Paul Roos has declared Melbourne’s drought-breaking victory over Geelong as clearly the best in his time as Demons’ coach.
Facing a Cats lineup fully expecting to send Corey Enright off the ground as a winner in his 300th game, the Demons tore up the script, leading at every change to get up by 24 points.
It was their first win over Geelong in nine long years and came at the same venue where they were utterly humiliated by 186 points four years ago – a loss which cost then-coach Dean Bailey his job.
“We’ve got so much respect, as everyone does, for Geelong and what they’ve been able to do as a footy club over many, many years,” said Roos, who has won only eight of 26 matches since taking over as Demons coach last year.
“They’ve still got some great warriors playing, they’re a terrific contested footy team, as they have been over the years.
“The way they play their football, everyone loves it.
“So for us to come down here is a fantastic win.”
The 18.5 (113) to 13.11 (89) victory came just a week after the Demons conceded a goal in the dying seconds to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against St Kilda.
“For us to bounce back today after a bad 41 seconds last week – we think we have been competitive the last two weeks but we just haven’t been able to win,” said Roos.
“Hopefully this gives the belief to the players that we are on the right track and heading in the right direction.”
Geelong have now lost three of their first four matches at Simonds Stadium this year.
Had they won on Sunday they would have moved into the top eight, but instead they slip to 10th and take a 6-6 record into the bye.
The WA clubs hold down the top two spots on the ladder after West Coast snapped Richmond’s four-game winning streak on Friday night.
The 20-point triumph saw the Eagles improve to 9-3, lifting them to second place behind Fremantle, who had the bye in round 12.
The biggest losers of the weekend were Port Adelaide, who started the season among the leading premiership fancies and now find themselves in grave danger of missing the finals altogether.
Carlton claimed just their second win of the season – and their first under interim coach John Barker – holding on to upset the Power by four points at the MCG with young gun Patrick Cripps claiming best afield honours.
The Western Bulldogs trounced second-bottom Brisbane by 72 points and North Melbourne hammered a depleted GWS outfit by 56 points.
Hawthorn (7-4) moved above the Giants to fifth after opening round 12 with a 29-point win over Adelaide.