Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin continues to vigorously defend the emerging AFL team’s culture, despite another headline-grabbing incident.
The league appears certain to investigate Clayton Oliver’s animated exchange with a Carlton supporter on Sunday at the MCG.
Video of the incident shows the Demons midfielder and the fan briefly arguing on the boundary fence during the second term.
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Oliver was high among the Demons’ best as they rallied in a frantic last quarter to beat Carlton by eight points.
The 14.6 (90) to 12.10 (82) win was the fifth Melbourne game this season decided by eight points or fewer – and they have won three of them.
It follows a challenging week in which they lost heavily to Sydney and Tomas Bugg was banned for six matches.
Four of their VFL players were also ruled out of selection for the Sydney game because they breached the club’s alcohol policy.
There has been commentary for several weeks about the discipline at Melbourne, but Goodwin is adamant they are on the right track.
“We’ve had some acts that don’t resemble what we want to stand for and they’ve been addressed – that’s what good culture is,” Goodwin said.
“We’re still building our culture – we need to be really clear on that.
“But the character of the playing group we’re starting to develop is through culture and that’s why we’re able to win some of these close games.
“There’s a belief around that, that’s really growing at this footy club.”
Goodwin said he was yet to speak to Oliver about the incident.
Power surge puts them in top four
Port Adelaide ended another gripping round with a 32-point win over West Coast – the first time this season they have beaten another top-eight side.
The 18.12 (120) to 13.10 (88) win put them in fourth spot, ahead of Melbourne, Richmond and St Kilda on percentage.
North Melbourne continue to show the necessity of winning tight matches in a tight season, because they have been so bad at it.
Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein missed his shot at goal on Sunday at Etihad Stadium and Fremantle won by four points, 13.8 (86) to 12.10 (82).
North are second-last, four games outside the top eight.
They have lost five games this season by five points or less.
Beleaguered Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said they had reached a tipping point with Saturday’s 37-point loss to Essendon.
The Saints scored the upset of the round on Saturday night, blitzing Richmond by 67 points.
St Kilda have now won four straight, something they have not done since the last time they made the finals – six years ago.
GWS had their second draw in as many weeks, this time against Hawthorn in Launceston, while Geelong mauled bottom side Brisbane by 85 points.
Sydney remain the league’s hottest team, with the 67-point win over Gold Coast meaning they have claimed eight of their past nine games.
Top side Adelaide opened the round by adding to the Western Bulldogs’ woes, courtesy of a 59-point win.