second half before coming up short.

Their Pressure Rating goes from 190 to 179 away from home and they become less efficient at scoring once the ball goes inside 50 and less efficient at defending at the other end of the ground.

"On the road it's important to assert yourself on the game and get momentum early and build belief as the game goes along," Witts said.

"We haven't been able to do that and it's frustrating."

Although the strength of opposition is likely the biggest reason for the discrepancy in these numbers, Gold Coast has some opportunities in the coming month to level out the ledger.

The Bombers at home on Sunday provide a chance to take a genuine 'scalp' at home, while upcoming away trips to St Kilda, Fremantle and North Melbourne in the next six weeks should teach us more about where their ledger truly lies.


Gold Coast at home v away


Points Scored

110.7 points

60.5 points

Points Conceded 

66.2 points

101.5 points

Points from Turnover Diff 

+28.5 points

-35.3 points

Points from Clearance Diff 

+17 points

-7 points

Disposal Diff



Contested Possession Diff



Clearance Diff 



CB Clearance Diff 



Pressure Rating



Score per Inside 50 %



Opposition Score per Inside 50 %



Time in Fwd Half Diff