Melbourne have put a turbulent week behind them and reaffirmed their AFL premiership credentials with a 28-point win over the Western Bulldogs in a top-of-the-table conflict.
The Demons executed their defensive plan to a tee and produced a blistering begin, piling on six first-quarter objectives to put the groundwork for a 13.9 (87) to eight.11 (59) victory at Marvel Stadium on Friday night time.
Clayton Oliver (32 disposals) and Christian Petracca (24) led a fair efficiency within the Demons’ engine room, which unfold the workload and outclassed the vaunted Bulldogs midfield.
Bayley Fritsch and Tom McDonald kicked three objectives apiece, whereas key defenders Steven Might and Jake Lever mixed to maintain harmful Bulldogs forwards Aaron Naughton and Josh Bruce quiet for many of the night time.
The resounding victory was the right manner for Melbourne to bounce again from a shock loss to Adelaide six days earlier and despatched them again to the highest of the ladder, one recreation away from the Bulldogs.
It got here after the blockbuster conflict virtually needed to be postponed on account of Victoria’s newest coronavirus outbreak.
The sport was performed in entrance of empty stands and solely received the inexperienced gentle on Friday morning in spite of everything Melbourne gamers and employees acquired adverse COVID-19 check outcomes.
The Bulldogs had been by way of an identical scare earlier within the week.
“I used to be actually pleased with the best way the boys went about it,” Demons coach Simon Goodwin stated.
“It wasn’t the right week, however our potential to take care of it and the maturity proven and our potential to execute what we had been attempting to do was excellent.
“That was clearly considered one of our greatest performances for the yr.”
Either side took 9-1 data into the competition and the Demons burst out of the blocks, with James Harmes kicking the opening aim inside 20 seconds.
They led by 27 factors at quarter-time largely off the again of their ahead strain and sound defensive construction, which performed roles in inflicting a raft of Bulldogs turnovers.
The Canine misplaced debutant Riley Garcia to a head knock earlier than quarter-time and had been by no means capable of get the sport on their phrases.
“Many of the yr, we have been capable of out-work sides and see it by way of however tonight (Melbourne) had many of the bases lined,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge stated.
“We could not power something and it was solely a 28-point loss nevertheless it felt like much more in the long run.”
Bulldogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli managed 30 disposals, however lacked his traditional affect.
Jack Macrae (36 disposals) was one of many Canine’ finest and Taylor Duryea saved Dees livewire Kysaiah Pickett quiet.
The Bulldogs will journey to Perth on Sunday and keep there within the build-up to their conflict with Fremantle in spherical 12.
Melbourne are as a consequence of play Brisbane in Darwin however are awaiting additional instruction from the AFL, with that match prone to be rescheduled.