Jack Harmes’ courage – and vomit – at the MCG last weekend spoke wonders about Melbourne’s desire to finish the AFL season with a bang.
Harmes epitomised the phrase ‘body on the line’ in round 19, when he was crunched in a marking contest by Gold Coast’s Kade Kolodjashnij.
The 20-year-old, who copped an inadvertent knee to the midriff, spewed as trainers helped him off the field.
“I had a bit of a chunder but other than that I was fine. It just knocked the wind out of me,” Harmes told AAP.
“I didn’t actually know the other bloke was coming.
“Luckily I didn’t get knocked out so I was able to go back on.”
The expectation every year is that the performance of clubs in the bottom half of the ladder will drop off once they tumble out of finals contention.
The Demons turned the ball over frequently in their last-start win over the Suns, when they got home by two points after Tom Lynch missed an after-the-siren shot.
But their effort and desperation couldn’t be questioned.
Harmes, who was nominated for the Rising Star award earlier this year, expects more of the same in the final four rounds of the season.
Melbourne confront triple reigning premiers Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday, with Harmes saying belief won’t be an issue for the underdogs.
“It’s definitely a real test for us, we’ll see where we’re at as a footy club,” the midfielder said.
“If we can win the contests and use the ball better, we should go really close to winning.
“We’re starting to see all the players mature a bit. When it’s getting tough we fight it out.”
The Demons then tackle Port Adelaide, Carlton and Geelong as they seek to lay the platform for a return to September in 2017.
“We’ve got the right bunch of guys here now and the right coaching staff to really take it up to the competition next year,” Harmes said.
“We should be aiming to win these last four games.”