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Demonland

BLACK HOLE SUNS by George on the Outer

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I arrived at the Gabba 40 minutes before scheduled start to the game and knew there was something strange in the air.  The Gates were locked!
 
Perhaps the ground staff knew that a paltry 6,060 people were going to turn up because the only people in the queues outside were Melbourne supporters. ¬†And even when everyone was ‚Äúpacked‚ÄĚ inside, the Demon followers outnumbered Suns fans by a factor of 10 to 1.
 
While we can sympathise with their players who have had to travel all over the country, and even next week to China because their home ground remains unavailable, the fact is the Coast is a comfortable hours drive down the road. And yet, even being generous, a miniscule 1k of supporters bothered to take that trip, even with three wins on the board to date.  
 
It was a clear demonstration of the black hole that is the Gold Coast Suns.
 
After struggling through the crowds at the gate, ¬†even worse was to come for the Suns. ¬†Although they were in the game in the first ¬Ĺ of the game, thatbwas only through the inaccuracy of Melbourne in front of goal. ¬†Despite having 19 shots to 12 at the main break and the bulk of the inside 50s, Melbourne led by just 22 points. In fact, the Suns actually hit the front during the second quarter before the Demons started to capitalize on their chances. ¬†
 
Tom McDonald was a telling target up forward and had four to his name by the main break, before finishing with five for the game (although he spoiled his flawless season by snapping a point as well).  His return to the side has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Demons over the past couple of weeks, as he is hugely mobile, takes an excellent contested mark, and kicks truly.  In fact, he was playing off the wing for the first half, leaving the Suns with the problem of trying to harness Hogan and Weidemann up front.
 
Melbourne pulled away slightly in the third to lead by six or seven before the Suns pulled back the lead to 19 points or so and then the dam wall broke!
 
In the middle, Max Gawn in a match-long battle with Witts, truly got on top, and fed the ball down the throats of Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Nathan Jones and Clayton Oliver, although each of them were furious in and under, amassing 64 contested possessions between them.  The result was the ball just kept getting pumped forward, and the Demons equaled the AFL record for 83 inside 50s in a game.  
 
The Suns day became a black hole of despair as Melbourne piled on goal after goal, and reversed the inaccuracy with an 8 goal 3 behinds final quarter.  The last time the team had scored over 20 goals was also against the Suns, and considering the low scores in other games this season, the percentage boost to the side is telling and will be even more so as we move more into winter.  
 
And we all know how important percentage is come season end.
 
As mentioned, the mids were fearsome particularly Harmes, who has taken to this new role with relish.  His previous best was 27 touches in a game, yet he produced a 33 disposal 18 contested possession blinder in this one.  How to fit Jack Viney into this combination?  
 
The backs continued the form that they showed against the Saints with Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald and Jake Lever destroying everything that came their way, while Michael Hibberd also continued his AA type form with telling down-field kicks to break up the press.  
 
In what was probably his best game for the MFC, Jordan Lewis simply cut the Suns to pieces with his ability to hit targets and start the chain of possessions that would result in goals up the field.  I think it was said that he was involved in 16 plays that resulted in goals!  Not bad out of 21.
 
Up front Jesse Hogan notched up three goals, and has been playing a telling mobile forward in the Nick Riewoldt style.  He has a huge tank and strength, and when he roams, the backs simply don’t know who to man up, because T McDonald, Gawn, Mitch Hannan and Charlie Spargo just kept slipping in to fill the space.  
 
The Demons are now back in the top eight but let’s not forget that this comes off the back of beating 4 of the bottom 5 sides on the ladder.  Of course, this is exactly what the Demons haven’t done in the past. The challenge is to continue to make it 5 out of 5 against Carlton next week, and then the real measure of where we sit in the competition will be seen after that when we come up against the teams further up the ladder.
 
For the Suns and the AFL the Gold Coast black hole will get worse. That so few people turned up to see them play in perfect conditions is more than telling. When they capitulate so easily as has happened in the past two weeks, there is little incentive to watch.  
 
And when (not if) they become a black hole there will be nothing to see and no memory of their existence.  
 
Steven Hawking, after all, taught us that it is only ‚Äúa matter of time‚ÄĚ
 
Melbourne 4.5.29 8.11.59 13.17.95 21.20.146 
 
Gold Coast Suns 3.5.23 5.7.37 9.9.63 11.11.77
 
Goals 
 
Melbourne T McDonald 5 Hannan Hogan 3 Neal-Bullen Salem Spargo 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hibberd Melksham 
 
Gold Coast Suns Martin 4 Day 2 Hall Holman May Sexton Young
 
Best
 
Melbourne T McDonald Harmes Oliver Gawn Salem Brayshaw
 
Gold Coast Suns Martin Miller May Hall
 
Injuries 
 
Melbourne Nil
 
Gold Coast Suns Swallow (knee)
 
Reports Nil
 
Umpires Brown, Schmitt, Harris
 
Official Crowd 6,060 at the Gabba
 
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