Gold Coast soared from behind to take a 26-point victory over the Sydney Swans at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday morning.
It was a gruelling contest for both sides, but it was the SUNS who ran away in the second half to win the Round 13 contest in emphatic style, 16.9 (105) 12.5 (77).
Impressive performances from Josh Corbett (17 disposals and 6 goals) and George Horlin-Smith (27 disposals) place the SUNS as a threat to the top ranking teams, with consecutive victories against Southport (second) and Sydney (third) lifting them to equal sixth on the ladder.
Coming into the second half of this year’s campaign, assistant coach Tate Kaesler – who was head coach on the day - acknowledges his team’s remarkable turnaround.
“We have been focusing on pressuring the opposition as well as trying to move the ball through faster,” he told neafl.com.au.
“We also have a few boys now who are starting to find some really good form, but it all comes back to training and it’s good to see it all finally take shape.”
The Swans had a strong start with a 13-point lead up until the 14th minute when an injured James Bell copped a heavy knock in a tackle and did not return.
Sydney kicked the first four goals and kept Gold Coast goalless until the two-minute mark of the second, but it sparked the SUNS into gear.
Corbett took two impressive marks to boot back-to-back goals bringing the margin back to a narrow 11 points.
Returning from the sheds at half time, the SUNS keep that same intensity, which resulted in a quick couple of goals to claw themselves in front, taking lead for first time in the game at the 12-minute mark of the third.
By three-quarter time, Gold Coast had kicked eight goals to one – including an uplifting goal to prized draftee Izak Rankine - in a stunning turnaround to lead by 31 points.
It was an even contest in the last as Gold Coast stood firm to secure the four points.
Robbie Fox (27 disposals, eight clearances) and Kieren Jack (18 disposals and seven clearances) were among Sydney’s best performers, as was academy member Jackson Barling who kicked three goals.
The SUNS will look forward to locking in another win when they take on Redland at Metricon Stadium next Saturday, while the Swans head to Darwin to face NT Thunder.
Sydney Swans v Gold Coast SUNS at Blacktown International Sportspark
GOLD COAST 0.2 4.5 12.6 16.9 (105)
SYDNEY 2.3 6.4 7.5 12.5 (77)
Gold Coast: J Corbett 6 C Nutting 3 A Swallow 3 J Murdoch 2 C Portelli I Rankine.
Sydney: J Barling 3 H McLean 2 D Menzel J Rayner M Sheather Z Foot R Fox C Hirst C Kilpatrick.
Gold Coast: J Corbett G Horlin-Smith A Young J Heron J Dawson J Murdoch.
Sydney: R Fox K Jack J Thurlow H McLean J Barling.