Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick might be forced to eat his words after Jack Lukosius declared himself a mainstay in the forward line following Thursday's performance in the win against Geelong.

Lukosius has long been subject to positional shifts across his six-year career, with the new Suns coach flagging a spot in the backline for the South Australian.

 2024-05-16T09:30:00Z 
Gold Coast WON BY 64 POINTS
TIO Stadium
GC   
164
FT
100
   GEEL

However, following a month of toing and froing, it became apparent to Hardwick that Lukosius was better suited forward of the ball.

In a record-breaking night for the young AFL team, Lukosius slotted through a game-high five goals in the 64-point victory, to go with his five-goal assists, 12 score involvements, four inside 50s and 16 possessions (87.5% effective).

"We know what we got. We certainly know we have a better forward than back at this stage," Hardwick said post-game.

"He does some really nice things, uses the ball really well but probably hasn't had his kicking boots on this year.

"But (tonight) was probably the first time the scoreboard reflected the dominance of his game.

"He's also playing second ruck for us, which we love... he's a really smart and valuable player.

"He's one of those ones, that as a coach, you make decisions and good thing about it is he proved himself right. He sees himself as a forward and good on him. I'm really happy for him."

Hardwick's "open and honest" policy regarding his players is a significant factor in Lukosius' incredible performance, with the three-time premiership coach putting his hand up when making an error.

Damien Hardwick. Photo credit: AFL.
Damien Hardwick. Photo credit: AFL.

"I spoke to 'Luko' last night and I tried to use a Happy Days metaphor with the 'Fonz'," Hardwick said shortly after the loss to Brisbane.

"You know the Fonz … he couldn't say the word 'wrong'.

"From my point of view, we tried him back, he went forward and looked really dynamic, looked a class above, so he'll play forward this week.

"Hopefully it's a long-term one and the coach doesn't get his head on again and put him down back.

"One thing I pride myself on is I'm open and honest that I don't get things right all the time.

"I like to be very strong in my decisions, but it doesn't mean they're right all the time, so we went through that."

However, Lukosius' move to the forward line in time for the trip to TIO Stadium in Darwin shouldn't come as a shock to Suns supporters.

The 23-year-old thrives in the top end, having slotted two bags of five before Thursday's meeting with the Cats.