Melbourne beat GWS by 67 points as Demons remain undefeated thanks to third-quarter attack

Melbourne have reached the second-longest winning streak in club history by extending their streak to a dozen games with a 67-point AFL drubbing of GWS.

A dominant 10-goal third quarter was the catalyst as the Demons posted their highest points of the season in the win of 19.6 (120) to 7.11 (53) at the MCG.

Christian Petracca starred with 29 disposals and two goals while Max Gawn, Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver (31 disposals, seven clearances) shone in the engine room.

Bayley Fritsch (four goals) and Kysaiah Pickett (three) fired on offense, while Harrison Petty returned from injury to play an influential role alongside solid Steven May in running the Dees’ defensive interception game.

Melbourne’s 12-match winning streak dates back to last year’s round of 20 and includes the big drought-breaking final win.

But it is still well short of the club record of 19 consecutive wins in 1955-56.

The latter performance didn’t get hearts racing in the first half, but it was enough to make jaws drop for a GWS team that was good enough to make it to the second week of last year’s final series.

The Giants dominated punts (15-3), contested possessions (46-33) and inside 50 (19-9) in the first quarter as co-captains Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio got to work.

But Melbourne managed to keep their opponents scoreless in the opening period for the third straight week as May and Petty led the rebounding efforts.

Referee backchat will once again be a hot topic of discussion after the Demons were penalized 50 meters for not agreeing to a free kick paid to Bobby Hill who was ducking for a high tackle.

The resulting goal cut the margin to 19 points, 10 minutes after the break.

But Pickett nailed the quick response and four goals in a seven-minute flurry helped the Demons kick during a 10.2-2.2 demolition in the third quarter.

It was the fourth highest scoring of any team this season.

Tom Sparrow’s lunge to bring down a loose ball and set up a goal for Fristch in the fourth quarter epitomized Melbourne’s superior work-rate and desperation.

Tom Green (35 disposals), Kelly (33) and Callan Ward (34) all won a lot of ball for GWS and Hill finished with two goals.

The No. 3 pick in the draft, Finn Callaghan, had 13 eliminations and kicked a late goal in his debut.

Just 20,791 fans were on hand to watch Melbourne’s third home game of the season, the first against an interstate opponent.

A total of over 102,000 watched the first two home games of the reigning premiers against Victorian rivals.

Cuervos impress in win over Tigres

Key striker Taylor Walker has scored five goals to inspire Adelaide to a 19-point AFL victory against Richmond.

Walker’s run and four goals from teammate Elliott Himmelberg underpinned the Crows’ 15.11(101) to 12.10(82) win at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Josh Rachele made a big impact in the fourth quarter as the Crows sealed the win.(Getty Images: James Elsby)

Walker scored four goals in a dominant first half as the Crows joined Richmond with two wins from five games this season.

Adelaide’s Ben Keays (31 eliminations), Rory Laird (26 touches, one goal) and Matt Crouch (26 possessions) were big ball winners in midfield.

And Crows defenders Brodie Smith (28 possessions) and Tom Doedee (22 disposals) were also instrumental in the win.

Richmond struck out in front in the third quarter but couldn’t capitalize, with captain Trent Cotchin standing out with 24 possessions.

Dion Prestia (27 touches) was also busy for the Tigers with forwards Jack Riewoldt, Tom Lynch, Jason Castagna and Liam Baker each kicking two goals.

But Richmond had no answer for former Adelaide captain Walker, who was dominant in his second game since serving a six-match ban for racism.

Walker scored three goals in a tight first period, including a long bomb from a sharp angle after the buzzer that gave Adelaide a 4.1-3.1 lead into quarter time.

Just a minute into the second period, Walker earned a free kick and converted, followed by fellow forwards Shane McAdam and Himmelberg then kicking two goals apiece.

Adelaide led by 24 points 21 minutes into the second period.

But undying Tigers Cotchin and Riewoldt scored vital late goals to keep the visitors in touch before Walker’s first half ended with a miss.

The Crows led 9.4-6.3 at halftime and their lead increased to 25 points early in the third period when Himmelberg’s shot was cleared after a review.

But Richmond then recovered, and in about seven minutes they racked up four consecutive goals to take the lead.

The Tigers’ outburst was sparked by veterans, with Shane Edwards and Riewoldt each scoring a goal and Baker kicking two.

However, the visitors were able to hold the lead only briefly, and the Crows responded with three unanswered majors, including a cross from Walker and another from Himmelberg.

Adelaide held a 14-point margin at three quarters of time.

And the hosts’ impressive freshman forward Josh Rachele increased the margin to 21 points with a goal four minutes into the fourth quarter.

A scoreless 15-minute spell followed, including Crows captain Rory Sloane limping off with a leg injury, before Rachele was back in the spotlight – threading a set shot to put the Crows 31 points up and out of the woods.

Saints keep streak alive with win over Suns

Brendon Lade has held the perfect AFL substitute coaching record this season as St Kilda beat Gold Coast by 26 points.

The Saints clawed their way into the second half Saturday at Marvel Stadium to record their fourth straight win, 13.9 (87) to 9.7 (61).

Jade Gresham runs off smiling as Saints fans go wild in the crowd behind him
Jade Gresham kicked two excellent goals in his 100th game as the Saints beat the Suns.(Getty Images: Michael Willson)

Jack Higgins kicked five goals and key forward Max King contributed three as the Saints lost count of the inner 50 53-56 but were much more efficient on offense.

Lade was the most recent assistant to be replaced due to the league’s health and safety protocols, with senior coach Brett Ratten ruled out earlier this week.

He is the fourth substitute coach this season to record a win.

In last week’s upset win over Carlton, the Suns dominated punts.

But on Saturday, the Saints won that stat by 17.

In his 100th game, St Kilda midfielder Jade Gresham stood out with two goals, 10 possessions and 25 eliminations.

Suns player Touk Miller also impressed with 32 disposals and 16 contested possessions.

After a close first quarter, the Suns took a nine-point lead early in the second period with three straight goals.

But the Saints kicked the last two goals of the half and controlled the game until the third, before kicking four goals to two in the last to seal the victory.

Gold Coast’s Mabior Chol left the field in the final period with a hamstring injury and teammate David Swallow injured his hand, while Saints star Bradley Hill was also forced to leave the field at game over.

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