ST KILDA has moved into second place on the ladder, outlasting Gold Coast by four points in a thrilling Thursday night contest at Metricon Stadium.
The teams exchanged the lead regularly all night, but the Saints used a strong fourth quarter for the third straight week to bank the points, 12.6 (78) to 11.8 (74).
>>WATCH THE THRILLING FINISH IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
After Ben King kicked his third goal early in the final term, the Suns led by nine points, but it wasn't enough as Dan Butler produced two pieces of magic to re-take the lead for the final time.
A clever right-footed checkside from the former Tiger got his team back into it, and after Josh Battle took a strong contested mark and converted, Butler kicked his fourth and final after streaking clear and finishing on the run.
SAINTS IN RARE AIR Full match coverage and stats
He was the difference between the teams.
Jack Billings (27 disposals) and Jack Steele (21 and two goals) were exceptional in the midfield, while Hunter Clark (19) continued a fine season.
The Suns lost for the fifth time in their past six matches, but they were desperately unlucky and will lose no fans.
Stuart Dew's men had more inside 50s, won the contested possessions and dominated clearances, but couldn't finish the job.
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Hugh Greenwood (22 disposals) led a strong midfield, while Sam Collins continued to push his case for an All Australian squad berth with another fantastic performance from full-back.
The King Twins
The highly-anticipated battle of the King Twins – Gold Coast's Ben and St Kilda's Max – gave us a little bit of everything. The pair combined for a grand total of zero disposals in the first term, but got rolling after that. Max opened the scoring in the second quarter after converting a free kick, and Ben's first goal came courtesy of a downfield free. Ben had the bigger influence on the night, kicking three goals, but Max provided plenty of strong contests and ultimately walked away with the most important stat – the four premiership points.
More highlights for Izak's reel
Izak Rankine continues to amaze. As he has in almost every one of his five career games, the 20-year-old produced another string of stunning highlights to add to his bulging reel. With Gold Coast trailing by 15 points late in the third quarter, the former No.3 draft pick sat on the shoulders of Jack Steele on centre wing to pull down a spectacular mark. Then two minutes later he stole a Saints' handpass, sprinted away, took a bounce and steadily finished from 40m to give his team a chance.
A different Suns this season
Twice Gold Coast looked like it would be over-run and twice it bounced back. In previous years an opposition run of goals was a death-knell for the Suns, but they again showed a want and ability to fight. In the second term they trailed by 18 points and kicked the next four goals and then in the third quarter they again trailed by 15 before goals to Izak Rankine and Noah Anderson got them within striking distance.
GOLD COAST 2.1 6.5 8.7 11.8 (74)
ST KILDA 3.2 6.2 9.4 12.6 (78)
Gold Coast: King 3, Miller 2, Powell 2, Rankine 2, Anderson, Lemmens
St Kilda: Butler 4, Battle 2, Steele 2, Gresham, Kent, King, Marshall
Gold Coast: Greenwood, Collins, Miller, Ainsworth, Swallow, Powell
St Kilda: Billings, Butler, Clark, Gresham, Steele, Carlisle
Gold Coast: Nil
St Kilda: Geary; replaced in selected side by Phillips