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Five talking points: Melbourne v Gold Coast

Highlights: Melbourne v Gold Coast The Demons and Suns clash in round 1
Gary Ablett of the Suns in action during the 2015 AFL Round 01 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG, Melbourne on April 04, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Gary Ablett had just 19 disposals in his return

1. Gazza's quiet return
After 273 days, Gary Ablett's long-awaited return to football did not quite reach the heights many were expecting. There was a lot of focus on the Suns superstar who was returning from a shoulder reconstruction he suffered against Collingwood last July. However, Ablett's limited pre-season was telling with the Suns skipper racking up just 19 disposals. Demon Jack Viney's tight-checking run-with role was effective and Ablett's impact was not quite to the level many come to expect from the dual Brownlow medallist. In typical Ablett style, the Suns skipper then threatened to take the game away from the Demons with two goals in a matter of minutes in the final term. But the Demons steadied to record the 26-point victory.

2. New Faces … A new Melbourne?
Melbourne introduced seven new faces for its season opener against Gold Coast, with coach Paul Roos handing debuts to Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg. Ex-Magpie Heritier Lumumba, in his 200th game, Jeff Garlett (formerly at Carlton), Sam Frost (Greater Western Sydney) and Ben Newton (Port Adelaide) also turned out in Demons colours for the first time. And they all contributed to Melbourne's impressive win. Lumumba showed a willingness to charge forward into space and vandenBerg, who stands at 188cm, looked dangerous in the air. Garlett and Frost's tackling pressure up forward was the impetus for creating Melbourne's scores and Newton and Brayshaw did their bit in the midfield. The Demons have had a lot of turnover on their list, so to see their new acquisitions impacting games is a real nod to their list management principles.

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3. Hogan lives up to the hype
Melbourne fans had to wait until the third minute of the third term for Jesse Hogan to finally register his first goal for the club, but the moment was worth the wait. Hogan's debut came a year later than expected after a pre-season back injury ruined his 2014 season, and more than two years after he tantalised fans with his first outings as an 18-year-old in the 2013 NAB Challenge. Teammates could not help but talk him up, despite the club doing their best to keep the hype surrounding him under wraps. Against the Suns, the football world finally got to see what everyone was talking about as Hogan made his presence felt in his first game for Melbourne. The 20-year-old finished the day with 14 disposals, seven marks and two goals, including an all-important major to seal the result in the final quarter.  

4. Demons break round one hoo-doo
Round one has not been kind to Melbourne in recent years. So often, the opening round of the season has dictated how the rest of the year will play out. But finally Melbourne fans were treated to a sense of salvation as the Demons notched their first round one win since 2005, which came against Essendon. The characteristics of the breakthrough win were also positive, with the Demons registering 100 points in a game for the first time since round 14, 2013. Increasing their scoring power, after scoring the least amount of points in 2014, was a theme of Melbourne's pre-season and a real focus under senior assistant Simon Goodwin.

5. Shaw to come under Match Review Panel scrutiny
Gold Coast midfielder Matt Shaw is set to come under scrutiny from the new-look Match Review Panel, after being reported for rough contact on Demon Dean Kent in the first quarter. The incident came just three minutes into the match, with Shaw arriving late to the marking contest and collecting Kent high. Shaw's name immediately went into the book for the clumsy spoiling attempt and Kent also received a 50m penalty. The speedy forward had to leave the field under the blood rule and after being assessed for concussion returned to the field of play at the start of the second term.