Melbourne’s two-point win over Gold Coast might have been a contender for worst game of the AFL season, but the Demons are confident they can elevate their play against Hawthorn.
Sunday’s MCG scrap was part of a round so poor that coach Paul Roos called it “as bad a weekend of football that we’ve seen”.
But forward Jack Watts wasn’t down on the contest, perhaps because he kicked the winner.
His goal from the pocket with two minutes remaining was enough to seal the points when Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch missed a shot after the siren.
For Watts, the Sunday slugfest was a part of the best season of his career – personally and for the club.
“This year has been a highlight for me as a whole,” he told reporters on Monday.
“The way that we’re playing and progressing, that’s what I really enjoy and look forward to over the next few years.”
Next up is a battle with the Hawks, who appear certain to claim their third minor premiership since 2012 as they seek a fourth-straight flag.
Despite battling with the lowly Suns, Watts believes they can end a 10-year losing streak to Hawthorn on Saturday.
“Hopefully we’ll give them more than a nudge,” he said.
“This whole year, when we come up against those top-four sides we’ve shown we’re right there when we play our game style.”
Watts revealed a Hawthorn forward has helped him revitalise his own career.
The No.1 draft pick has been an ever-present for Melbourne in his eighth season, kicking a career-best 34 goals.
He says watching Jack Gunston has served him well.
“He’s a terrific player. I played a lot of junior footy with Gunner,” he said.
“I watch a lot of vision of him and Tommy Lynch from Adelaide, those kind of connecting forwards.
“You learn a lot from them then you put your own little twist on things.”