1. A first-up win with everything for Stuart Dew
He got the four points, but Stuart Dew was put through the works in his first game as a senior coach. Not only did the Suns have to contend with terribly wet conditions, but also a big North Melbourne comeback. After jumping to a four-goal lead at half-time and looking home, Gold Coast had to endure a withering Kangaroos surge that levelled the scores late in the third. But Gold Coast steadied to win. They won the clearances (54-35), contested footy (208-188), inside 50s (67-47), tackles (98-86) and most importantly the game. The Suns' new era has got off to the perfect start.
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2. Perfect homecoming for Jack Bowes
Ask anyone at Gold Coast which player has turned heads during the pre-season and the answer invariably comes back as Jack Bowes. And returning to his hometown of Cairns, the 20-year-old produced a breakout performance in his 12th career game. Bowes finished with 20 disposals, gained over 500 metres and kicked the match-sealing goal from a beautifully executed snap around his body midway through the final term. He had plenty of young mates helping too, with Ben Ainsworth's two goals crucial and Brayden Fiorini (21) also showing improvement at the start of his third year. Nick Holman (13) and Darcy MacPherson (nine) tackled relentlessly.
WATCH: Bowes' hometown sealer
3. Is Tom Lynch in trouble?
While all the talk around Tom Lynch has been about his pending free agency, the Gold Coast co-captain is likely to come under scrutiny from Match Review Officer Michael Christian for a second quarter incident involving Trent Dumont. With a hurried kick coming into the Suns' forward line, Dumont dropped back to mark, only to be met by a clumsy spoiling attempt from Lynch that clipped him across the back of the head. Dumont returned to his feet quickly and the impact didn't seem too severe, but after a fine for a high bump on Brisbane's Mitch Robinson in the JLT Community Series, Lynch has to be careful.
WATCH: Could Tom Lynch be rubbed out?
4. Should games be played in Cairns in March?
Playing a game in Cairns at this time of year was always fraught with danger, and unfortunately the weather brought the AFL's (and Gold Coast's) best laid plans unstuck. With rain pouring most of the day, Cazalys Stadium had held up well until about 30 minutes prior to the match, when an avalanche of rain turned the ground into a virtual swimming pool. As the rain eased, the surface drained extremely well, but it wasn't easy for players or spectators. Cairns receives an average of 360mm of rain each March, compared to 190mm in April and 110mm in May. The Suns had almost no wiggle room with their need to play 'home' games elsewhere because of the Commonwealth Games, but perhaps this will be thought differently when the Suns play games in Townsville the next two seasons.
Big man Jarrod Witts got down low in the wet conditions. Picture: AFL Photos
5. Captain Jack lifts his team
With the Kangaroos flat and seemingly out of it with a 24-point half-time deficit, North needed their leaders to step up. And the man at the top of the tree did just that. After a solid 10-disposal first half, Jack Ziebell was thrown forward by Brad Scott and had an immediate impact. He cleverly snapped one goal and then, with a full-chested lead, took a mark and kicked truly from 30m to get his team right back in the game. Ziebell was quieter in the fourth as the Kangaroos' midfield got outworked late by the Suns.