Port Adelaide gave Gold Coast a harsh reminder it had a long way to go to match the AFL's best, easily accounting for the SUNS by 47 points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
The Power were slick in almost perfect conditions, pressuring their young opponents into errors and punishing them on the counter-attack to win 10.16 (76) to 4.5 (29).
Port kicked the final five goals of the opening quarter to lead by 19 points and extended it to 40 by half-time.
They coasted after the main break and played most of the second half without Hamish Hartlett, who left the field with a quad injury in the third term.
The midfield was exceptional, with veteran Travis Boak (25 disposals and seven clearances) leading the way, while young forwards Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades were lively with two goals apiece.
The opening exchanges were nip-and-tuck, but when Port put the foot down, Gold Coast simply couldn't go with them.
Sam Collins, who had plenty of ball coming his way, was a rock in defence, while Ben Ainsworth can hold his head high on a rough opening night for the SUNS.
The loss was Gold Coast's 19th in succession after it failed to win a match beyond round four last season.
After winning both its Marsh Community Series matches, there was genuine optimism around Gold Coast's season.
But after a strong first 10 minutes they fell away badly for the remainder of the first half.
The SUNS were wasteful going inside 50 early on and were then hammered in the centre.
Defensively they let Port get out the back on a couple of occasions and battled to run with their opponents following turnovers. The effort was there, but the execution wasn't.
Gold Coast's top-two draft picks were always expected to have an immediate impact, and they didn't disappoint.
Noah Anderson was in everything in the first quarter, racking up eight of his 12 disposals, and although he ran out of legs, showed composure in the heat some of his teammates lacked.
Matt Rowell also looked right at home. The No.1 pick started on the bench but impacted immediately, keeping his feet while others didn't and finished with 19 disposals.
Gold Coast: No real problems for the SUNS.
Port Adelaide: It got crazy in the second half for the Power with Hamish Hartlett (hamstring), Sam Powell-Pepper (shoulder) and Brad Ebert (knee) all leaving the field. Hartlett did not return, while the other pair did, although Ebert looked very proppy.
Port Adelaide will be out to make it two-from-two next Saturday night when it faces arch-rival Adelaide in the Showdown at Adelaide Oval starting at 7.10pm (ACDT). Gold Coast has the tough trip to Geelong next Sunday to play the Cats at GMHBA Stadium at 1.10pm (AEDT).
GOLD COAST 1.1 3.2 4.5 4.5 (29)
PORT ADELAIDE 4.2 9.6 9.9 10.16 (76)
Gold Coast: King, Lemmens, Swallow, Ainsworth
Port Adelaide: Marshall 2, Georgiades 2, Motlop 2, Rozee, Ebert, Butters, Hartlett
Gold Coast: Collins, Ainsworth, Miller, Greenwood, Ellis
Port Adelaide: Boak, Rockliff, Gray, Rozee, Byrne-Jones, Amon
Gold Coast: Nil
Port Adelaide: Bonner (quad, replaced in selected side by Lienert), Hartlett (quad), Powell-Pepper (shoulder), Ebert (knee)
Umpires: Ryan, Gianfagna, Glouftsis