Gary Ablett leads from the front again as the Suns earn an impressive victory on the road.
Another impressive performance from the Gold Coast Suns has sent a message to the rest of the top eight teams in the AFL – the new boys are still coming.
Gold Coast’s stars showed what they can do on their day with a highlight reel of amazing goals in he first half, helping them set up their 19.11 (125) to 13.9 (87) victory.
To their credit St Kilda did not throw in the towel in the second half, when it appeared they could have gone on to lose by triple figures.
But with four goals to Brandon Matera, Gary Ablett and Tom Lynch, the Suns had too much firepower up front.
To start the game, the Suns showed what a class side they are quickly, if they are not already, as they made the most of a glut of centre clearances.
Proper trips into forward fifty also gave them several easy shots at goal and the scoreboard showed the fruits of their labour as they quickly opened up a 20-point lead thanks to goals from Tom Lynch and Harley Bennell.
Gary Ablett bagged his second for the term as he showed amazing kills to not only fight off his opposite man but snap across his body as they game quickly spiraled out of control for the Saints.
Rhys Stanley gave the Saints’ fans something to cheer about in bagging hi side’s second goal for the game in the shadows of quarter-time, but barely dampened what was otherwise a scintillating first term by the away side.
Despite showing signs of fighting back, the Saints were unable to stop the Suns scoring the most points in club history in snagging eight goals to lead by 32 at the break.
St Kilda lifted their intensity, and they needed to, in the second quarter and started to get their hands on the ball more often winning the disposal count.
However, the Suns were still more efficient with their possession and the ball travelled inside their forward 50 more often as they were able to break out of their danger end thanks to their skillful midfield.
Lynch typified how well the Suns were playing when he cleaned up a spilled mark in the goal square, and inside of turning the corner and dribbling the ball across the line, he booted the ball back over his head with his back to the sticks, as the margin blew out to 55.
Jack Steven gave the Saints some hope to begin the third by scrubbing through the first goal to cut the margin, as they lifted their intensity around the ground.
Nick Riewoldt had not enjoyed a great day, mirroring his side’s fortunes, but after being awarded a free from close range, the Saints’ sharpshooter bagged his side’s second for the term with the margin now under 50 points.
Typifying the fight from the Saints in the third term, a cheap turnover from Adam Schneider off half-back saw the ball sent forward to the key forward.
After tapping the ball on, Riewoldt threaded the needle with a kick of the side of his boots while on the run in a classy finish to cut the margin to just 31 during what was the Saints most productive quarter of the year to date.
A much better quarter from St Kilda saw them kick 6.2 compared to 3.2 to their opponents, but they still trailed by 38, with a lot of work still to be done if they were to pull off the upset.
After just coming on the field, Saints’ sub Blake Acres was take from the ground with an apparent cork which compounded the Saints’ woes with Sean Dempster also off the field.
St Kilda showed plenty of fight to win the second half, but the damage was done before the long break as the Suns ran out deserving winners.