A late fadeout has cost struggling Gold Coast yet again with North Melbourne cruising home to a 37-point AFL victory at Etihad Stadium.
The Suns were within two goals at halftime on Sunday but couldn't stay with the polished Roos, whose 14.11 (95) to 8.10 (58) victory puts them back within breathing distance of the top eight.
Key defenders Scott Thompson (31 disposals, nine marks) and Robbie Tarrant (26 and 10) took full advantage of the Suns' wayward ball movement while Ben Brown booted four goals to extend his lead in the Coleman Medal count.
Dynamic big man Majak Daw switched roles in the second half and caused all sorts of headaches up forward, snaring two majors.
"We probably needed to change some things with our forward structure to take more opportunity from 63 inside-50s to 37," North coach Brad Scott said.
"There was enough control around the ball to end up with the result but we'd like to play a bit better than we did today."
A dire crowd of just 14,389 was on hand to witness a game where Gold Coast managed just three goals after halftime.
Gold Coast's inability to run out games has been the story of their season and it again proved the case in just their second trip to Melbourne for the year.
The Suns started slowly but lifted their pressure around the ball and went to the main break down 11 points, having won the second quarter.
It predictably couldn't last. North outscored Gold Coast five goals to one in the third quarter and when Daw flew high for a mark and kicked his second major early in the final term, the Suns were effectively down for the count.
A lack of discipline also proved costly for the Suns with co-captain Steven May costing his team a goal after laying out Shaun Higgins with a stomach-punch.
"It's disappointing, no doubt, from our captain," Suns coach Stuart Dew said.
"As a captain, you know that you've let the team down in that moment."
May also struggled with hip soreness after landing heavily in a marking contest, adding to the possibility the Suns will again be without both their leaders.
Free agent Tom Lynch is done for the season with a knee injury and looks likely to have played his final game for the Suns.
North midfielder Cameron Zurhaar (ankle) finished the game on the sidelines while Higgins withstood a battering from the Suns to finish with 26 disposals and a goal.