Scorpions sting Gold Coast

GOLD Coast put up another spirited performance but again had no premiership points to show for effort after an eight-point loss to Casey Scorpions at Southport on Saturday.

It was a close affair, with no more than two goals separating the teams all day.

But the experience and size of Casey was telling in the end, with Melbourne-listed trio Kyle Cheney, Paul Johnson and Brad Miller playing key roles in the 10.17-77 to 10.9-69 win.

It was the third straight home loss for Gold Coast.

However, despite not getting the wins coach Guy McKenna is not hitting the panic button.

“I know the boys are getting closer each week, so I am comfortable,” he said.

“The boys kicked 2.3 to (Casey’s) 2.3 in the last quarter, which says we were able to run out the game.”

Gold Coast made some late changes to the team, erring on the side of caution by leaving Daniel Harris and Alik Magin out, with Roland Ah Chee and Joseph Daye making their debuts. The club will continue with the policy all year, McKenna said.

“Our theory this year is if in doubt, rule them out,” he said.

In Harris’s absence, Danny Stanley seemed to thrive on the added responsibility in the midfield, sneaking forward to kick two goals.

Brendon Matera was also prominent, as was Sam Isles, while Nathan Ablett was one who earned the coach’s praise.

“Nathan’s offensive work rate is picking up because of his defensive efforts,” McKenna said.

“He was leading to the right space, but we just weren’t kicking it to the right space.

“I put him down as one of our three or four best players today.”

There were no injuries out of the match.

Gold Coast’s next assignment is a clash with Bendigo Bombers in Bendigo next Saturday.

Bendigo is coming off a 14.9-93 to 9.8-62 win over Geelong in Melbourne at the weekend.

A five-goal first quarter and six goals in the final term did the damage.

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