GOLD Coast is just one game outside the top eight after dismantling Hawthorn with a 67-point win in Darwin.

Three first-half goals for Mabior Chol, an outrageous finish from hometown hero Joel Jeffrey and a starring 24-disposal, two-goal, best-on-ground display from Brandon Ellis helped the Suns cruise away for their fifth win of the campaign.

They kicked nine of the first 11 goals and were effectively home before the Hawks woke up at TIO Stadium.

SUNS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats

It turned into a genuine party for Gold Coast, with another Darwin local Malcolm Rosas jnr also enjoying his time back on home turf with three goals.

06:15 Mins
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Highlights: Gold Coast v Hawthorn

The Suns and Hawks clash in round eleven

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It was a third win in four games for the Suns and with North Melbourne, Adelaide and Port Adelaide on deck in the next three weeks, they are emerging as a genuine finals contender.

In hindsight, things were over quickly as Ben Ainsworth had the game's first goal when Gold Coast found room on the counterattack.

Rosas jnr quickly found another before Izak Rankine pinched them a 19-1 break inside 15 minutes.

00:39 Mins
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Experienced Hawk kicks much-needed reply

Luke Breust delivered when he needed to with this classy finish keeping his side in touch

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Hawthorn's Luke Breust got his side on the board soon after with a clever snap, but a Chol set shot kept the Suns 18 points clear at the first break.

Gold Coast’s power forward struck twice in the second term as his team broke away, before a long bomb from Jeffrey brought the house down and gave his side a 40-point advantage.

00:37 Mins
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Unbelievable Jeffrey kicks out-of-this-world goal

Joel Jeffrey has continued his recent run of form after he produced this outstanding goal midway through the second term

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The hits kept coming as a sizzling Touk Miller delivery let Levi Casboult hit the scoreboard, with two late goals to the Hawks only keeping them within 41 points at the half.

Ainsworth snapped home a second for a 55-point lead late in the third quarter from a free kick after Jarman Impey appeared to knee him in the back off the ball, for which the Hawk was immediately reported, before Rosas jnr's second took the margin past 10 goals.

00:36 Mins
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Impey on report for knee in the back

Jarman Impey was placed on report during the third quarter after he dropped his knee into the back of Gold Coast's Ben Ainsworth

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Ellis was best for the Suns but he got plenty of support, with Miller (24 touches) and Lachie Weller (27) among their best.

It was a poor night for the Hawks after their upset of Brisbane last weekend and they have now lost five of their past six games.

Tom Mitchell was in magnetic form with 29 touches, while Chad Wingard was his side's only multiple goalscorer with two majors.

00:41 Mins
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Weller's runner puts Hawks to the sword

Lachie Weller gave the Suns the perfect start to the second half with this super running goal extending their lead

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Gold Coast - beautiful one day, perfect the next?
Not since 2014 when the Suns sat in eighth spot after round 16, before Gary Ablett jnr did his shoulder, have finals looked as much a possibility for Gold Coast as they do right now. Yes, they're sitting a win and percentage outside the top eight at the moment, but with North Melbourne next week followed by Adelaide after their bye and only two matches for the rest of the year against teams currently in the eight, the Suns have reason to dream of September. And this time there is no reliance on a star like Ablett that could suddenly derail their season. In fact, with Ben King sitting on the sidelines, the short-to-medium-term future looks sunny for the boys of the coast and their often under-the-pump coach.

Gold Coast players celebrate a Brandon Ellis goal against Hawthorn in R11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Hard-ruck Hawks
With Ben McEvoy, Ned Reeves and Max Lynch on the sidelines, Sam Mitchell had little choice other than to head to Darwin without a recognised ruckman, a situation that cost his side dearly. Pitted against the out-of-position Jacob Koschitzke, Jarrod Witts dominated the hitouts with 34 to Hawthorn's total of eight for the match, giving his midfielders a head start at the clearances, which they won convincingly and subsequently turned into an overwhelming number of inside 50 opportunities (62-44). Ruckmen are often derided as the 'dinosaurs' of our game, but Saturday night's result was a clear display of the important role they still play.

Hawthorn's Daniel Howe and Jarrod Witts of Gold Coast contest the ruck in R11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Hometown heroes, at last
Mal Rosas jnr and Joel Jeffrey were the first two players to arrive at the Suns from their Darwin region Academy and both hoped to return to the Top End with Gold Coast last year, but were disappointed when COVID complications cancelled all AFL games in Darwin. Both made it known how important it was to play in front of family and friends in the Territory, so when they were selected to face the Hawks it was a case of smiles all round, with Rosas jnr telling AFL.com.au during the week "I'm as keen as". And there's no doubt the night went well, with Rosas jnr soccering the first of his three goals early in the opening quarter and Jeffrey kicking a Goal of the Year contender in the second.

00:36 Mins
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Dribbling Rosas jnr continues Suns' red-hot start

Malcolm Rosas jnr kicked this brilliant dribble goal which made it two in a row to start the game for his Suns

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GOLD COAST    4.3    10.8    14.12    18.13 (121)
HAWTHORN     1.3      4.3      5.5      7.12 (54)

GOALS
Gold Coast: 
Chol 3, Rosas jnr 3, Ainsworth 2, Ellis 2, Anderson, Casboult, Davies, Jeffrey, Miller, Rankine, Swallow, Weller
Hawthorn:
Wingard 2, Breust, Butler, Koschitzke, Lewis, Moore

BEST
Gold Coast:
Witts, Ellis, Swallow, Miller, Collins, Weller
Hawthorn:
Mitchell, Morrison, Sicily, Jiath, Day

INJURIES
Gold Coast: 
TBC
Hawthorn:
Scrimshaw (concussion)

REPORTS
Gold Coast:
None
Hawthorn:
Impey (rough conduct), Frost (rough conduct)

MEDICAL SUBS
Gold Coast: 
Charlie Constable, unused
Hawthorn: 
Finn Maginness, replaced Jack Scrimshaw in the third quarter