Demons shock Magpies in AFL

Paul Roos says improving Melbourne have produced their best two weeks of football in his time as coach.


After coming up five points short in a 41-goal AFL thriller against top-four fancies North Melbourne last week, the Demons burst out of the blocks against Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday and held firm for a 35-point win.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley lamented a dreadful 40-minute spell across the opening two quarters, when the Magpies were outscored by nine goals to one.

It was the oft-maligned Jack Watts who got the ball rolling for the Demons, equalling his career high with four goals.

With son of a gun Jack Viney and skipper Nathan Jones dominant in the midfield and Watts the most effective forward on the ground, the improving Demons led all day and won 16.6 (102) to 9.13 (67).

“It’s been two really good weeks – probably the best two we’ve had back to back (because) even though we lost last week we did play a top-four team,” said Roos, now into his third and final year as Demons coach.

“We’re starting to see the type of footy we want to play more regularly in week one, week three and week four.

“It’s early in the season but when you’ve got a lot of young players playing, to see them play like that for a second week in a row is really pleasing.”

Roos hailed the efforts of Watts, who has been as heavily scrutinised as any player in the competition ever since being taken at No.1 in the 2008 national draft ahead of Nic Naitanui.

“It’s four weeks in and we hope he continues to play like that because he’s really important and crucial to us when he does,” said Roos.

Collingwood slipped to a 1-3 win-loss record, with their only victory of the year being a one-point escape against fellow battlers Richmond in round two.

Dating back to the mid-point of the 2015 season, the Magpies have now lost 12 of their past 15 games.

“Right now if we stop playing for 40 minutes against any opposition we will give them hope, we will give them belief and we will give them a chance,” said Buckley.

“We’ve got to take that out of our make-up if we want to give ourselves the chance of performing against any opposition.

“The draw is irrelevant.

“If we make the most of what we’ve got, we can take on anyone.

“But if we don’t, we can get taken down by anyone.”

The Magpies have several injury concerns ahead of the annual Anzac Day clash against Essendon.

Key forward Travis Cloke could barely raise his arm above his head in the final quarter on Sunday after hurting his elbow, swingman Ben Reid had a sore knee and utility Ben Sinclair did not return after being concussed late in the first half.