1. Gut punches on the agenda again
The AFL vowed before the start of the season to remove gut punches from the game, intent on improving sportsmanship and setting a better example for the lower levels. It hasn't been a big issue this year but Match Review Officer Michael Christian will cast his eyes over a couple of incidents, both directed towards North Melbourne star Shaun Higgins. A swinging right arm from Gold Coast captain Steven May early in the third quarter cost the Suns a goal, while Alex Sexton's tummy tap on the Brownlow Medal fancy saw Higgins on his hands and knees for a few seconds. Both could find themselves coughing up fines.
2. Hobbled May battles on
Plenty happened for the Suns skipper at Etihad Stadium. He would have been frustrated – North Melbourne was dominant in the opening term and he was forced to move off Jack Ziebell to plug holes, while he hurt his right hip in a marking contest just before the main break. He looked very proppy but was back out there to start the second half. An ankle issue early in the third term saw him spend time on the bench and it looked like the defender's day might be done, but he shrugged off any concerns and resumed his job on Ziebell, doing an impressive job despite seeming limited with his movement. However, May's bank account could be lighter after his incident with Higgins.
3. Returning Jacobs claims another victim
North Melbourne tagger Ben Jacobs has seen his reputation go to another level this season after shutting down numerous star midfielders, including Dustin Martin and Patrick Cripps, while also having an impact with the football. His most difficult opponent to counter, however, has been the delayed concussion that had the Roos confused about where it originated from. The clash against Gold Coast on Sunday was his first in a month after the Roos were very conservative with him, and they were rewarded for their caution. He kept Suns tough nut David Swallow to seven disposals in the first half, none of which were kicks, before moving off him for the rest of the game to finish with 26 disposals and a goal.
ROOS TOO STRONG Full match coverage and stats
4. Brown strengthens Coleman chances
A haul of four goals put North Melbourne star Ben Brown even further in front of the Coleman Medal race. Once considered a cult hero because of his unique hairstyle, wearing No.50 and owning the longest run-up for goal in the competition, he is on track to win the goalkicking award, with 46 majors to sit seven ahead of Sydney superstar Lance Franklin. Brown started the contest on fire, as did the whole North side, booting three in the opening term. It seemed Brown's direct opponent, Rory Thompson, would have a nightmare 100th game but he tightened up after that, helped by more midfield pressure from the Suns. Brown would kick another goal in the final quarter and with seven games to play, he will be pushing towards the 70-goal mark.
5. Important win for North's finals chances
The victory saw the Roos join Melbourne, Geelong and Hawthorn at 9-6, while they improved their percentage by 2.6 points, up to 116 per cent. In a hotly contested battle for spots to take part in September action, North just needed to get the job done against an opposition that showed fight after a dismal opening term. For the Suns, their 10th-straight defeat equalled their second-longest losing streak in club history. They still have a long way to go to match their worst streak, which was 21 in a row between 2011 and 2012.