It was wet, wild, ugly and just the way Stuart Dew liked it as the Gold Coast Suns notched a 16-point win in his first game in charge.
The rookie AFL coach watched as his men out-enthused North Melbourne with the game on the line in the final quarter, the Suns prevailing 7.13 (55) to 5.9 (39) on Saturday night.
All 12 goals strangely came at the same end of Cairns' Cazalys Stadium, with final-quarter majors to Jack Bowes and Jarryd Lyons proving the difference.
The Suns, under Dew's high pressure, full-team defensive approach, won the tackle count 94-84 and contested possessions 208-189.
"At three quarter time it was there for us and I thought we stepped up," Dew said.
"They came back hard, that's their strength ... It's almost what we're after, a challenge where we can work on the things we've been doing."
A wet week in the tropics got a whole lot wetter about 45 minutes before the first bounce, with torrential rain sweeping across the region and flooding the ground.
North Melbourne coped best in the puddles early, winning more contested ball and notching the first quarter's only goal through Shaun Higgins.
The Kangaroos missed two set shots and had a masterful Higgins' solo effort along the boundary line ruled to have glanced the post as they looked to establish control of the contest in the second term.
But they were left to rue those missed opportunities as the rain eased, the ground drained and the Suns kicked five straight to finish the half leading by 24 points.
Cairns local and second-year midfielder Bowes (21 disposals) led the charge forward as the Suns camped in North Melbourne's forward 50m and reaped rewards.
"He played a magnificent role," Dew said of Bowes.
"He's so competitive, whether it's on the footy field or table tennis at the club or basketball, he just wants to win (he's) a pleasure to coach."
North Melbourne responded by pushing Jack Ziebell up the ground and kicking all four goals in the third term, the skipper notching two of his own and setting up another to reduce the margin to one at the final break.
The rain returned in the final term, leaving teams with no choice but to hack it forward.
The ball rarely left the Suns' forward half, though, with David Swallow (game-high 30 touches) taking over to snap a run of five straight losses in Cairns.
"It certainly didn't make for the greatest spectacle but in a way it gets back to the bare bones of football," North coach Brad Scott said.
"Can you win a contest? Can you will yourself to a contest, can you transition and get numbers across to the ball? I thought Gold Coast did that better than us."