The Gold Coast SUNS have responded from last week’s loss to GWS in emphatic fashion with a 30-point victory over Carlton at Metricon Stadium in Round 4.
Carlton were unbeaten heading into the match on Sunday afternoon but the Suns showed steel to grind out a 13.14 (92) to 8.14 (62) victory.
Gold Coast conceded the first two goals, but what followed was some of its best football under coach Stuart Dew.
The Suns led by 15 points at quarter-time – a margin that could have been greater if not for some gettable misses and poor connection inside 50 – on the back of harassing pressure and assertive defence.
The performance of midfielders Touk Miller and Noah Anderson typified the Suns' bounce back from last week's listless loss to Greater Western Sydney.
They gathered 67 disposals between them, including 18 clearances, to dominate the red-hot Blues' midfield and lay the groundwork for victory.
Co-captain Jarrod Witts (16 touches, seven clearances and 42 hitouts) was arguably the best player afield and can take a lot of credit for the Suns' win, giving his onballers first use around the stoppages with some skillful ruck craft.
Gold Coast won the clearance count 45-27, giving it a territorial advantage that led to a 64-48 inside 50 advantage.
Carlton was still well in the game at half-time, trailing by just 14 points, but what happened early in the third term would infuriate coach Michael Voss.
Nic Newman gave away a 50m penalty for an off-the-ball scuffle with Ben Ainsworth that gifted a goal to Mabior Chol, but worse was to come.
After Chol kicked another goal shortly after, the Blues gave away yet another 50m penalty for an incident off the ball to hand Ainsworth a gift from the goal line.
Suddenly the lead was 35 and there was no coming back.
In just his fifth senior game – and first for 2022 – Malcolm Rosas Jnr had a game to remember.
With the Suns on the back foot early, it was Rosas who got the momentum heading their way with the first of his three goals after finding space to get on the end of a Jack Lukosius pass.
He kicked a second later in the first term and then a third with a ridiculous banana from the right forward pocket that seemed to change direction a few times in mid-air.
The SUNS have a six-day break before heading down to Melbourne to face St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
GOLD COAST 5.5 7.7 12.10 13.14 (92)
CARLTON 3.2 5.5 6.9 8.14 (62)
Gold Coast: Chol 3, Rosas 3, Corbett 2, Ainsworth, Anderson, Casboult, Rankine, Weller
Carlton: McKay 2, Cripps, Curnow, De Koning, Fisher, Hewett, Owies
Gold Coast: Witts, Weller, Anderson, Miller, Powell, Collins
Carlton: Williams, Docherty, Hewett, Saad
Gold Coast: Farrar (hamstring), Lukosius (leg)
Carlton: Cripps (hamstring)
Gold Coast: Atkins (replaced Farrar in second quarter)
Carlton: Boyd (replaced Cripps in second quarter)
Crowd: 14,349 at Metricon Stadium