Category Archives: AFL

AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL – May 12th – AFL – Melbourne Demons vs Gold Coast Suns

Let’s paint a picture here. Melbourne and Gold Coast are ranked just above the worst team in the whole competition. This is not a top of the table clash by any means, however it should have been competitive and both teams should be giving their all to try and win. Gold Coast are only in the 3rd year of their existence. Melbourne Football Club invented the game, or more precisely the rules of the game, in 1859! Gold Coast had only won 8 games out of the 50 they had played since their inception. Melbourne have won 12 Premierships!

I didn’t really think there would be a big crowd. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) holds just over 100,000 and for the second week in a row I found myself in huge stadium with not many people in it! Just over 13,000 people turned up to witness a dismal display, which is less than half of their home average from 2012. It was the worst crowd for Melbourne since 2003 apparently! What is even more surprising is that they have 31,727 season ticket holders (or members), which means that 18,500 actually paid up front and couldn’t be bothered to show up!

Demons members

The great things about small crowds are mostly all positive (well for me anyway!). Sure there is a lack of atmosphere and the sight of 90,000 empty seats are pretty disconcerting, but for the neutral you can park fairly close to the ground, you can sit in basically any seat you want and you don’t have to queue for food and drink. Sitting wherever you like generally results in me occupying the front row so I can see and hear the players up close. The thuds of the tackles, the players’ calls and the referees chat all adds to the experience. What is also entertaining is the comments from the crowd. You can hear quite clearly the good, the bad and the ugly, and being passionate home fans watching a dismal performance, it got VERY ugly!

Australian Rules Football (AFL) has some unique quirks. It is the only sport where you can play on after the whistle is blown, and it is the only sport in the world where you get points for missing! I took this video in the hope they might kick a goal – which is worth 6 points if the ball is kicked through the centre goalposts and only 1 point if it misses to the side and goes through the smaller posts.

What you might notice on the clip is the seagulls. They are a menace and congregate in droves on the field away from the play. When play switches sides, sometimes players can get lost in the proverbial “flock of seagulls”. The MCG sometimes brings in a Golden Eagle to patrol the stadium during the bigger games which keeps the gulls away. The problem is that they are not just there for the grass, they are there to scavenge food scraps from the seating areas. Even I was in danger at one stage!


You also have to worry when there are more seagulls watching the game than paying spectators!

The game itself was as one sided as it could be early on. Melbourne didn’t even kick a goal in the first quarter and found themselves 35-2 down at the 1st quarter break. Gold Coast looked quicker, stronger and far more committed to the cause than Melbourne. They also had more space than a tramp that had just soiled himself, although late in the third quarter when a Melbourne player did get close enough, it was only to lay a cheap elbow to an unprotected player. No doubt he will earn a couple of weeks holiday for that. The Gold Coast player may also miss a few weeks too with a sore head!

To be honest there were very few standout moments. Even after the half time break, they conceded a free kick BEFORE the game restarted. Just before the bounce for the 3rd quarter a cheap shot by the Melbourne defender saw a free kick awarded and duly converted it into 6 points, before the clock had started ticking!!!

Melbourne did win the 4th quarter 20-18, but Gold Coast had already lost 3 players to injury and were working only with a 1 man rotation throughout. When Melbourne had the ball the Gold Coast pressured and harried them into errors and turnovers, which are the keys to successful teams in Aussie Rules. As the team walked off after the game they were greeted by a hoard of angry fans at their tunnel showing their displeasure (I’m making this a lot cleaner that the actual events that occurred!) For am embattled coach, this could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

white flag2

When your fans start waving the white flag you know that the future is rockier than a gravel driveway! Their capacity to play as individuals and not as a cohesive unit and their lack of fight is plain for all to see. I know as a fan you have to support through thick and thin, but if I was one of the 18,500 that didn’t show, I’d probably stay away too!


MELBOURNE DEMONS            7.12.54

GOLD COAST SUNS                  16.18.114

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