MELBOURNE has surged into second spot on the ladder, making light work of Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night with a 49-point win.
Three goals late in the opening quarter put an early gap between the teams and the Demons were never troubled, running out 9.4 (58) to 1.3 (9) victors.
The result brings Melbourne level with Brisbane on seven wins, also pushing the Suns outside the eight on percentage, now trailing the Western Bulldogs who play St Kilda on Sunday.
SUNS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats
Daisy Pearce was fantastic in her 50th game, kicking the game's first goal and proving one of many dangerous targets inside 50.
Tayla Harris kicked three goals, and Eden Zanker and Kate Hore two apiece as the Demons dined out on a whopping 45-9 inside-50 advantage.
To their credit, the Suns never threw the towel in, but were simply outclassed by one of the premiership favourites.
Despite missing ruck Lauren Pearce (concussion), Melbourne's young midfield was humming, with Olivia Purcell (32 disposals), Tyla Hanks (20) and Eliza West (19 and 11 tackles) all prolific, with Lily Mithen (21) also giving plenty of drive.
Melbourne effectively locked the ball in the front half of the ground, forcing the Suns into rushed disposals that normally came back the other way courtesy of Libby Birch and Shelley Heath, who intercepted at will.
After a tight combative contest in the opening 10 minutes, goals to Pearce, Hore and Harris late in the first term blew the game apart.
Harris kicked another early in the second term before Jac Dupuy got Gold Coast on the scoreboard with a strong mark close to goal. It would be the Suns' only joy of the evening, as Melbourne racked up 88 more disposals, most of them uncontested.
Zanker's goal on the three-quarter time siren as she ripped the ball from a ball-up and threw it directly on her right boot summed up the night for both teams.
The first blow
In her milestone 50th game, it just had to be Daisy Pearce. After fluffing an earlier set shot from 30m, the decorated Demon showed all her class in taking a terrific contested mark against Viv Saad in the goalsquare minutes later to open the scoring. Pearce finished with 11 disposals and six marks to go along with her goal.
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Tayla Harris had an excellent game, and her second goal – midway through the second term – put her into the history books. It was Harris' 56th career goal, moving her ahead of Darcy Vescio (55) and Cora Staunton (54) as the leading goalkicker in AFLW history. It's a battle that could chop and change for years to come, but for now, the record is Harris'.
Melbourne has an eight-day break before hosting Essendon at Casey Fields next Sunday from 5.10pm AEDT. Gold Coast will try and keep its finals hopes alive next Friday night when it hosts Carlton at Metricon Stadium, starting at 6.40pm AEST.
GOLD COAST 0.0 1.0 1.3 1.3 (9)
MELBOURNE 3.1 5.1 7.2 9.4 (58)
Gold Coast: Dupuy
Melbourne: Harris 3, Zanker 2, Hore 2, Fitzsimon, Pearce
Gold Coast: Drennan, Single, Saad, Rowbottom
Melbourne: Purcell, Mithen, Heath, West, Harris, Hanks
Gold Coast: Nil