Suns get instant proof of Hardwick preachings: King

Steve Larkin |

Having booted five goals, Ben King says Gold Coast are encouraged by their new style.
Having booted five goals, Ben King says Gold Coast are encouraged by their new style.

In one scintillating hour, Gold Coast’s players got proof of what new coach Damien Hardwick has been preaching for four months, spearhead Ben King says.

King says Gold Coast’s rollicking stretch of 11 consecutive goals in their first-up win under Hardwick is irrefutable evidence of the new Suns style.

“Everyone in the team played their role,” King told reporters on Monday.

“And we have shown that is what happens when we play to the game plan and everyone has a crack.

“It was really rewarding.”

amien Hardwick
Damien Hardwick’s methods were reinforced by Gold Coast’s first-up win. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

The Suns hammered Hardwick’s former club Richmond by 39 points in their AFL season opener on Saturday, a victory underpinned by their dominant 11-goal burst in the first half.

The scoring spree put the Suns a whopping 67 points up just before halftime – they then withstood a Richmond third-quarter revival en route to victory with King booting five goals.

“It was lots of fun ahead of the ball, for sure, the midfield did a great job and it (the ball) was coming in really hot,” King said.

“It’s really encouraging for us that we think those (midfield) boys can get the job done.

“We were all up and about and celebrating each other, that is when footy is at it’s best.

“But we also know it’s not always going to be like that too, but it was really fun, the first half.

“That was definitely the start we were after as a team so hopefully we can go a long way this year and challenge for finals.”

Hardwick had a simple post-match message for his troops: enjoy, but realise another tough task looms at home against Adelaide on Saturday night.

“It’s important to celebrate it, winning games of AFL footy is pretty hard so we celebrate it,” King said.

“But we also know it’s off the back of really hard work and doing all the right things in the contest and around the ground.

“So we will try and replicate that again this week.

“There’s still a lot that we will take out of it in terms of learnings, it wasn’t a perfect game by any means.

“But he (Hardwick) was really happy with us and our start to the year.”