MELBOURNE has sought clarification from the AFL's umpiring department about the rough treatment All Australian ruckman Max Gawn received from Port Adelaide players in Saturday's 26-point loss at the MCG.
The Power players went out of their way to rough Gawn up at every opportunity, with Port captain Tom Jonas copping a $2000 fine from the Match Review Officer for his off-the-ball bump on the star big man.
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Demons coach Simon Goodwin said the club had spoken to the umpiring department about the tactics teams have employed to put Gawn off his game.
"He's had to deal with this for a while and Max will get through it. Max knows what's he's capable of and he didn't play a great game," Goodwin said on Wednesday.
"But in saying that, we know that some of the things weren't in the rules of the game and that's been relayed to us so we'll work both ways there."
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The Demons approached the AFL about the roughhouse treatment, seeking an explanation about what was permissible when physically targeting opposition players.
"We got some clarification about what is legal and what isn't legal so Max will work his way through it but as a club we won't let it happen again," Goodwin said.
"It's been a trend for a while. He's always going to be a targeted player. We know that. We expect that but he needs to work his way through it first and foremost."
Gawn spent some time in hospital in the lead up to the match against the Power with a skin infection but Goodwin said the big man was at full fitness.
Goodwin said he was hopeful his team would bounce back strongly against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
"I'm hoping that we get one (a response)," Goodwin said.
"We need to get going. There's always a big reaction after round one but in saying that, we need to get ourselves going and get back to playing better.
"It's been a bit of trend over the JLT (pre-season competition) and round one but I'm really confident in our playing group and how they've gone about their week that we're going to come out and play some strong footy."
Bringing Steven May back into the lineup after his one-match suspension would be a huge boost for the Demons, Goodwin said.
Former Suns teammate Kade Kolodjashnij is also a strong chance to play against the Cats after an "outstanding" performance at VFL level following an interrupted pre-season with a groin injury.
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But wholesale changes are extremely unlikely, Goodwin said.
"We certainly won't overreact as a match committee," Goodwin said.
"We've finally got a group of our players together – we didn't have that for a lot of pre-season – so we need to build some continuity and consistency with how we play and that's a group of players playing together for a period of time."