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Five talking points: Melbourne v GWS

Highlights: Melbourne v GWS The Demons and Giants clash in round 23
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 6: Jesse Hogan of the Demons in action during the 2015 AFL round 23 match between the Melbourne Demons and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jesse Hogan did his Rising Star hopes no harm against the Suns

1. Dees break the hoodoo
After eight long years without a win at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne broke the hoodoo on Sunday with a 26-point win over GWS. The Demons had lost their past 22 games at the venue heading into the final game of season 2015, having not won a match there since round 19, 2007 when they defeated the Bulldogs. Captain Nathan Jones and Lynden Dunn were the only players to have experienced victory at Etihad Stadium. But a six-goal-to-two third quarter set up the Demons' seventh win for the season, and broke their drought at the venue. 

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2. Rising star Hogan?
Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan gave his chances of clinching this year's NAB AFL Rising star one final boost with a terrific performance in the Demons' last game of the year. The 20-year-old kicked three goals against the Giants, finishing 2015 with 44 goals. He had eight marks for the game, and while he was off target in the opening half, a quick chat from assistant coach Jade Rawlings at the main break straightened him up. His work rate was a standout and his creativity set up several teammates in front of goal. He will certainly poll well on Wednesday's Rising Star award with Carlton's Patrick Cripps his main rival.

3. Will they stay or will they go now?
Sunday's game was Jeremy Howe's 100th but could also have been his last in the red and blue. If he seeks a trade at the end of the season, the out-of-contract high flier left Dees fans with one last act of aerial brilliance for the highlight reel. Howe used Giants midfielder Lachie Whitfield as a springboard in the third term, taking a superb grab across half-back. The only downside was the ball was turned over immediately with the Giants kicking a goal through Zac Williams. For the Giants, it may well have been the last time midfielder Adam Treloar donned the orange jumper. With Collingwood, North Melbourne and Richmond all vying for the services of the out-of-contract young gun, Treloar will have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks. The Giants are still confident of retaining his services and certainly after a 26-disposal performance against the Demons they will want to secure the 22-year-old for next season.

  4. Knock-out blow
Last week the Demons told veteran Daniel Cross his contract would not be renewed for another season, forcing the midfielder to announce his retirement. In his 249th game, Cross started the game superbly. At half-time against the Giants, he was Melbourne's leading disposal winner with 18. But after 210 games with the Bulldogs and 39 with the Demons, it wasn't the fairy tale ending Cross was after. The veteran courageously flew for a mark in the final term, knocking himself out when he landed. In emotional scenes, he was taken off on a stretcher, with the crowd chanting his name. 10 minutes later, Cross was able to walk onto the ground to the cheers of the red and blue faithful, and watched the rest of his last game from the safety of the bench. He was chaired off the ground by his teammates after the final siren, in a touching display. 

5. Fans stay away
The final game of the season for these two sides was never going to be a blockbuster. The top level of Etihad Stadium was closed off for the clash with the fans corralled into the lower two levels. Just 8,974 people turned out on Sunday to watch the Demons and Giants do battle one last time in 2015. The figure is the lowest crowd ever registered at Etihad Stadium, handsomely beating the previous record low of 12,542 spectators that turned out to watch the Western Bulldogs play Fremantle back in 2003. Sunday's attendance was also the Demons' lowest home crowd in the past 20 years.