Gary Ablett was again instrumental as the Suns overpowered the Demons
AN INACCURATE Gold Coast has slugged out an eight-point win over Melbourne in front of an Easter Sunday crowd of 17,243 at the MCG.
After trailing by one point at quarter-time, the Suns set up their win with a dominant second term that propelled them a 20-point advantage at half-time.
However, their inability to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal kept the home side in the match.
The momentum swung several times throughout the final term, with the Demons cutting a 19-point three-quarter time deficit to two goals on three occasions, but Gold Coast, led by skipper Gary Ablett, was able to steady to win 11.20 (86) to 11.12 (78).
The victory gives the Suns a 3-2 start to the season, the best in their short history, while the Demons are languishing with just one win in the opening five rounds.
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna admitted after the match the brand of football wasn't pretty in his side's second-ever win at the MCG.
"There's certainly been a bit of talk about us winning away from home," McKenna said.
"That's what you take out of it, you win ugly, you win away from home, it's four points and we're 3-2."
Far from ugly was Ablett's performance as he continued his stellar record against the Demons, finishing with 32 disposals and two goals as he guided the Suns to victory.
The dual Brownlow medalist has now played in 16 winning teams from 20 games against Melbourne and has kicked 23 goals and polled nine Brownlow Medal votes.
Melbourne fans would have had high hopes the club could claim back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds 13 and 14, 2011.
But it wasn't to be as Gold Coast bounced back hard from last week's 99-point defeat at the hands of Hawthorn to outplay Melbourne in almost every facet of the game.
The Demons won the hit-outs 40 to 37 but that's where it stopped in the stats department, with Gold Coast winning all the key areas, including clearances (by nine) - an area Melbourne has yet to win this season.
A controversial goal from defender-turned-forward James Frawley sparked Melbourne 's opening term.
Despite the video review system appearing to show Gold Coast defender Rory Thompson fist the ball before it crossed the goalline, the vision was deemed inconclusive, handing the Demons their first goal for the game.
Less than 30 seconds later Melbourne had its second through Chris Dawes, while Cam Pedersen gave the Demons a 10-point lead late in the first term.
The Suns dominated the inside 50s but were wasteful from set shots in front of goal in the first term kicking 2.7 with Aaron Hall kicking truly just before quarter-time to reduce the deficit to one point.
Gold Coast assumed control of the match in the second term to lead by 20 points at the long break but its advantage should have been much more given it had 11 more inside 50s than the Demons in the opening half.
The Suns kicked 4.5, while Melbourne could only manage just the one major through Frawley as Dawes missed two crucial goals mid-way through the quarter.
The Suns average six marks per game inside their forward 50 - the worst in the competition - but by half-time they had nine with Tom Lynch kicking two goals from set shots after out-marking Melbourne defender Tom McDonald.
Melbourne coach Paul Roos said the second term drop-off in defensive pressure and effort cost his side dearly.
"We went from 80-something tackles last week to 40 [this week]," Roos said after the loss.
"We've just got to keep driving minimum standards. The lapses that we have as a club are just too great at the moment and having said that, the frustrating thing is that you go down by eight points. We've jut got to make sure our effort levels are consistent every week."
It was a much better effort from the Demons in the third term as they lifted their intensity and were more effective with their ball use but they couldn't make any significant inroads.
Despite challenging the visitors throughout the final term, the Demons' challenge fell just short.
Gold Coast's David Swallow tries to fire out a handball against the Demons on Sunday. Picture: AFL Media
MELBOURNE 3.2 4.4 6.10 11.12 (78)
GOLD COAST 2.7 6.12 8.17 11.20 (86)
Melbourne: Frawley 2, Dawes 2, Pedersen, Kennedy-Harris, Terlich, Jones, Howe, Viney, Evans
Gold Coast: Matera 2, Lynch 2, Ablett 2, Swallow 2, Hall, Day, Broughton
Melbourne: Jones, Viney, Dawes, Frawley, Cross.
Gold Coast: Ablett, Broughton, Rischitelli, Swallow, Matera.
Gold Coast: Nil
Melbourne: Michael Evans replaced Dom Tyson in the third quarter.
Gold Coast: Jack Hutchins replaced Aaron Hall in the fourth quarter.
Umpires: Leppard, Wenn, Armstrong.
Official crowd: 17,243 at the MCG