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Rd 18: Simon's Selection

6:20pm  Jul 19, 2018

Inside Melbourne: Episode 18

1:34pm  Jul 19, 2018

Media Conference: Nathan Jones

12:06pm  Jul 19, 2018

Media Conference: Max Gawn

12:04pm  Jul 19, 2018

Goodwin to seek ruck clarification

Ben Guthrie  August 13, 2017 5:48 PM

We'll have to assess that during the week and maybe speak to (AFL Umpires' coach) Hayden (Kennedy) about how that rule looks

MELBOURNE will seek clarification from the AFL about a number of free kicks paid against All Australian ruckman Max Gawn in the clash with St Kilda on Sunday, coach Simon Goodwin says.

Gawn was well beaten in his battle against Saint Billy Longer in the ruck, with the hit-out tally 34 to Longer and 19 to the Demon.

However, Gawn gave away five free kicks for the afternoon and Goodwin said that number highlights that he was doing "something wrong".

A bewildered Gawn said that he was at the point where he was basically conceding each ruck contest to Longer, for fear of giving away yet another free kick.

"I gave away free kicks that I've never given away in my life. I don't know why they were free kicks but they kept on blowing the whistle, so I was getting a bit frustrated," Gawn told ABC radio after the game.

"I ended up having to let Billy Longer just win them in the end, because I didn't know what to do."

Goodwin described the contest as "an interesting duel. Billy played a really good game against Max.

"But I think we'll have to go through each of those free kicks and have a look. Clearly we'll have to have a look at what the rule is and what Max is doing wrong, but five free kicks is a lot in a game of footy.

"We'll have to assess that during the week and maybe speak to (AFL Umpires' coach) Hayden (Kennedy) about how that rule looks."

Goodwin said he was elated with the performance of Angus Brayshaw, who got through his first game since round two unscathed.

He admitted his heart was in his mouth when Brayshaw clashed heads with Saint Koby Stevens in a first quarter contest, but the No.3 pick in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft got back to his feet and finished with 26 disposals in a more than encouraging comeback.

"I was pretty excited when he popped up," Goodwin said.

"I thought he was terrific…there were critical contests that he won but he really linked up off half-back as well and we found a new asset in our back half of the ground."

The Demons' finals destiny is in their own hands and Goodwin has laid down the challenge to his players to step up and seize the opportunity that has presented in front of them.

The Demons' 24-point win over St Kilda at the MCG on Sunday elevated Goodwin's side into seventh position on the ladder with two games remaining against the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood.

Melbourne has not featured in September since 2006 and Goodwin believes his players are ready for the chance to display their wares in the pressure-cooker environment of finals footy.

"We, as a club, wanted to be in this position where we had opportunity," Goodwin said.

"We've got that and the challenge now is to really step up as a footy club."

After losing four of its past five games, the Demons rediscovered their ruthless attitude – particularly in the first half – to set up their win over the Saints.

Melbourne led by 32 points at quarter time after kicking six goals to one in a first-term onslaught, while they again led by 32 points at the half-time break.

St Kilda hit back hard in the third term and closed the margin to just four points early in the final term, before Melbourne displayed the composure needed in the last quarter to close out the game.

"Today I thought we got back to the football the Melbourne footy team has been producing. It was pleasing that we had players prepared to run hard from the back half and join in," Goodwin said.

"I thought it was a real team performance in that phase of the game."