Demons set right tone with AFLX GF win

Melbourne wanted to set the tone for 2018 with a strong showing in the AFLX and they achieved that with a grand final win over Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.

The Demons led by 22 points at halftime and held on for a 56-46 victory in front of 22,585 fans on Friday night.

The AFL's new concept has divided opinion, with the approach of participating clubs ranging from support to bemusement to disdain.

But the Demons had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve in their first competitive hit-out of the pre-season.

"The important thing for us is it didn't matter what we played or what the rules were, we just wanted to see some Melbourne footy the way that we play it," Demons AFLX coach Craig Jennings said.

"I thought across the three games we really showed that.

"What you saw, even though it was on a tighter field and with smaller numbers, is the type of footy that we want to play.

"There's a bigger mindset for me and that is having a will to win ... I don't care if the AFL organise a backgammon tournament - if you go out there, you go out there to win."

Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen and James Harmes all booted 10-pointers in the final, with Melksham outstanding throughout with a tournament-high five goals from outside the 40m arc.

The first tournament in Adelaide, won by the Crows, was maligned for being played in a bruise-free manner.

No injuries were reported from the six teams competing on Friday night, but a few more players will feel sore in the aftermath with several crunching tackles laid.

"I thought our boys hit really hard," Jennings said.

"I never thought it was bruise-free ... I thought we were really physical and sides gave it right back to us."

Fourteen games into the AFLX experiment, with the remaining tournament taking place in Sydney on Saturday, the league is generally happy with the showing.

But tweaks to the rules have been forecast for the matches currently played between seven-a-side teams over two 10-minute halves on a soccer-sized pitch.

"The guys commented that they liked the physicality of it so maybe if it's (adding) an extra player or two for each team?" Hawthorn AFLX coach Max Bailey said.

"Maybe you'd get some more stoppages.

"If it's a clear kick out of bounds maybe it's a turnover of possession but if it's off a contest maybe throw it in and you'd see a few more stoppages."