AFL 3 years ago

Efficiency The Key To Melbourne Win

  • Efficiency The Key To Melbourne Win

Melbourne's groundbreaking first-round victory over the Gold Coast was built on one key concept: Efficiency.

For several years the Demons struggled to land kicks from 15 metres away, or handpasses from two metres away.

On Saturday, even when the Suns put them under pressure, the Demons were able to calmly move the ball to the right spot.

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Melbourne's top five disposal-getters ran at an average of 76 per cent efficiency.

Jeremy Howe, who collected 21 disposals, worked at an incredible efficiency rate of 95 per cent. Between his 12 kicks and nine handpasses, only one disposal didn't find a target.

The Gold Coast's top five disposal-getters ran at 63 per cent efficiency.

Dion Prestia collect the most disposals (29), including eight clearances, but only ran at 52 per cent efficiency.

Inside midfielders such as Prestia often run at lower efficiency because they work under pressure. Yet Melbourne's top two clearance-getters - Jack Viney and Dom Tyson - ran at 75 and 70 per cent efficiency.

These statistics confirm what was obvious to spectators: At stoppages, the Suns didn't think about their disposal, but just hacked the ball away.

The Suns actually led the clearance count by 43 to 34, yet trailed inside-50s by 47 to 52. It's another good indicator that the Demons were more effective in their ball use.

Even in defence, the Suns kicked first and thought later. That's how Melbourne defenders Tom McDonald and Jeremy Howe collected 12 and six marks, intercepting the ball from rebound-50s and sending it right back in over the Suns' heads.

A few other factors helped the Demons to victory, including a career-best performance from the maligned Jack Watts, the imposing presence of debutant Jesse Hogan, and the poise and leadership of former Magpie Heritier Lumumba.  

But efficiency was the key. The Paul Roos resurrection continues.

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