The low end of the ladder delivers an intriguing contest today, as the Gold Coast Suns search for their first win at the MCG, while Melbourne will be craving any kind of win. Join us from 4.40pm AEST for live scores and commentary.
It was a similar story in Round 4, when Melbourne were nearly embarrassed at home by Greater Western Sydney.
The Giants led by 19 points early in the last quarter, before Melbourne somehow produced the highest-scoring quarter in their club’s history to win by 41 points.
That kind of miracle is unlikely to be a regular feature of Melbourne’s season, and Gold Coast already look a more solid unit this year than the side in orange, so the Demons can’t afford to give the Suns such a firm grasp on the match.
The Suns also approach the game from 13th position on the ladder, enjoying their two wins to date and the unfamiliar feeling of having five sides below them.
Melbourne are one of those sides, back in 17th with one win, and would dearly love to restore what they would see as the natural order of things by catching up and clearing the new teams.
Ladder positions notwithstanding, Gold Coast will start as underdogs due to the fact they’ve not yet won at football’s spiritual home in Jolimont.
Winning on the road won’t be easy until this side develops further.
But with MCG expert Gary Ablett Jr to lead them on the ground where he won two premierships, and Melbourne suffering an abysmal start to the 2013 season, this is surely Gold Coast’s best chance so far.
Chris Dawes comes in for his first match for the Demons, and at least playing will leave him less time to ponder the wisdom of his off-season move from Collingwood.
With the Suns impressive in several of their games this year, and the super-impressive Nathan Jones taking the Melbourne captaincy in place of injured co-captains Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove, this should be a game that offers plenty to the neutral observer, even if its influence on the league’s standings will be minimal.
As for the partisans, either side will grieve a loss in a game that is important for the morale of both.