Gold Coast has overcome wasteful kicking in front of goal to run out three-point winners over Fremantle on Sunday.
Conditions were perfect at Metricon Stadium, but both teams struggled for any free flowing football.
Despite nearly kicking themselves out of the game with 0.8 in the third quarter, the SUNS ran out 7.19 (61) to 8.10 (58) victors.
Captain David Swallow sealed the win with a late set shot with four minutes remaining, while former Docker Sam Collins - who Gold Coast secured courtesy of the AFL’s special assistance package last year – took a desperate mark in defence to stop Fremantle's last forward foray.
Jarrod Harbrow was the catalyst for the SUNS in the final quarter, driving his team forward as they overcame Fremantle's nine-point three-quarter time lead.
Harbrow finished with 32 possessions and nine marks in a best on ground performance.
He was ably assisted by Swallow (30 disposals) and Jack Bowes (27 disposals).
Nat Fyfe starred in the Fremantle midfield with 31 possessions and 10 marks, with Bradley Hill (32) and Ed Langdon (26) also impressive.
SUN Alex Sexton was lively again in the Gold Coast forward line, finishing with a match-high four goals, leaving him as an unlikely Coleman Medal leader after two rounds.
However, Sexton will rue several missed set shots, including two misses in a string of six consecutive Gold Coast points to start the third term.
Where the SUNS were wasteful, the Dockers made the most of their opportunities, putting on a run of three goals to jump to the lead at the final break.
McCarthy was the spark that started the Docker's comeback, scoring two goals and setting up another.
It was a far cry from the fast, free-flowing Fremantle that smashed North Melbourne by 82 points at Optus Stadium last week.
GOLD COAST 2.4 4.8 4.16 7.19 (61)
FREMANTLE 2.3 4.5 7.7 8.10 (58)
Gold Coast: Sexton 4, Martin, Miller, Swallow
Fremantle: McCarthy 2, Taberner 2, Colyer 2, Lobb, Walters
Gold Coast: Harbrow, Martin, Sexton, Bowes, Swallow, Collins
Fremantle: Hill, Fyfe, Langdon, Taberner, Hogan, Colyer
Gold Coast: Horlin-Smith (back) replaced in selected side by Joyce
Umpires: Ryan, O'Gorman, Brown
Official crowd: 10,119 at Metricon Stadium
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