Hawthorn has all but snuffed out Gold Coast's finals hopes, holding off a final-quarter SUNS fightback for a seven-point win at University of Tasmania Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Veteran Hawk Jack Gunston booted five goals in the 10.10 (70) to 8.15 (63) result in the milestone match of skipper Ben McEvoy.
Hawthorn booted the opening goal and never relinquished the lead from there, quelling the SUNS’ chances in the opening term when they had the advantage of a strong breeze behind them.
Despite leading at each change, the Hawks did have some nervous moments late with the Gold Coast virtually setting up camp in its forward-half.
Trailing by 17 points at three-quarter time, the SUNS kicked the opening two goals of the fourth term and got within a goal with about five minutes left on the clock.
Gold Coast was left to rue several missed opportunities in the final quarter, with big man Mabior Chol and rookie Mac Andrew missing gettable set shots.
McEvoy picked up a crucial mark in defence inside the final two minutes as the Hawks scrambled for their eighth win of the year despite scoring just one point in the last term.
The result leaves the SUNS in 11th position on the ladder, two wins outside the top eight with two rounds remaining and a host of teams above them still to play in round 21.
Gunston threatened to tear the game open from the start, booting the opening two goals of the match and had four to his name by half-time.
The SUNS were slow out of the blocks and took until the 21st minute to register their opening major but trailed by just eight at the first break.
Hawthorn pulled ahead in the second term with three goals straight, including Gunston's third which was shortly followed by a fourth on the run, for a 21-point half-time lead.
Despite having the breeze at their back in the all-important third term, the SUNS could only equal Hawthorn's two goals.
David Swallow (30 disposals and five clearances) and Brandon Ellis (27 disposals) were two of the SUNS’ best.
Hawthorn's Jarman Impey was put on report in the third quarter for contact on Darcy Macpherson.
HAWTHORN 3.5 8.8 10.9 10.10 (70)
GOLD COAST 2.3 5.5 7.10 8.15 (63)
Hawthorn: Gunston 5, Breust, Koschitzke, McEvoy, O’Meara, Ward
Gold Coast: Hollands 2, Holman 2, Ainsworth, Casboult, Sharp, Witts
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Gunston, Moore, Newcombe, Sicily, Mitchell
Gold Coast: Swallow, Hollands, Witts, Ellis, Ainsworth
Gold Coast: Nil
Hawthorn: James Blanck (unused)
Gold Coast: Rory Atkins (unused)