The Gold Coast SUNS put up an almighty fight against one of the AFL's premiership contenders, ultimately falling 11 points short against the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium on Saturday evening.
After a bright start, the SUNS kept within striking distance of the Bulldogs until the very end, finishing with a flurry and would consider themselves unlucky to have not earned more from a positive performance.
Unlike their slaughter of Gold Coast in round five though, this was not an easy four premiership points for Luke Beveridge's men.
The home team led at quarter-time and battled hard most of the night, but talent, the Bulldogs' bigger midfield bodies and the weight of numbers became too much on the way to a 14.6 (90) to 11.13 (79) victory.
No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan might have played his debut six days earlier, but it was Saturday night's second career game against Gold Coast that proved his coming out party.
The teenager kicked three goals in an exciting sneak peak into his boundless ability.
The Bulldogs got contributions from all over the field, led by skipper Marcus Bontempelli (36 disposals), Bailey Smith (33), Jack Macrae (31 and two goals) and Bailey Dale (30).
They generated 56 inside 50s to 45, won the clearance count 47 to 37 and, despite some defensive blunders that gifted Gold Coast three goals, did enough to solidify their spot in the top two.
Touk Miller was again magnificent for the Suns, working relentlessly to keep them in the match with 38 disposals.
Gold Coast could have easily been blown away early in the final term, but full of grit and determination managed to give themselves a sniff late.
Small forwards Nick Holman, Alex Sexton and Ben Ainsworth all kicked three goals, while wingman Jeremy Sharp (30) had the best game of his young career.
The Suns got off to a superb start, kicking the first three goals of the game as they transitioned the ball swiftly from their back half to put the Bulldogs' defence under pressure.
Holman was the main beneficiary, kicking all three goals of his goals as the Suns took a five-point lead to the quarter-time break.
Jamarra gets on the board
After going goalless in his debut last week it didn't take long for No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to get on the board in game number two. Beating Sam Collins on the lead midway through the first quarter, Ugle-Hagan took a nice overhead mark and then flushed his left-footed set shot from 45m on a difficult angle before being mobbed by his excited teammates. He backed up in the second term with a mark from a Marcus Bontempelli laser and again hit his kick sweetly from 50m to kick a second, and bagged a third with a wonderful around-the-corner set shot in the third quarter.
Touk keeps on keeping on
For the 11th straight match Touk Miller topped 30 disposals, this time finishing with 38. While other players slowed down as the night wore on, Gold Coast's vice-captain seemed to get stronger, racking up an incredible 24 touches after half-time. He was the spark that kept the Suns in the match early in the final term when they looked out on their feet. Throw in two goals assists and seven tackles and it was another magnificent night for Miller.
Bont takes over
After a slightly shaky start by his team, it was no surprise that Marcus Bontempelli was the man to change the momentum for the Bulldogs. His team trailed by five points at the first change before Bontempelli put on his Superman cape and carried the Bulldogs to the lead. He had 13 touches in the second term alone, set up Ugle-Hagan's second goal and had a major hand in Jason Johannisen's first, shrugging tackles and bursting into open space. The Brownlow Medal favourite should have bagged another three votes.
GOLD COAST 4.1 6.5 8.7 11.13 (79)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.2 8.4 11.5 14.6 (90)
Gold Coast: Sexton 3, Ainsworth 3, Holman 3, King 2
Western Bulldogs: Ugle-Hagan 3, Johannisen 2, Macrae 2, Weightman 2, Bruce, Daniel, English, McNeil, Naughton
Gold Coast: Miller, Sharp, Holman, Fiorini, Ainsworth, Collins
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Smith, Daniel, Dale, Macrae, English
Gold Coast: Ellis (hamstring)
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Gold Coast: Rory Atkins (replaced Ellis)
Western Bulldogs: Anthony Scott (unused)
Crowd: 8244 at Metricon Stadium