Ruth­less Demons put Suns to sword

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - VINCE RUGARI

RECORDS tum­bled for all the wrong rea­sons at the Gabba as Mel­bourne scored a breezy 69point AFL vic­tory over Gold Coast in front of a piti­ful crowd.

Tom Mc­Don­ald kicked a ca­reer-high five goals as the Demons ran away with the con­test in the fi­nal term yes­ter­day, 21.20 (146) to 11.11 (77), for their third win in a row.

De­spite per­fect con­di­tions only 6060 pun­ters turned up to watch it – and most of them were Mel­bourne fans.

It was the low­est at­ten­dance for a match in Bris­bane, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous mark from 1991 when the Bears also hosted the Demons.

It was also the eighth-low­est AFL crowd since 1997.

The match was played on neu­tral ter­ri­tory at the Gabba be­cause Met­ri­con Sta­dium is still be­ing con­verted back to AFL mode af­ter the Com­mon­wealth Games. The empty stands did not in­spire a great con­test, with nei­ther side hit­ting great heights in a clash that took on an eerie, al­most fu­ne­real tone at times.

Mel­bourne dom­i­nated gen­eral play and en­tered their for­ward 50 a whop­ping 83 times – equalling North Mel­bourne’s record­posted against Greater Western Syd­ney dur­ing their de­but sea­son in 2013.

But the score­board did not re­flect Mel­bourne’s dom­i­na­tion un­til right to­wards the end, and they should have put the game away much ear­lier than they did.

The Suns were within 18 points late in the third term but were blown away there­after, with the Demons pil­ing on eight goals in the last quar­ter.

It got worse for the strug­gling Suns – mid­fielder David Swal­low spent much of the match get­ting treat­ment on his knee while co-cap­tain Steven May risked a pos­si­ble sus­pen­sion by mak­ing con­tact with um­pire David Har­ris.

The Suns have one more match to play, against Port Ade­laide in Shang­hai next week­end, be­fore they can re­turn to their home ground.

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