GOLD Coast knew the questions were coming. And with four years of exposed evidence, it's easy to see why.  

Fresh off another insipid performance to Fremantle – one coach Stuart Dew labelled the worst of the year – thoughts quickly turned to the Suns' horror record in second halves of seasons and whether they were headed down the same path in 2021. 

Since 2017, and with the defeat to the Dockers included, their record reads three wins and 39 losses after the halfway point of the season. In the same stretch they've recorded 19 wins in the first halves of campaigns – including four this year. 

"Whether we were 8-4 or 4-8, the focus this year was going to be on how does the team finish the year given what we've done over the last couple of years where we haven't been able to finish seasons off," football boss Jon Haines said. 

"The numbers aren't flattering, are they? They're pretty brutal."

- Gold Coast midfielder Hugh Greenwood

The drop-off in key statistical areas has been damning. 

Last year the Suns ranked third for pressure in the competition in the first nine rounds of the season before plummeting to 16th across the last nine rounds, winning just one game. 

The same can be said for scores from stoppages differential where they again ranked third in the first half of the season before a two-goal swing to the negative to finish the season in 16th. 

Gold Coast 2020

Rd 1-9 Avg.

Rank

Rd 10-18

Rank

Disposal Diff.

-9.3

#12

-38.5

#18

Contested Poss. Diff.

-2.4

#11

-3.2

#13

Uncontested. Poss. Diff.

-6.4

#12

-36.6

#18

Inside 50 Diff.

-0.3

#10

-7.6

#17

Scores from Stoppages Diff.

+5.8

#3

-6.8

#16

Pressure Factor

1.91

#3

1.80

#16

"The numbers aren't flattering, are they? They're pretty brutal," Suns midfielder Hugh Greenwood said this week. 

"We've got to attack the second half of the year, we know we can. We've done it the first half of the year, many times, but we haven't been able to translate that to the second half of the year.

"Is it maturity? Is it personnel? We've got depth, we've got no excuses.

"It's all well and good to talk about it, but at the end of the day it's about wins and losses and history shows we've had a lot more losses than wins in the second half of the year."

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The 2017 numbers are equally as bad. In Rodney Eade's last season in charge, the Suns ranked top-three for disposal and clearance differential over the first half of the season before falling off a cliff.  

The following season – Dew's first in charge – the tackling comparison jumps off the page, while 2019 was a car crash for the entire season with the youngest and least experienced side in the competition. 

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This time around, the final 10 games of the season could just prove a pivotal point in the future of the Suns. 

Another hapless end to the season and young players would have reason to begin to get restless in the direction of the club. 

Ben King, Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine all come out of contract at the end of next season. Do they really want to sit through another one-win finish to a season approaching a year where they'll decide on their next commitment?

Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Ben King after being picked up by the Suns at the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

And then there's the future pitches and ability to convince a big fish that they're on the right track. That only gets harder if the season spirals out of control for a fifth straight year. 

This weekend, it doesn't get any easier against Port Adelaide on the rebound at Metricon Stadium. It is the first of six games against the current top-eight sides to finish the season. But included in that, there's winnable games against North Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Carlton and Essendon. 

Plus, outside of Jarrod Witts, the top 10 in last year's best and fairest, as well as 2019 No.1 pick Matt Rowell, are available for selection. 

As Greenwood said, enough of the talking, time for some doing. 

Gold Coast 2017

Rd 1-12 Avg.

Rank

Rd 13-23

Rank

Disposal Diff.

+36.5

#2

-34.1

#17

Contested Poss. Diff.

+4.2

#7

-11.0

#16

Uncontested. Poss. Diff.

+33.5

#3

-25.5

#17

Clearance Diff.

+3.5

#3

-0.8

#12

Inside 50 Diff.

-1.2

#11

-14.3

#17

Time in Fwd Half Diff.

-3:33

#12

-14:43

#17

Scores from Turnover

57.4

#6

40.2

#17

Score per Inside 50 %

46.8%

#9

41.1%

#16

 

Gold Coast 2018

Rd 1-12 Avg.

Rank

Rd 13-23

Rank

Disposal Diff.

-66.2

#18

-62.2

#18

Contested Poss. Diff.

-10.6

#18

-13.2

#17

Uncontested. Poss. Diff.

-57.6

#18

-50.2

#18

Tackle Diff.

+5.9

#4

-3.3

#15

Inside 50 Diff.

-14.2

#18

-13.4

#18

Time in Fwd Half Diff.

-7:50

#16

-8:58

#15

Scores from Turnover Diff.

-22.7

#17

-30.1

#18

Pressure Factor

1.83

#6

1.73

#16

 

Gold Coast 2019

Rd 1-11 Avg.

Rank

Rd 12-23

Rank

Disposal Diff.

-37.2

#17

-54.5

#18

Contested Poss. Diff.

-8.0

#13

-7.1

#15

Uncontested. Poss. Diff.

-32.2

#17

-47.7

#18

Inside 50 Diff.

-10.1

#16

-15.3

#18

Time in Fwd Half Diff.

-5:04

#15

-9:43

#18

Scores from Turnover Diff.

-11.2

#16

-27.8

#18

 

Gold Coast 2021

Rd 1-13 Avg.

Rank

Disposal Diff.

-28.8

#17

Contested Poss. Diff.

-6.6

#15

Uncontested. Poss. Diff.

-22.3

#16

Clearance Diff.

-3.2

#15

Inside 50 Diff.

-5.3

#16

Time in Fwd Half Diff.

-4:30

#15

Scores from Stoppages Diff.

-6.7

#15

Score per Inside 50 %

41.8%

#15