SCG challenge awaits Demons in AFL

Melbourne coach Paul Roos hopes the challenge of playing Sydney at the MCG is all the motivation his improving AFL team needs.

The Demons face the challenge of a six-day break before they face the Swans next Sunday.

Sydney are also on the rebound after their 42-point loss to GWS.

Moments after Monday’s 46-point Queens Birthday win over Collingwood, Roos and his players had started preparations for one of the most challenging away fixtures in the league.

“In some ways, I think the very nature of the game gets them up, hopefully,” Roos said.

“You know you’re going to Sydney, you know Sydney are a great team.

“The players have to be aware it’s going to be very difficult.”

This will be the last time Roos coaches against his old team before handing over the Demons to Simon Goodwin.

But Roos said there would be no extra meaning in the game for him.

“My main objective would be clearly to beat them,” Roos said.

Monday’s win meant the Demons improved to 6-6, just outside the top eight.

But Roos said it is still far too early for Melbourne to even think about the finals.

“Things can change really really quickly … today is just a stepping stone along the way,” he said.

“From our point of view, it’s on to Sydney and we’re going to have to play really well up there against a very good team.”

One of the highlights of Monday’s win was the run-with role that Tom Bugg performed on Collingwood star Steele Sidebottom.

“Buggy is one of our fittest players and he came off with cramp – it just tells you how hard Steele works,” Roos said.

“He’s a real game changer for them.

“It was a pretty important role for us.”

The duel angered Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley as much as delighted Roos.

“There’s a really strong snapshot of what happened in the game,” Buckley said.

“(He) gets sat on from the opposition and the question asked post-match was how many of Steele’s teammates got across to help him.

“How many of Steele’s teammates made life more uncomfortable for Tom Bugg?

“When we’re up and about, we have the opposition having to throw on ice packs left, right and centre, because we’re hard to play against.

“The last two weeks in particular, I don’t think we’ve been that and ultimately that comes home to roost with all of us.”

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