GOLD COAST has snapped an 11-game losing streak after beating Sydney by 24 points in one of the upsets of the season at the SCG on Saturday.
The Suns were winless from eight previous attempts against the Swans and looked like heading back to Queensland with another demoralising defeat when they trailed by 29 points at quarter-time, but kicked 11 goals to two for the rest of the match in a stunning turnaround to win 12.16 (88) to 8.16 (64).
SUNS STUNS SWANS Full match coverage and stats
Aaron Young was a star for the visitors with four goals, while big man Jarrod Witts had his way with Swans duo Callum Sinclair and debutant Darcy Cameron.
Lachie Weller (23 possessions and two goals) and Will Brodie (28 disposals and six tackles) were influential ball-winners for Gold Coast.
Rory Thompson didn't get a kick for the game but his job in limiting the influence of superstar Sydney forward Lance Franklin was outstanding, with co-captain Steven May also strong in defence.
WHERE DOES IT RANK? Michael Whiting's top five Suns wins
Suns coach Stuart Dew paid tribute to his defender post-match.
"You wouldn't sleep much (the night) before playing on 'Buddy'," Dew said.
"Rory has been really consistent all year. We all felt a little bit blessed because we had a couple of options.
"If Rory wasn't working we could go to Steven, but in the end Rory's body-on-body work was good and 'Buddy' is going to test you with his run and at times really threatened, but I think when he had to win crucial one-on-ones, it really spreads through your team when your full-back does that."
Swans skipper Josh Kennedy had 33 touches, 10 clearances and eight tackles, with Luke Parker and Aliir Aliir also good for the Swans.
Sydney coach John Longmire was at a loss to explain his team's poor fadeout.
"Regardless of where you are on the ladder teams are going to get momentum at different stages and we didn't adjust in the second quarter," he said.
"We lost one on ones, it snowballed and we couldn't push back, and we kept turning it over and turning it over and turning it over.
"To the Suns' credit that pressured us hard and if you keep doing the same thing like we were doing in the second quarter, you'll get the same result."
The Suns made a promising start but failed to finish off their work on the scoreboard, and with the likes of Zak Jones and Harry Cunningham carrying the footy up the middle of the ground at will, the Swans forwards were climbing over each other to get their hands on it.
FINALS IN DOUBT Five talking points
With a 29-point advantage at quarter-time the home side must have thought they were in for a big day, and it showed with their lack of intensity in the second term.
Gold Coast began to win the footy around stoppages with Witts dominant, and Weller electric with ball in hand, they piled on six unanswered goals to lead by six points at half-time.
Two more for the plucky Suns with Young and Alex Sexton adding their third apiece, and another goalless quarter for the Swans as they struggled to get the ball inside their own forward 50, then left the visitors 20 points clear and within sight of their first victory since round five.
GAMEBREAKER Young prolific in Suns' upset
A brilliant snap from Tom Papley ignited a Sydney comeback and when Parker soccered his second for the day the margin was cut to just eight points five minutes into the term, and it seemed like the momentum was with the favourites.
But Franklin followed up with two straight behinds and when Young grabbed his fourth with some opportunistic work on a tight angle the Suns steadied, and Weller's second on the run from outside 50 sealed the game.
Sydney: The Swans looked to have come through without any injury worries.
Gold Coast: Nick Holman hurt his left shoulder in the third term but had it strapped and played out the match.
The Swans head back to Melbourne on another six-day break to face Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, while the Suns host Carlton at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
SYDNEY 6.4 6.7 6.10 8.16 (64)
GOLD COAST 1.5 7.7 9.12 12.16 (88)
Sydney: Papley 3, Parker 2, Jones, Florent, Hayward
Gold Coast: Young 4, Sexton 3, Weller 2, Miller, Heron, Holman
Sydney: Kennedy, Parker, Aliir, Florent, Rampe, Cunningham
Gold Coast: Young, Weller, Thompson, Sexton, Witts, Miller
Gold Coast: Nil
Umpires: Fisher, Meredith, Mollison
Official attendance: 32,565 at the SCG