AFL world left stunned after 'terrible' moment: 'Not a good look'

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·Sports Editor
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Bayley Fritsch, pictured here failing to pass to Christian Petracca.
Bayley Fritsch failed to pass to Christian Petracca and botched a goal for the Melbourne Demons. Image: Fox Footy

The AFL world was left gobsmacked on Thursday night after a bizarre incident early in Melbourne's win over Brisbane at the MCG.

The Demons rediscovered their mojo in a 64-point hammering of Brisbane that has re-established the reigning premiers as this year's AFL flag favourites.

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The Demons triumphed 16.21 (117) to 7.11 (53), snapping a three-game losing streak and displacing the Lions at the top of the ladder in the process.

However things started in inauspicious fashion for the reigning premiers when Bayley Fritsch botched a certain goal in the first quarter when he refused to pass to teammate Christian Petracca.

Fritsch scooped up a loose ball and thought he had a free run into the goal square, but was dragged down from behind by Jack Payne.

Petracca was left visibly stunned that Fritsch hadn't hand-balled to him, with the talisman star wide-open and throwing his arms out in frustration.

Speaking in commentary for Triple M, Brian Taylor said: “He didn’t give it. He got caught by Payne. He refused to give the handball to Petracca, who is absolutely astounded that he didn’t get the handball.

“And this sums up Melbourne’s last month for me.”

North Melbourne legend Wayne Carey said: “That’s the difference between a premiership team and not so.

“They would have given that last year BT. You have to give that ball. If Petracca gets that ball he runs in and kicks that easy goal.”

Josh Jenkins said on SEN radio: “You don’t see that from Melbourne. That’s terrible.”

Melbourne Demons bounce back with huge win

Thankfully for the Demons it was just a blip on the radar as they turned their fortunes around after a nightmare month.

Just about everything else went the Demons' way as they laid the victory platform with a destructive six-goals-to-one second term, having trailed at quarter-time for just the second time this season.

Melbourne won contested possessions in a landslide (170-133) - a repeat of last year's qualifying final dominance over the Lions - and got on top of their opponents in the clearance battle (46-35).

"Tonight, we re-established our method in how we want to look and that's (being) a really contested side," Demons coach Simon Goodwin said.

"We knew what we were up against but we've worked incredibly hard the last three or four weeks on the training track and tonight it came out.

Christian Petracca, pictured here celebrating with fans after Melbourne's win over Brisbane.
Christian Petracca celebrates with fans after Melbourne's win over Brisbane. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Whether we've lost three in a row or won 10 in a row, it doesn't really matter. We just go back to what works for us and tonight we did that.

"Our ability to execute role for a long period of time tonight was outstanding and it's full credit to the players."

Clayton Oliver (35 disposals, 12 clearances), Petracca (31, eight) and Jack Viney (34, eight) gave the Demons control in the midfield, where young ruckman Luke Jackson stepped up in place of injured skipper Max Gawn.

James Harmes put the clamps on Lachie Neale, restricting the Brisbane ball-magnet to eight disposals during the middle two quarters, and Jake Lever starred in defence with 15 intercepts.

Fritsch went on to kick three goals and four Demons - Toby Bedford, James Jordon, Kysaiah Pickett and Harmes - booted two each.

with AAP

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