SCHOOLBOY mistakes and costly defensive errors frustrated Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch in his team's 14-point loss to Gold Coast in the 10th QClash on Saturday.
The Lions dominated the stats sheet with a whopping 133 more disposals, 10 more inside 50s and one more scoring shot in front of the smallest Gabba crowd for a QClash only to be push aside by the Suns after half-time.
Despite seeing some positives, Leppitsch bemoaned his team's inability to grasp a game that was largely in its hands.
"The difference is, it was in our hands and we had a chance this week," Leppitsch said.
"We had more scoring shots and a lot of the key indicators were green for us which was good thing. We scored 100 points, that was a focus for us as well."
The Lions trailed by one-point at half-time before the Suns piled on seven third-quarter goals to four to take a 17-point lead into the final term.
Gold Coast's third quarter score of 7.3 (45) was its second highest scoring quarter of the season and came despite the Lions winning the inside 50 count 14-13.
"Just soft goals and schoolboy mistakes and some controllables," Leppitsch said of the third quarter.
"It just gets frustrating after a while, but that's OK, it's the age of our group and we've got to coach through those things.
"It was just we deserve to be in front, a lot of the indicators were there, and I want us to finish off that work and maximise the opportunity, but we're just not."
Suns forward Tom Lynch kicked five goals for the match, including three second-half goals, while Charlie Dixon finished the match with three.
The pair proved the difference, pivotal in Gold Coast's fourth victory against the Lions.
"I thought we were pretty poor in our defensive 50 in our contest stuff. Their keys were dominant, kicked eight between them," Leppitsch said.
"We were slow to set up, particularly from stoppage. There's a lot going on on a footy field and the experienced ones do it well and the young ones tend to take more breaks throughout the game."
One positive for the Lions was the return to form of star onballer Pearce Hanley, who was the Lions' best player with 31 disposals and plenty of drive through the midfield.
"He was fantastic," Leppitsch said.
"He was terrific, his ability to run and carry the lines for us has been missing a lot throughout the year. It looks like he's starting to get on top of the ground now."
The loss leaves the Lions in 18th position, a game and two percentage points behind 17th-placed Carlton, who they host at the Gabba next week.