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On Sunday, the Melbourne Football Club that won three consecutive games by in excess of 50 points last month returns to the Gabba, the scene of the last of those victories which was a 56 point drubbing of Collingwood. The Demons got off to a good start and won every quarter with a ruthless and powerful brand of football. They kicked 16 goals that day, their accuracy in front of goal a tribute to the skills the put on display throughout the afternoon and evening.

In the four matches played since then, their average goals scored collapsed to a little over six per game and they have fallen from a strong finals contender to a rank outsider with kicking skills so poor that they have consistently failed to hit the proverbial barn door. The humiliation will continue when their season will effectively end on Saturday evening against the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Indeed, the humiliation began with the words uttered by coach Simon Goodwin this week:

"As a club, I think we need to become a much more ruthless club and really grow up and start to perform in these types of games.

"We need to start becoming more mature as a club and more unconditional about the way we go about our business."

These words are not only starkly obvious in light of two pathetic performances against lowly teams in Sydney and Fremantle that they were expected to beat even in the oppressive conditions in Cairns, but they ring hollow to any Demon fan who can recall the same dictum from former coach Neale Daniher in the mid-2000s when the same ruthlessness call flopped badly time and again and culminated in his mid season dismissal a few years later.

In their past two games, the Demons have taken the field as if the games were meaningless dead rubbers instead of the potential season deciders that they were in actuality. Against the Swans but with the aid of the breeze, they conceded the first two goals and were virtually down and out by half time before butchering their comeback opportunity with several misses for goal from close in. Against the Dockers, they recorded a shameful 53% disposal efficiency (c.f 77% v the Magpies) — a figure that reflects a lack of intensity and a sign that the players were switched off, fatigued, couldn’t give a damn or all of the above.

There’s no need to go any further. The 2020 agony for Demon fans will end on Saturday night ... in humiliation.

GWS Giants by 50 points.


GWS Giants v Melbourne at the Gabba, Saturday 12 September, 2020 at 7.40pm 


Overall – Melbourne 6 wins GWS Giants 6 wins
At The Gabba – GWS Giants 0 wins Melbourne 0 wins
Past five meetings – Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 3 wins 
The Coaches – Goodwin 1 win Cameron 2 wins


TV - Fox  Channel 7, Footy Channel, Live at 7.30pm 
RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC AFL Nation at 7.30pm


GWS Giants 14.10.94 defeated Melbourne 10.8.68 at the MCG, Round 10, 2019

The Giants came out of the blocks and completely dominated the Demons for the first three quarters before easing off and conceding seven goals to two in the last. Max Gawn, Jack Viney and James Harmes were the best for the Dees.



FB Sam J Reid Lachlan Keeffe Heath Shaw
HB Adam Kennedy Nick Haynes Zac Williams
C Lachie Whitfield Jacob Hopper Harry Perryman
HF Jeremy Cameron Harry Himmelberg Matt de Boer
FF Toby Greene Jeremy Finlayson Brent Daniels
FOL Shane Mumford Josh Kelly Tim Taranto
I/C Jack Buckley Tom Green Connor Idun Daniel Lloyd
EMG Matt Buntine Isaac Cumming Bobby Hill Sam Jacobs,

IN Jack Buckley Brent Daniels Tom Green Connor Idun Josh Kelly Shane Mumford Harry Perryman Zac Williams

OUT Lachie Ash (omitted) Sam Jacobs (omitted) Jye Caldwell (omitted) Stephen Coniglio (omitted) Aidan Corr (ankle) Jackson Hately (omitted) Bobby Hill (managed) Jake Riccardi (managed)


FB Joel Smith Steven May Jake Lever
HB Jayden Hunt Trent Rivers Christian Salem
C Ed Langdon Christian Petracca Adam Tomlinson
HF Aaron vandenBerg Sam Weideman Bayley Fritsch
FF Mitch Brown Jake Melksham Charlie Spargo
FOL Max Gawn Jack Viney Clayton Oliver
I/C Oskar Baker Neville Jetta Alex Neal-Bullen Kysaiah Pickett,
EMG Mitch Hannan Jay Lockhart Tom McDonald Josh Wagner

IN Mitch Brown Neville Jetta Charlie Spargo

OUT Toby Bedford (omitted) Michael Hibberd (ankle) Braydon Preuss (omitted)

Round 17: Injury List

Tom Sparrow (collarbone) — available 
James Harmes (hamstring) — 1 week
Luke Jackson (hamstring) —  1-2 weeks
Nathan Jones (quad)  —  1-2 weeks
Angus Brayshaw (foot) — season
James Jordon (finger) — season
Aaron Nietschke (knee) — season 
Harry Petty (groin) — season
Kade Kolodjashnij (head) — indefinite 

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