Melbourne emphatically proved their premiership credentials in Alice Springs on Sunday, breaking a number of records in their 91-point hammering of Adelaide.
The Demons racked up their fifth consecutive win with the 23.8 (146) to 8.7 (55) victory over last season’s beaten grand finalists.
It was the first time Melbourne have won back-to-back games by more than 90 points in the club’s history, the first time since 1993 that the Demons have won two games in the same season by more than 90 points and also their third victory in a row by more than 10 goals.
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For the Crows, the drubbing was their heaviest defeat under coach Don Pyke.
The Dees got off to a flyer, kicking the first five goals of the match after pre-match entertainment celebrated Aboriginal culture including Melbourne’s theme song performed in the local Arrente language.
The signs were bad early for Adelaide when the fourth goal, before the 10-minute mark, involved four Melbourne players handballing to eachother with barely a Crow in sight.
Eddie Betts notched Adelaide’s first goal with a 50-metre kick that brought the strongly pro-Adelaide crowd of nearly 6,989 at Alice Springs’s Traeger Park to life, despite it being the Demons’ home match.
The Crows kicked three out of the next four goals but Melbourne steadied with two more to lead by four goals at quarter-time.
Crows fans’ hopes for a better start in the second quarter were dashed when Demon Tim Smith scored just 50 seconds in.
The match looked over when Charlie Spargo kicked a goal half-way through the third quarter taking Melbourne’s lead to 53 points.
The Demons were winning out of the centre, with Max Gawn beating Sam Jacobs to get first use of the ball for a tough on-ball brigade including Jack Viney, Nathan Jones and James Harmes and Jess Hogan kicking five goals.
The Demons were harder and used the ball better while the Crows looked indecisive.
Their afternoon was typified by Josh Jenkins at one stage kicking it straight to a Melbourne player from a free kick after spending a long time choosing where to kick and Wayne Milera giving away a goal when he was caught holding the ball in the backline.