Melbourne exorcise their demons

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Last Sunday, the Melbourne Demons comfortably defeated the GWS Giants by 45-points at the MCG. Fortunately, other results in the round went their way, meaning the victory placed them fifth on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season.

Demon spirits were already high going into the match for both players and supporters. The previous week, Melbourne had already secured a long-awaited finals berth following a 17-point victory over the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium.  The Demons can look forward to the first time in 12 years that their club has competed in the AFL finals series.

When speaking of his team’s performance, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said, “We’ve been working really hard to play our best footy at this time of year.

“Our contest was strong, (as was) our clearance work and I thought we defended incredibly well, which is something we’ve really worked at for the majority of the year.”

Over the course of the season, Melbourne at times had been considered ‘bullies’, heavily beating lower-ranked teams and not showing up when it counted against higher-ranked opposition. So it was fitting that in order to make the finals, Melbourne had to do something they had not done all year – beat a side in the top eight. And they did, in fine fashion, in what could be described as a rise from the fiery gates of hell.

Incredibly, Melbourne co-captain, Nathan Jones, is the only Demon who played in the club’s last finals campaign in 2006. Former Hawthorn player, Jordan Lewis, with four premierships for the Hawks, is the only other Melbourne player who will run onto the ground with any notable finals experience.

Melbourne will host Geelong in the first Elimination Final at the MCG in a Friday night match on 7 September. The last time these two teams played, Geelong won the game with a goal after the siren.

However, that won’t matter to Melbourne fans. All they really care about is that their team is playing well and playing in finals, and anything can happen in September.

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