A career-high five goals from Kyle Langford has seen Essendon pull away from a determined Gold Coast to record a 28-point win.
With scores locked at 72-apiece at three-quarter time, the Bombers added 5.6 to 1.2 in the final term to finish with a 16.12 (108) to 11.14 (80) victory and consign the SUNS to a 0-2 start to the year.
The see-sawing affair saw the lead change eight times, and both sides fielded shorter line-ups, having brought in smaller forwards for late withdrawal Sam Weideman (toe) and the dropped Mabior Chol.
It made for a pacey game on the quick deck of Marvel Stadium, with both sides favouring handball receives after marks.
The Bombers kicked nine goals straight against the Hawks last week, but it took nearly 20 minutes to record their first against the SUNS, coming from the boot of Liam Shiel after the visitors had dominated play early.
Shiel followed up half a second before the quarter-time siren with an impressive dribbler, to give the Bombers an unlikely two-point lead.
Both sides showed exciting passages of play throughout the game, but often struggled with their skills entering inside 50, making poor choices or not pulling that inside-50 kick fast enough.
Zach Merrett (31 disposals) traditionally saves his best footy for Gold Coast, and it was no exception in round two, providing plenty of driving run through the ground, while Darcy Parish (30, 11 clearances) did the work at the coalface.
The SUNS had plenty of opportunities in front of goal, but the majority of their behinds came from snapped shots, rather than a steady mark approach.
Touk Miller (31) and Matt Rowell (22 and 10 clearances) were typically prolific, while Joel Jeffrey was a constant threat across half-forward, and rucks Sam Draper and Jarrod Witts had an intriguing battle.
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher made a desperate and important lunge to touch an Alex Sexton shot at goal halfway through the fourth term, but his day ended early after rolling his right ankle outwards.
Subs make immediate impact
Former Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell was subbed off towards the tail end of the third term after 14 touches, with Matt Guelfi unleashed to inject a spark, with the SUNS following suit a minute after, with Alex Sexton replacing Brayden Fiorini. Matt Guelfi immediately drew a 50m penalty and goal for his team after a brain-fade overreaction from Charlie Ballard, while the Suns responded through a Sexton snap just a minute later.
A Wel(ler)come return
The dashing Lachie Weller made an impressively quick return from a torn ACL, suffered in early June last year. The SUN finished with 24 disposals from 77 per cent game time, playing primarily off half-back, and showed he hadn't lost any speed after the serious injury. If the SUNS are to push for finals, they need Weller to be at his best.