Gold Coast match-winner Noah Anderson says the team is eyeing its first ever finals berth this season, after being trusted by coach Stuart Dew to lift against Richmond.
The Suns trailed by 40 points in the third quarter but stormed home with Anderson’s goal after the siren putting the club 8-8 with six rounds left, facing one of the league’s easiest remaining fixtures.
They are a win and 7.5 percentage points outside of the top eight, and at the very least on the brink of the club’s greatest ever season, given they’ve never won more than 10 games.
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The Suns have four games left against the bottom six, but will likely need to upset either Brisbane or Geelong to reach 13 wins and make the eight.
“We want to play finals. That’s been our goal for the whole year,” Anderson said on Fox Footy’s On the Couch.
“We’ve spoken about that in the pre-season, all the way through the year, even when we weren’t going too well at the start of the year that was always the goal.
“And then obviously, getting a bit cliched, but it starts this weekend and on Sunday with Essendon who had a really good win on the weekend.”
Anderson explained coach Dew didn’t go too in-depth with his analysis at halftime against the Tigers, instead trusting them to play their brand and come over the top of them.
“We find him great to play under. The trust that we have as a playing group to follow him and follow the coaching game plan is pretty strong,” he said.
“I got asked today if he put any tactics up or showed any vision at halftime, and I said no, which was not probably something that usually happens.
“He just wrote something up pretty simple and asked us, trusted us as a playing group, knew where we were a bit off, knew where we had to improve. And that connection and trust, to see us then succeed in the second half, was pretty cool.”
On the Couch showed footage from inside the Suns’ rooms post-match where Dew was speaking to his players.
“I put ‘we tried’, because at halftime I said we’re not f***ing trying,” Dew said.
“And it’s a bit like sometimes, with your kids, you go I’m not angry, I’m disappointed. And that’s what it was at halftime.
“Who’s played in one of those games where someone’s kicked one after the siren? Do you know the name of the bloke?
“They’ll remember your name for life (Noah).”
Anderson’s long-time mate and teammate Matt Rowell attended an under-13s semi-final where Anderson, kicking from almost the same spot as he did against Richmond, missed after the siren.
“I was at that game. I remember we played in the same league, my team didn’t make the finals unfortunately and Noah’s team always made the finals,” Rowell said.
“I went down there to watch and in basically the same position he had the kick (against Richmond) – I think it went right. So it was good to see it go through the big sticks on the weekend.
“I was pretty confident (he would kick it). He’s pretty good under pressure usually Noah, so I thought if there was anything to have a kick under the siren, he’d definitely be one that I’d choose.
“I just remember watching it and watching him run in and then just looking closely at the way he hit the footy, and when I saw I was like yeah that should be a good chance, he’s hit it pretty well.
“And then I wasn’t on a great angle so I was watching the crowd and they all went up, and that’s when I started sprinting over to him.”