The Gold Coast SUNS suffered their first defeat of the 2022 VFL season, going down to Carlton by 52 points at Metricon Stadium this afternoon.
In a game where the scoreboard did not reflect the intensity of the match, the SUNS were left to rue inaccuracy and inefficiency going forward, as they matched Carlton around the contest for much of the afternoon.
After a strong start in the first quarter which included eight scoring shots to three, the SUNS kicked six behinds for the term.
Elijah Hollands made a strong start to the game, having 10 disposals and a goal in a dominant first quarter.
Charlie Constable was also prominent in the first term with help from Rory Thompson down back.
The second quarter was a tightly contested term where Carlton began to take scoreboard ascendency.
Carlton kicked six goals and made the most of their entries inside forward 50.
Despite leading the inside 50 count, the SUNS rued missed chances, kicking a further four behinds and one goal for the quarter.
They also began to get on top of the clearance battle, leading the count 21 to 11 at halftime.
Mac Andrew provided some resistance in defence, while Darcy Macpherson and Hewago Paul Oea began to get busy through the middle of the ground.
Joel Jeffrey opened the scoring in the third term where the SUNS looked to wrestle back momentum on the scoreboard.
In what was an attacking quarter, eight goals were scored, with the SUNS kicking four themselves to go into the final break 20 points down.
Macpherson continued to shine through the middle of the ground, while Hollands and Sam Flanders also provided strong contest around the ball.
While the pressure around the contest remained and no side grabbed any real ascendency through the middle of the ground, Carlton began to kick away last in the final quarter.
Jeremy Sharp and Caleb Graham were standouts throughout the final term showing their class late in the game.
Andrew had his best game for the year, having 23 disposals and eight marks for the match.
Constable and Jeffrey were the only two casualties for the SUNS. Constable sustained a head knock in the second quarter, while Jeffrey limped from the ground late in the final term with what looked to be an ankle injury.
Gold Coast Suns 2.6 3.10 7.16 7.19 (61)
Carlton 2.1 8.4 12.6 17.11 (113)
SUNS BEST: Macpherson, Hollands, Andrew, Graham, Oea
SUNS GOALS: Day 2, Jeffrey 2, Burgess, Hollands, Sexton