An eight-goal blitz in the opening quarter proved the catalyst to a dominant Gold Coast victory over the Giants in the NEAFL on Sunday afternoon at Metricon Stadium.
The SUNS extended their lead at every break against the depleted Giants, running out eventual 20.8 (128) to 6.7 (43) winners.
Gold Coast couldn’t put a foot wrong in the first quarter, with a goal to Academy prospect Hewago Paul Oea coming from the first clearance of the game and opening the account for the SUNS.
Three goals in rapid succession to Connor Nutting set him up for a big day, with the 19-year-old finishing with four for the match.
In his return from an eight-week layoff with a quad injury, Jack Bowes starred in the midfield, accumulating 25 disposals, 10 clearances and a goal.
Also on return from injury was Ben Ainsworth who worked his way into the match to finish with 22 disposals.
“Ace” Paul Oea had 24 disposals and two goals, looking dangerous up forward whenever the ball was in his area.
Hard-working forward Josh Corbett was crucial in setting up chains that led to goal early in the match and was rewarded later with three goals from 19 disposals.
Academy prospect Josh Gore worked hard to cause turnovers and finished with four goals of his own, including an outstanding banana from deep in the pocket in the fourth quarter.
NEAFL Coach Nick Malceski said he was pleased with his team’s ability to go on with it after the opening quarter dominance.
“We went into the game with a focus on our contested possession and tackle pressure which I think we delivered on,” Malceski said.
“We had a focus on the start of the game because the last two times we’ve played GWS they’ve started really well on us and we’ve been playing catch-up.
“The boys rallied around and really started well I thought.”
The SUNS have a bye next weekend before finishing the season with matches against Brisbane, Sydney and GWS again.
SUNS 8.0 11.3 14.5 20.8 (128)
GIANTS 1.1 2.3 5.6 6.7 (43)
SUNS: Nutting 4, Gore 4, Corbett 3, Paul Oea 2, Portelli 2, Bowes, Murdoch, A. Swallow, Selsby, Scheer
GIANTS: Sproule 2, Kelly, Mudge, Delahunty, Brown
SUNS: Bowes, Corbett, Paul-Oea, Nutting, Nicholls
GIANTS: Shipley, Idun, Peatling, Caldwell, Sproule
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