It was a seesawing clash at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with errors ultimately costing the SUNS in the end. 

Gold Coast can take positives from the performance, if not the result, with the final scoreboard reading 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75). 

When the Blues pushed their lead to 43 points midway through the third quarter, it looked like all hope was lost. But the SUNS bravely worked their way back into the match.

Touk Miller (27 disposals, 11 tackles) and Will Brodie (26 disposals, 10 tackles) were the pick of the bunch for the visitors, whose losing run now stretches to 13 matches.

Starting the match as such overwhelming favourites, you could have almost forgiven the Blues had they found the new ground difficult to navigate in the game's early stages.

But after a relatively scrappy first 10 minutes, things finally clicked, with the hosts ending the opening term with four straight goals to take an 18-point lead into quarter-time.

Gold Coast looked to apply the brakes and, for the most part in a relatively even second quarter, restored parity around the ball and looked a far more competitive outfit.

But the routine nature in which Carlton was able to put successive goals on the board hurt its young opponents, with the Blues' lead stretching by the main interval.

It was frustrating for the SUNS, whose half was perhaps best summed up by Ben King reversing a free kick after attempting to strike Lachie Plowman – only for the youngster to miss his intended target and instead hit his own teammate Michael Rischitelli.

The third quarter was a truly bizarre one, as Carlton first looked to capitalise upon Gold Coast's inability to close the gap throughout an improved second term.

The Blues kicked four of the first five goals to start the second half, with none more celebrated than Josh Deluca's first major in his maiden game for the club.

But in what was turning into a game full of momentum swings, Gold Coast responded with four unanswered goals of its own to reduce the gap to just 18 points at the last change.

It ensured a final quarter probably more tense than Teague would have liked, though the club's interim boss might have been satisfied with his side's game management.

Completely shutting the match down as a contest, Carlton slowed the tempo, reduced Gold Coast's forward-half chances and ultimately walked away with the points.



Carlton: Paddy Dow was a late withdrawal due to illness, replaced by Carlton debutant Josh Deluca. Patrick Cripps was crunched in a first-quarter contest and looked hobbled by the blow, but battled through to play out the match.

Gold Coast: Will Brodie came from the field midway through the final quarter after copping a hit to the head, he has also sustained a possible hamstring injury. 

Carlton heads to the MCG to face Adelaide next Saturday afternoon, while Gold Coast returns to Metricon Stadium to take on Essendon in the Sunday twilight slot.

CARLTON           5.3     8.5     13.6     15.9 (99)
GOLD COAST    2.3      4.5     10.6     11.9 (75)

Carlton: Kennedy 4, McKay 2, Setterfield, Lang, Casboult, Deluca, Gibbons, O'Brien, Murphy, Fisher, Cripps
Gold Coast: Sexton 3, Wright 2, King, Rischitelli, Macpherson, Burgess, Hanley, Lemmens

Carlton: E.Curnow, Jones, Petrevski-Seton, Kennedy, Casboult, McKay, Simpson
Gold Coast: Brodie, Miller, Fiorini, Hanley, Macpherson, Witts

Carlton: Dow (illness) replaced in selected side by Deluca
Gold Coast: Brodie (head knock, hamstring)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Foot, Howorth, Fleer

Official crowd: 31,765 at Marvel Stadium