The Gold Coast SUNS have returned to the top of the VFL ladder after a comprehensive victory over the Sydney Swans in the VFL on Saturday morning.
Playing in the curtain raiser at the SCG, the SUNS surged out to an early lead in the opening quarter which became too much for the Swans to chase down as Gold Coast ran over the home side in the final quarter.
It became evident early the SUNS had come to play, with the physicality and intensity a feature from the opening bounce.
Brayden Fiorini was the best afield for the SUNS, having a major impact on the match with four goals from his midfield role along with 34 disposals and seven clearances.
In defence it was Ben Long who set the tone with some bone crunching contests on the ball, while the rugged defender was also able to rebound with 20 disposals in three quarters before being held out of the final quarter as an AFL emergency.
Ned Moyle emphatically won the ruck contest with 38 hitouts while also getting involved around the ground with 21 disposals and an equal team-high seven clearances.
Alex Sexton booted four goals from 18 disposals and was terrific in the forward half.
Oskar Faulkhead saw plenty of action in the midfield and was important for the SUNS with 21 disposals and seven tackles.
Charlie Constable continued his form at half-back with 36 disposals while Alex Davies and Connor Blakely were also impressive through the midfield.
Brodie McLaughlin (five goals) edged ahead of fellow key forward Chris Burgess (one) in the goalkicking stakes, taking his tally to 46 for the season and three clear of Burgess’ 43.
SUNS Academy players Ethan Read, Jake Rogers, Will Graham, Nick Williams and Jared Eckersley all lined up for the club, with Read having four shots on goal in a forward role and Rogers playing predominately in the forward half where he snagged one major.
The SUNS draw level with Werribee, who has a bye this week, at the top of the table on 15 wins, with Gold Coast holding a slight advantage with a percentage of 175 compared to 168.5.
The SUNS host Carlton in VFL Round 22 at Heritage Bank Stadium.
GOLD COAST SUNS: 4.4 8.4 12.6 19.8 (122)
SYDNEY SWANS: 0.1 3.2 6.5 8.6 (54)
SUNS BEST: Fiorini, Moyle, Sexton, Long, Davies, Faulkhead
SUNS GOALS: McLaughlin 5, Sexton 4, Fiorini 4, Rogers, Davies, Chol, Burgess, Blakely, Berry