AAP AFL

Demons deflated as Magpies swoop in AFL

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne's slumping AFL season has hit a new low as their dysfunctional attack cost them dearly again in the Queen's Birthday loss to Collingwood.

The Demons won contested possessions, clearances, inside 50s and Max Gawn won his much-anticipated ruck duel with Brodie Grundy.

But apart from a brief fightback in the last quarter, Melbourne did not look like winning the game.

The 15.8 (98) to 7.15 (57) result neatly summed up the day for the Demons - they only had one less scoring shot, but blew too many chances.

Symbolically, Gawn had an easy set shot after the final siren and it went wide.

"Once we got into the game, our efficiency killed us - all over the ground," said coach Simon Goodwin.

"Once again, our shots at goal were poor and our fundamentals let us down.

"We're just not getting the nourishment and rewards right now and it's making the game really hard for us.

"There are other areas of our game that are actually tracking okay."

Before Monday and its Freeze MND fundraising, Goodwin had heralded the example of Neale Daniher and his call to seize opportunities in adversity.

Goodwin had also stressed that the Demons have so much to play for in the second half of the season.

Yet after five weeks of some improvement, Monday showed how far last year's preliminary final finalists are off the pace.

"It was disappointing, because there was enough in the game for us to play better," Goodwin said.

"We're all frustrated and we're all disappointed, but there's still plenty to play for."

There was some good news for Melbourne, with defenders Steven May and Jake Lever making successful returns from injury and Sam Weideman also showing improved form.

But they are third-last with only three wins.

While Collingwood are still searching for their best form, they are now outright second and two wins behind Geelong.

The Magpies small forwards cut loose to deadly effect, with Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Jaidyn Stephenson kicked three goals apiece.

GWS and premiers West Coast are now a game behind the Pies and three games adrift of the Cats, who opened round 12 on Friday night by tearing Richmond apart.

Adelaide enjoyed their best win of the season, beating the Giants by 21 points, while the Eagles were swamped in the last quarter by Sydney at the SCG.

It was a bad weekend all-round for West Coast - star midfielder Elliot Yeo was a late withdrawal with a calf injury, while Nathan Vardy and Willie Rioli face one-game bans for rough conduct.