In a blistering first quarter, the Gold Coast Suns fired on all cylinders racing across Etihad Stadium tackling, marking, booting goals and blinding the Kangaroos with their brilliance. Beautiful to watch, it was bang, bang, bang as the Suns put away goals as if their life depended upon it, and in some ways, it did.
Dixon, Harbrow and Rischitelli kicked three goals before the Kangaroos seemed to realise the game had started, leaving them looking stunned and confused. When North did manage to get the ball down their end of the ground, Danny Stanley performed a beautiful smother to prevent a possible goal, leaving North Melbourne in no doubt that the Suns were there to win.
Bennell looked dangerous on his return to the Suns, and one could argue that he is right on the edge of making the shift from very good to dazzling, while Dixon made sure his presence was felt.
The Gold Coast took Etihad by storm in the first quarter, leaving Kangaroos supporters dumbfounded scoring one goal to the Suns seven.
North Melbourne took the quarter time break to recover compose themselves. Coming back with a vengeance, the Kangaroos, led by Ben Cunnington and Lachlan Hansen, worked hard to help narrow the margin and give North a real chance adding six goals but the Gold Coast just refused to relinquish their lead.
Harbrow sparked the third quarter action with a scintillating dash through the pack to snatch the ball, kick it to Lynch, who shot a short handball to Dixon who smoothly booted it through for a goal.
Matt Shaw was as consistent and reliable as ever for the Suns and a good man to have on the team, while Kolodashnij is proving very handy down back.
Majak Daw showed some flash and dash for North Melbourne, taking a superb mark in the third quarter and following it up with a goal to finish the match with two.
In the end though, the Suns found the goal posts at crucial points within the game, something they seem to be doing a lot more of lately. Ablett kicked a number of his impressive trademark goals in the final quarter contributing to the Suns 43 point win.
It’s difficult to argue with those who believe Gary Ablett is an AFL machine. However, the man did get taken down to the ground a couple of times by tenacious Kangaroos tackling, and it’s almost a relief to see he is only human. Then again, when North gave him an inkling of an opportunity a few seconds later, Ablett made them pay by blasting through a fierce goal, and following it up by drilling through two more in that final quarter.
North Melbourne may not have played as well as they can, but a chunk of that was due to pressure applied by a strong Suns unit who displayed a burning desire to win right from the first bounce. Aaron Hall’s fire and determination shone through, while Matera’s skill and quick thinking led to goals.
The Suns defence is shaping up very nicely, and with a great midfield, and rising forwards, their momentum is building. Last year, it was easy to pick the best from the bunch, but now, there’s too many to keep mentioning.
With big smiles plastered all over their faces as the final siren went, the Suns had finally conquered Etihad and a top eight team. McKenna has been ticking a lot of boxes lately, and Suns fans are surely smelling the alluring scent of finals footy.