Young key position pair Ben King and Jack Lukosius continue to give Gold Coast confidence there is light at the end of the tunnel after another heavy loss on Sunday.
The SUNS, who are headed for the wooden spoon, lost their 15th consecutive game when they were downed by Collingwood at the MCG. The 69-point beating set a new record for the club's longest losing streak.
However, the form of King and Lukosius at either end of the ground was cause for optimism, with last year's set of top-10 NAB AFL Draft selections among the SUNS' best.
READ: Match Report
Lukosius gathered 21 disposals playing out of the backline, with his strong form continuing and his elite foot skills on show again.
"He's had a really good year. He had over 20 touches, he took the game on. He made a couple of errors but we're asking him to take the game on so that's the pleasing thing for him. Nothing really fazes him," coach Stuart Dew said post-game.
And King backed up last week's NAB AFL Rising Star nomination, when he kicked four goals against Essendon, with another three goals against the Magpies.
"He's very humble, Ben, and the boys love him for it. His work ethic is outstanding and his application from the moment he walked into the footy club has been outstanding," Dew said.
"I'm really pleased that he's starting to clunk those [marks], he's hitting the scoreboard regularly, and it's exciting when you see a young lad like that. We want to facilitate his career and fulfil his potential."
Despite the duo's impressive signs, Gold Coast's loss to the Pies followed two better performances for the SUNS in recent weeks, but Dew was not critical of his side's endeavour.
WATCH: Match Higlights v Collingwood
"I don't think it was a step back for us. When they lifted we couldn't go with them, and then we were outclassed. Once they were harder, their outside stuff was too slick," he said.
"It was disappointing we couldn't match them for longer, but we fought out the last quarter. There's a little bit of talk about their injuries, but when you run through their list it's a pretty good football side out there."
Co-captain Jarrod Witts will be fine to take on Brisbane in next Saturday night's QClash, despite a knock to his knee late in the game that saw him sit out the second half of the last quarter.