Skipper Gary Ablett booted four goals including three in the final term to lead Gold Coast to a 43-point upset win over top-eight rivals North Melbourne on Sunday.
Ablett’s men claimed their fifth victory in the first seven rounds. The fourth-year club also notched their first AFL triumph at Etihad Stadium in seven attempts.
The Suns won 18.12 (120) to North’s 11.11 (77) after the visitors stunned the home side by kicking the first seven goals of the game.
North trailed by six goals at quarter-time but narrowed the margin to four points during the third term and were 18 points behind at the final change.
But Gold Coast surged again with a five-goal final term led by Ablett, who put the game beyond doubt after being relatively quiet in the first three quarters with 20 possessions.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist ended up vying for best-afield honours with 28 disposals including 13 contested and five clearances.
North have a 4-3 record and both sides have a bye next weekend.
Dion Prestia was another big contributor for the Suns while Lachie Hansen in defence and midfielder Sam Gibson were busy for the Kangaroos. Hansen took a game-high 17 marks, including 16 uncontested.
The Kangaroos went into the game ranked as the third-best defence in the competition, having conceded an average of 74 points in the first six rounds. However Gold Coast ran riot in the first quarter, booting 7.4 (46) to North’s 1.4 (10).
Gold Coast led by 40 points late in the first term before Drew Petrie finally put a goal on the board for North.
North scored six goals to Gold Coast’s three in the second term to trail by 17 points at halftime, 10.5 (65) to 7.6 (48).
Gold Coast’s ruckman Tom Nicholls was subbed off with a possible knee injury in the third term as both sides kicked three goals to hand the Suns an 18-point advantage at three-quarter time, 13.10 (88) to 10.10 (70).
Charlie Dixon’s third goal of the game late in the third term gave the visitors some breathing space, after a free kick was paid against North’s Michael Firrito in a marking contest.
The leg speed of the Suns was too much for the Kangaroos in the final term as the visitors kicked five goals to North’s one.
“It was such a good team win today. We’ll take a lot away from that,” Ablett told ABC Radio.