RICHMOND'S premiership defence is in tatters after Gold Coast produced one of the greatest wins in club history at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.
The Suns were the better team and led nearly the entire game, and Ben King's fourth goal with less than two minutes remaining was a fitting exclamation point on the 10.17 (77) to 10.7 (67) victory.
It snapped a three-game losing streak for the Suns and in the process put a serious question mark over the Tigers' quest for a third straight premiership, now losing to St Kilda and Gold Coast in successive weeks.
The Suns deserved their success. They outworked and outplayed Richmond, taking the game on at every chance and answering every challenge thrown their way.
Richmond hit the lead midway through the final term with Tom Lynch's fifth goal, but Jeremy Sharp answered straight back and the Suns got home.
SUNS v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats
Touk Miller was masterly in the midfield, racking up 36 disposals, including nine clearances and seven tackles.
He had plenty of help from experienced and young players alike.
Charlie Ballard played arguably the best game of his career, Jack Lukosius (24 disposals, 782m gained) was sublime with the ball and strong in the contest, and King was a handful inside 50.
Gold Coast jumped from the blocks quickly and should have led by more than six points at the first change, bar for some inaccurate kicking around goal that threatened to come back and bite them.
The Tigers were awful, with and without the ball for most of the contest.
With it, they turned it over regularly. Bachar Houli, Trent Cotchin and Shane Edwards were all guilty of uncharacteristic, unpressured turnovers by foot.
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Without the ball Richmond was lax, allowing the Suns to take a whopping 40 first-quarter marks as they transitioned the ball with ease.
The second term started similarly with King's second goal giving the relocated 'home' team a 13-point buffer.
The Tigers responded with three quick goals, but to the Suns' immense credit they steadied before half-time and took the lead with a Ben Ainsworth goal after the siren.
It's Miller time
There should be no more "if he played in Melbourne" prefixes when praising Gold Coast's star onballer. Among a body of work that should see him hammering on the All-Australian selection door, this was perhaps Miller's masterpiece. Against a quality midfield, the Suns' vice-captain finished with 36 disposals and was the driving force behind his team's win. Whether the ball was in tight or out in space, Miller was there.
All's well that ends well, but …
For a lot of the night, it looked like Gold Coast's wasteful goalkicking was going to cost them. In the first quarter the Suns kicked 2.7 and missed a host of easy shots, including two from Ben Ainsworth and one adjacent to the goal-face from Chris Burgess. The disease continued in the second quarter as Jeremy Sharp missed a sitter and then it was David Swallow's turn in the third. One man that had his boots on though was spearhead Ben King, kicking 4.1 from 13 disposals and striking the ball beautifully.
Skipper's struggles continue
Richmond's skipper has been below his lofty standards in 2021 and it was no more evident than tonight. Cotchin battled to get involved, and when he did it was often ineffective or without penetration. He played just 68 percent of game time and despite trying to lift in the final term, finished with just 19 disposals to again be well below his best.
GOLD COAST 2.7 5.10 8.14 10.17 (77)
RICHMOND 2.1 5.4 8.5 10.7 (67)
Gold Coast: King 4, Ainsworth, Corbett, Rankine, Sexton, Sharp, Swallow
Richmond: Lynch 5, Bolton, Graham, Martin, Naish, Riewoldt
Gold Coast: Miller, Ballard, Lukosius, King, Swallow, Ainsworth, Ellis
Richmond: Lynch, Houli, Bolton, Baker, Chol
Gold Coast: Corbett (concussion)
Richmond: Coleman-Jones (calf)
Gold Coast: Macpherson (replaced Corbett)
Richmond: Dow (replaced Coleman-Jones)
Crowd: TBC at Marvel Stadium