Our tipping for Round 4 of the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition is not off to an auspicious beginning.
Sydney had home ground and was a short 4.5-point favourite over the Melbourne Demons.
To be fair to the Dees, for a team finished fifth in 2018, their early fixture was difficult, but Port beating Melbourne in Round 1 after finishing 10th last season was something of a shock.
The loss to Geelong in Round 2 was another unexpected result, but should not have been, as we are well acquainted with the sneaky traits of Cats.
Based on 2018, the Swans were just one spot below Melbourne on the ladder, so a close game was to be expected when the Demons took to what is left of the SCG, where fewer than 27,000 were willing to occupy seats to see the underachieving Swans of 2019. Sydney was unable to win this season until they drew Carlton for Round 3, which sort of puts them as part of a pair with Richmond.
Sydney came out of the barrier quickly and took a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Melbourne responded with a 32-point second quarter to shrink the lead to 10 points at the main break.
After the half, Sydney must have stayed in the changing room, managing just seven points in the third quarter to find the Dees ahead by 14 going into the final 20 minutes.
The Swans narrowed the margin with an early goal early in the fourth quarter, but three Melbourne goals ensured that the Dees, including one by Angus Brayshaw with time on allowed Melbourne to cruise to the final siren with little in the way of stress.
Clayton Oliver answered the bell for Melbourne by contributing 33 disposals and 20 contested possessions to compliment three majors supplied by Nathan Jones.