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Found 26 results

  1. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 10

    Somewhere out in the red heart of the country there a 22 men searching for the meaning of the term "season defining". I wish them well.
  2. Demonland

    MATCH REPORT - Round 19

    WATTS PAYS HIS WAY by George on the Outer It was only 10 days ago that Jack Watts signed on with the Demons for another 3 years. They say that for many players a contract extension almost always ensures a subsequent drop off in form but not for our Jack. Against the Gold Coast Suns, he single-handedly won a game that was all but lost in the dying two minutes when he calmly slotted through a shot from a difficult angle to put the Demons in front and that was despite him being absolutely exhausted to get to the space and take the mark. Then a minute later, to take a match saving mark down the other end right in front of the opposition goal, meant that he has already paid Melbourne back for his contract extension. Those efforts from Watts gave the Demons the match, the four points and produced the best season performance for the club since 2006 although it was all nearly thrown away by Bernie Vince, who kicked a shocker to Tom Lynch with just seconds to go. The subsequent kick after the siren fortunately missed but for Bernie, that was the culmination of a simply forgettable game; his inability to provide any game influence over this and the preceding weeks is now becoming problematic. In the middle, the Suns were missing their six best in Ablett, Prestia, Rischetelli, Hall, Saad, McKenzie and Currie all missing, plus O’Meara and Swallow unable to play all season. With Max Gawn absolutely dominating hitouts (60!), both in the middle and around the ground, it should have been a one-way procession for the Demons all game. But it was not to be, and despite the fact that Dom Tyson had 31 disposals, not sufficient of them were effective. It is worthwhile comparing the handball to kick ratio for Melbourne with that of Hawthorn this week, who are the benchmark in just about everything. Tyson 12 Kicks 19 Handballs. Shaun Burgoyne 16 kicks 9 handballs. Nathan Jones 9 kicks 14 handballs. Jordan Lewis 12 kicks 15 handballs. Jack Viney 7 kicks 10 handballs. Sam Mitchell 10 kicks 12 handballs. The ratio should be about 1 to 1 for the mids, but Melbourne's are simply overusing the ball with silly handballs that cause turnovers and delays. In this match, they did exactly the same as the previous week against West Coast. Melbourne absolutely dominated nearly every statistic and at one stage had 50% more possessions than Gold Coast but again there was no equivalent domination on the scoreboard. We have fallen for the trap of trying to retain possession at the cost of attack. Only Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca seem capable of “taking the game on”. There has become an unwillingness in recent weeks to take the risk, and reap the rewards. Without the skill levels of Hawthorn overuse of the ball will result in turnovers. Today five goals seven behinds of the Suns' score (more than 50%) came from Demon errors. Against Hawthorn next week, we will see what the benchmark is like in reality. Performances like those of the last few matches will result in a rout. And we are facing the reality of many players putting in performances which are simply sub-standard. Jesse Hogan is surely injured and could barely raise a trot today after twisting and ankle early, and then crashing a goal post later. Vince is running up and down on the one spot for most of the game. Chris Dawes had eight touches for the whole game: Jeff Garlett - 6! The mantra coming from the coaches is that we only have a young side … which is true, but it is not the younger players who are letting the side down at the moment. Tom McDonald notched up his 100th game, and it is important to remember how young he is as well. Brother Oscar and Josh Wagner are obviously being groomed for next year, but there is a lot of grooming needed, particularly for Oscar, who simply loses his man too often. Melbourne is better performed than last year and has uncovered some seriously good talent for the future but next week will show us exactly how far we have to go. Would it be a little bit too much to expect Jack Watts to pull another rabbit out of his hat? Melbourne 1.3.9 6.6.42 7.10.52 9.12.66 Gold Coast Suns 3.3.21 4.6.30 6.8.44 9.10.64 Goals Melbourne vandenBerg Watts 3 Dawes Kent Petracca Gold Coast Suns Garlett Lynch Matera 2 Grant Malceski Shaw Best Melbourne Tyson Watts Harmes vandenBerg O McDonald, Gawn Gold Coast Suns Miller Rosa Lynch Harbrow Shaw Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Hogan (left knee) Gold Coast Suns Shaw (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Fisher, Margetts, Foote Official crowd 20,627 at MCG
  3. COLD, COLD, COLD by The Oracle I expect this week's game against the Gold Coast Suns to deliver final proof on the theory that the young Melbourne team is tiring badly as the season wears on. Earlier in the year, the Demons completely emasculated the Suns in the last half of their game at Metricon Stadium booting nine goals in the third term and seven in the last amassing a total of over 100 points in an outstanding performance albeit against an undermanned opponent. Melbourne's recent final quarter performances have been in stark contrast to that balmy evening on the Gold Coast when the Dees were hot, hot, hot. Since beating Collingwood in the Queens Birthday match things have cooled down considerably and those last quarter goals have dried up for the Demons. This is this sequence of goal tallies over the last five games:- ... 1,1,1,2,0 And this sorry state of affairs can't be put down simply to lack of opportunity because, as the inside 50 statistics showed last week, the team had plenty of opportunities - they simply could not finish off the good work of Max Gawn, Nathan Jones and Jack Viney. The fact that Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts were both kept goalless in a game for the first time this year scoring a mere four points between them was telling. The result would have been different had they each been able to parlay one point into a goal but then if your grandmother had ... This week's opponent is hobbled with a star studded list of midfield outs including Ablett, Hall, Prestia, Rischitelli, Swallow and most likely O'Meara who hasn't played since 2014. No matter how young and inexperienced the Demons might be or how tired those players are as we enter the twilight of the season for teams out of the running for finals berths, defeat at home on the MCG is simply unacceptable. Melbourne has proven itself incapable of winning those "must win" games but it really must not lose this one. THE GAME Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG Sunday 31 July, 2016 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Melbourne 5 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins At MCG - Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast Suns 2 wins Past five matches - Melbourne 2 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins The Coaches - Roos 2 wins Eade 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.19 Gold Coast Suns to win - $4.75 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 24.16.160 defeated Gold Coast Suns 14.3.87 at Metricon Stadium Round 7, 2016 The first half was close but after that the Demons demolished the hapless Suns scoring 16.9 to 6.1 in the second half. Max Gawn led the charge with 46 hit outs. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Matt Jones C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Sam Frost F: Chris Dawes, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Billy Stretch, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Tomas Bugg, Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen IN: Tomas Bugg, Colin Garland, Aaron vandenBerg OUT: Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted) GOLD COAST B: Nick Malceski, Steven May, Kade Kolodjashnij HB: Jarrod Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Alex Sexton C: Joshua Schoenfeld, Jesse Lonergan, Matt Shaw HF: Brandon Matera, Tom Lynch, Jarrad Grant F: Sam Day, Peter Wright, Ryan Davis FOLL: Tom Nicholls, Jack Martin, Touk Miller I/C (from) Callum Ah Chee, Jarrod Garlett, Jesse Joyce, Matt Rosa EMG: Sean Lemmens, Trent McKenzie, Seb Tape IN: Matt Rosa OUT: Seb Tape (omitted)
  4. It was only 10 days ago that Jack Watts signed on with the Demons for another 3 years. They say that for many players a contract extension almost always ensures a subsequent drop off in form but not for our Jack. Against the Gold Coast Suns, he single-handedly won a game that was all but lost in the dying two minutes when he calmly slotted through a shot from a difficult angle to put the Demons in front and that was despite him being absolutely exhausted to get to the space and take the mark. Then a minute later, to take a match saving mark down the other end right in front of the opposition goal, meant that he has already paid Melbourne back for his contract extension. Those efforts from Watts gave the Demons the match, the four points and produced the best season performance for the club since 2006 although it was all nearly thrown away by Bernie Vince, who kicked a shocker to Tom Lynch with just seconds to go. The subsequent kick after the siren fortunately missed but for Bernie, that was the culmination of a simply forgettable game; his inability to provide any game influence over this and the preceding weeks is now becoming problematic. In the middle, the Suns were missing their six best in Ablett, Prestia, Rischetelli, Hall, Saad, McKenzie and Currie all missing, plus O’Meara and Swallow unable to play all season. With Max Gawn absolutely dominating hitouts (60!), both in the middle and around the ground, it should have been a one-way procession for the Demons all game. But it was not to be, and despite the fact that Dom Tyson had 31 disposals, not sufficient of them were effective. It is worthwhile comparing the handball to kick ratio for Melbourne with that of Hawthorn this week, who are the benchmark in just about everything. Tyson 12 Kicks 19 Handballs. Shaun Burgoyne 16 kicks 9 handballs. Nathan Jones 9 kicks 14 handballs. Jordan Lewis 12 kicks 15 handballs. Jack Viney 7 kicks 10 handballs. Sam Mitchell 10 kicks 12 handballs. The ratio should be about 1 to 1 for the mids, but Melbourne's are simply overusing the ball with silly handballs that cause turnovers and delays. In this match, they did exactly the same as the previous week against West Coast. Melbourne absolutely dominated nearly every statistic and at one stage had 50% more possessions than Gold Coast but again there was no equivalent domination on the scoreboard. We have fallen for the trap of trying to retain possession at the cost of attack. Only Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca seem capable of “taking the game on”. There has become an unwillingness in recent weeks to take the risk, and reap the rewards. Without the skill levels of Hawthorn overuse of the ball will result in turnovers. Today five goals seven behinds of the Suns' score (more than 50%) came from Demon errors. Against Hawthorn next week, we will see what the benchmark is like in reality. Performances like those of the last few matches will result in a rout. And we are facing the reality of many players putting in performances which are simply sub-standard. Jesse Hogan is surely injured and could barely raise a trot today after twisting and ankle early, and then crashing a goal post later. Vince is running up and down on the one spot for most of the game. Chris Dawes had eight touches for the whole game: Jeff Garlett - 6! The mantra coming from the coaches is that we only have a young side … which is true, but it is not the younger players who are letting the side down at the moment. Tom McDonald notched up his 100th game, and it is important to remember how young he is as well. Brother Oscar and Josh Wagner are obviously being groomed for next year, but there is a lot of grooming needed, particularly for Oscar, who simply loses his man too often. Melbourne is better performed than last year and has uncovered some seriously good talent for the future but next week will show us exactly how far we have to go. Would it be a little bit too much to expect Jack Watts to pull another rabbit out of his hat? Melbourne 1.3.9 6.6.42 7.10.52 9.12.66 Gold Coast Suns 3.3.21 4.6.30 6.8.44 9.10.64 Goals Melbourne vandenBerg Watts 3 Dawes Kent Petracca Gold Coast Suns Garlett Lynch Matera 2 Grant Malceski Shaw Best Melbourne Tyson Watts Harmes vandenBerg O McDonald, Gawn Gold Coast Suns Miller Rosa Lynch Harbrow Shaw Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Hogan (left knee) Gold Coast Suns Shaw (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Fisher, Margetts, Foote Official crowd 20,627 at MCG
  5. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 19

    On current form, this could well be our last chance for a win this season so here's hoping that we make the most of it.
  6. Demonland

    COLD, COLD, COLD by The Oracle

    I expect this week's game against the Gold Coast Suns to deliver final proof on the theory that the young Melbourne team is tiring badly as the season wears on. Earlier in the year, the Demons completely emasculated the Suns in the last half of their game at Metricon Stadium booting nine goals in the third term and seven in the last amassing a total of over 100 points in an outstanding performance albeit against an undermanned opponent. Melbourne's recent final quarter performances have been in stark contrast to that balmy evening on the Gold Coast when the Dees were hot, hot, hot. Since beating Collingwood in the Queens Birthday match things have cooled down considerably and those last quarter goals have dried up for the Demons. This is this sequence of goal tallies over the last five games:- ... 1,1,1,2,0 And this sorry state of affairs can't be put down simply to lack of opportunity because, as the inside 50 statistics showed last week, the team had plenty of opportunities - they simply could not finish off the good work of Max Gawn, Nathan Jones and Jack Viney. The fact that Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts were both kept goalless in a game for the first time this year scoring a mere four points between them was telling. The result would have been different had they each been able to parlay one point into a goal but then if your grandmother had ... This week's opponent is hobbled with a star studded list of midfield outs including Ablett, Hall, Prestia, Rischitelli, Swallow and most likely O'Meara who hasn't played since 2014. No matter how young and inexperienced the Demons might be or how tired those players are as we enter the twilight of the season for teams out of the running for finals berths, defeat at home on the MCG is simply unacceptable. Melbourne has proven itself incapable of winning those "must win" games but it really must not lose this one. THE GAME Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG Sunday 31 July, 2016 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Melbourne 5 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins At MCG - Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast Suns 2 wins Past five matches - Melbourne 2 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins The Coaches - Roos 2 wins Eade 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.19 Gold Coast Suns to win - $4.75 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 24.16.160 defeated Gold Coast Suns 14.3.87 at Metricon Stadium Round 7, 2016 The first half was close but after that the Demons demolished the hapless Suns scoring 16.9 to 6.1 in the second half. Max Gawn led the charge with 46 hit outs. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Matt Jones C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Sam Frost F: Chris Dawes, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Billy Stretch, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Tomas Bugg, Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen IN: Tomas Bugg, Colin Garland, Aaron vandenBerg OUT: Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted) GOLD COAST B: Nick Malceski, Steven May, Kade Kolodjashnij HB: Jarrod Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Alex Sexton C: Joshua Schoenfeld, Jesse Lonergan, Matt Shaw HF: Brandon Matera, Tom Lynch, Jarrad Grant F: Sam Day, Peter Wright, Ryan Davis FOLL: Tom Nicholls, Jack Martin, Touk Miller I/C (from) Callum Ah Chee, Jarrod Garlett, Jesse Joyce, Matt Rosa EMG: Sean Lemmens, Trent McKenzie, Seb Tape IN: Matt Rosa OUT: Seb Tape (omitted)
  7. Will it be Nathan Jones again this year? Voting for the first round begins with the final siren. Votes on a 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis (best gets 6 and so on to sixth best which gets 1). We will select three sets of votes as the official Denonland votes for the round.
  8. TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUNS by George on the Outer The Demons finally erased a whole series of undesirable and unwanted records with a 26-point opening round eclipse of the Gold Coast Suns. It was ten years since an opening round win, two seasons since the team had scored over 100 points in a game, and most importantly, the team survived a number of comebacks from the Suns during the course of the afternoon - a rare occurrence in recent times. It was a fitting performance to pay respect to the great Robbie Flower, who has now been immortalized with the Robbie Flower Wing proudly inaugurated before this game. In recent times, the Melbourne sides would have given way under pressure. Last year, numerous final quarter leads were squandered. Not any more it seems, and the addition of older heads and harder bodies is paying dividends. And wasn't it pleasing that Paul Roos was able to inject seven new players into the side for this match, most of who were not draftees. Heritier Lumumba and Jeff Garlett had a good number of games under their belts at other clubs and Sam Frost and Ben Newton also had AFL experience so when the going really got hard as the Suns relentlessly attacked, it was these same players who stood tall. And that is what the Demon fans have been longing for now for a couple of years ... leaders who will show the way when times are tough. However, the most pleasing aspect about the game is that players like Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg were able to be introduced without the pressures that draftees faced in previous years - all showed more than enough signs that each of them will be long-term contributors to the future of the club. Before the game there were great concerns about how Gary Ablett would be held to a tally which would keep the side in the game. Jack Viney was given the role when he played mid-field and Colin Garland took over the role when he moved forward. With only 19 possessions for the game it was a positive outcome for the Demons with Viney racking up 24 touches of his own to put the unfortunate circumstances of that NAB Challenge gaffe well behind him. Special mention goes to Tom McDonald who took 12 telling marks in the backline to turn back multiple attacks. Again his performance is a sign of positive recruiting outcomes, as Lumumba and Frost were able to add some depth to the backline meaning that McDonald could often play the loose man role. It is a real bonus for the Demons that they can afford to have such a tall, strong option to play the sweeper out of the backline. Even the forward line now looks to be blessed with an abundance of talent and options. Hogan and Garlett have filled the holes that were there last year, and not just filled them but are a potent pair in their own right. The strength of a 20 year old in Hogan provided more than just the 2 goals he registered in his first game, as he broke packs and provided contests to advantage the crumbers at his feet. And the ability of Garlett to pinch pockets and add some zip and x-factor around goals will be a delight in coming games. While it is only one game in a long season, it was a special win for the fans and the club as well. It has been a long time for that good-time feeling to be experienced so early in a season, so we should be all looking for something positive to build upon as we work into 2015. Melbourne 2.5.17 7.7.49 12.9.81 17.13.115 Gold Coast Suns 1.2.8 3.6.24 8.8.56 13.11.89 Goals Melbourne Watts 3 Garlett Hogan Newton Tyson 2 Garland Jamar N Jones Lumumba Salem vandenBerg Gold Coast Suns Ablett Day Rischitelli 2 Bennell Gorringe Harbrow Miller Saad Sexton Swallow Best Melbourne N Jones. Watts McDonald Viney Garlett Newton Howe vandenBerg Jamar Gold Coast Prestia Rischitelli Swallow Bennell Saad Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Substitutions Melbourne Jimmy Toumpas replaced Angus Brayshaw in the fourth quarter Gold Coast Jarrod Garlett replaced Sam Day at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Matt Shaw reported for rough conduct on Dean Kent Umpires Donlon Farmer Hosking Official crowd 27,013 at the MCG http://lon-cdn220-is-3.se.bponlinewoc2264.ngcdn.telstra.com/platform_release/805/388/EDT_GAMECHANGER_NEW_DEES_0404_S_409808899.mp4 http://m.melbournefc.com.au/video/2015-04-05/rd-1-watch-all-the-goals
  9. Melbourne finally put the score on the board 'It should be a bit of fun I think': Jack backs Dees' attack Jack Watts and Adam Treloar among the likes, Brendon Goddard and Ryan Griffen among the dislikes as Robbo runs rule over Round 1 Paul Roos rapt with Melbournes attacking style to sink Gold Coast Then there's this gem of a review from Supermercado on Demonblog - Reclaim Round 1
  10. The Demons finally erased a whole series of undesirable and unwanted records with a 26-point opening round eclipse of the Gold Coast Suns. It was ten years since an opening round win, two seasons since the team had scored over 100 points in a game, and most importantly, the team survived a number of comebacks from the Suns during the course of the afternoon - a rare occurrence in recent times. It was a fitting performance to pay respect to the great Robbie Flower, who has now been immortalized with the Robbie Flower Wing proudly inaugurated before this game. In recent times, the Melbourne sides would have given way under pressure. Last year, numerous final quarter leads were squandered. Not any more it seems, and the addition of older heads and harder bodies is paying dividends. And wasn't it pleasing that Paul Roos was able to inject seven new players into the side for this match, most of who were not draftees. Heritier Lumumba and Jeff Garlett had a good number of games under their belts at other clubs and Sam Frost and Ben Newton also had AFL experience so when the going really got hard as the Suns relentlessly attacked, it was these same players who stood tall. And that is what the Demon fans have been longing for now for a couple of years ... leaders who will show the way when times are tough. However, the most pleasing aspect about the game is that players like Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg were able to be introduced without the pressures that draftees faced in previous years - all showed more than enough signs that each of them will be long-term contributors to the future of the club. Before the game there were great concerns about how Gary Ablett would be held to a tally which would keep the side in the game. Jack Viney was given the role when he played mid-field and Colin Garland took over the role when he moved forward. With only 19 possessions for the game it was a positive outcome for the Demons with Viney racking up 24 touches of his own to put the unfortunate circumstances of that NAB Challenge gaffe well behind him. Special mention goes to Tom McDonald who took 12 telling marks in the backline to turn back multiple attacks. Again his performance is a sign of positive recruiting outcomes, as Lumumba and Frost were able to add some depth to the backline meaning that McDonald could often play the loose man role. It is a real bonus for the Demons that they can afford to have such a tall, strong option to play the sweeper out of the backline. Even the forward line now looks to be blessed with an abundance of talent and options. Hogan and Garlett have filled the holes that were there last year, and not just filled them but are a potent pair in their own right. The strength of a 20 year old in Hogan provided more than just the 2 goals he registered in his first game, as he broke packs and provided contests to advantage the crumbers at his feet. And the ability of Garlett to pinch pockets and add some zip and x-factor around goals will be a delight in coming games. While it is only one game in a long season, it was a special win for the fans and the club as well. It has been a long time for that good-time feeling to be experienced so early in a season, so we should be all looking for something positive to build upon as we work into 2015. Melbourne 2.5.17 7.7.49 12.9.81 17.13.115 Gold Coast Suns 1.2.8 3.6.24 8.8.56 13.11.89 Goals Melbourne Watts 3 Garlett Hogan Newton Tyson 2 Garland Jamar N Jones Lumumba Salem vandenBerg Gold Coast Suns Ablett Day Rischitelli 2 Bennell Gorringe Harbrow Miller Saad Sexton Swallow Best Melbourne N Jones. Watts McDonald Viney Garlett Newton Howe vandenBerg Jamar Gold Coast Prestia Rischitelli Swallow Bennell Saad Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Substitutions Melbourne Jimmy Toumpas replaced Angus Brayshaw in the fourth quarter Gold Coast Jarrod Garlett replaced Sam Day at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Matt Shaw reported for rough conduct on Dean Kent Umpires Donlon Farmer Hosking Official crowd 27,013 at the MCG http://lon-cdn220-is-3.se.bponlinewoc2264.ngcdn.telstra.com/platform_release/805/388/EDT_GAMECHANGER_NEW_DEES_0404_S_409808899.mp4 http://m.melbournefc.com.au/video/2015-04-05/rd-1-watch-all-the-goals
  11. iv'a worn smith

    THE ROAD TO ROUND 1, 2015

    First game of the 2015 season, MFC v GCS. Home game on a Saturday. Go figure. Likelihood of no Ablett in round one. Winnable? Yeah, I know we thought it was a lay down misere against the Saints this year. At least we are at home round one, and hopefully, we will roll out several stars of the future.
  12. The Oracle

    GAME DAY, ROUND 1, 2015

    I know what you're thinking. Melbourne only wins the opening game of a season once in a blue moon, a rare occurrence involving 13 full moons in a one calendar year. Well, the fact of the matter is that the last time a blue moon happened was in 2010 but we didn't win our first game of the season - we were flogged mercilessly by Hawthorn so let's forget this blue moon thing and concentrate on the other colour that represents our club. And tonight fellow Demon fans, we're going to experience a red moon, a lunar eclipse which will start at around 8:00pm. Which makes today, the perfect occasion to totally eclipse the Suns. Not only that - it is written in the heavens that by the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon, we will be celebrating our first win for 2015 and for once in a red moon, it will be in the opening game of the season.
  13. Gary Ablett's shoulder popped out of its socket early in the third quarter of the Gold Coast Suns v Collingwood game in Round 16 last year and with it went his team's prospects of a finals appearance. The Suns finished 12th, just a game out of the top eight with ten wins and a percentage of 93.7. Melbourne also struggled at the end of 2014 losing its last 10 games and finishing in 17th position on four wins, ahead only of St. Kilda on percentage. Fast forward six months to the pre season competition of 2015 and even without Ablett and a handful of other regulars, the Suns managed 1½ wins as against Melbourne's solitary victory and a record that included a loss to a half-baked Essendon in its final NAB Challenge hit out. We don't take much notice of practice matches but has anything changed? The Demons have recruited well with Heritier Lumumba (Collingwood), Jeff Garlett (Carlton), Sam Frost (GWS Giants) and Ben Newton (Port Adelaide) crossing from other AFL clubs inclusions for Saturday's season opener against the Suns along with the long-awaited debut of boom youngster Jesse Hogan, the inclusion of young draftee Angus Brayshaw and mature age Canberran rookie upgrade Aaron vandenBerg. The Suns have recruited Nick Malceski (Sydney) and Mitch Hallahan (Hawthorn) and have also introduced some fresh young faces but they will be relying mainly on their bevy of runners like Harley Bennell and Dion Prestia and, of course, Ablett himself to press home the advantage. The key to this game remains the man who hasn't played a game since 5 July and has yet to take part in even a practice match this year. However, my rule of thumb is to always take note of those who frame the odds and once it became clear that Ablett was definitely in the mix to play this weekend, the Suns' firmed with the betting agencies. According to the Official AFL Player Ratings, Ablett starts the season as the No. 1 ranked player on 723.4 player ratings points, nearly 30 points ahead of second placed Scott Pendlebury on 692.9. The leading Demon, skipper Nathan Jones, sits just outside the top 100 in 101th place with 405.5 points. If there really was such a thing as a one man team, then the writing would be well and truly on the wall. THE GAME Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG Saturday 4 April, 2015 at 1.40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins At MCG Melbourne 2 wins Gold Coast Suns 2 wins Past five years Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast Suns 3 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Eade 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel - 1.30pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.95 Gold Coast Suns to win - $1.40 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Gold Coast Suns 11.20.86 defeated Melbourne 11.12.78 Round 5, 2014 at the MCG It was close on 12 months ago when the teams faced off at the MCG. It was a close game although the Suns took the lead in the second quarter despite their inaccuracy in front of goal and held on to it for the remainder of the game. A costly but questionable free given away to Gary Ablett Junior for interference in the last quarter gave the visitors the breathing room necessary to take away the points. Ablett had 32 touches and a goal while Nathan Jones was the Demons' star with 30 disposals and 5 tackles. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Heritier Lumumba, Daniel Cross, Ben Newton HF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jimmy Toumpas F: Jeff Garlett, Sam Frost, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Max Gawn, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones NEW: Angus Brayshaw, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Heritier Lumumba, Ben Newton, Aaron vandenBerg GOLD COAST SUNS B: Jarrod B: Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Kade Kolodjashnij HB: Trent McKenzie, Steven May, Nick Malceski C: Jack Martin, Dion Prestia, Alex Sexton HF: Michael Rischitelli, Sam Day, Matt Shaw F: Harley Bennell, Daniel Gorringe, Touk Miller FOLL: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, David Swallow I/C: Mitch Hallahan, Jarrod Garlett, Adam Saad, Greg Broughton EMG: Tom Nicholls, Brandon Matera, Seb Tape NEW: Jarrod Garlett, Mitch Hallahan, Nick Malceski, Touk Miller, Adam Saad OFF THE WALL The reality is that it will be the best team that wins this game and for Melbourne, I suspect that we have seen in the selection of its team a pointer to the area of its likely improvement over its abysmal record of recent years. One half of the selected 22 were yet to play an AFL game for the Demons when Paul Roos arrived at the club 18 months ago. Seven are making their debut with the club in Saturday's game while four others - Dom Tyson (GWS Giants), Daniel Cross (Western Bulldogs) and draftees Christian Salem and Jay Kennedy-Harris came to the club last year. The Demons worked hard at improving the defensive aspect of their game in 2014 and appear to be settled in this area of the ground. There was also an improvement in the midfield which has again been bolstered by the recruiters. Lumumba and Newton have been named on the wings and it will be interesting to see which of them takes his place as the first Demon to line up on the newly named Robbie Flower Wing. It's hard to believe that the Prince was just a toddler when Robbie last graced this ground with his magical presence: Newton wasn't even born. We all know that Melbourne's 2015 nemesis was its attack where it averaged a little under an appalling 61 points per game, more than 50 points behind the premiers, Hawthorn. This is the area where team selection is indicating significant change. Hogan and Frost are the two new key position players, Garlett the pacy crumber with two partners in crime in Kent and Kennedy-Harris and more outsiders in Watts and Toumpas. The overall picture is an almost complete transition from the one-paced predictability of last year's forward line which was blamed for the team's penchant for slow sideways movement into attack. With these players up forward, there is less reason for the players further downfield not to show the enterprise necessary to take the game on when the opportunities present. This is of course, placing great responsibility on the inexperienced shoulders of Frost and Hogan but these two have already shown glimpses of their physical attributes as athletes. Hogan makes his long-awaited debut, delayed by nearly a year because of injury interruptions but he has already shown that he has the strength, endurance and skills to make the wait worthwhile. Frost has pace to burn and I expect his combination with the three crumbing amigos will make for interesting viewing for Demon fans for a while to come. I'm excited! What reinforces my view is the fact that there are a few who would once have been considered regulars who missed selection for various reasons. If it's true that the strength of a team is measured by its depth then this is indicative of a great leap forward and suggests we are about to witness a significant improvement in all round skills at Melbourne. I'm even more excited! But what about the Suns? They're expected to give the finals a shake and, after all, they are the firm favourite to win but I'm going against the grain. They certainly have been gifted with a talented bunch of players but when their lynchpin is one whose shoulder hasn't been tested in the field of battle, it's a worry. He might be superhuman and he will probably touch the ball thirty times but if the Demons stick to the task and put the right amount of pressure on the man, they can nullify his influence and knock the favourites off the wall. Melbourne by 10 points.
  14. Demonland

    UNDESERVED

    UNDESERVED by The Oracle Melbourne could easily have plucked this game out of the fire in the end although a victory would have been something it didn't deserve. The game certainly wasn't one of the classics - there were lots of errors on both sides and it was the Suns who made the least. The game's adjudicators made a few as well - the first was the video review of the Demons' first goal and the last were some doozies from the field umpires that included a gifted goal to Garry Ablett when Melbourne was coming hard in the last quarter. If that was a free then McCaffer of Collingwood would have given away 20 and not 5 when he tagged Trent Cotchin against the Tigers last week. One or two more puzzling decisions late in the game didn't help the cause either. But while Melbourne persisted and got to within 8 points in the end, it would have been daylight robbery had the Demons won despite out scoring the visitors in three of the game's quarters. The truth is that the home side was pitiful from the time Cam Pedersen scored his team's third goal to give it a 20 - 10 lead at 21 minutes into the opening term until it went into the sheds at half time trailling 28 - 48 and they were only so close because of the Suns' inaccuracy. Another truth is that for the better part of the day, too many Demons were insipid, second to the ball and often failed to make a contest. They failed to follow their leaders in Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes and some of them were still back in the days of poor decision making and putrid disposal of the last few years. Thanks to the skippers, Jack Viney and two forwards in Chris Dawes and James Frawley, they fought their way back into the game - something that would have been unlikely in the dark old days. Things would have been better had they been able to get some drive from the ruck or managed their kick outs from defence a little better but one hopes those things can be resolved at the selection table before next week's game against the Sydney Swans. As it was, we saw none of the defensive pressure that enabled last week's win over Carlton and too many players were content to lounge behind their opponents. Perhaps it was the relief of winning that game that took the edge off the players' hunger for the football. If that was the case they should take the lead from skipper Nathan Jones whose strength and courage throughout was no better exemplified by his goal of the day effort when he bulldozed through a pack and snapped a goal to breath life back into the game midway through the final term. Never mind that an umpire sucked the life out of it a few minutes later, it was an example for the entire team to follow and those who don't will not be there by season's end. Melbourne 3.2.20 4.4.28 6.10.46 11.12.78 Gold Coast Suns 2.7.19 6.12.48 8.17.65 11.20.86 Goals Melbourne Dawes Frawley 2 Evans Howe Jones Kennedy-Harris Pedersen Terlich Viney Gold Coast Suns Ablett Lynch Matera Swallow 2 Broughton Day Hall Best Melbourne Jones Viney Grimes Dawes Frawley Cross Gold Coast Suns Ablett Rischitelli OMeara Shaw Broughton Prestia Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Wenn, Armstrong, Leppard Attendance 17,243 at the MCG
  15. Demonland

    UNDESERVED by The Oracle

    Melbourne could easily have plucked this game out of the fire in the end although a victory would have been something it didn't deserve. The game certainly wasn't one of the classics - there were lots of errors on both sides and it was the Suns who made the least. The game's adjudicators made a few as well - the first was the video review of the Demons' first goal and the last were some doozies from the field umpires that included a gifted goal to Garry Ablett when Melbourne was coming hard in the last quarter. If that was a free then McCaffer of Collingwood would have given away 20 and not 5 when he tagged Trent Cotchin against the Tigers last week. One or two more puzzling decisions late in the game didn't help the cause either. But while Melbourne persisted and got to within 8 points in the end, it would have been daylight robbery had the Demons won despite out scoring the visitors in three of the game's quarters. The truth is that the home side was pitiful from the time Cam Pedersen scored his team's third goal to give it a 20 - 10 lead at 21 minutes into the opening term until it went into the sheds at half time trailling 28 - 48 and they were only so close because of the Suns' inaccuracy. Another truth is that for the better part of the day, too many Demons were insipid, second to the ball and often failed to make a contest. They failed to follow their leaders in Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes and some of them were still back in the days of poor decision making and putrid disposal of the last few years. Thanks to the skippers, Jack Viney and two forwards in Chris Dawes and James Frawley, they fought their way back into the game - something that would have been unlikely in the dark old days. Things would have been better had they been able to get some drive from the ruck or managed their kick outs from defence a little better but one hopes those things can be resolved at the selection table before next week's game against the Sydney Swans. As it was, we saw none of the defensive pressure that enabled last week's win over Carlton and too many players were content to lounge behind their opponents. Perhaps it was the relief of winning that game that took the edge off the players' hunger for the football. If that was the case they should take the lead from skipper Nathan Jones whose strength and courage throughout was no better exemplified by his goal of the day effort when he bulldozed through a pack and snapped a goal to breath life back into the game midway through the final term. Never mind that an umpire sucked the life out of it a few minutes later, it was an example for the entire team to follow and those who don't will not be there by season's end. Melbourne 3.2.20 4.4.28 6.10.46 11.12.78 Gold Coast Suns 2.7.19 6.12.48 8.17.65 11.20.86 Goals Melbourne Dawes Frawley 2 Evans Howe Jones Kennedy-Harris Pedersen Terlich Viney Gold Coast Suns Ablett Lynch Matera Swallow 2 Broughton Day Hall Best Melbourne Jones Viney Grimes Dawes Frawley Cross Gold Coast Suns Ablett Rischitelli OMeara Shaw Broughton Prestia Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Wenn, Armstrong, Leppard Attendance 17,243 at the MCG
  16. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 5

    Lots of water under the bridge since our humiliation almost 12 months ago in the equivalent fixture at the MCG. The Suns came out playing with great intensity and pushed us aside with their midfield dominance which lasted throughout the 120 minutes. Their midfield led by Garry Ablett but consisting also of Bennell, Swallow, Prestia and O'Meara (147 touches between them, Ablett with 38) with Zac Smith heading the ruck simply put us away. Nathan Jones had a relatively quiet day and Gazza's influence was sublime. I was sitting almost at ground level when at one stage I saw him surrounded by Demons. He somehow found space to get through and wheel away then land a pass on a teammate's chest. He didn't beat us in his own - Campbell Brown and Smith booted three each and he and his mates made sure that the Suns dominated the stoppages. So what's changed? On the Suns' side of the ledger, they don't have Brown, Smith or Bennell today - they were the danger men around goals. On our side, we have a new coach, a new mindset and half a different team. It's a new midfield and a vastly different forward line set up and while it's been slow in getting its act together, the new look team started showing some positive signs of a turn around last week. We know we can move the ball more directly towards goal and we know we can win. I think we can expect big things today from Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince and Jack Viney is starting to imprint his influence on matches. I've been impressed by Nev Jetta's work at Casey and I have a feeling he has something to prove now that his career has received a boost with his elevation off the rookie list. Last year we were shamed off our home ground by these young upstarts from the Gold Coast. It's time to reclaim it back with intensity and aggression that was lacking in our makeup last year but under Paul Roos should be a given every time we take the field.
  17. INTO DARKNESS: THE BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS by The Oracle Following Melbourne these days is like waking up from a bad dream. It was only two or three weeks ago that things were looking up after that 12 goal final quarter against GWS and a dwindling injury list gave us some hope of better things to come. Even the defeat at the hands of Brisbane at the Gabba didn't seem so bad given the losing margin was contained to a margin of slightly less than five goals. But all of a sudden and almost in the blink of an eye, our worst nightmare was realised. A home game against the Gold Coast Suns, several key players injured and unavailable and the team runs out in front of its last remaining 13 thousand or so supporters and it produces an inept, soul destroying, non-competitive, soft performance that highlights that, apart from possibly GWS, it is the AFL's easiest team to play against. There were few redeeming features, most provided by young blokes like Jack Viney and Max Gawn who tried their hearts out, lion-hearted new skipper Nathan Jones despite having to fight off a hard tag and Jeremy Howe. Mature age newcomers Matt Jones and Dean Terlich battled hard but that was it - many of the others were spectators, wasting our time and standing around like stale laboratory samples. Nothing went right and the team was penalised heavily for simply being inept and inert, unwilling to chase and work anywhere near hard enough, especially against a young team willing to run and spread into the empty spaces its opposition appeared to be too lazy or simply physically unable to fill. They moved from defence to attack without resistance. In that respect, Melbourne has advanced not a single inch since it hosted the last Queensland team it played against at home in the opening round of 2012 when Mark Neeld coached his first game. Since then he's produced a team that's good only at botching things up like running too far and giving up an easy goal or standing around watching the footy do four or five leg breaks before finding its way between the big sticks or blowing any chance of a second half comeback by giving away a free in front goal before proceedings have even started - all characteristic of teams that are simply not switched on or awake. The night before the game I had a dream in which I saw the legendary Hawthorn coach John Kennedy delivering his famous plea to his players and bellowing out loud: "DO SOMETHING!" In my dream, he was addressing Neeld and his panel of coaches but they did nothing. Couldn't even get the team to produce a half decent tackle count. It didn't take long for the dream to come true. But if fingers are to be pointed at the coach and his assistants for the disaster that unfolded at the MCG on Mothers Day, then they should also be pointed at the fitness and conditioning people because to their shame, the Demons couldn't even run out a game better than the Suns who finished a couple of players short because of injury. And that must surely be a fitting epitaph to one of our worst nightmares. Melbourne 0.2.2 3.7.25 4.10.34 7.12.54Gold Coast Suns 5.5.35 9.8.62 14.12.96 16.18.114Goals Melbourne Howe 3 Gawn 2 Strauss SylviaGold Coast Suns Brown Smith 3, Hall Lynch 2 Bennell Day Harbrow McKenzie May Shaw Best Melbourne Howe Viney N Jones Gawn Terlich M Jones Gold Coast Ablett Bennell Shaw Brennan Smith Thompson Injuries Melbourne 13,000 fans (broken hearts) Gold Coast Brennan (concussion) Murphy (concussion) Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Reports Melbourne Colin Sylvia for allegedly striking Jared Brennan Gold Coast Nil Umpires McBurney Armstrong Harris Crowd 13,304 at the MCG
  18. INTO DARKNESS: THE BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS by The Oracle Following Melbourne these days is like waking up from a bad dream. It was only two or three weeks ago that things were looking up after that 12 goal final quarter against GWS and a dwindling injury list gave us some hope of better things to come. Even the defeat at the hands of Brisbane at the Gabba didn't seem so bad given the losing margin was contained to a margin of slightly less than five goals. But all of a sudden and almost in the blink of an eye, our worst nightmare was realised. A home game against the Gold Coast Suns, several key players injured and unavailable and the team runs out in front of its last remaining 13 thousand or so supporters and it produces an inept, soul destroying, non-competitive, soft performance that highlights that, apart from possibly GWS, it is the AFL's easiest team to play against. There were few redeeming features, most provided by young blokes like Jack Viney and Max Gawn who tried their hearts out, lion-hearted new skipper Nathan Jones despite having to fight off a hard tag and Jeremy Howe. Mature age newcomers Matt Jones and Dean Terlich battled hard but that was it - many of the others were spectators, wasting our time and standing around like stale laboratory samples. Nothing went right and the team was penalised heavily for simply being inept and inert, unwilling to chase and work anywhere near hard enough, especially against a young team willing to run and spread into the empty spaces its opposition appeared to be too lazy or simply physically unable to fill. They moved from defence to attack without resistance. In that respect, Melbourne has advanced not a single inch since it hosted the last Queensland team it played against at home in the opening round of 2012 when Mark Neeld coached his first game. Since then he's produced a team that's good only at botching things up like running too far and giving up an easy goal or standing around watching the footy do four or five leg breaks before finding its way between the big sticks or blowing any chance of a second half comeback by giving away a free in front goal before proceedings have even started - all characteristic of teams that are simply not switched on or awake. The night before the game I had a dream in which I saw the legendary Hawthorn coach John Kennedy delivering his famous plea to his players and bellowing out loud: "DO SOMETHING!" In my dream, he was addressing Neeld and his panel of coaches but they did nothing. Couldn't even get the team to produce a half decent tackle count. It didn't take long for the dream to come true. But if fingers are to be pointed at the coach and his assistants for the disaster that unfolded at the MCG on Mothers Day, then they should also be pointed at the fitness and conditioning people because to their shame, the Demons couldn't even run out a game better than the Suns who finished a couple of players short because of injury. And that must surely be a fitting epitaph to one of our worst nightmares. Melbourne 0.2.2 3.7.25 4.10.34 7.12.54Gold Coast Suns 5.5.35 9.8.62 14.12.96 16.18.114Goals Melbourne Howe 3 Gawn 2 Strauss SylviaGold Coast Suns Brown Smith 3, Hall Lynch 2 Bennell Day Harbrow McKenzie May Shaw Best Melbourne Howe Viney N Jones Gawn Terlich M Jones Gold Coast Ablett Bennell Shaw Brennan Smith Thompson Injuries Melbourne 13,000 fans (broken hearts) Gold Coast Brennan (concussion) Murphy (concussion) Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Reports Melbourne Colin Sylvia for allegedly striking Jared Brennan Gold Coast Nil Umpires McBurney Armstrong Harris Crowd 13,304 at the MCG
  19. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY

    Is the game still happening?
  20. Demonland

    SNAPSHOT by Whispering Jack

    It was reported on the Demons website during the week that Melbourne coach Mark Neeld said that in last week's game against Carlton his team displayed a glimpse of its future. Certainly, at times, there were snapshots of the way that were moving our football club forward absolutely no question, he said. There was a snapshot there lets enjoy the journey and get on board with these young boys. The boys who took the field on the weekend, Ive got a feeling that theyre going to be around for quite a while. This comes on the back of a 61 point defeat in which Carlton doubled Melbourne's score and, apart from the first 8½ minutes, the Blues were well in control of the game. The basis of the glimpse into future claim stems from the raw statistic of games played by the players making up the respective sides. Carlton not only doubled Melbourne's score but it also had almost double the number of games in its players' legs (more than double once Demon co-captain Jack Grimes broke his collarbone and had to be subbed off for first gamer Dean Kent). They fielded a team featuring 1109 games experience to the Blues 2165. With eight players coming away from the game with 68 games in total, the lack of experience was plainly obvious and, while that group contained a couple of tall lads, the deficiency in size and physical strength was a clear factor that enabled Carlton to break away at any time it looked as if there was a remote threat to the five goal lead it had developed in a short time during the first quarter (and yet the lead was just a little over six goals at one stage early in the last). The eight players and their games played were: ■ James Strauss (19) ■ Jake Spencer (17) ■ Michael Evans (8) ■ Max Gawn (7) ■ Matt Jones (6) ■ Dean Terlich (5) ■ Jack Viney (5) ■ Dean Kent (1) Neeld, himself lacking in coaching experience with less than 30 games under his belt, has constantly raised the inexperience factor in explaining his team's slow development and poor results over his tenure but we live in times when immediate results are the order of the day and Ken Hinkley is showing him up over at Port Adelaide with a 5-1 win loss record at an equally inexperienced club. On Sunday, the moment of truth will arrive. The Gold Coast Suns are also inexperienced although they do have the best player in the competition and a man whose skills and ability overshadow all else that will be on the field of play. As a young coach Neeld has had to contend with far more than most would on entering this most demanding profession and although his toughest assignment has always been the need to turn around what for want of a better description has become a dysfunctional culture at the club after years of incompetence in the areas of recruiting, player development and coaching, he faces the prospect of being eaten up by the very same culture if his team is unable to match it with a team of equally experienced counterparts. In the absence of Jack Grimes for several weeks due to his injury and in light of Jack Trengove's form slump, Nathan Jones has been given a co-captain's role. He has already shown great leadership without the captain tag and he has big shoulders. One hopes that he can continue to lead by the example of endeavour and strength he has routinely shown through the dark times, as otherwise, the critics will continue to harp on and call for his coach's head. It doesn't seem to be fair that a coach should not be given time to see his plan through but thats the AFL for you. If Neelds team is unable to show some more concrete and definite signs of moving forward, the jungle drums will keep on beating and the calls for a replacement coach will continue to be heard more loudly. The snapshot of the future might be a very ugly one for the coach and his players a little after 7.00pm on Sunday. THE GAME Melbourne v Gold Coast at the MCG Sunday 12 May 2013 at 4.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast 0 wins MCG Melbourne 2 wins Gold Coast 0 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 3 wins Gold Coast 0 wins The Coaches Neeld 1 win McKenna 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel (live) Radio ABC THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.12.108 defeated Gold Coast Suns 9.12.66 in round 19, 2012 at the MCG. The Demons had a great opening term booting six unanswered goals and spent the rest of the time coasting to win by 42 points, Brad Green booted five goals and Jeremy Howe and Nathan Jones had field days against an opposition that only had two performers you know who and Harley Bennell. THE BETTING Melbourne $2.10 to win Gold Coast $1.77 to win THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Daniel Nicholson Tom McDonald Colin Garland Centreline Rohan Bail Jack Viney Matthew Jones Half forwards Jeremy Howe Chris Dawes Colin Sylvia Forwards Luke Tapscott Max Gawn Shannon Byrnes Followers Jake Spencer Michael Evans Nathan Jones Interchange Dean Kent Jordie McKenzie James Strauss James Sellar Emergencies Aaron Davey Troy Davis David Rodan In Chris Dawes James Sellar Out Jack Grimes (collar bone) Jack Trengove (calf) GOLD COAST SUNS Backs Trent McKenzie Tom Murphy Sam Day Half backs David Swallow Rory Thompson Broughton Centreline Matthew Shaw Gary Ablett Harbrow Half forwards: Harley Bennell Tom Lynch Jesse Lonergan Forwards Brandon Matera Steven May Aaron Hall Followers Zac Smith Jaeger OMeara Dion Prestia Interchange Jarrod Brennan Campbell Brown Jack Hutchins Danny Stanley Emergencies Clay Cameron Luke Russell Tim Sumner In Campbell Brown Jack Hutchins Steven May Out Charlie Dixon (ankle) Karmichael Hunt (hamstring) Michael Rischitelli BLUEY'S BLOOPER Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna is fortunate he's coaching where he's so far out of the public gaze that he doesn't have to put up with eagle-eyed critics who dwell on his every word looking for inconsistencies to justify why he should be sacked. Earlier this week, he was quoted in the Herald Sun as saying it was unlikely that Campbell Brown would be rushed back into the Suns' line-up now that his six match suspension had come to an end. Bluey said his team was already carrying a few bodies struggling to get through a full game and to bring Brown straight back for the clash with Melbourne might be "a risk too far". When Brown was selected on Thursday might, there was a suggestion on the Courier Mail website that he was included to rough up the young Demons but that story has mysteriously disappeared and in it's place is one that says Brown's inclusion was "to shock underperforming pair Brandon Matera and Aaron Hall into action". Make of this what you will but it seems to me that the Suns' coach is in a state of panic and is already waving the white flag. His team had the opportunity of a lifetime to knock off the injury-riddled Dockers on their own home turf last week but they were brushed off like flies. Now, he has completely compromised his principles and resorted to the desperate act of picking a veteran coming off no match practice to throw his weight around. That's the attitude of a loser who must be dreading the thought of losing the one ace he has up his sleeve in the form of Gary Ablett Junior without who his team might as well not turn up on Sunday evening against the Demons. Ablett has been under an injury cloud for several weeks and my mail is that he's been close to being rested for a mystery ailment. It's likely that he will come up against an in form Lynden Dunn, who despite the distraction of having a mum who rings up talk back radio, has returned from injury in ripping form. After a top game on comeback as a defender in the VFL, he took Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd apart last week, keeping him down to just 13 touches and drastically limiting his effectiveness around the ground (pity about the rest of the Blues' midfield). Dunn has shown he has the mongrel to take on his second Brownlow Medal winning opponent in consecutive weeks and if he succeeds there will be plenty of people, including the bookies, with egg on their faces this week. I can't for the life of me work out why people are throwing their money away by betting against Melbourne on the strength of the omission through injury of the co-captains. Jack Grimes was always going to be an "out" and Jack Trengove contributed only six touches against Carlton. Meanwhile, the Suns have lost their top goalkicker Dixon, one of the few matchwinners in their history in Hunt and Michael Rischitelli who was dropped but has always proved a bit of a thorn in the side for the Demons. Melbourne gains Chris Dawes to add to its forward line where it was undermanned badly last week and James Sellar as a back up who performed well there in the pre season. This is a perfect opportunity for the team to reload on confidence and I'm looking for some break out performances from players like James Strauss and Luke Tapscott who are ready to step up a notch. Melbourne by 55 points.
  21. Demonland

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX by Mean Gene After yet another torrid week in a difficult year for the Melbourne Football Club, the Demons stocks climbed and eventually hit the roof. It started before the game when it was announced that leadership group member Nathan Jones, a certainty to be club champion this year and high flying Jeremy Howe had both signed on for the next three years. Then, when the team ran out onto the ground, the newly signed duo set the example for their team mates and they blew their opponents off the field. In that respect, they had set the Howe Jones Football Index and it was mostly upward and positive after their club had received a whacking in the media, most of it undeserved and some of it based on sheer malevolence from persons with an agenda against the club, its board and its officialdom. In the early moments of the game we saw Howe, who is better known for his hangers, setting the example by shepherding perfectly for a team mate (he would keep the best of his highflying exploits for later in the game). Jones was burrowing into packs and laying tackles with as much, if not more, impact than his more celebrated chrome down counterpart from the opposition. Their example and the effect of their efforts told on the scoreboard as the team snuffed out the young Gold Coast Suns with six unanswered first quarter goals to take an unassailable forty point lead into the first break. It was a smashing of a first quarter and even the unlikely Jake Spencer joined in the festivities with his first ever AFL goal (in his first ever winning match after almost four seasons), albeit after a fifty metre penalty! It's true that, after that first quarter, the plucky Gold Coast Suns with Gary Ablett Junior and Harley Bennell on fire, managed to limit Melbourne's ascendency even as its men were going down like flies, it was still a big win for the home side even if it couldn't shut up the critics in the media who made no concession whatsoever for the depleted nature of a team that went into the weekend with more than a third of its list, 16 players, unavailable. Despite that fact, had they lost this match, it would have been odds on that those baying for blood last week would have been on automatic pilot droning on ad nauseum about the club's culture. Make no mistake about it, this was no classic contest in the mould of Friday night's epic between Geelong and Hawthorn but, for the Melbourne faithful starved of success for so long, it was good to see their team lead from go to whoa for once. Brad Green shrugged off his horror start to the season and demonstrated that he had not lost his ability to snag the goals and Lynden Dunn played a sterling game in defence proving that forwards can move back without raising suspicious eyebrows. Colin Sylvia is also returning to the sort of form expected of him and his strong marking and contribution to the goal tally were welcome after some of his earlier disappointments. The skippers are also raising their own personal bars with every week and I expect that the real benefits of the brave decision to give such young men the responsibility of leadership will bring its own dividends in the years to come. In the end, it was Howe again who soared over a pack and took his latest mark of the day for the highlights reel. The resulting goal saw the Howe Jones Football Index rise another notch. Melbourne 6.6.42 10.7.67 13.8.86 16.12.108 Gold Coast 0.2.2 4.5.29 5.9.39 9.12.66 Goals Melbourne Green 5 Blease Sylvia 2 Bail Howe Rivers Sellar Spencer Tapscott Trengove Gold Coast Bennell 4 Ablett Brennan Lynch Rischitelli Russell Best Melbourne Howe Jones Green Grimes Dunn Sylvia Gold Coast Bennell Ablett Harbrow Swallow Shaw Injuries Melbourne Morton (shoulder) Gold Coast Hunt (shoulder) Prestia (hamstring) Rischitelli (knee) Russell (shoulder) Smith (ankle) Changes Melbourne McKenzie (knee) replaced in selected side by Magner Gold Coast Stanley (shoulder) replaced in selected side by Weller Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Umpires Schmitt B Ryan H Ryan Crowd 18,097 at MCG
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