Jarrod Witts looks dejected after the R1 match between Gold Coast and Sydney at Heritage Bank Stadium on March 18, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

DISAPPOINTED Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said his team got exactly what it deserved on Saturday night, questioning the Suns' hardness in their 49-point loss to Sydney.

The Swans dominated from the outset, kicking five early goals and never being seriously troubled in the 16.14 (110) to 9.7 (61) triumph.

Sydney won contests all over the ground, and although Dew said his confidence would not be rocked by the result, the coach was critical of his team's application.

"They outworked us," Dew said.


"Offensively they had the outnumber, which allows their skills to shine through, and then defensively they put us under pressure, and I think we lived in a bit of a land of hope, and maybe it might come out, might come over the back, might come out wide to me, but against good teams that's not going to happen.

"We need to get our hands dirty, and we didn't at all.

"There's no easy ball, particularly on a Saturday night in southeast Queensland, in those conditions."

SUNS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

While lauding the Swans' pressure – an aspect Sydney coach John Longmire also emphasised - Dew said the Suns were barely able to sustain their "style" for more than 10 minutes in succession in the humid conditions.

Despite having 51 more disposals, Sydney also laid 24 more tackles than its opponent to highlight its greater intensity.

"We've got a fair bit to work on," Dew said. "It's obviously the start of a long year, and that is a team that played off in the Grand Final, so we sit here, and we'll take what we need to out of it and get going next week.


"We're disappointed, we're wounded, but … we get back into it tomorrow. 

"It's not what we wanted, I don't want to hide from that, but this game demands that you get going again, and we'll get another opportunity next week."

Longmire could not have been happier with the performance, saying mentally and physically the Swans were in great shape.

He said there had been no talk about last year's 81-point Grand Final loss to Geelong in recent weeks and they were purely focused on 2023.

"We spoke about it before Christmas, but it has been six months, so we get into the next year," Longmire said.


"We wanted to play well tonight. That was last year, six months ago. We wanted to play hard and strong footy and we talked about Gold Coast all week and that's all we focused on."

Longmire said Sam Reid would need to have "a really good week of training" to put his hand up for selection against Hawthorn next week after being unavailable with a glute injury.