Are Melbourne on the verge of becoming the AFL’s entertainers?
The Demons were found wanting on Sunday afternoon against Adelaide but it wasn’t through a lack of forward intent.
Every stoppage was an opportunity to play on, with Jayden Hunt showing as much with his goal of the year contender in a breakout second term.
The result was a fast-paced, if error-strewn, shootout.
Melbourne attacked and attacked and attacked at the MCG.
Unfortunately for the Demons, a well-polished Adelaide side were able to match their scoring for longer, holding the Demons to just one goal in the decisive fourth term.
For three quarters the Demons kept up, and coach Paul Roos was eager to suggest that wouldn’t have been the case not so long ago.
“We have an ability to rise at different times in the game,” Roos said.
“What we’re trying to sell as a footy club is that we are improving and getting better.
“There’s no question it was a very good game of footy.
“We’ve made a huge improvement in our ball movement which is where the game’s going.
“We’re just not quite at that level for long enough at this stage.”
It’s not a total sea change from Roos, who won a premiership as the defensively-minded Sydney coach in 2005.
Melbourne might have entertained the 29,133 in attendance but Roos said it was important to get the balance right when they eventually find themselves playing off in September.
“(Attractive footy) is the way you want to play but you’re not going to win finals if a team kicks 18 goals against you,” he said.
“I’d rather win 10 goals to nine. The 2005 grand final was eight goals to seven. I’d rather win a grand final 8-7 than lose.”