The name on everyone’s lips after Melbourne’s 73-point AFL romp over the Gold Coast may also sum up a woeful Suns’ season prospects – Gawn.
Demons ruckman Max Gawn dominated as Melbourne blew away the Suns in the second half to seal a remarkable 24.16 (160) to 14.3 (87) victory at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
It was the most points the Suns had conceded at home.
The Gold Coast’s display was so poor captain Gary Ablett had to ask a particularly irate supporter to stop abusing his teammates as they trudged off at fulltime.
Melbourne (4-3 record) remain on the cusp of the top eight after booting 16 second-half goals to six in the second half.
However, the season already looks to be slipping away from the injury-hit Suns (3-4) after their fourth straight loss – and a few more looming.
Gold Coast face the very real prospect of dropping to a 3-9 record by the round-13 bye with Greater Western Sydney (away), Adelaide (home), West Coast (away), Sydney (home) and Richmond (away) ahead.
But Suns coach Rodney Eade said: “I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
“I think people can get emotional on a couple of performances, and those couple of performances might be repeated in the next couple of weeks, you never know.
“But we’ve just got to come back to that fighting mentality and hang in there until the tide turns.
“And it will turn.”
To add injury to insult, the Suns lost plenty of run when Alex Sexton (broken arm) and Matt Rosa (hamstring) were sidelined by halftime.
A limping Touk Miller (ankle) and Dion Prestia (knee) were forced to finish the match for the Suns.
Eade threatened to swing the axe after giving his team one more chance to show their worth in the wake of last week’s 120-point hiding at the hands of Geelong.
But their sidelined troops which also include defenders Rory Thompson (ankle) and Steve May (suspended for another fortnight) may spare some at the selection table.
Ablett was again quiet as he nursed a calf complaint, despite amassing 22 touches and two goals.
“He’s still not at his brilliant best (but) he’s got enormous standards compared to mere mortals,” Eade said.
Gawn added to his legend with a stellar 46 hit outs, two goals and 17 touches that ignited the Demons in the third term.
“His tap work was first class,” Demons coach Paul Roos said.
Melbourne kicked nine goals to three in the third term, turning a five-point halftime lead into a 44-point advantage by the final interval.