Have Melbourne announced themselves as a genuine contender?
After a 4-0 start to the season and Sunday’s 25-point win over Geelong, they’ve at least proven they have what it takes to feature near the top of the table in 2021.
Melbourne’s on-ball brigade dictated terms at the MCG with Christian Petracca (36 disposals, 2 goals), Jack Viney (24 disposals, 12 tackles), Clayton Oliver (34 disposals) and Max Gawn (23 disposals, 1 goal, 41 hitouts) ensuring the Demons held sway throughout.
Conversely, pre-season flag fancies Geelong slump to a 2-2 record after a performance which will have coach Chris Scott asking serious questions.
The only concern for the Demons is the health of defender Steven May, who was sent to hospital after receiving an accidental elbow from Tom Hawkins in the second quarter.
Here’s everything you need to know!
Petracca’s big day
Christian Petracca now sits comfortably alongside the competition’s elite in Dustin Martin, Nat Fyfe and Patrick Dangerfield.
The superstar midfielder picked up 36 touches and kicked two goals in another dominant performance.
His major on the stroke of half-time helped extend the Demons' lead and ensured Simon Goodwin’s side went into the main break with all the momentum.
The 25-year-old is now reaching his immense potential and looks destined for a second All-Australian blazer in 2021.
He may just have a Brownlow to go with it at seasons end.
Warning signs at Kardinia Park
While the Demons sit 4-0, Geelong could just as easily be 0-4.
The Cats have been anything but convincing in the competition’s opening fortnight and would consider themselves lucky to have earnt tight wins over the Lions and Hawks.
The competition’s best sides in the opening month have all adapted to the rule changes and look to take the game on with blistering speed.
Chris Scott and Geelong have instead opted for a more methodical, slow build-up game style.
Patrick Dangerfield’s return in Round 5 comes as welcome relief while Scott will be hoping new recruit Jeremy Cameron helps increase potency inside 50 when he makes his club debut in the coming weeks.
You don’t win premierships in April, but Geelong might have to play catch-up if they don’t turn things around soon.
They have a good chance to reassert themselves next Sunday against North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium.
Melbourne also have a week off as they face Hawthorn at the MCG next Sunday. A 5-0 record beckons for the Demons before they play Richmond on ANZAC eve in what looms as mouth-watering clash.
Melbourne: 2.4, 6.8, 9.9, 12.13. (85)
Geelong: 1.1, 3.3, 8.3, 9.6. (60)
Melbourne: Fritsch 4, Petracca 2, Pickett, Melksham, Gawn, Jones, Langdon, Neal-Bullen
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Henry 2, Smith 2, Miers, Stanley, Clark
Melbourne: Christian Petracca, Bailey Fritsch, Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Ed Langdon
Geelong: Joel Selwood, Tom Stewart, Cam Guthrie, Isaac Smith, Tom Hawkins, Tom Atkins