Scully booed as Demons thrash Giants
Melbourne coach Mark Neeld is happy to have been part of the Tom Scully theatre show but more chuffed his AFL club has instantly started delivering on some mid-season goals.
The Demons delighted fans by ensuring the club's 2009 No.1 draft pick had a disappointing return to the MCG on Sunday, as Melbourne thrashed Scully's Greater Western Sydney 20.15 (135) to 9.3 (57).
Scully, who joined the Giants at the end of last season on a huge contract, was booed whenever he went near the ball.
That was often in the opening minutes as he played a big part in delivering the Giants an early 13-point lead.
But the visitors, playing at the MCG for the first time, faded terribly, as Melbourne outscored them 15.8 to 1.1 from the 25-minute mark of the first quarter until three-quarter time to build a 78-point lead.
The one blow for Melbourne was a foot injury to Mitch Clark, who also received a heavy head knock and was forced out of the game late in the second quarter, by which stage he had four goals.
But there were many positives.
Defenders-turned-forwards Jared Rivers (four goals) and Colin Garland (three) both impressed.
Youngster Tom McDonald and 50-gamer Jack Watts continued their good form in defence, Nathan Jones was again excellent in the midfield and Colin Sylvia (22 disposals, two goals) found some touch.
Neeld said the team used their mid-season break to reset goals for the rest of the season and followed through on Sunday.
That they also handed Scully a big defeat in his first game against his former club was purely a sideshow.
"It's good theatre, to be honest," Neeld said.
"The stuff that was said pre-game, it is what it is, we'll play our little part, the fans will play their part and away we go."
Giants coach Kevin Sheedy, who had baited Demons fans with barbs about Scully in the lead-up, said he doubted the 21-year-old would have minded the jeers.
"You can't be worried about what the fans say," Sheedy said.
"They're here, they love the game, they love to see their club not lose good players.
"I just said 'Go and enjoy yourself and whatever happens cop it and they'll appreciate it, it lets them vent their spleen a bit.'"
Sheedy said a team stacked with first-year players would inevitably have down patches in games, particularly when adjusting to the MCG, a larger ground than they are used to.
But he took encouragement from losing the first term by just one goal and breaking even in the last.