Suns set embarrassing unwanted record in loss to Demons

Vince Rugari
Suns set embarrassing unwanted record in loss to Demons

Records tumbled for all the wrong reasons at the Gabba as Melbourne scored a breezy 69-point AFL victory over Gold Coast in front of a pitiful crowd.

Tom McDonald kicked a career-high five goals as the Demons ran away with the contest in the final term, prevailing 21.20 (146) to 11.11 (77) on Saturday evening for their third win in a row.

But despite perfect conditions only 6060 punters turned up to watch it - and most of them were Melbourne fans.

It was the lowest attendance ever for a match in Brisbane, beating the previous mark from 1991 when the Bears also hosted the Demons.

It was also the eighth-lowest AFL crowd since 1997.

The match was played on neutral territory at the Gabba because Metricon Stadium is still being converted back into AFL mode after the Commonwealth Games.

The empty stands certainly didn't inspire a great contest, with neither side hitting particularly great heights in a clash that took on an eerie, almost funereal tone at times.

The Suns were at their worst. Image: Getty

Melbourne dominated general play and entered their forward 50 zone a whopping 83 times - equalling North Melbourne's record, which was posted against Greater Western Sydney during their debut season in 2013.

But the scoreboard didn't reflect their utter dominance until right towards the end, and they should have put the game to bed much earlier than they did.

The Suns were within 18 points late in the third term but were blown away thereafter, with the Demons piling on eight goals in the last quarter.

It got worse for the struggling Suns - midfielder David Swallow spent much of the match getting treatment on his knee while co-captain Steven May risked a possible suspension by making contact with umpire David Harris.

May appeared to be trying to mime the actions of his opponent after giving away a down-the-field free kick for wrestling in the goalsquare late in the second term.

But he inadvertently bumped into Harris with his head tucked down - and, innocuous as it was, he chose a bad week to do so after Tom Hawkins' one-week ban from the AFL tribunal for brushing away an umpire's hand.

The Suns have one more match to play, against Port Adelaide in Shanghai next weekend, until they can return to their home ground.