Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew lays down the law during his side's round five clash with the Brisbane Lions on April 22.
Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew lays down the law during his side's round five clash with the Brisbane Lions on April 22. Chris Hyde

Suns coach demands efficiency

Rookie Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew believes his side has proved itself capable of sustaining the defensive intensity his game plan demands.

But he knows a trip to the Adelaide Oval will provide a whole new challenge for the AFL's youngest squad.

Both teams boast 3-2 records ahead of tonight's clash, with Matt Crouch (hamstring) back for the Crows and Michael Barlow (broken leg) forcing his return to the Suns after irresistible NEAFL form.

Rory Sloane (foot) will not return as expected, though, and inaugural Sun Michael Rischitelli follows teammate Aaron Hall to the emergency list in Dew's second telling omission in as many weeks.

After his team's frantic five-point win over Brisbane last weekend, Dew knows they'll need to be more efficient to have any chance against last season's grand finalists.

"We took a breath (after the win) - the last quarter was pretty hectic with lots to like but a lot to learn ... a good game for the group to be a part of," Dew said.

"We've shown we are capable of bringing the intent we're after, but when they (the Crows) are on they're really damaging ... had a big win in Sydney and we're preparing for the best."

Barlow, who averaged 41.5 disposals in two NEAFL games this season, came in for Darcy Macpherson, who fractured his lower leg in the second quarter against the Lions.

"They're not like for like but we think we can manufacture a different look," Dew said.

The battles at either end of the park will be telling, with Daniel Talia likely to line up on Suns co-captain Tom Lynch, and Crows skipper Taylor Walker against Rory Thompson with help from Steven May.

Talia kept Lance Franklin to just one goal last week. - AAP


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