After a closely-fought first half Greater Western Sydney turned up the heat to run away easy 19.8 (122) to 12.5 (77) winners against Gold Coast at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday afternoon.
The first two quarters were played at high intensity - and high impact - with both sides looking ready to run into the season proper with a full head of steam.
However, the SUNS were put in the shade after the long break as the Giants kicked seven goals to a single behind in the third quarter, before a low-pressure goalfest in the final term.
Ben King kicked the first goal of the match and was swamped by teammates in recognition of his comeback after the knee injury that ended his 2022 season before it started. The star full-forward looked strong through the first half before heading to the rooms and sitting out the rest of the day.
Stephen Coniglio was collected with a hard hip and shoulder that sent shudders through the GWS camp late in the second quarter, sending the former skipper to the bench looking groggy, however he returned to the field and played out the match.
The Giants may also have MRO concerns after Brayden Preuss took new SUN Tom Berry to ground with an unorthodox tackle.
Both sides enjoyed impressive performances from young players with high expectations.
Sam Flanders added to his strong pre-season with a team-high disposal tally for Gold Coast and seems ready to take the next step. A powerful-looking Matt Rowell also racked up the possessions and finished with a game-high nine clearances
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 3.5 7.6 14.7 19.8 (122)
GOLD COAST 3.3 6.3 6.4 12.5 (77)
Greater Western Sydney: Riccardi 4, Himmelberg 3, Peatling 2, Lloyd 2, Hogan 2, Callaghan 2, Greene, Cumming, Ward, Stone.
Gold Coast: Jeffrey 2, King, Lukosious, Witts, Berry, Ainsworth, Tsitas, Chol, Casboult, Davies, Fiorini
Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Ash, Green, Kelly, Callaghan, Cumming, Coniglio, Riccardi, Lloyd
Gold Coast: Flanders, McPherson, Witts, Collins, Anderson, Constable, Rowell.