Coast young guns too eager in debut

TOO much brawn and not enough brains.

That was what Gold Coast Football Club coach Guy McKenna thought after his side was taken by surprise in its debut TAC Cup match against Eastern Ranges at Carrara on Saturday night.

The wet conditions at Gold Coast Stadium played a pivotal role as the new Aussie rules Gold Coast side was caught out by the Victorians, who kicked 7.2 to 2.3 in the first quarter.

The home side never recovered but McKenna's men rallied to prevent Eastern Ranges from kicking away, matching them almost goal for goal throughout the rest of the match before eventually going down 9.10 (64) to 16.6 (102).

McKenna was impressed with his side's hunger to play well after 15 weeks of solid training

“It wasn't a case of winding them up before the game, the boys had to be wound down,” McKenna said.

“They may have been too enthusiastic for their own good. The boys were a bit too over-exuberant at times. They were putting their heads over the ball, but there would be a few of our players going for the same ball.”

Despite the Coast's 'over zealous' approach to the hard ball, McKenna was pleased, in particular with the work rate.

“The fantastic thing was the boys' intent - they really went in for the contests,” McKenna said.

McKenna admitted to not expecting premiership points in round one.

GCFC big-man Zac Smith was easily the Coast's best, dominating in the ruck, while PNG recruit Stanis Susuve, skipper Terranora's Marc Lock (three goals) and half-forward Jack Stanlake (two goals) impressed.

There were some big names missing on Saturday night, such as vice-captain Charlie Dixon and Jack Stanley. McKenna said Dixon was a chance to play this week.

The Coasters head south later to take on the Western Jets on Sunday in round two in Williamstown before returning to Carrara on May 9 to take on Gippsland Power.

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