Stat that proves Demons are the real deal

Melbourne announced itself as a premiership front runner as Richmond was left to lick its wounds in an Anzac Eve game that lived up to the billing.

The Dees’ 34-point win sees them notch six straight wins to start a season for the first time since 1965.

Once again, it was a Demons side in control of the game, underpinned by Steven May and Jake Lever’s dominance in the air.

Richmond, who were only missing Nick Vlastuin and Dion Prestia going into Saturday night’s blockbuster, will have to regroup without Dustin Martin (concussion) and Kane Lambert (calf).

The Tigers are 3-3 and haven’t suffered this many losses to this point in the season since 2016.

Early on, it was Richmond’s trademark pressure that had it out to a lead at quarter-time, as Melbourne struggled to click its free-flowing game into gear.

The Tigers had nine of the first 10 inside-50s as the Dees looked flustered by the reigning champions.

But in what was the biggest sign Melbourne is the real deal yet, the Dees wrestled momentum back their way late in the first term before a second-quarter onslaught had fans believing.

Luke Jackson played his best game for the club and was instrumental in the first half, seeming to bob up at all the right moments for Melbourne, while Christian Salem provided the steady hand in defence.

Ed Langdon once again cruised the wing and was the perfect link man for the Dees, while Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney proved too much for a Richmond midfield that uncharacteristically flaked on the big stage.

Christian Petracca picked his moments in the first half and was one of the Dees’ most influential, but a second half eruption from the Brownlow fancy ensured the win was never in doubt.


It was Melbourne’s worst enemy in the first quarter as they struggled to work through Richmond’s finals-like intensity and pressure on the ball.

But late in the first term it clicked for the Dees as they managed to link up in their defensive 50 and started to work their way forward via slick handball.

When the heavens opened at quarter-time it looked like the heavy handball would play into Richmond’s hands, but such is the confidence and nick Melbourne is in it propelled them from a seven-point deficit to a three-goal halftime lead.

The highlight passage was a Jayden Hunt run down the Great Southern Stand side of the ground in the third quarter, linking up with teammates after setting off from the back pocket before working another handball over to Alex Neal-Bullen who won a free kick and kicked a goal.

Dees captain Max Gawn is in scintillating form.Source:Getty Images


The stage was set for a Dusty special – Anzac Eve, game 250 and facing the unbeaten up-and-coming Demons.

But you would have been excused for thinking the Richmond champion and AFL poster boy was a late out in the first half as he parked himself forward and had no impact on the contest.

Michael Hibberd was the man tasked with negating the three-time Norm Smith winner and played the perfect selfless game, sacrificing his trademark run and carry for an old-fashioned blanket role.

Hibberd kept Martin to just six touches in the first half before he suffered concussion early in the third term.


Tiger veteran Shane Edwards will come under match review scrutiny for a late bump on Dees’ midfield bull Oliver.

The out of character moment happened at the 12-minute mark of the second term as Melbourne worked the ball around the member’s wing.

Oliver lofted a handball over the top of a number of players as the Dees looked to attack.

But after giving the handball Oliver was confronted by Edwards who chose to bump once the ball was out of the area, shirtfronting the 23-year-old and appearing to collect him high.

The hit floored Oliver and upon returning to his feet went straight to the bench playing with his jaw.


Jake Lever is loving life playing alongside May and Adam Tomlinson.

The three-headed dragon has become the Great Wall of Melbourne as teams struggle to not only find a way to score but stop the intercepting power of the trio.

Lever had 14 intercepts as May completely shut Tom Lynch out of the game and Tomlinson took care of Jack Riewoldt after the veteran kicked two early goals.

DEES 2.2 6.6 10.8 12.10 82

TIGERS 3.3 3.7 5.8 6.12 48

MOTTERSHEAD’S BEST Dees: Petracca, Salem, Lever, Oliver, Gawn, Langdon, May. Tigers: Bolton, Nankervis, Edwards, Baker, Short.

GOALS Dees: McDonald 3, Jackson 2, Fritsch 2, Neal-Bullen 2, Salem, Petracca, Pickett. Tigers: Riewoldt 2, Edwards 2, Aarts, Bolton.

INJURIES Dees: nil. Tigers: Martin (concussion) Lambert (calf).

UMPIRES Stephens, Dalgleish, Williamson.

MCG 56,418



3 Christian Petracca (MELB)

2 Christian Salem (MELB)

1 Jake Lever (MELB)

Source: Read Full Article