The Western Bulldogs threatened another stirring come-from-behind win, but Gold Coast held its nerve in a thrilling final quarter to claim a deserved five-point win at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With a 19-point lead at three-quarter time, the SUNS knew they had to stand tough considering the Bulldogs had fought back from a 30-point deficit at the final change against Hawthorn just a week earlier.
But Stuart Dew's side had no intention of letting that happen for a second week running, defending grimly to close out the 10.13 (73) to 9.14 (68) win, and record their second-straight victory.
The nailbiting win did not come without its nervous moments, however, as a spectacular mark and goal from the top of the goal square from Bulldog Aaron Naughton cut the margin to just six points with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Billy Gowers then had the opportunity to level the scores, but his set shot from 35m out on a 45-degree angle with just 30 seconds remaining sailed wide to the right.
The young SUNS team then had to display an enormous amount of composure to hold the Bulldogs at bay in the dying seconds of the game.
Earlier, the SUNS got a jump on their opponents, booting the opening four goals of the contest, and six goals to the Dogs' two, in the first quarter.
In what became a theme across the game, the SUNS were most dangerous moving the ball swiftly from quick play-ons, with their forwards pressing high up the ground and creating the opportunities for scores out the back.
Jack Martin (23 disposals and six tackles) is starting to come into his own as a player, and his hot start to 2019 continued, with his ability to win contests forward of the ball a crucial component in the win.
While Jarrod Witts' ruck dominance (71-16), did not translate into a clearance advantage (30-44), midfielders Brayden Fiorini (27 touches), Jack Bowes (26 and one goal) and Touk Miller (24 and 14 contested) were excellent in pressure situations.
Sam Collins' presence in the defensive half was also noteworthy, with the former Docker, who was re-listed by the SUNS after a year in the VFL, stoic among an avalanche of inside 50 entries from the Bulldogs.
The game shifted after quarter-time as the Bulldogs' midfield led by Marcus Bontempelli (34 and seven inside-50s), Lachie Hunter (33) and Tom Liberatore (30 and 12 clearances) imposed themselves on the contest.
However, despite having 19 inside-50s to four at one stage in the second term, the Bulldogs' inefficiency in attack in that quarter and across the match ultimately proved costly.
The Bulldogs kicked the final three goals of the game and finished with all the momentum, but the fashion in which the SUNS were able to grind it out in the last quarter speaks volumes for the side that Dew has assembled.
Western Bulldogs: Defender Matt Suckling copped a nasty knock to the face which left his nose bleeding, but he soon returned to the field of play.
Gold Coast: The SUNS appear to have come through the game unscathed.
The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround with a Friday night match-up against Collingwood to come. The SUNS return home for a clash with Carlton at Metricon Stadium next Sunday.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.4 4.8 5.10 9.14 (68)
GOLD COAST 6.4 7.6 8.11 10.13 (73)
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Liberatore, Hunter, Suckling, Macrae, Wallis
Gold Coast: Martin, Fiorini, Miller, Bowes, Witts, Harbrow, Collins
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley 2, Lloyd 2, Naughton, Gowers, Wallis, McLean, Suckling
Gold Coast: Swallow 2, Macpherson 2, Sexton 2, Bowes, Miles, Burgess, Martin
Western Bulldogs: TBC
Gold Coast: TBC
Umpires: Dalgleish, Hay, Gavine
Official crowd: 22,499 at Marvel Stadium
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