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GOLD COAST SUNBURN by George on the Outer

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 If you go out into the heat without protection, it doesn’t take long to get sunburnt.

For the Gold Coast Suns with a whole raft of players missing for one reason or another, it took not more than 15 minutes exposure to Melbourne’s sunshine for the Demons to absolutely and completely burn them!

By quarter time, with the margin already 51 points, Melbourne had set another record for season 2018 with the highest first quarter score of any side.  It was also the MFC’s 4th highest first quarter ever!  It was not that long ago when Demon fans were crossing off long established undesirable records from past years.  Now their team is setting new more positive records.

The unfortunate thing for the fans was that by the 15 minute mark, with the game result already a foregone conclusion, it was only a matter of by “how much” which sort of took away the crowd noise and excitement, because what they were witnessing was an unadulterated demolition of an opponent.

At the end, the margin was 96 points, with Bayley Fritsch having the opportunity to put the result over the 100 point mark after the siren, but the kick went astray.  It was not unlike a lot of the shots at goal during the match in the swirling windy conditions.  Even the ever reliable Tom McDonald failed to score a major for the match - he managed only three behinds from set shots. 

In the middle, Max Gawn notched up another 30 hit outs to Jarrod WItts’ 40 but Max provided much more than just the touches as he had 8 contested possessions 2 clearances and 5 inside 50’s.  Also the coach gave him long periods on the bench, no doubt to conserve him for the coming weeks. 

While the big man may not have been as dominant as previous weeks, the now usual pair of Brayshaw and Oliver didn’t let up as they burnt the Suns mids seriously. Oliver 31 touches, 14 contested and 2 goals.  Brayshaw 27, 11 and 1 goal. 

This week they had the “old stager” Nathan Jones returning to some of his best with 24, 10 and 2 goals as well.  This from playing mainly off the wing, as Goodwin continues to develop the younger brigade in the middle.  James Harmes now has made himself a permanent starter at the bounce to take care of opposition players and he produced a performance close to the others with 25, 10 and 3 goals. 

The backs had little to do in all honesty as the ball simply didn’t get down the Suns way all that much.  Their situation wasn’t helped when Two Metre Peter went down in the opening minutes, which left no tall targets for them and Frost and Oscar had a field day picking off their attacks.

Unfortunately, Bernie Vince, in his 100th game for the club was well below standard, and appears to be relying on his wiles to keep in the contest.  It failed too often as he played off his man and gave them too much space.  The older legs can’t make up the difference any more, and with Melksham and Hibberd to return in coming weeks, he may be the one to make way, even though Joel Smith’s broken collarbone looks to have finished his season.

Normally the third quarter is owned by Melbourne, but today it managed a paltry 2 goals 6 while the Suns scored 1.2.  For a team so in control of the game, it wasn’t at the standard that finals football demands.  The Demons simply cannot give others the opportunity to get back in the game, although that wasn’t a realistic scenario for the Suns.  We have seen it happen in past weeks and is why we all suffer from the stress of being Demon fans. 

The reality is that we still have a number of NQR players who struggle under pressure or consistently turn the ball over without pressure.  This will kill the team in finals, but we don’t have anyone else putting their hand up at Casey.  Despite a 91 point victory yesterday, the 2 best players were Casey listed, so there remain few options for us in the weeks ahead. 

Finally the last quarter saw a return to something better as the Demons piled on another five goals to improve their percentage even further, and put themselves in the best possible situation with the remaining three games against teams who are also challenging for finals spots. 

With Tommy failing to register a major, it was up to Jesse Hogan to get himself back in the Coleman race with four goals.  He is still looking sore and struggles to run at times, but on the day had plenty of helpers around him. 

Now to Sydney next week.  This becomes the make or break game for the side.  Win this and we see September action, lose it and the task is much, much harder.  The Swans are very beatable as evidenced by a seriously understrength Collingwood nearly beating them with a first gamer forced to play on Franklin at times.  Without Buddy’s output, the Swans would now be out of the eight and probably staying there. 

Can we turn on the afterburners again next week, and burn off Sydney as well?  

Once again it is all in our hands …

Melbourne 9.3.57 14.6.90 16.12.108 21.17.143 

Gold Coast Suns 1.0.6 4.2.26 5.4.34 7.5.47 

Goals  

Melbourne Hogan 4 Harmes 3 Garlett Jones Neal-Bullen Oliver Petracca Spargo 2 Brayshaw Salem 

Gold Coast Suns Sexton 5 Holman, Rischitelli 

Best  

Melbourne Oliver Brayshaw Hogan Salem Garlett Harmes 

Gold Coast Suns Sexton Bowes Harbrow Weller Fiorini 

Injuries

Melbourne J Smith (broken collarbone) 

Gold Coast Suns Wright (knee) 

Reports 

Melbourne Nil 

Gold Coast Suns Nil 

Umpires Foot, Schmitt, Hay 

Official crowd 23,072 at the MCG

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