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Match report: Demons' onslaught blows cold Suns away

Highlights: Gold Coast v Melbourne The Suns and Demons clash in round seven
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 7:  Max Gawn of the Demons celebrates kicking a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 07 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Melbourne Demons at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast on May 7, 2016. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Media)
Max Gawn was the dominant big man on the ground

MELBOURNE has moved to the cusp of the top eight, taking care of a meek Gold Coast by 73 points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night. 

The Demons led by just five points at half-time, but ran riot in the second half, kicking 16 goals to six, to run out 24.16 (160) to 14.3 (87) winners.

They kicked nine goals in a breathtaking third term to set up victory.

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Following last week's 120-point thumping at the hands of Geelong and preaching effort all week, the Suns were poor after the long break.

It was a dark night for Rodney Eade's men, with Matt Rosa (hamstring) and Alex Sexton (broken arm) taken off either side of quarter-time and Dion Prestia (knee) and Touk Miller (ankle) severely hampered for the second half.

Melbourne was relentless in notching its fourth win of the season, to leave them out of the top eight on percentage alone.

They dominated all areas, winning the disposals (412-317), clearances (48-30), contested possessions (169-133) and the inside 50s by a landslide 75-37.

Coach Paul Roos was measured with his praise, but pleased with his team's persistence as the match wore on.

"I think we were consistent, continued to play the way we wanted to play," Roos said.

"We knew they were two down, sometimes that can energise opposition teams, sometimes it can flatten them. It's always a concern as silly as it sounds.

"We talked a lot about continuing to run, continuing to work hard and the second half was obviously very good."

Five talking points: Gold Coast v Melbourne

Max Gawn continued his stellar season in the ruck, and was the best player on the ground in a great team performance.

The big man finished with 17 disposals, 46 hitouts and two first-half goals.

He started the third quarter avalanche by laying on goals to standout midfielders Jack Viney and skipper Nathan Jones with deft stoppage taps right into their paths.

Gawn's midfield totally outplayed the Suns, with contributions from Jones (33 touches), Bernie Vince (28), James Harmes (26) and Viney (24).

They had eight multiple goalkickers, led by three each to Cam Pedersen, Jeff Garlett and Harmes.

Former number two draft pick Christian Petracca showed a glimpse of his potential, kicking his first two career goals in the final term and finishing with 24 disposals.


The Suns were always pushing a loaded barrow uphill after Rosa and Sexton were carted off, but that only accounted for part of the problems. 

Coach Rodney Eade wasn't as scathing as after last week's loss, but said a number of players had lost confidence.

"I thought the effort was pretty good that first half, especially the first quarter, I thought they were up for the fight," he said. 

"That's all you can judge on, that effort early, they brought that to the game, we were about even at half-time then the first five minutes of the third quarter was poor."

The only reason they were as close as five points at the end of the first half was the imperious play of forward Tom Lynch.

Melbourne led the inside 50 count 34-17 at the main break, but Lynch kept his team in the contest with four goals.

Seemingly every time the Suns went forward, Lynch was either there to kick a goal or pave the way for another with his contest, as the ball was drawn to him like a magnet.

Melbourne established its lead with the final three goals of the half to Gawn, Jones and Dean Kent, and never looked back.

Jack Viney and Christian Petracca celebrate a big win against the Suns. Picture: AFL Media

Gold Coast: It was carnage for the Suns with Matt Rosa (hamstring) and Alex Sexton (broken arm) taken off either side of quarter-time. Sexton will have surgery on Sunday. Midfielders Dion Prestia (knee) and Touk Miller (ankle) also battled for much of the game. Coach Rodney Eade said Miller would be assessed through the week but Prestia would likely be OK.

Melbourne: Jack Viney copped a bump in the last quarter and was taken to the changerooms but should be fine.

Melbourne will try to go back-to-back next week when they play the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. A win for the Demons would surely put them in the eight. The Suns have a tough road trip to try and break its four-match losing streak, travelling to Sydney to take on the Giants on Saturday afternoon.


GOLD COAST    4.2     8.2    11.3     14.3   (87)
MELBOURNE     2.3     8.7    17.11   24.16 (160) 

Gold Coast: Lynch 4, Ablett 2, Jarrod Garlett 2, Wright 2, Currie, Grant, Hall, MacPherson
Melbourne: Jeff Garlett 3, Harmes 3, Pedersen 3, Gawn 2, Jones 2, Kennedy 2, Petracca 2, Viney 2, Hogan, Kent, Stretch, Tyson, Vince 

Gold Coast: Lynch, Day, Saad, Miller, Harbrow
Melbourne: Gawn, Viney, Jones, Harmes, Vince, Oliver, Bugg 

Gold Coast: Rosa (hamstring), Sexton (forearm)
Melbourne: Nil 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Harris, Stephens, Schmitt

Official crowd: 12,780 at Metricon Stadium