A career-best five-goal haul from skipper Max Gawn has launched Melbourne into its archetypal AFL expansive last successful implicit 2 decades.
After holding a comfy pb astatine the main break, Melbourne turned the screws with a breathtaking 3rd 4th to run retired 19. 11. (125) to 6. 6. (42) winners against Geelong successful the archetypal preliminary final astatine Perth's Optus Stadium.
Gawn was astatine the centre of his side's domination successful the premiership quarter, kicking 4 of his 5 goals arsenic the Demons drilled 8 unanswered goals aft the main break.
Incredibly, Geelong were astir held goalless for the entirety of the 2nd half, with a precocious consolation extremity from Jeremy Cameron successful the dying minutes of the lucifer the Cats' lone extremity aft half-time.
Following his unthinkable finals performance, Gawn revealed that it was the players who weren't capable to lend that proceed to animate him.
"As overmuch arsenic I nonstop my emotion backmost home, we've got a radical of 45 players present and it's 1 of the closest groups I've been progressive in," helium told Fox Footy.
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"The champion feeling I had successful that full full crippled was erstwhile I spot Nathan Jones, Jake Melksham, Majak Daw and Sam Weideman moving onto the crushed aft the game. That made maine realise what I play footy for.
"That infinitesimal determination is wherefore I privation to spell adjacent week - arsenic overmuch arsenic we privation to bash it for the members backmost home, supporters backmost home, my woman - I'm doing it for these boys arsenic well."
After ending a 21-year drought betwixt expansive finals, Gawn said his broadside was firmly focused connected ending the club's 57-year premiership drought successful 2 weeks' time.
"We're one-from-two successful this Perth hub," helium told Seven aft the win. "We privation to triumph the expansive final, that's what the people is."
"Obviously this is nice, but we haven't breached the drought until we bash thing successful 2 weeks, and that's what we're truly looking guardant to."
Gawn was acold from the lone ranger for Melbourne arsenic the team's high-powered midfield radical ran riot against a weary-looking Geelong side.
Melbourne had 4 of the game's 5 champion ball-winners, with Jack Viney starring each players with 34 disposals, portion Christian Petracca (32), Christian Salem (29) and Clayton Oliver (27) were each influential.
Despite losing the clearance conflict 41-45, Melbourne amassed 13 much Inside 50s and 30 much contested possessions, portion besides out-tackling a shell-shocked Cats side.
The 1 blemish for Melbourne successful an different cleanable preliminary last was the hamstring interest for All-Australian defender Steven May.
May was taken disconnected the crushed astatine the extremity of the quarter, but was capable to play the remaining 2 quarters with his close limb strapped earlier being subbed retired successful the last term.