Faced with the daunting task of toppling premiership favourites Fremantle at Patersons Stadium today, Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna has delved more than a decade into the past to borrow an approach which proved extremely effective for another Queensland-based club.

"If it bleeds, you can kill it," McKenna said yesterday.

The quote, a variation of the words uttered by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 film, The Predator, was famously used by Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews in round 10, 2001, to inspire his side to victory over Essendon.

While the Suns are a long way off repeating the Lions' hat-trick of premierships (2001-03), McKenna said they were ready to pounce should the Dockers show any signs of weakness.

"They're not perfect," he said.

"Maybe some of their players, maybe some of their fans have already locked away four points, maybe they're not going to take us seriously, I don't know, I don't know how they think.

"I've probably got a fair idea how Ross Lyon thinks and he'll be telling them all those reasons why you shouldn't think like that, but we can't control that.

"All we can control is how hard we hit in at the football and how well we use it going forward and how quickly we use it going forward."

Gold Coast's back line stood up tremendously in their 18-point win over Richmond in round one, repelling attack after attack as the young side gave ground at the stoppages.

McKenna said the performance was a sign of the club's growing maturity, but it wasn't one he wanted to repeat against the Dockers.

"I'm not a coach that likes bouncing off my half-back line, because if you do the law of averages says they'll start scoring on you," he said.

The Suns also understand the importance of performing well against Fremantle's midfield.

McKenna also backed 22-year-old ruckman Tom Nicholls to prove his worth against 211cm giant Aaron Sandilands.

"Certainly at the centre bounce, you're on the back foot already because he stands a foot and a half over everyone else," he said.

"Around the ground it's different because you can have tactics that can help nullify his dominance, but we're under no illusions our midfield will be off the back foot.

"I'm not discounting Tommy getting his hand on it too."

Gold Coast have been bolstered by the inclusion of one of the competition's best young key defenders, Rory Thompson, and last year's No.5 draft pick Kade Kolodjashnij, 18, a left-footer from Tasmania.

"They're not perfect. Maybe some of their players … have already locked away four points …"" *Guy McKenna *on Fremantle

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West