Demons continue to thrive under adversity in AFL

Oliver Caffrey |

Tom Hawkins made his 350th game a memorable one as Geelong comfortably beat Hawthorn.
Tom Hawkins made his 350th game a memorable one as Geelong comfortably beat Hawthorn.

THEY SAID IT: “You’re making it sound like we’re 0-13. It’s not a great start, but let’s not catastrophise it either.” – Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan after last year’s grand finalists slumped to 0-3.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Harry McKay has gone from a liability in front of goals to a trusted deadeye. The Carlton spearhead added another five goals against North Melbourne on Good Friday, taking his season tally to 11.2. Blues coach Michael Voss declared he had never seen McKay this confident.

THE MOMENT: Essendon trailed St Kilda until the last six minutes of their Easter Saturday match. But enigmatic star Jake Stringer stepped up when the Bombers needed him, nailing a goal from outside the arc to seal a crucial four-point win.

TALKING POINT: Melbourne continue to thrive under adversity. Despite continued questions about their culture in the wake of more allegations of drug use, the Demons recorded a famous win against Port Adelaide away. After suffering straight-sets exits from the finals in the past two seasons, Melbourne could be positioning themselves for a shot at a premiership to add to their 2021 flag.

STAT THAT MATTERS: Geelong legend Tom Hawkins starred in his 350th game to overtake recently-retired Richmond great Jack Riewoldt in 13th for most goals kicked in VFL/AFL history.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: St Kilda young gun Marcus Windhager faces a one-game suspension after a high bump on Essendon’s Sam Durham. Richmond hard nut Liam Baker is also staring at a one-game ban, with the match review officer citing him for colliding with Sydney defender Lewis Melican.

INJURIES: C Coleman-Jones (NM, achilles), C Marchbank (Carl, concussion), W Milera (Adel, knee), L Murphy (Adel, knee), T Lynch (Rich, hamstring), N Balta (Rich, knee), M Lewis (Haw, hamstring), N Watson (Haw, ankle), S Durham (Ess, concussion)

WHAT’S NEXT: The competition moves to Adelaide for the second Gather Round. Out-of-form Adelaide host Melbourne on Thursday night, while Port Adelaide will seek to rebound from their loss to the Demons when they face Essendon. Undefeated Fremantle take on fellow 3-0 team Carlton at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday to starting a double-header before Geelong play the Western Bulldogs. Gold Coast-GWS, Richmond-St Kilda and Collingwood-Hawthorn matches will complete the bumper weekend in the South Australian capital.