There was a lot to like in Melbourne’s 32-point win over Fremantle on Saturday night for coach Paul Roos.
The Demons hadn’t won at their home away from home in Darwin in four attempts, they hadn’t beaten the Dockers in seven tries and they haven’t done well after short turnarounds under Roos.
“We’ve struggled to beat Freo, so it was good to have a win up here and good to have a win against Freo,” Roos said.
“Overall it was pleasing.
“We were coming off a six-day break, and we haven’t been able to do that too well this year, so there was a lot more to like than to dislike about the game.
“I thought our ball use was really effective in the first half … we got some really good scoring opportunities moving the ball around. That was certainly pleasing.
“We’re still a young team so to win the tackles and the contested possession.”
Jesse Hogan starred with four goals and Jack Watts booted three majors in the first quarter.
Demons skipper Nathan Jones inspired with 35 possessions, with Dom Tyson and Jack Viney also prominent around the stoppages where Max Gawn dominated with 43 hitouts. Tom McDonald was outstanding down back with 31 touches and 10 marks.
But perhaps most pleasing for Demons fans was the stellar return from the wilderness of Jack Grimes.
The former co-captain has spent all season languishing in the VFL but grasped his opportunity with an eye-catching 32-possession display.
“It was good to see him getting a bit of the ball and he took a crucial mark late in the game as well when we were under siege a bit,” Roos said.
“It’s good for Jack to get a game … we were confident he’d play well and he did.”
Lachie Neale impressed with 33 disposals, but Freo came out on the wrong side of a lopsided 465-329 possession count.
Both sides emerged with injury concerns, Oscar McDonald was on crutches after the game with an ankle injury and Fremantle skipper David Mundy suffered a concussion.
Lachie Weller was reported in the third quarter after he clattered into Jayden Hunt high while the Demon was bent over to gather the ball.
Melbourne also announced they have signed an extension of their deal to play two games in the Northern Territory – one in Darwin and one in Alice Springs – for the next two years.