BY HIS OWN ADMISSION, Jake Lever has been down on form in the early part of the 2020 season.

The intercept defender, who was recruited from Adelaide three years ago, was averaging under three marks in the opening four matches of the year, struggling to find the balance in his game.

But with Oscar McDonald returning to play a support role against the Suns, Lever took a big step forward on a personal note.

“Over the last couple of weeks my form hasn’t been fantastic, probably really intertwining with the team’s form,” he told Melbourne Media.

“It was good to be able to get back and play my role and, in the end, the ball landed in my lap a couple of times, so I was happy with that.”

The 24-year-old had a team-high nine intercept possessions in his side’s 17-point win on Saturday night, and took six marks in defence.

Combining with McDonald and Steven May, the Dees’ tall defenders helped restrict Gold Coast to just four marks inside 50, playing a major part in the victory.

And while it wasn’t a perfect performance at GIANTS Stadium, there was enough to like for the Melbourne faithful.

“I think as a footy club we got back to playing some footy that as players and coaches we should be proud of,” Lever said.

“There were definitely moments throughout the game that we’d like to fix up, but that’s just modern day footy at the minute.

“We’re just looking forward to hopefully getting the ball rolling now and continuing that form for the immediate future.”