Suns up and comers Jarrod Garlett, Jack Martin and Jesse Joyce are being credited with stepping up, in their narrow eight point loss to Greater Western Sydney.
With Jesse Lonergan and Nick Malceski ruled out, Coach Rodney Eade said the players rose to the occasion at Metricon Stadium.
With their seven best midfielders on the sidelines, Gold Coast had Alex Sexton (corked thigh) and Tom Nicholls (knee) barely able to run for most of the night but battling on regardless.
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They led by six points at every change – and the scores were tied on seven occasions – but the Giants’ running power late in the match was just enough to get them over the line.
Coach Leon Cameron will be happy to take the four premiership points back to Sydney, but his team had to work the entire way.
For the Suns, stand-in skipper Steven May was a colossus in defence, finishing with 27 touches and 14 marks – many of them intercepts.
Tom Lynch kicked four goals to join Lance Franklin on top of the Coleman Medal table with 61, while Jarrod Harbrow (24) and Jack Martin (22) were also key contributors.
Trailing by four points with five minutes remaining, the Giants relied on quick goals from Jeremy Cameron and Toby Greene to sneak home, 14.8 (92) to 13.6 (84).
The win keeps them in third place with three rounds remaining.
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