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TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUNS by George on the Outer

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The Demons finally erased a whole series of undesirable and unwanted records with a 26-point opening round eclipse of the Gold Coast Suns. It was ten years since an opening round win, two seasons since the team had scored over 100 points in a game, and most importantly, the team survived a number of comebacks from the Suns during the course of the afternoon - a rare occurrence in recent times.

It was a fitting performance to pay respect to the great Robbie Flower, who has now been immortalized with the Robbie Flower Wing proudly inaugurated before this game.

In recent times, the Melbourne sides would have given way under pressure. Last year, numerous final quarter leads were squandered. Not any more it seems, and the addition of older heads and harder bodies is paying dividends.

And wasn't it pleasing that Paul Roos was able to inject seven new players into the side for this match, most of who were not draftees. Heritier Lumumba and Jeff Garlett had a good number of games under their belts at other clubs and Sam Frost and Ben Newton also had AFL experience so when the going really got hard as the Suns relentlessly attacked, it was these same players who stood tall.

And that is what the Demon fans have been longing for now for a couple of years ... leaders who will show the way when times are tough.

However, the most pleasing aspect about the game is that players like Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg were able to be introduced without the pressures that draftees faced in previous years - all showed more than enough signs that each of them will be long-term contributors to the future of the club.

Before the game there were great concerns about how Gary Ablett would be held to a tally which would keep the side in the game. Jack Viney was given the role when he played mid-field and Colin Garland took over the role when he moved forward. With only 19 possessions for the game it was a positive outcome for the Demons with Viney racking up 24 touches of his own to put the unfortunate circumstances of that NAB Challenge gaffe well behind him.

Special mention goes to Tom McDonald who took 12 telling marks in the backline to turn back multiple attacks. Again his performance is a sign of positive recruiting outcomes, as Lumumba and Frost were able to add some depth to the backline meaning that McDonald could often play the loose man role. It is a real bonus for the Demons that they can afford to have such a tall, strong option to play the sweeper out of the backline.

Even the forward line now looks to be blessed with an abundance of talent and options. Hogan and Garlett have filled the holes that were there last year, and not just filled them but are a potent pair in their own right. The strength of a 20 year old in Hogan provided more than just the 2 goals he registered in his first game, as he broke packs and provided contests to advantage the crumbers at his feet. And the ability of Garlett to pinch pockets and add some zip and x-factor around goals will be a delight in coming games.

While it is only one game in a long season, it was a special win for the fans and the club as well. It has been a long time for that good-time feeling to be experienced so early in a season, so we should be all looking for something positive to build upon as we work into 2015.

Melbourne 2.5.17 7.7.49 12.9.81 17.13.115

Gold Coast Suns
1.2.8 3.6.24 8.8.56 13.11.89

Goals

Melbourne
Watts 3 Garlett Hogan Newton Tyson 2 Garland Jamar N Jones Lumumba Salem vandenBerg

Gold Coast Suns Ablett Day Rischitelli 2 Bennell Gorringe Harbrow Miller Saad Sexton Swallow

Best

Melbourne
N Jones. Watts McDonald Viney Garlett Newton Howe vandenBerg Jamar

Gold Coast Prestia Rischitelli Swallow Bennell Saad

Changes

Melbourne
Nil

Gold Coast Nil

Injuries

Melbourne
Nil

Gold Coast Nil

Substitutions

Melbourne
Jimmy Toumpas replaced Angus Brayshaw in the fourth quarter

Gold Coast Jarrod Garlett replaced Sam Day at three-quarter time

Reports

Melbourne
Nil

Gold Coast Matt Shaw reported for rough conduct on Dean Kent

Umpires Donlon Farmer Hosking

Official crowd 27,013 at the MCG

http://lon-cdn220-is-3.se.bponlinewoc2264.ngcdn.telstra.com/platform_release/805/388/EDT_GAMECHANGER_NEW_DEES_0404_S_409808899.mp4

http://m.melbournefc.com.au/video/2015-04-05/rd-1-watch-all-the-goals

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Great Report thanks George!

Just a small typo - it's Angus Brayshaw, not James. James is the tool!

Glad we cleared that up.

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Great Report thanks George!

Just a small typo - it's Angus Brayshaw, not James. James is the tool!

Glad we cleared that up.

Thanks Roger - sub editing issue now corrected.

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