COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley says his side has lost its DNA as a strong defensive team following its shock 24-point loss to the Suns, but he does not believe simply redeploying Darcy Moore into the backline will fix the issue.
The Pies’ loss on Saturday was their fifth straight defeat, and leaves them languishing at 1-6 sitting 17th on the ladder.
Buckley said post-game that the Suns moved the ball around the ground way too easily, noting the lopsided uncontested mark count which Gold Coast won 125 to 82.
He said fixing the side’s defensive efforts was a priority as it looks to lift itself from the bottom of the ladder.
"We couldn’t defend [Gold Coast] as well as we would’ve liked - and that’s largely where our greatest improvement needs to come from," Buckley said.
"We’ve built our DNA on defending really well and clearly our offence has been an area of improvement, but maybe focusing on that we’ve lost our DNA of defending the ground really well.
"They were just able to move the ball through us a lot easier than we would’ve liked."
There has been much talk about Darcy Moore’s move to the forward line in recent weeks, and the All-Australian defender was poor on Saturday, finishing with 0.1 and five disposals.
Buckley said it was difficult for Moore to adjust to a role he hasn’t played in a long time.
But he said switching Moore back to defence would not solve Collingwood’s defensive woes.
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"Our capacity to attack is largely off our defence as a team. That’s the way the game is. It’s not 18 one-on-ones all over the field," he said.
"Darcy was quiet today in the forward line and we had plenty of supply, but they worked a lot harder to get numbers back behind us, and we didn’t work as hard as we needed to to even that up.
"The question about Darcy will be part of a whole heap of questions that we ask ourselves pretty much every week on how we’re going to take the next steps.
"Darcy and his position on the field is the least of our worries at the moment."
Collingwood played its fifth debutant of the season on Saturday in Caleb Poulter, who finished with 15 disposals and five marks.
The Pies also had five players with less than five games experience against the Suns.
Buckley said his side’s more experienced players needed to step up to ensure the youngsters could develop properly.
"We’re throwing our [young players] to the wolves a little bit and we’re not supporting them as much as we’d like to," he said.
"Some of them are showing some really good things but we need to give them a little bit more to build off, in terms of our team connection and our synergy as an 18 out on the field for them to be able to learn a little bit better … about what’s expected."
Meanwhile, Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said post-game it was a significant win for his side on a ground the Suns had only won three times on prior to Saturday’s game.
"[The win] felt mature. We’re still young but I think it shows the belief in how we want to play the game and our strengths [and] to deliver on that today was pleasing for us as a footy club," Dew said.
Dew praised the "unbelievable" workrate of forward Josh Corbett, who had a breakout four-goal performance.
He was also proud for his underrated midfield group, led by Hugh Greenwood (26 disposals, 10 tackles and a goal), Touk Miller (34 disposals) and Brandon Ellis (35 disposals and a goal).
"They’re desperate to influence the game [and] the result," he said.
"They’re pushing each other. The great footy clubs push each other. No external motivators, it’s purely internal and driving each other to get better."