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Five talking points: Melbourne v West Coast

Highlights: Melbourne v West Coast The Demons and Eagles clash in round 2
Josh Kennedy and Jamie Cripps of the Eagles celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL round 02 match between the Melbourne Demons and the West Coast Eagles at the MCG, Melbourne on March 30, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Josh Kennedy was all smiles as the Eagles pummelled the Demons on Sunday
1. Camels on the concourse
To promote their sponsorship deal with the Northern Territory, the Demons brought along some wildlife, with a couple of camels and some baby crocodiles welcoming the club's hardy fans for their first home game of the season. If finals appearances are like water to footy clubs, then Melbourne is certainly a camel. The Dees have been waiting since 2006 to quench their thirst.

2. Confusion reigns
The AFL's policy on clash jumpers is constantly bewildering. In this case, West Coast was allowed to wear its dark blue guernsey against a Melbourne side sporting a navy blue strip. The ridiculous nature of this decision was evident during the second quarter when Demons players handballed to Eagles opponents on two occasions. Now the League might claim that the errant handballs were simply a product of Melbourne's lack of skill (the Demons "couldn't hit the side of a barn with a handful of wheat", as one wag on Twitter put it). But surely the players and fans would have been better served by an edict for West Coast to wear a white or yellow jumper.


3. Look away now
During the week, Melbourne coach Paul Roos said, "I'd love to take the scoreboards down in our games, and I say that in all seriousness." With that in mind, many people wondered if Roos was going to go a pre-game sweep of the stadium, masking tape and brown paper in hand, and cover up the MCG's four scoreboards. No such stunt eventuated, but the Demons' long-suffering players and fans must have wished that Roos had followed through on his idea. The Dees didn't kick a goal until seven minutes into the second quarter, and they were 10 goals to one down at half-time. At least Melbourne ended up bettering its worst score against the Eagles (2.8 back in 1991) and its worst score of last season (4.4 against North Melbourne in round 18).

4. Turnaround for Eagles at the 'G
The last time the Eagles visited the MCG, in round 22 last year, they kicked their lowest score at the venue – 5.9 (39) – and were humbled by Collingwood to the tune of 62 points. What difference a new coach, and a far weaker opponent, makes. This time around, the Eagles had beaten that score against the Magpies by quarter-time. In his 100th game, Josh Kennedy was among the stars up forward for the winners, booting four goals. How Melbourne must wish it had its trio of injured big boys – Chris Dawes, Mitch Clark and Jesse Hogan – out on the park.

5. Roos' record
Before the clash with the Eagles, the heaviest defeat of Paul Roos' coaching career was a 73-point loss when he was at the helm of the Sydney Swans. Funnily enough, that bad result, which came in round 10, 2010, was against Melbourne. But Roos' decision to join the Demons, at a time when the club is struggling to even be competitive, has quickly had an impact on his coaching record. The worst loss of his coaching career is now 93 points. And it would be a brave pundit to suggest that Roos' new record will not be broken on a number of occasions during the remainder of the season.


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs