The kids aren't just all right, they're utterly ruthless as well.
Gold Coast's plucky rise in 2020 continued on Sunday, with the young SUNS completely bullying Adelaide in an emphatic and thoroughly deserved 53-point thrashing at Metricon Stadium.
The hosts were brutal in the contest and highly entertaining going forward, producing a masterclass on either side of the ball to storm to a convincing 12.10 (82) to 4.5 (29) win and record their second consecutive victory this season.
And, just as was the case last week, it was the youngsters leading the charge.
Matt Rowell (20 disposals, 10 tackles, two goals) dazzled out of the midfield, with last year's No.1 draft pick enhancing his reputation as one of the game's best young talents with another stunning display well beyond his 18 years.
Meanwhile young forward Ben King (13 disposals, six marks, three goals) was just as imposing in attack, as the SUNS stamped their authority on the contest from the outset to crush the Crows.
They opened a near-unassailable 35-point lead at half-time, piling on yet more misery after the main break in a performance sure to delight coach Stuart Dew.
If a rebuilding Adelaide thought it couldn't get much worse after last week's record Showdown defeat to fierce crosstown rival Port Adelaide, the Crows were sorely mistaken on a dismal afternoon.
Scoreless in the first quarter and held to just four goals for the match, positives were few and far between for a winless outfit that is all but certain to spend the first week in the club's proud history anchored to 18th place on the ladder.
The SUNS rise early at Metricon
Gold Coast led by 19 points at quarter-time. In reality, it could – and probably should – have been closer to 60. The Suns' start was sensational, as they completely manhandled a Crows side feeling the heat. The stats, if not the scoreboard, told the story. Gold Coast smashed the visitors in clearances (13-2), inside 50s (18-3), contested possessions (38-20) and tackles (16-10) in the opening term, with only its wastefulness in front of goal keeping Adelaide in the game. The SUNS kicked seven behinds – and had Lachie Weller put one effort out-on-the-full – to somehow keep the scoreless Crows in the contest. Fortunately, they weren't made to pay for early profligacy. Gold Coast cruised home, eventually seeing their dominance around the field translate to the scoreboard by game's end.
It's about to get even better
Matt Rowell was enormous, Ben King was the spearhead in attack, Noah Anderson continued to show glimpses of his talent, and Jack Lukosius was ultra-composed in defence. Fellow youngsters Ben Ainsworth, Jack Bowes, Charlie Ballard and Wil Powell were more than serviceable as well. Then you've got Brandon Ellis and Hugh Greenwood, experienced campaigners who have added plenty since arriving last October. But it's only going to get better for Gold Coast. We haven't even seen last year's feisty No.11 draft pick Sam Flanders yet, a hybrid mid-forward who is capable of the mercurial regardless of where he lines up. Then there's Izak Rankine, the No.3 selection from 2018 who some at the SUNS believe is the best of the lot in terms of their talented collection of young talent. If you haven't already, it's well and truly time to jump on the Gold Coast bandwagon.
See you next year?
It was the tale of what was, and what could have been. Last year, Greenwood got his desired move from the Adelaide Oval to Metricon Stadium. Brad Crouch didn't. On Sunday afternoon, they spent much of the game lined up directly next to each other in opposing midfields – and their fortunes couldn't have been more different. Greenwood relished being in Suns colours, producing an impressive performance in the heart of his side's midfield. Six of his seven disposals to half-time were clearances, while he finished with 10 contested possessions and 13 tackles for the match. Crouch, on the other hand, saw his side's onball group well beaten. He endured a rough afternoon, finishing with a black eye to go with 22 disposals and six tackles. However, as one of the AFL's most prized restricted free agents this year, there are still whispers Crouch could eventually find his way to Metricon Stadium in 2021.
GOLD COAST 2.7 6.7 10.8 12.10 (82)
ADELAIDE 0.0 1.2 1.4 4.5 (29)
Gold Coast: King 3, Macpherson 2, Rowell 2, Sexton, Ainsworth, Budarick, Miller, Weller
Adelaide: Fogarty, Keays, Walker, Crocker
Gold Coast: Rowell, King, Ellis, Witts, Weller, Miller, Macpherson
Adelaide: B.Crouch, M.Crouch, Doedee, Seedsman
Gold Coast: Nil
Adelaide: Atkins (shoulder)