FAR FROM giving up its finals dream, Gold Coast is eyeing the biggest-ever QClash as a launch pad into a maiden September campaign.

The Suns let slip a massive opportunity to draw level on wins with eighth-placed Richmond when they stumbled to a bitterly disappointing loss to Essendon on Sunday.

The 48-point thumping cost them 4.2 percentage points in a tight finals race and left them licking their wounds after being thrashed inside and outside the contest.

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Highlights: Essendon v Gold Coast

The Bombers and Suns clash in round 18

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But co-captain Touk Miller has full faith Gold Coast can resurrect its season against third-placed Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.

"We're going to pride ourselves on the response that we get," Miller told reporters.

"This week's going to be a big one and the QClash is always pretty brutal.

"They've probably bullied us in the last few (meetings) so I think it's a great opportunity to bounce back."

Matt Rowell kicks the ball out of a pack in the round six match between Gold Coast and Brisbane at Metricon Stadium on April 24, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The Suns have lost their last seven games against Brisbane by an average of 52 points.

Their last derby win came in April 2018, and Miller conceded the recent history stings.

"It does, 100 per cent, and we can't shy away from the fact that they've been the better team, but we want to get the wood over them and that starts this weekend," he said.

"In the context of our season it is (the biggest-ever QClash).

"We need to win this game to give us our best opportunity to play finals.

"But they've had the wood over us so every time we come up against them we're just looking for an opportunity to knock them off."

Sam Day celebrates kicking a goal with his Gold Coast teammates during their round 18 match against Essendon at Marvel Stadium on July 17, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

On paper, Gold Coast has a relatively favourable draw in the run home.

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After Brisbane, the Suns face lowly ranked West Coast, Hawthorn and North Melbourne - as well as a home game against ladder leaders Geelong.

"Finals is still the carrot and I think that's the same for every team, but to get there you've got to focus on the process and that's the game that's in front of you," Miller said.

"So yes, the carrot is definitely dangling, but we've got to focus on Brisbane this week."