GOLD Coast was expected to beat North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night, but the ease in which it did so would concern Kangaroos players, coaches and supporters.
After a relatively even first quarter, the Suns showed off their array of young talent in a blistering six-goal second term to pave the way for a comfortable 59-point win.
SUNS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats
On the back of a career-high 35 disposals from second-year midfielder Noah Anderson, Gold Coast cantered to a 14.14 (98) to 5.9 (39) victory.
There are some concerns for the Suns though, with tall forward Sam Day and young defender Connor Budarick both leaving the field with knee injuries and not returning.
Budarick's final term incident looked particularly nasty.
Anderson set the tone in the opening term with his 12 disposals, balancing inside grunt (seven clearances) with outside class.
He had plenty of help through the four quarters from Touk Miller (31), Lachie Weller (25) and 2020 best and fairest winner Sam Collins, who had 13 intercepts from his 14 disposals. Collins controlled anything coming forward from North.
Ben King kicked three goals to slightly have the better of his duel with Ben Mackay, while Izak Rankine (three) and Alex Sexton (two) were also dangerous inside forward 50.
It was a rough night for the Kangaroos, who competed well early but fell apart in patches.
Jed Anderson busted his backside (27 touches and 14 tackles), while skipper Jack Ziebell came back during the third term after hobbling off with an ankle problem.
Lukosius taking a leap
It's just two games into his move from half-back to wing, but former No.2 pick Jack Lukosius is making a brilliant fist of it. The laconic 20-year-old started off with a soaring pack mark and goal in the opening minutes and did not look back. Lukosius barely wasted any of his 22 disposals, a constant threat forward of centre, using both deft and penetrating kicks to pierce North's defence. He had a match-high 12 score involvements and after just 40 career games, he must be one of the best ball users in the competition already.
It's a long road for the Roos
When David Noble took over the North Melbourne coaching job, he knew he was in for a long rebuild. On the evidence of two rounds, it's just that, and maybe a bit more. Although their work ethic wavered, it wasn't the biggest problem for the Roos. That honour went to execution, which was, at times, nothing short of horrid. Too often they tried dinky sideways chips to get out of trouble that went nowhere, and the frustrations led to missed targets and giving away free kicks and 50m penalties. They generated just three marks inside forward 50 for the night. Whether it's a lack of confidence, a lack of ability, or both, it looks a long road ahead.
Day can't take a trick
Coming off arguably the best season of his career, Sam Day now has a nervous wait after hobbling off at half-time with a left knee injury. The 28-year-old forward was having another strong evening when he rose from the bottom of a pack in obvious pain as the siren sounded. He was helped off and did not return. Day missed all of 2017 after suffering a gruesome dislocated hip and has worked his way back over recent years to form a strong partnership with Ben King.
GOLD COAST 3.4 9.6 11.10 14.14 (98)
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.2 2.4 5.5 5.9 (39)
Gold Coast: King 3, Rankine 3, Sexton 2, Ainsworth, Day, Lukosius, Markov, Swallow, Weller
North Melbourne: Goldstein, Larkey, Powell, Scott, Thomas
Gold Coast: Anderson, Miller, Collins, Weller, Lukosius, Bowes
North Melbourne: Anderson, Turner, Goldstein, Young, Bonar
Gold Coast: Day (knee), Budarick (knee)
North Melbourne: Mahony (ankle)
Gold Coast: Holman (replaced Day)
North Melbourne: Hall (replaced Mahony)
Crowd: 6661 at Metricon Stadium