Gold Coast’s season is back on track as a bag of seven goals from co-captain Tom Lynch put an inaccurate Carlton to the sword at Etihad Stadium.
Lynch’s haul, equalling Charlie Dixon’s record for the most goals kicked by a Sun in a match, was the difference, but the Suns will be sweating on the fitness of co-captain and full back Steven May after he appeared to injure his hamstring late in the match.
Early, it was the Blues who started the better side, with Marc Murphy outstanding with 11 early touches, but they simply couldn’t convert their multiple opportunities into goals.
The Suns, on the other hand, were just hanging in, scoring three goals from three scoring shots in the first term to take an early lead.
But for the next quarter and a half, it was the Blues dominating, with only Lynch, who had five of the Suns’ six goals to half time, standing tall.
The Blues would have led by more than five points to half-time had they not again butchered opportunities in front of goal, with Charlie Curnow particularly culpable with a pair of behinds from gettable shots.
Eventually, the Blues’ inefficiency told as the Suns worked their way on top, slamming through the last six goals of the third term to take a 32-point lead into the final break.
Jack Silvagni gave Blues’ fans hope early in the last, but a pair of Suns goals, the last a vintage Gary Ablett goal from outside 50, put paid to any hopes of a comeback.
Alongside Lynch, who went through three opponents – Sam Rowe, Lachie Plowman and Jacob Weitering – as the Blues struggled to go with him, Brandon Matera was electric, backing up his six-goal haul against Hawthorn last week with three goals and 29 possessions.
Aaron Hall was also too quick for the Blues in midfield, while Gary Ablett finished with 34 touches, the majority of which were booed by a raucous Carlton crowd, and Peter Wright fought back from a quiet start to finish with three goals.
For the Blues, Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty tried hard all night, while Levi Casboult and Jack Silvagni each booted three and debutant Zac Fisher was a ball of energy early before fading late.
The Suns take on an in-form Adelaide outfit next week at Metricon Stadium, while the Blues take on Port Adelaide next Friday night at the Adelaide Oval.
Gold Coast- Lynch 7, Matera 3, Wright 3, Ablett, Lyons, Lemmens.
Carlton- Silvagni 3, Casboult 3, Curnow, Simpson, Fisher, Weitering, Rowe, Pickett.
Gold Coast- Lynch, Matera, Hall, Ablett, Martin.
Carlton- Docherty, Cripps, Murphy, Gibbs, Silvagni.