A gallant Gold Coast SUNS side have narrowly gone down to the Adelaide Crows in a nail biter at the Adelaide Oval.
A blistering start from an impressive SUNS silenced the Adelaide crowd early but the crows managed to claw their way back into it, with Taylor walking kicking three goals.
The Suns led 5.6 to 5.0 at quarter-time before scoring dried up in the second term.
There wasn't a goal until the 19th minute of the quarter when Crow Harry Schoenberg converted a set-shot from a tight angle, but the Crows scored another two in the next two minutes to create an 11-point half-time buffer.
Adelaide's lead rapidly disappeared in the third stanza as the Suns scored three consecutive goals in a tick over nine minutes, including two more to the imposing King.
But the Suns soon lost Witts to injury and Walker again inspired an Adelaide rally.
Chris Burgess and Hugh Greenwood took over the ruck duties with the 14-gamer Burgess, impressive against the experienced Riley O’Brien.
The home side crept seven points ahead at three-quarter time.
A young SUNS outfit needed a strong start to the fourth and they delivered, kicking two quick goals in the last quarter to hit the front.
Super Sub Nick Holman came on for the injured Witts and had an instant impact kicking two goals including a skilful dribble kick with the outside of his right.
Walker stood up when his side needed it most with his sixth goal a strike that gave the Crows the lead, which they clung to in a frantic finale.
His teammates Brodie Smith (26 disposals) and captain Rory Sloane (35 touches, 11 clearances) were superb while Rory Laird (28 possessions), Ben Keays (26 disposals) and Paul Seedsman (27 touches) were influential.
Gold Coast spearhead Ben King kicked a career-high four goals, emerging star Noah Anderson gathered 26 disposals, Brandon Ellis (25 touches, one goal) was prominent and ex-Crow Hugh Greenwood collected 23 touches including 10 clearances.
It’s a tough one to swallow for the SUNS who now have two losses in three games and concern over ruckman Jarrod Witts with a knee.
Suns suffer big blow
The Suns suffered a massive blow when co-captain Jarrod Witts went down with a knee injury late in the third term. The ruckman was edging Reilly O'Brien in their battle before the Crow dived on a loose ball and inadvertently took out Witts' left knee. The Sun left the field in the hands of trainers and jogged on the boundary minutes later before being ruled out with his knee iced up. The injury saw the Suns finish the game with no recognised ruckman and pinch-hitter Chris Burgess, who was impressive up forward, was left to take on O'Brien alone.
Master and apprentice put on a show
Key forwards are well and truly back in vogue and it was on for young and old at Adelaide Oval. At one end, the Crows' greatest ever goalkicker Taylor Walker, and young gun Sun Ben King at the other. The 30-year-old Walker is in the form of his life after booting 11 goals in the first two rounds, and he continued his hot start to the season with another haul of six against the Suns. The 20-year-old King, who was the No.6 pick in 2018, bagged four at the other end in an entertaining showdown for both sets of fans.
Gold Coast fails to break its duck
The Suns had never won at Adelaide Oval in seven previous attempts and this loomed as their best chance to break their duck, but it wasn't to be. Despite leading by 23 points in the opening term, the Suns allowed the quick-fire Crows back into the contest on several occasions. Being without the injured Jarrod Witts for the entire fourth term put the Suns up against it and despite threatening to steal the win through super sub Nick Holman, they weren't able to snatch their first victory at the ground. The Suns also have the unfortunate record of the lowest ever score there after kicking just 3.2 (20) in their 115-point loss to Port Adelaide in 2017.
ADELAIDE 5.0 8.2 11.6 14.11 (95)
GOLD COAST 5.6 5.9 9.11 12.13 (85)
Adelaide: Walker 6, Rowe 2, McAdam 2, Berry, Schoenberg, Keays, McHenry
Gold Coast: King 4, Burgess 2, Holman 2, Rankine, MacPherson, Weller, Ellis
Adelaide: Walker, Sloane, Laird, Keays, Smith, O'Brien
Gold Coast: Ellis, Greenwood, Bowes, Lukosius, King
Gold Coast: Witts (left knee)
Adelaide: Murray (unused)
Gold Coast: Holman (replaced Witts)