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Melbourne embarrass shocking Dockers

16/08/2009 06:57:25 PM Comments (0)

It could have been a dry day in Darwin instead of a slippery MCG the way Melbourne's Aaron Davey and Liam Jurrah embarrassed Fremantle in Sunday's AFL game.

Davey's 31 clean disposals and Jurrah's four goals were the highlights of the Demons' biggest win in over three years, a 63-point belting that underlined the Dockers' frailties away from Perth.

Melbourne's 20.7 (127) to 9.10 (64) win was just their fourth this season, and their biggest since round eight of 2006, when they beat Hawthorn by 75 points.

While Fremantle continually fumbled and slipped in the greasy conditions, Melbourne, and particularly Davey and Jurrah, handled the ball like it was dry, and played with more confidence the longer the match went.

Jurrah provided the match highlight 10 minutes from time when he kicked a goal over his head while sitting on the ground with two Dockers hovering.

Matthew Whelan's retirement means Melbourne will soon lose their longest-serving indigenous player, but he would be thrilled knowing the flair Aboriginal players produce is alive and well in Davey and Jurrah, both from the Top End.

Coach Dean Bailey stopped short of attributing their sure hands solely to their ancestry, but acknowledged they were eye-catching.

"Those two are talented, their ball handling is very good," Bailey said.

"If you just make it an indigenous question then you're forgetting the likes of Chris Judd, who's as clean as anyone in traffic.

"There are lots of players in the AFL who don't fumble and generally they're the really good ball handlers.

"Normally they're the really good decision-makers and normally they're really clean with their disposals.

"You just can't afford to fumble in the game.

"Today I thought Liam and Aaron were really good."

Melbourne had others a class above Fremantle, as Brent Moloney, Nathan Jones and James McDonald worked harder and had more polish, and Russell Robertson and Matthew Bate kicked three goals each.

"I'm pleased for the players, they've been to hell and back," Bailey said.

"I've said it in the last month, I've said it for the last couple of years, they are very supportive of each other and committed to helping each other."

Fremantle's sloppy, spineless showing came a week after they trounced Port Adelaide, and was their sixth straight defeat at the MCG and 13th in succession in Melbourne.

"The fluctuation in form from home and away is something we've got to nail," Dockers coach Mark Harvey said.

Harvey knew Melbourne nominated this game as the one they believed they could win before the end of the season, but was left lamenting an appalling lack of pressure and high mistake toll.

"The intrinsic part of how you can play so well the week before with a (potential) finals side and then go out and play like that is bewildering," he said.

"We weren't competitive enough and lacked intensity, so what happens in the space of seven days we've got to find the answer (to)."

Docker Dean Solomon's season could be over because of knee soreness, while Melbourne will wait on Robertson, 30, to decide whether he wants to play on in 2010.

The Dockers' best were Paul Hasleby, Aaron Sandilands and Greg Broughton, while Luke McPharlin kicked three goals in the first quarter.

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