Melbourne has thrashed the Kangaroos by 57 points at Adelaide Oval to sit ninth on the AFL premiership ladder.
- Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw posted 58 disposals between them in the Demons’ triumph
- The Demons are just two points shy of the eighth-placed Magpies with a match in hand over most clubs
- Carlton led by 19 points early in the third term against West Coast before the Eagles fought back to win in Perth
Earlier on Sunday, the West Coast Eagles claimed a sixth consecutive win after unleashing a devastating third-quarter blitz to beat Carlton by 22 points in Perth.
In Adelaide, Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw were outstanding in the Demons’ 13.14 (92) to 5.5 (35) win.
The pair combined for 58 disposals as Melbourne completed a remarkable reversal of fortunes in a five-day stint in Adelaide.
The Demons arrived in the South Australian capital last Wednesday under a blowtorch after club chairman Glen Bartlett labelled them insipid in a preceding loss to Port Adelaide.
But they crushed winless Adelaide by 51 points last Wednesday night and then dismantled North Melbourne to return to finals contention.
Melbourne is now just two points shy of the eighth-placed Collingwood — and with a match in hand on most other clubs — while the Kangaroos remain in the mire in 16th position.
The Demons’ victory was full of midfield substance with Petracca (29 disposals, one goal), Clayton Oliver (31 disposals, one goal) and Brayshaw — whose 29 touches included a goal and eight inside 50s — all instrumental.
Emerging key forward Sam Weideman kicked two goals and missed three other gilt-edged chances, Bailey Fritsch also slotted two majors, while Kysaiah Pickett (one goal) was eye-catching in patches.
The Kangaroos relied almost solely on Nick Larkey, who booted four of his side’s five goals with the other coming from Majak Daw in the second minute of the match.
North Melbourne led by 10 points at quarter-time but managed just two more goals in the match as the tide turned the Demons’ way.
The Demons booted three goals to one in both the second and third terms to create a 16-point buffer at three-quarter time.
And just as they did against Adelaide when they scored seven last-term goals, the Demons again went on a scoring spree in the final quarter.
This time, they kicked six consecutive goals while restricting the flagging Kangaroos to a solitary point.
Eagles maintain winning form
Alarm bells were ringing for the Eagles when Zac Fisher’s fourth goal gave Carlton a 19-point lead in the opening minute of the third quarter.
Josh Kennedy, however, settled West Coast’s nerves a few minutes later with his first goal of the match.
But the real damage was done in the dying minutes of the third term when West Coast slammed home four goals in the space of three minutes to go into three-quarter time with an 11-point lead.
Dom Sheed then booted two goals in the final quarter to help lift West Coast to the 11.6 (72) to 7.8 (50) win in front of 19,092 spectators.
Sheed was best afield with 26 disposals, nine clearances and two goals, while teammate Nic Naitanui (41 hit-outs, seven clearances) was a dominant force in the ruck.
The Blues lost Jack Martin to a calf injury in the second quarter and ruckman Marc Pittonet spent about 30 minutes off the field with what appeared to be a finger injury.
Carlton’s star midfielder Patrick Cripps tallied 19 disposals and eight clearances despite spending long stints up forward.
West Coast’s win improved its standing to a 7-3 win-loss record. Carlton (4-6) now faces an uphill battle to make the top eight.
Both teams booted two goals apiece in the opening term, with the most notable moment coming when the Blues were on the wrong end of a controversial holding-the-ball free kick late in the quarter.
Sam Petrevski-Seton was powerless to get a disposal away after having his arms pinned in a bear-hug tackle from Jack Darling as soon as he got the ball.
The Carlton defender expressed his disbelief when the free kick was paid, with the subsequent 50-metre penalty gifting the Eagles a lucky goal.
Fisher booted his second and third goals in the second quarter to help give Carlton a surprise 13-point lead at half-time.
The sun peeked out from behind the clouds in the third quarter in what was a complete contrast to the pre-match downpour.
The conditions clearly favoured West Coast, who had Naitanui dominating in the ruck and the team’s midfielders feasting at ground level.