A LANDSLIDE QClash victory for Brisbane has been soured by injuries to defenders Darcy Gardiner and Ryan Lester.
The Lions absolutely walloped their Queensland counterparts, banging on 14 consecutive goals across the second, third and fourth quarters to run out 19.10 (124) to 7.9 (51) winners.
SUNS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
It was Brisbane's fifth straight win of the season and moves it to a 6-3 win-loss record, but it came at a cost.
Lester, playing his 150th game, lasted only 15 minutes before hobbling off with a hamstring injury, while Gardiner was helped off late in the third term nursing his troublesome right shoulder.
It completed a mixed bag for Gardiner, who also took a spectacular mark earlier in the quarter when he launched on to the shoulders of Josh Corbett.
After a slow first quarter, the Lions were magnificent.
Jarryd Lyons continued to haunt his former club, racking up a match-high 38 disposals to go along with nine clearances, nine tackles and the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best player afield.
Skipper Dayne Zorko was also magnificent with 34 touches, a goal and plenty of penetration with his 715m gained.
However, it was the Lions' dynamic forward line that caught the eye – particularly unheralded duo Dan McStay and Lincoln McCarthy.
When the game was in the balance early in the second quarter the pair of 'Macs' cut loose, kicking two goals apiece with some soaring high marks.
McStay finished with four for the night, while Charlie Cameron added three and McCarthy, Zac Bailey, Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher all had two.
Gold Coast was horrible after a feisty first quarter, with skipper Dave Swallow able to hold his head high.
Brisbane kicked the first three goals of the game, including a brilliant banana from the left boundary line by youngster Jaxon Prior, before the Suns worked their way back into the contest.
Goals to Josh Corbett and first-game Sun Rory Atkins on the run from outside 50 reduced the margin to six points at the first change.
McCarthy's hanger right on cue
In the midst of another terrific season, Linc McCarthy added to his bag of highlights with a spectacular second-quarter grab. Almost as if he was plugged in to the commentary of Fox Footy's Alastair Lynch, McCarthy soared on the head of Wil Powell just as the former Lions triple-premiership player had talked him up. Lynch – who wore the same No.11 in his playing days – announced McCarthy could "sit on heads" just as the Lion took flight.
As bad – or good – as a quarter gets
Gold Coast had been outplayed in the first half, but at 29 points down were still in the match. What it dished up in the third quarter was nothing short of atrocious. Yes, Brisbane was good, but the lack of work-rate and willingness to compete was unacceptable. The Lions slammed on eight unanswered goals on the back of a 23-9 inside 50 count. They won the clearances 13-8, had 61 more disposals – including a staggering 43 uncontested – and 25 more marks. It was the worst quarter Gold Coast has dished up this year.
McStay moves out of the shadows
With the arrival of Joe Daniher to go alongside leading goalkickers Eric Hipwood and Charlie Cameron, opposition defenders were always going to have their hands full. And although Dan McStay missed the first month of the season with a knee injury, his impact upon return has been incredible – never more so than against the Suns. He ripped the game open in the first half, kicking three goals, including two from huge pack marks. McStay finished with four for the night to go with 14 disposals and nine marks.
GOLD COAST 2.3 3.6 3.7 7.9 (51)
BRISBANE 3.3 8.5 16.7 19.10 (124)
Gold Coast: King 2, Ainsworth, Atkins, Corbett, Flanders, Greenwood
Brisbane: McStay 4, Cameron 3, Daniher 2, Hipwood 2, McCarthy 2, Bailey 2, Coleman, McCluggage, Zorko, Prior
Gold Coast: Swallow, Weller, Greenwood, Anderson
Brisbane: Lyons, Zorko, McStay, McCluggage, Starcevich, Andrews, Birchall
Gold Coast: Bowes (hamstring)
Brisbane: Lester (hamstring), Gardiner (shoulder)
Gold Coast: Darcy Macpherson (replaced Bowes)
Brisbane: Keidean Coleman (replaced Lester)
Crowd: 12,636 at Metricon Stadium