GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew has stopped just short of calling his team selfish in the wake of Saturday's nine-point loss to St Kilda.
The Suns led by 15 points at three-quarter time and looked destined for a third straight victory, before the Saints overpowered them with four unanswered goals in the final term.
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Dew says the loss "stings" and questioned his team's defensive work-rate.
"We just couldn't get it right all night," he said.
"Even though we were in front at three-quarter time, it was just glimpses of the team that we have been.
"Whether that's because they made decisions based on what they thought might be best for them versus the team? We'll have to have a deeper look.
"St Kilda played really well, but I don't think we fired our best shot this afternoon, which was disappointing."
Led by Paddy Ryder's ruck work, St Kilda dominated the fourth quarter stoppages, giving its forwards more opportunities to score.
Dew said the loss was not on any one part of the ground, but he was critical of his side's "shape" in defence.
"At different times it was 'were we working together well enough?' which is what it takes against the good teams," he said.
"Is the communication at the standard it has been, that it needs to be?
"I think if we're looking pretty bluntly, we'd say no, based on some of our defensive shape.
"We gave up far too many exits and they were able to take ground.
"It's a lesson to not get bored with the process.
"We're really confident this group has matured and we don't put this down to age or games (played)."
Gold Coast will be without Nick Holman for next Saturday's QClash against Brisbane, after Dew confirmed the rugged forward suffered concussion in the final minute of the game.
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten was delighted with his team's work-rate and said he was glad they could "find a way" despite not playing their best football.
He was particularly pleased for Ryder, who is now two for two since coming back into the team.
"He gives our group a lot of confidence," Ratten said.
"You can be pro-active and not re-active and that’s what he’s done.
"Big men, history says, don’t get smaller by the end of the game. He just showed his influence.
"I'm really pleased for him, he went through some things he had to deal with and he’s come back and really played some great footy.
"It’s a long year but he’s come back and shown everybody what he can do."