Eade backs Suns defensive system

21 April 2017 07:39:22 EST

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade isn't too worried about his side being without two key defenders for the meeting with Adelaide on Saturday.

Co-captain Steven May is out with a hamstring injury and Rory Thompson has a quad problem, so they'll miss the clash with the unbeaten Crows at Metricon Stadium.

If they manage to beat the visitors it will be the first time they've done so without May since Eade took over as coach before the start of the 2015 season.

They've lost all nine games he's missed, by an average of 67 points but the team are confident they can take their win-loss ledger into the positive this weekend, on the back of wins over Hawthorn and Carlton in the previous two rounds.

Eade believes the Suns' team defence strategy will be able to overcome the Crows, who have averaged 128 points a game so far.

Jack Leslie, who will be playing his ninth game, is set to mark Adelaide captain Taylor Walker, while Keegan Brooksby will be upgraded from the rookie list and could play as the second tall defender.

Eade says he's backing his system, adding: "We had Rory out last week and Steven was down a little bit last week. I thought Jack Leslie played well, but I thought our system worked well.

"We have to win the ball in the middle so the ball is going our way rather than the opposition's way, and our pressure around the ball, so that's what we are concentrating on."

Leslie was used throughout the JLT Community Series, after swingman Sam Day picked up a season-ending hip injury in the first pre-season game.

The 21-year-old will take leading role after a strong showing Carlton and Eade said he had worked really hard over the past 18 months.

"I think we saw some great signs over the pre-season, and we thought he adapted pretty well last week," he added.

"He played on some good players and was able to defend really well."

Gold Coast are 7/2 to beat the Crows, who are 2/9.

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