GOLD Coast's talented young core have breathed life into the Suns' season, inspiring it to a 40-point romp over a lethargic Sydney at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Just seven days after conceding the first 11 goals against the Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast was a revelation, using aggression, relentless pressure and slick ball movement in its 15.10 (100) to 9.6 (60) victory.
SUNS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats
Their second win of the season came on the back of high-level contributions from a crop of high-end draft picks.
Ben King kicked five goals, showing his marking prowess and ability to lead both at the ball and back into space.
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Noah Anderson (34 disposals and six clearances) vied for best-on-ground honours with his clean hands, while Ben Ainsworth (20 and three goals) and Izak Rankine (18 and two goals) were a constant menace forward of centre.
Sydney had more than its fair share of opportunities, narrowly winning the inside 50 count 53-52, but unlike its dynamic opening month, struggled to move the ball.
The Swans looked indecisive in losing their second straight match.
Although Lance Franklin (bone bruising) was a big absence, any forward would have struggled with the delivery the Swans provided in great conditions.
Josh Kennedy (41) and Luke Parker (36) were terrific in the trenches, while Chad Warner could hold his head high after being moved to Touk Miller following the Sun's blistering 16-disposal first quarter.
The day was made even worse for the Swans, losing defender George Hewett to concussion in the first term, while Nick Blakey was forced to hobble around close to goal for the final three quarters after copping a badly corked thigh.
Gold Coast was ferocious from the opening bounce, outnumbering Sydney around the ball and pressuring its fancied opponents into error.
Rankine used the ball superbly in the pristine conditions, laying on two early goals with deftly weighted kicks, while Miller exemplified the Suns' hunger, to both get to contests and work away from them.
Nick Holman gave the home team a seven-point quarter-time lead with a goal after the siren, and the Suns were quick to build on it after the break.
They led by 22 points at half-time and 49 at the final change.
The Best of Izak
When he's hot, he's hot, and in the first half Izak Rankine blazed brighter than the sun blanketing Metricon Stadium. The man who turned 21 on Friday gave Sydney fits with his skill and movement, setting the tone in the opening term with exquisite ball-use going inside 50 to gift-wrap goals for Ben King and Ben Ainsworth. In the second quarter it was his time to get on the scoreboard, roving superbly for two goals, including one miraculous snap when being slung to the ground in a tackle.
Sydney shot itself in the foot
In perfect dry and windless conditions there was no excuse for poor ball use, but the Swans effectively kicked themselves out of the game with execution that would have infuriated John Longmire. If the ball wasn't being hung up with soft kicks into the corridor, that led directly to two Gold Coast turnovers and goals in the second term, it was being butchered when going inside 50, often kicking to outnumbered situations. Sydney marked the ball just eight times from its 53 inside 50 entries.
Lemmens locking down in defence
Moved from the forward line to defence during the pre-season, Sean Lemmens is making a terrific fist of his new role. After missing last week's loss against the Bulldogs with concussion, he returned to blanket Sydney livewire Tom Papley. Papley kicked one clever goal in the opening term from 12 disposals, while Lemmens offered plenty of drive with 16 touches of his own.
GOLD COAST 4.2 8.2 13.6 15.10 (100)
SYDNEY 3.1 4.4 5.5 9.6 (60)
Gold Coast: King 5, Ainsworth 3, Corbett 2, Rankine 2, Greenwood, Holman, Weller
Sydney: McLean 2, Florent, Hayward, Heeney, Papley, Rowbottom, Warner, Wicks
Gold Coast: Anderson, Miller, King, Lemmens, Ainsworth, Holman, Rankine
Sydney: Kennedy, Parker, Mills, Lloyd, Warner
Gold Coast: Nil
Sydney: Hewett (concussion), Blakey (thigh)
Gold Coast: Sexton (unused)
Sydney: Campbell (replaced Hewett)
Crowd: 9819 at Metricon Stadium