AFL grand final: Christian Petracca gives Melbourne dream start to decider

Chris RobinsonThe West Australian
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VideoChristian Petracca wheeled round to kick a pearler as the grand final's opening goal.

Christian Petracca handed the grand final the cracking opening goal it deserved, giving the bumper Optus Stadium crowd plenty to cheer about early.

Amid a willing and physical opening to the match, Petracca provided a moment of class to provide the sentimental favourite Demons the early edge.

Petracca cleanly handled a half-volley pass from Salem, played on, wheeled around and kicked truly from 50m at the eastern end of the packed stadium.

The Melbourne star saluted the crowd and set the tone for his teammates, with the Demons booting four of the game’s first five goals to quash any nerves.

Christian Petracca celebrates.
Camera IconChristian Petracca celebrates. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Bailey Williams was made to pay for a pair of mistakes deep in defence, with a smothered kick leading to a Charlie Spargo goal before Bayley Fritsch cashed in on a dropped mark with his second.

By the time the quarter-time siren sounded, Melbourne had built a 4.5 (29) to 1.2 (8) lead to mark an encouraging start as they chase their first flag since 1964.

It marks the biggest quarter-time advantage by any team since Geelong’s demolition of Port Adelaide in 2007.

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