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Found 12 results

  1. The main entrance to the Gabba is located in Vulture Street and it seemed an appropriate name for the Demons half way through the final quarter against the Lions because they were surely circling the tatters of a side that had led the game by seven goals, not 30 minutes earlier. Scores were level with 10 minutes to play and a confident young Brisbane side had all the momentum and will to win. But the Demons weren’t dead yet, and the new breed of young players at the club willed themselves to a 26 point victory. With it all on the line and following the lead of skippper Nathan Jones, the inspiration flowed through to Clayton Oliver, who managed to extract a ball from an impossible position, handball 20 metres to a free Christian Petracca, who slammed the ball forward to a waiting Jesse Hogan who brought the ball to ground for Jeffrey Garlett to crumb and goal. The back of the Lions challenge was broken, and then it was put to bed with further goals to Hogan, Garlett and Bayley Fritsch. This was a game that Melbourne had to win and while that term is widely used at each and every round, in this case it had a high degree of need. Brisbane is an up and coming side, much the same as Melbourne was two years ago, so they can and will cause upsets. Widely touted to finish in the bottom 25% alongside Fremantle and North, the invalidity of that assessment was shown on the weekend as both of those sides proved to be better than Essendon and St.Kilda who were equally touted as possible finalists. To lose this game would have sent the Demons to a 0-2 start to the season and trying to catch up those games during a year with finals aspirations . Most Demon fans would willingly admit Melbourne would have lost such a game in the past, and even more so when the opposition has come back from seven goals down. In 2018, with the results already in, there is a certainty that NO game is a win that can be pencilled in. Every team seems to be capable of winning on the day, so losing the un-losable from the dominant position the Demons were in during the 3rd quarter would be more than costly. The first quarter was a complete whitewash for Melbourne as it completely blew away a hapless Brisbane which failed to score a major, while the Demons piled on five. Jesse Hogan had 3 to half time and Clayton Oliver racked up nearly 20 touches in the same period on his way to 35 for the game. It is still easy to forget that Clayton is 20 years old and is rapidly developing into one of the stars of the game. Max Gawn and former Demon, Steph Martin had a nil all draw in the ruck, so it came down to the rest of the mids to battle for ascendancy. While Bernie Vince held down Zorko in the first half, it was reversed in the second half, which coincided with the Brisbane revival. Jones v Beames saw Jones finally get on top, which also coincided with the Demons finally shaking off the challenge from the Lions in the last. But it was the persistence of Petracca, the timely brilliance of Garlett and equally telling cameos from Fritsch, Hibbert and Oscar that turned the game. Sadly, there were still too many performances which were not up to scratch, at the critical times of the game. Jordan Lewis again sullied his reputation with numerous fumbles and undisciplined acts which gifted the opposition goals. Neville Jetta put in another shocker, although he was nearly knocked out in the first quarter when pushed into a collision overlooked by the umpires. Alex Neal Bullen, Tyson and James Harmes got plenty of touches but simply disappeared for long, long periods of the game, while Tom Bugg virtually guaranteed a return to Casey with a nothing performance and an inability to kick straight from even 20 metres yet again. Strangely Jayden Hunt has lost his dash and must also find something more than six touches for the game or he too will be gracing the grounds with the Casey Demons in coming weeks. Next week sees a return to the G against a now confident North Melbourne. This writer doesn’t need to remind other fans how long it is since we have beaten this side, and their performance against St.Kilda while simply appalling in the first half, showed that they can cause damage when allowed to do so especially when Ben Brown is left to his own devices in their forward line. With the majority of sides sitting on a win for the season, ourselves included, this game will again become a “must win” or once again the Vultures will be circling ... Melbourne 5.4.34 8.7.55 9.11.65 14.16.100 Brisbane Lions 0.3.3 2.6.18 5.11.41 10.14.74 Goals Melbourne Hogan 5 Garlett 4 Fritsch Jones 2 Neal-Bullen. Brisbane Lions Cameron Christensen 3 Bewick Cox Hipwood Zorko Best Melbourne Hogan Garlett Jones Oliver Tyson Petracca Brisbane Lions Cameron Christensen Cox Taylor McStay Zorko Injuries Melbourne Nil Brisbane Nil Reports Nil Umpires Fisher, Rosebury, Hosking Official crowd 17,141 at the Gabba
  2. Demonland

    Match Report - Round 2

    VULTURES CIRCLING (but not dead yet) by George on the Outer The main entrance to the Gabba is located in Vulture Street and it seemed an appropriate name for the Demons half way through the final quarter against the Lions because they were surely circling the tatters of a side that had led the game by seven goals, not 30 minutes earlier. Scores were level with 10 minutes to play and a confident young Brisbane side had all the momentum and will to win. But the Demons weren’t dead yet, and the new breed of young players at the club willed themselves to a 26 point victory. With it all on the line and following the lead of skippper Nathan Jones, the inspiration flowed through to Clayton Oliver, who managed to extract a ball from an impossible position, handball 20 metres to a free Christian Petracca, who slammed the ball forward to a waiting Jesse Hogan who brought the ball to ground for Jeffrey Garlett to crumb and goal. The back of the Lions challenge was broken, and then it was put to bed with further goals to Hogan, Garlett and Bayley Fritsch. This was a game that Melbourne had to win and while that term is widely used at each and every round, in this case it had a high degree of need. Brisbane is an up and coming side, much the same as Melbourne was two years ago, so they can and will cause upsets. Widely touted to finish in the bottom 25% alongside Fremantle and North, the invalidity of that assessment was shown on the weekend as both of those sides proved to be better than Essendon and St.Kilda who were equally touted as possible finalists. To lose this game would have sent the Demons to a 0-2 start to the season and trying to catch up those games during a year with finals aspirations . Most Demon fans would willingly admit Melbourne would have lost such a game in the past, and even more so when the opposition has come back from seven goals down. In 2018, with the results already in, there is a certainty that NO game is a win that can be pencilled in. Every team seems to be capable of winning on the day, so losing the un-losable from the dominant position the Demons were in during the 3rd quarter would be more than costly. The first quarter was a complete whitewash for Melbourne as it completely blew away a hapless Brisbane which failed to score a major, while the Demons piled on five. Jesse Hogan had 3 to half time and Clayton Oliver racked up nearly 20 touches in the same period on his way to 35 for the game. It is still easy to forget that Clayton is 20 years old and is rapidly developing into one of the stars of the game. Max Gawn and former Demon, Steph Martin had a nil all draw in the ruck, so it came down to the rest of the mids to battle for ascendancy. While Bernie Vince held down Zorko in the first half, it was reversed in the second half, which coincided with the Brisbane revival. Jones v Beames saw Jones finally get on top, which also coincided with the Demons finally shaking off the challenge from the Lions in the last. But it was the persistence of Petracca, the timely brilliance of Garlett and equally telling cameos from Fritsch, Hibbert and Oscar that turned the game. Sadly, there were still too many performances which were not up to scratch, at the critical times of the game. Jordan Lewis again sullied his reputation with numerous fumbles and undisciplined acts which gifted the opposition goals. Neville Jetta put in another shocker, although he was nearly knocked out in the first quarter when pushed into a collision overlooked by the umpires. Alex Neal Bullen, Tyson and James Harmes got plenty of touches but simply disappeared for long, long periods of the game, while Tom Bugg virtually guaranteed a return to Casey with a nothing performance and an inability to kick straight from even 20 metres yet again. Strangely Jayden Hunt has lost his dash and must also find something more than six touches for the game or he too will be gracing the grounds with the Casey Demons in coming weeks. Next week sees a return to the G against a now confident North Melbourne. This writer doesn’t need to remind other fans how long it is since we have beaten this side, and their performance against St.Kilda while simply appalling in the first half, showed that they can cause damage when allowed to do so especially when Ben Brown is left to his own devices in their forward line. With the majority of sides sitting on a win for the season, ourselves included, this game will again become a “must win” or once again the Vultures will be circling ... Melbourne 5.4.34 8.7.55 9.11.65 14.16.100 Brisbane Lions 0.3.3 2.6.18 5.11.41 10.14.74 Goals Melbourne Hogan 5 Garlett 4 Fritsch Jones 2 Neal-Bullen. Brisbane Lions Cameron Christensen 3 Bewick Cox Hipwood Zorko Best Melbourne Hogan Garlett Jones Oliver Tyson Petracca Brisbane Lions Cameron Christensen Cox Taylor McStay Zorko Injuries Melbourne Nil Brisbane Nil Reports Nil Umpires Fisher, Rosebury, Hosking Official crowd 17,141 at the Gabba
  3. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE by Whispering Jack “You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive E-lim-i-nate the negative And latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mr. In-Between” ~ Johnny Mercer The problem with Melbourne for far too long has been the fact that so many of its players are Mr. In-Betweens. They can turn up to games and occasionally they will put in a good one but they can’t be relied upon to consistently produce at the highest level. The fact that G Ablett and J Selwood can always be relied upon to perform at the pinnacle of their ability and that they did that to perfection last Sunday was the difference between the teams in a close fought three point game. That said, there was plenty to be positive about against a team that last year finished a game off being in a grand final. The game was often played at a frenetic pace and Melbourne held its own in the ruck and the midfield contests. Max Gawn was back to his All Australian best and it was unfortunate that he fluffed that shot for goal with a tired effort late in the game. The likes of Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver were superb and Nathan Jones gradually worked his way into the game. It was a pity that the selectors in their wisdom or otherwise saw fit to leave out Angus Brayshaw and Dom Tyson because neither of them are Mr. In-Betweens. Perhaps they simply were not quite well prepared enough to gain selection because otherwise, I thought they had done enough in the pre season to warrant selection. And there was simply not enough drive given by the defence (perhaps with the exception of Oscar McDonald) as they leaked like a sieve in the opening half to concede 80 points although they did tighten up to let through just 17 more in the second half. Pity the forwards simply couldn’t emulate their JLT Community Series efforts when they were all in the frame and we saw multiple goal kicking performances. Instead, a dividend of one goal from eight shots at goal in that final quarter simply wasn’t good enough. Despite all that, there were sufficient positives to accentuate. Despite the big numbers of Ablett and Selwood, the Demon midfield helped the team move the ball inside the 50 metre arc a staggering 64 times to 41 and that sort of dominance will normally win you games by big margins. And we know that the likes of Nev Jetta and Jake Lever will play better than they did against the Cats. So it’s onward to Saturday night in Brisbane where the Demons have rarely been sighted in the past few years. They have not met at the Gabba since the early days of the current decade but the intervening period is like light years for both clubs. Melbourne has reloaded with a maturing team with loads of talent while the Lions have been languishing in the early stages of a rebuild. However, the game will hardly be a cakewalk in the light of the Lions’ improvement. They have a young eager side that troubled Melbourne at their last meeting which happened just two or three games ago and late into the 2017 season. And they are playing at their home ground just as thousands of international visitors begin to descend to gather just down the road for one their region’s biggest sporting event for ages. Melbourne therefore must bring its best and brightest game to our northern state. That must be reflected in the team selected to run out onto the Gabba - a team without any Mr. In-Betweens. THE GAME Brisbane v Melbourne at The Gabba Saturday, 31 March, 2018 at 7.25pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Brisbane 20 wins, Melbourne 24 wins At The Gabba: Brisbane 13 wins, Melbourne 7 wins Last Five Meetings: Brisbane 2 wins, Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches: Fagan 0 wins, Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 7.00pm Radio - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Brisbane 14.7.91 at the MCG, Round 22, 2017 It was close for the first three quarters but when James Harmes kicked truly with less than six minutes gone in the last, the Dees were headed for a place in the finals. Surely, against the lowly Lions and on their home turf, they were capable of pushing a 32 point lead out to a 50 point win? No, not this team. They conceded four goals in a row and at one stage, led by just 7 points to cause a significant rise in the collective blood pressure of the Demon faithful and a week later they were unceremoniously dumped from the finals. THE TEAMS BRISBANE LIONS B: Nick Robertson, Josh Walker, Darcy Gardiner HB: Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Alex Witherden C: Lewis Taylor, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Lester HF: Cameron Rayner, Daniel McStay, Hugh McCluggage F: Allen Christensen, Eric Hipwood, Charlie Cameron Foll: Stefan Martin, Jarrod Berry, Dayne Beams I/C: Rohan Bewick, Cedric Cox, Rhys Mathieson, Sam Mayes Emg: Zac Bailey, Jake Barrett, Tom Cutler, Archie Smith IN: Rohan Bewick, Cedric Cox, Rhys Mathieson OUT: Tom Bell (omitted), Daniel Rich (ankle), Mitch Robinson (suspended) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Jake Lever, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Salem, Nathan Jones HF: Christian Petracca, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes F: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett Foll Max Gawn Clayton Oliver Alex Neal-Bullen I/C Dom Tyson Jake Melksham Tomas Bugg Josh Wagner Emg: Sam Frost, Dean Kent, Corey Maynard, Billy Stretch IN: Tomas Bugg, Dom Tyson OUT: Mitch Hannan (omitted), Corey Maynard (omitted) THE FULL FOUR QUARTERS In the wake of Melbourne’s narrow round one defeat, the media has highlighted the team’s tendency over the past two or three years to lose its way for short periods during games. It’s true that the Demons blew multiple opportunities to ice that game but the lapses have occurred too often and they happen at different times so we don’t quite know when they’re coming. Last week, it was the leaking of three goals after the 25 minute mark of the second quarter. In the club’s previous AFL rostered game in round 23 against Collingwood, it was in the first quarter and a week before that, it came in the last 20 minutes against the Lions at the MCG. And so on ... despite all of the improvements in personnel, there always remains a doubt as to Melbourne’s ability to play out 100 minutes of football. Is this a sign of mental fragility, a lack of fitness or maturity among the team, too many Mr. In-Betweens or is it something that just happens? We don’t really have the answer just yet but we might find out a little more about the Demons this week when they travel north to face a Brisbane side that also held its own for much of its own round one encounter, only to fade at the end. The Lions have been fortified by the recruitment of Charlie Cameron, Luke Hodge and young gun Cam Rayner and will be eager to take the points in the first home game for the season. Melbourne left things to far too few last week with just four players managing over 20 disposals and we will surely see better from the likes of Christian Salem, Nev Jetta, Alex Neal-Bullen and the forwards who failed to take advantage of 64 entries into the forward 50. They might be hard at it in the middle but they also need some more run on the outside where they were exposed by the Cats. There will also be great interest in the ruck duels where Max Gawn should be highly motivated to erase the memories of last week’s final moments. It won’t be easy because Stef Martin is a seasoned campaigner who will be equally eager to prove a point against his old side. In the end, it could actually come down to the team changes. Brisbane has lost players through injury and suspension while Melbourne looks a better side with the inclusion of Dom Tyson (who should never have missed last week). Tom Bugg is not in everyone’s best 22 but he has been sitting on the sidelines for months on end wondering if he will ever get the opportunity to atone for his brain fade against the Swans in July last year. He knows he has to grasp his chances now that he’s back in the side. And that’s the thing. The Richmond team that started its own journey towards fame and fortune twelve months ago, wasn’t really rated because it couldn’t perform with consistency for the full four quarters. At the time, they didn’t have an explanation but with, hard work and over time, they found the answer. Demons to bounce back, put in a full four quarter game and win by 28 points.
  4. Josh

    GAMEDAY - Round 2

    It's that time of year again, the world famous Corowa Easter Saturday Billy cart races. 10am start and we've had enough by 10.30 and start the pub crawl home. I doubt I'll see any of the game tonight let alone remember, but I have this sinking feeling I wont want too...
  5. "You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive E-lim-i-nate the negative And latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mr. In-Between” ~ Johnny Mercer The problem with Melbourne for far too long has been the fact that so many of its players are Mr. In-Betweens. They can turn up to games and occasionally they will put in a good one but they can’t be relied upon to consistently produce at the highest level. The fact that G Ablett and J Selwood can always be relied upon to perform at the pinnacle of their ability and that they did that to perfection last Sunday was the difference between the teams in a close fought three point game. That said, there was plenty to be positive about against a team that last year finished a game off being in a grand final. The game was often played at a frenetic pace and Melbourne held its own in the ruck and the midfield contests. Max Gawn was back to his All Australian best and it was unfortunate that he fluffed that shot for goal with a tired effort late in the game. The likes of Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver were superb and Nathan Jones gradually worked his way into the game. It was a pity that the selectors in their wisdom or otherwise saw fit to leave out Angus Brayshaw and Dom Tyson because neither of them are Mr. In-Betweens. Perhaps they simply were not quite well prepared enough to gain selection because otherwise, I thought they had done enough in the pre season to warrant selection. And there was simply not enough drive given by the defence (perhaps with the exception of Oscar McDonald) as they leaked like a sieve in the opening half to concede 80 points although they did tighten up to let through just 17 more in the second half. Pity the forwards simply couldn’t emulate their JLT Community Series efforts when they were all in the frame and we saw multiple goal kicking performances. Instead, a dividend of one goal from eight shots at goal in that final quarter simply wasn’t good enough. Despite all that, there were sufficient positives to accentuate. Despite the big numbers of Ablett and Selwood, the Demon midfield helped the team move the ball inside the 50 metre arc a staggering 64 times to 41 and that sort of dominance will normally win you games by big margins. And we know that the likes of Nev Jetta and Jake Lever will play better than they did against the Cats. So it’s onward to Saturday night in Brisbane where the Demons have rarely been sighted in the past few years. They have not met at the Gabba since the early days of the current decade but the intervening period is like light years for both clubs. Melbourne has reloaded with a maturing team with loads of talent while the Lions have been languishing in the early stages of a rebuild. However, the game will hardly be a cakewalk in the light of the Lions’ improvement. They have a young eager side that troubled Melbourne at their last meeting which happened just two or three games ago and late into the 2017 season. And they are playing at their home ground just as thousands of international visitors begin to descend to gather just down the road for one their region’s biggest sporting event for ages. Melbourne therefore must bring its best and brightest game to our northern state. That must be reflected in the team selected to run out onto the Gabba - a team without any Mr. In-Betweens. THE GAME Brisbane v Melbourne at The Gabba Saturday, 31 March, 2018 at 7.25pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Brisbane 20 wins, Melbourne 24 wins At The Gabba: Brisbane 13 wins, Melbourne 7 wins Last Five Meetings: Brisbane 2 wins, Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches: Fagan 0 wins, Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 7.00pm Radio - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Brisbane 14.7.91 at the MCG, Round 22, 2017 It was close for the first three quarters but when James Harmes kicked truly with less than six minutes gone in the last, the Dees were headed for a place in the finals. Surely, against the lowly Lions and on their home turf, they were capable of pushing a 32 point lead out to a 50 point win? No, not this team. They conceded four goals in a row and at one stage, led by just 7 points to cause a significant rise in the collective blood pressure of the Demon faithful and a week later they were unceremoniously dumped from the finals. THE TEAMS BRISBANE LIONS B: Nick Robertson, Josh Walker, Darcy Gardiner HB: Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Alex Witherden C: Lewis Taylor, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Lester HF: Cameron Rayner, Daniel McStay, Hugh McCluggage F: Allen Christensen, Eric Hipwood, Charlie Cameron Foll: Stefan Martin, Jarrod Berry, Dayne Beams I/C: Rohan Bewick, Cedric Cox, Rhys Mathieson, Sam Mayes Emg: Zac Bailey, Jake Barrett, Tom Cutler, Archie Smith IN: Rohan Bewick, Cedric Cox, Rhys Mathieson OUT: Tom Bell (omitted), Daniel Rich (ankle), Mitch Robinson (suspended) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Jake Lever, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Salem, Nathan Jones HF: Christian Petracca, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes F: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett Foll Max Gawn Clayton Oliver Alex Neal-Bullen I/C Dom Tyson Jake Melksham Tomas Bugg Josh Wagner Emg: Sam Frost, Dean Kent, Corey Maynard, Billy Stretch IN: Tomas Bugg, Dom Tyson OUT: Mitch Hannan (omitted), Corey Maynard (omitted) THE FULL FOUR QUARTERS In the wake of Melbourne’s narrow round one defeat, the media has highlighted the team’s tendency over the past two or three years to lose its way for short periods during games. It’s true that the Demons blew multiple opportunities to ice that game but the lapses have occurred too often and they happen at different times so we don’t quite know when they’re coming. Last week, it was the leaking of three goals after the 25 minute mark of the second quarter. In the club’s previous AFL rostered game in round 23 against Collingwood, it was in the first quarter and a week before that, it came in the last 20 minutes against the Lions at the MCG. And so on ... despite all of the improvements in personnel, there always remains a doubt as to Melbourne’s ability to play out 100 minutes of football. Is this a sign of mental fragility, a lack of fitness or maturity among the team, too many Mr. In-Betweens or is it something that just happens? We don’t really have the answer just yet but we might find out a little more about the Demons this week when they travel north to face a Brisbane side that also held its own for much of its own round one encounter, only to fade at the end. The Lions have been fortified by the recruitment of Charlie Cameron, Luke Hodge and young gun Cam Rayner and will be eager to take the points in the first home game for the season. Melbourne left things to far too few last week with just four players managing over 20 disposals and we will surely see better from the likes of Christian Salem, Nev Jetta, Alex Neal-Bullen and the forwards who failed to take advantage of 64 entries into the forward 50. They might be hard at it in the middle but they also need some more run on the outside where they were exposed by the Cats. There will also be great interest in the ruck duels where Max Gawn should be highly motivated to erase the memories of last week’s final moments. It won’t be easy because Stef Martin is a seasoned campaigner who will be equally eager to prove a point against his old side. In the end, it could actually come down to the team changes. Brisbane has lost players through injury and suspension while Melbourne looks a better side with the inclusion of Dom Tyson (who should never have missed last week). Tom Bugg is not in everyone’s best 22 but he has been sitting on the sidelines for months on end wondering if he will ever get the opportunity to atone for his brain fade against the Swans in July last year. He knows he has to grasp his chances now that he’s back in the side. And that’s the thing. The Richmond team that started its own journey towards fame and fortune twelve months ago, wasn’t really rated because it couldn’t perform with consistency for the full four quarters. At the time, they didn’t have an explanation but with, hard work and over time, they found the answer. Demons to bounce back, put in a full four quarter game and win by 28 points.
  6. Demonland

    THE WRITING ON THE WALL

    THE WRITING ON THE WALL by Grapeviney At some point between Melbourne's unexpected victory over the Bombers on a wintry Saturday night last month, and quarter time against expansion team GWS a few weeks later, Demons supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that their team might purge their miserable 2012 season opening loss to the Lions with a victory in the return match in Brisbane on Sunday. Sure, the Demons' 2-10 win-loss ratio heading in to the Brisbane game was nothing to write home about, but there were increasing signs that Mark Neeld's charges were starting to adapt to the new coach's game-plan and vision. Some of that optimism had dissipated in the wake of Melbourne's 78-point thumping of the Giants, when the club learned of the season-ending foot injury to gun recruit Mitch Clark, who before yesterday's game had bagged an admirable 25 per cent of the Demons' goals in season 2012. But with the movement of Colin Garland and Jared Rivers to the forward line paying dividends, there seemed to be cause for hope even with Clark sidelined. Hope turned to dismay, however, before the Lions game, with news that Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones were late withdrawals, and any chance that the Demons had of causing an upset disappeared in the opening minutes of the match, when improving defender Tom McDonald copped a knee to the abdomen and had to be hospitalised with a suspected punctured lung. In isolation, Melbourne might have been able to handle these setbacks, but taken together, the side was seriously undermined whichever way Neeld chose to position his troops. To his credit, the coach didn't panic when McDonald went down, and while it left an undersized Watts matched up against the Lions' man-mountain in Brown for a short time, Neeld's faith in the starting line-up seemed to pay dividends when the Demons drew within a point of the home side late in the first quarter. But the writing was on the wall, even in that first term. While Melbourne could only manage to score goals best described as opportunistic, Brisbane had little trouble finding avenues forward, and two late goals to Brown saw the home side slip away to a handy lead that would only increase as the day wore on. From there, it was only a matter of filling in the details. Melbourne contested the hard ball well, and there was little to separate the two sides in the clearances, inside-50's, and contested possessions, but the Demons failed to register a major in the second term and could only manage a solitary goal in the third as Brisbane moved the ball with ease from half back to set up scoring chances in their forward 50. In contrast, the Demons struggled – as they have for much of the year - to run and spread and move the ball with speed, and they regularly broke down at half forward. Stef Martin made a triumphant return to senior football, displaying the form which saw him fill in so successfully for an injured Jamar last year, and Joel Macdonald answered his many critics by complementing his usual hardness at the ball with an 88-per cent disposal efficiency. Jeremy Howe continued to show why he is one of the more promising names on the club's list, and Jordie McKenzie played the rugged, no-nonsense type of game MFC supporters have come to expect from him. With Melbourne facing the Tigers – a team with much to play for and an impressive midfield – this week, it's going to take an effort of Herculean proportions if the Demons are to return to the winner's circle Melbourne 3.6.24 3.8.26 4.11.35 8.13.61 Brisbane Lions 6.1.37 9.60 13.11.89 18.14.122 Goals Melbourne Blease 2 Bail Bate Garland Howe McKenzie Sylvia Brisbane Lions Brown 4 Hanley McGrath 3 Green 2 Bewick Black Merrett Polec Redden Zorko Best Melbourne Howe Macdonald Sylvia Blease Martin Watts Brisbane Lions Rich Brown Black Rockliff Harwood Hanley Injuries Melbourne Tom McDonald (lung) Brisbane Lions McGrath (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones replaced in the selected side by Jake Spencer and Sam Blease Brisbane Lions Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Brisbane Lions Nil Umpires Kamolins Jennings Mollison Crowd 22,114, at Gabba
  7. Whispering_Jack

    THE WRITING ON THE WALL

    THE WRITING ON THE WALL by Grapeviney At some point between Melbourne's unexpected victory over the Bombers on a wintry Saturday night last month, and quarter time against expansion team GWS a few weeks later, Demons supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that their team might purge their miserable 2012 season opening loss to the Lions with a victory in the return match in Brisbane on Sunday. Sure, the Demons' 2-10 win-loss ratio heading in to the Brisbane game was nothing to write home about, but there were increasing signs that Mark Neeld's charges were starting to adapt to the new coach's game-plan and vision. Some of that optimism had dissipated in the wake of Melbourne's 78-point thumping of the Giants, when the club learned of the season-ending foot injury to gun recruit Mitch Clark, who before yesterday's game had bagged an admirable 25 per cent of the Demons' goals in season 2012. But with the movement of Colin Garland and Jared Rivers to the forward line paying dividends, there seemed to be cause for hope even with Clark sidelined. Hope turned to dismay, however, before the Lions game, with news that Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones were late withdrawals, and any chance that the Demons had of causing an upset disappeared in the opening minutes of the match, when improving defender Tom McDonald copped a knee to the abdomen and had to be hospitalised with a suspected punctured lung. In isolation, Melbourne might have been able to handle these setbacks, but taken together, the side was seriously undermined whichever way Neeld chose to position his troops. To his credit, the coach didn't panic when McDonald went down, and while it left an undersized Watts matched up against the Lions' man-mountain in Brown for a short time, Neeld's faith in the starting line-up seemed to pay dividends when the Demons drew within a point of the home side late in the first quarter. But the writing was on the wall, even in that first term. While Melbourne could only manage to score goals best described as opportunistic, Brisbane had little trouble finding avenues forward, and two late goals to Brown saw the home side slip away to a handy lead that would only increase as the day wore on. From there, it was only a matter of filling in the details. Melbourne contested the hard ball well, and there was little to separate the two sides in the clearances, inside-50's, and contested possessions, but the Demons failed to register a major in the second term and could only manage a solitary goal in the third as Brisbane moved the ball with ease from half back to set up scoring chances in their forward 50. In contrast, the Demons struggled – as they have for much of the year - to run and spread and move the ball with speed, and they regularly broke down at half forward. Stef Martin made a triumphant return to senior football, displaying the form which saw him fill in so successfully for an injured Jamar last year, and Joel Macdonald answered his many critics by complementing his usual hardness at the ball with an 88-per cent disposal efficiency. Jeremy Howe continued to show why he is one of the more promising names on the club's list, and Jordie McKenzie played the rugged, no-nonsense type of game MFC supporters have come to expect from him. With Melbourne facing the Tigers – a team with much to play for and an impressive midfield – this week, it's going to take an effort of Herculean proportions if the Demons are to return to the winner's circle Melbourne 3.6.24 3.8.26 4.11.35 8.13.61 Brisbane Lions 6.1.37 9.60 13.11.89 18.14.122 Goals Melbourne Blease 2 Bail Bate Garland Howe McKenzie Sylvia Brisbane Lions Brown 4 Hanley McGrath 3 Green 2 Bewick Black Merrett Polec Redden Zorko Best Melbourne Howe Macdonald Sylvia Blease Martin Watts Brisbane Lions Rich Brown Black Rockliff Harwood Hanley Injuries Melbourne Tom McDonald (lung) Brisbane Lions McGrath (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones replaced in the selected side by Jake Spencer and Sam Blease Brisbane Lions Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Brisbane Lions Nil Umpires Kamolins Jennings Mollison Crowd 22,114, at Gabba
  8. Demonland

    GAME DAY - ROUND 14

    This is the test for the Demons. Can they make it 3 out of 4 and achieve that result without Mitch Clark who has been a revelation for them up forward? The AFL needs another interesting match in a round that has so far created little excitement apart from Adelaide's stirring comeback against Rochmond. The rest of the weekend's games to date have been rubbish.
  9. Demonland

    THE HEAT IS OFF

    THE HEAT IS OFF by the Oracle A little over three months ago, it all started with the Brisbane Lions at the end of a long, hot summer. It was a time full of hope and a measure of confidence. There was so much about the club that was new and the pre season, while not inspirational, had produced some flashes that gave rise to some inspiration. To be sure, a handful of key personnel were missing the opening game of the season but this was Brisbane and it was our home soil. The Demons had their moments in the first half before they capitulated in the second. To the surprise of many, it was the visiting Lions who dominated the midfield and ran Melbourne off its feet in the hot conditions. Mark Neeld's Demons were already experiencing a horror run off the field but now the heat was was well and truly on where the game is really played - on the ground. That run stretched and extended itself in many directions over the ensuing two months with defeat after defeat, some of them crushings that left officials, players and supporters totally numbed and with no respite in sight. Relief came finally with a totally unexpected victory on drizzly Saturday night against Essendon, then one of the premiership favourites, and more lately, when Melbourne thrashed the fledgling GWS Giants last Sunday at the MCG. With the cold of winter finally setting in, the heat was finally off for the Demons of 2012. Their season is shot and there will be no finals glory (though the dreamers might speak of "mathematical possibility") the coming ten weeks provide very little for supporters of the club to which they can look forward with much excitement. There's the possibility of some face saving by winning a few of the remaining games - a number of them are definitely winnable. There's the possible introduction of new faces from the ranks of those going around at Casey and there will be farewells to old warriors. Those with keen eyes for the game will watch closely to observe the development of Mark Neeld's game plan and whether it's sinking in on the playing group. Others will be hoping the players stay healthy so that they can start the 2013 campaign on a good footing while others still, will be keeping a watchful eye on the youngsters coming through junior ranks in the hope that their club can snaffle a future star later in the year. It's clear that the focus will not be entirely where we all hoped it would be at this stage of the season when the Demons ran onto the field against the Brisbane Lions in March. We couldn't have known then that by the time the teams were due to meet again this Sunday in Brisbane, that the team's leading goalkicker for this season would be out of action for the year, that his counterpart from last year would not yet have played a full game or kicked even one goal and the one from the year before would also spend most of the season on the sidelines with a combination of injury and form worries. That is the state of the club's season to date. My preview of the opening game was entitled "The Heat Is On" but that is definitely not the case as we move into the cold month of July. THE GAME Brisbane v Melbourne at The Gabba - Sunday, 1 July 2012 at 3.15 pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Brisbane 11 wins Melbourne 19 wins Gabba Brisbane 8 wins Melbourne 4 wins Since 2000 Brisbane 8 wins Melbourne 8 wins The Coaches Voss 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA Channel 7 TV Fox Footy (live at 3:00pm AEST) RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Brisbane $1.25 Melbourne $4.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Brisbane Lions 17.17.119 defeated Melbourne 11.12.78 in round 1, 2012 at the MCG Melbourne opened as the firm favourite for the opening round clash but it was ultimately exposed in the midfield where Brisbane veteran and his on ball cohorts put on a masterclass winning at will at the stoppages, running and spreading at will against the sluggish Demons. Newcomer James Magner was a revelation and Melbourne's best player in a disappointing effort that set the scene for many weeks to come. THE TEAMS BRISBANE LIONS Backs Josh Drummond Joel Patfull Ryan Harwood Half backs Mitch Golby Niall McKeever Jed Adcock Centreline Ryan Lester Daniel Rich Pearce Hanley Half forwards Simon Black Jonathan Brown Dayne Zorko Forwards James Polkinghorne Daniel Merrett Ashley McGrath Followers Ben Hudson Tom Rockliff Andrew Raines Interchange Rohan Bewick Josh Green Jared Polec Jack Redden Emergencies Jack Crisp Patrick Karnezis Elliot Yeo In Jared Polec Out Matt Maguire (elbow) MELBOURNE Backs Tom McDonald James Frawley Jared Rivers Half backs Daniel Nicholson Jack Watts Jack Grimes Centreline James Magner Jordie McKenzie Joel Macdonald Half forwards Jack Trengove James Sellar Nathan Jones Forwards Jeremy Howe Colin Garland Luke Tapscott Followers Mark Jamar Brent Moloney Colin Sylvia Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Lynden Dunn Stef Martin Emergencies Jamie Bennell Sam Blease Jake Spencer In Rohan Bail Jamie Stef Martin Luke Tapscott Out Sam Blease (omitted) Mitch Clark (foot) Aaron Davey (hamstring) THE GIFT OF THE GABBA A fine and sunny day awaits the Melbourne Football Club for its visit to Brisbane. Blue skies and 21 degrees Celsius sounds mighty inviting. If only I had the moolah to part with in my bank account instead of a close to maxed out Visacard, I would be up there in a flash on some heavily discounted Tiger Airway flight staying at that el cheapo motel that accommodated half of the Demons' football department when they went headhunting Mitch Clark last October. That would have been the best $39.00 spend in the club's history until Wednesday of this week when the surgeon presented it with a $23,000.00 bill for his Lisfranc (midfoot) operation. Which brings me back to my preview of Sunday's game at the Gabba because Mitch Clark's injury has revolutionised my thinking about the result. That and the fact that the Lions have discovered a rich vein of form and my relatives up there are even mentioning the "F" word (meaning "finals" in case you're wondering). Yes, a win to the Lions would put them on six wins and level with Carlton whose supporters still talk in hushed terms of not only making the finals but of winning the flag. In this game, both teams on the up and up and both have recently beaten genuine premiership contenders rather than sham ones like Carlton. Brisbane’s form against West Coast certainly shocked the football world but it’s follow up victory against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad certainly made them sit up. They have few injuries and their midfield of Black, Rich, Redden and Rockliff was good enough to destroy Melbourne back in March and continues to be its dominant line, so that is the department where the Demons need to improve if they are to win. Melbourne’s midfield stocks have also improved. Not so much in the terms of its personnel but more in its intensity and its work rate, which was virtually nonexistent after half time when the teams last met. I recall on that occasion, even without Jonathan Brown in the line up, the Lions were able to capitalise on their midfield dominance to score with regularity throughout the game. This time, with Brown and with at least one of the defenders having to drop forward to fill in for the loss of Clark and the continuing absence of Liam Jurrah, I expect Brisbane to just get home. Brisbane by 3 points. And for those who are going to the game, this special treat - 3 Things You Should Know For Your Great Gabba Getaway – Press Release
  10. Demonland

    THE HEAT IS OFF

    THE HEAT IS OFF by the Oracle A little over three months ago, it all started with the Brisbane Lions at the end of a long, hot summer. It was a time full of hope and a measure of confidence. There was so much about the club that was new and the pre season, while not inspirational, had produced some flashes that gave rise to some inspiration. To be sure, a handful of key personnel were missing the opening game of the season but this was Brisbane and it was our home soil. The Demons had their moments in the first half before they capitulated in the second. To the surprise of many, it was the visiting Lions who dominated the midfield and ran Melbourne off its feet in the hot conditions. Mark Neeld's Demons were already experiencing a horror run off the field but now the heat was was well and truly on where the game is really played - on the ground. That run stretched and extended itself in many directions over the ensuing two months with defeat after defeat, some of them crushings that left officials, players and supporters totally numbed and with no respite in sight. Relief came finally with a totally unexpected victory on drizzly Saturday night against Essendon, then one of the premiership favourites, and more lately, when Melbourne thrashed the fledgling GWS Giants last Sunday at the MCG. With the cold of winter finally setting in, the heat was finally off for the Demons of 2012. Their season is shot and there will be no finals glory (though the dreamers might speak of "mathematical possibility") the coming ten weeks provide very little for supporters of the club to which they can look forward with much excitement. There's the possibility of some face saving by winning a few of the remaining games - a number of them are definitely winnable. There's the possible introduction of new faces from the ranks of those going around at Casey and there will be farewells to old warriors. Those with keen eyes for the game will watch closely to observe the development of Mark Neeld's game plan and whether it's sinking in on the playing group. Others will be hoping the players stay healthy so that they can start the 2013 campaign on a good footing while others still, will be keeping a watchful eye on the youngsters coming through junior ranks in the hope that their club can snaffle a future star later in the year. It's clear that the focus will not be entirely where we all hoped it would be at this stage of the season when the Demons ran onto the field against the Brisbane Lions in March. We couldn't have known then that by the time the teams were due to meet again this Sunday in Brisbane, that the team's leading goalkicker for this season would be out of action for the year, that his counterpart from last year would not yet have played a full game or kicked even one goal and the one from the year before would also spend most of the season on the sidelines with a combination of injury and form worries. That is the state of the club's season to date. My preview of the opening game was entitled "The Heat Is On" but that is definitely not the case as we move into the cold month of July. THE GAME Brisbane v Melbourne at The Gabba - Sunday, 1 July 2012 at 3.15 pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Brisbane 11 wins Melbourne 19 wins Gabba Brisbane 8 wins Melbourne 4 wins Since 2000 Brisbane 8 wins Melbourne 8 wins The Coaches Voss 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA Channel 7 TV Fox Footy (live at 3:00pm AEST) RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Brisbane $1.25 Melbourne $4.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Brisbane Lions 17.17.119 defeated Melbourne 11.12.78 in round 1, 2012 at the MCG Melbourne opened as the firm favourite for the opening round clash but it was ultimately exposed in the midfield where Brisbane veteran and his on ball cohorts put on a masterclass winning at will at the stoppages, running and spreading at will against the sluggish Demons. Newcomer James Magner was a revelation and Melbourne's best player in a disappointing effort that set the scene for many weeks to come. THE TEAMS BRISBANE LIONS Backs Josh Drummond Joel Patfull Ryan Harwood Half backs Mitch Golby Niall McKeever Jed Adcock Centreline Ryan Lester Daniel Rich Pearce Hanley Half forwards Simon Black Jonathan Brown Dayne Zorko Forwards James Polkinghorne Daniel Merrett Ashley McGrath Followers Ben Hudson Tom Rockliff Andrew Raines Interchange Rohan Bewick Josh Green Jared Polec Jack Redden Emergencies Jack Crisp Patrick Karnezis Elliot Yeo In Jared Polec Out Matt Maguire (elbow) MELBOURNE Backs Tom McDonald James Frawley Jared Rivers Half backs Daniel Nicholson Jack Watts Jack Grimes Centreline James Magner Jordie McKenzie Joel Macdonald Half forwards Jack Trengove James Sellar Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Colin Garland Luke Tapscott Followers Jake Spencer Brent Moloney Colin Sylvia Interchange Matthew Bate Sam Blease Lynden Dunn Stef Martin Emergencies Jamie Bennell (Mark Jamar Nathan Jones replaced) In Rohan Bail Jamie Stef Martin Luke Tapscott Out Mitch Clark (foot) Aaron Davey (hamstring) Mark Jamar (calf) Nathan Jones (calf) THE GIFT OF THE GABBA A fine and sunny day awaits the Melbourne Football Club for its visit to Brisbane. Blue skies and 21 degrees Celsius sounds mighty inviting. If only I had the moolah to part with in my bank account instead of a close to maxed out Visacard, I would be up there in a flash on some heavily discounted Tiger Airway flight staying at that el cheapo motel that accommodated half of the Demons' football department when they went headhunting Mitch Clark last October. That would have been the best $39.00 spend in the club's history until Wednesday of this week when the surgeon presented it with a $23,000.00 bill for his Lisfranc (midfoot) operation. Which brings me back to my preview of Sunday's game at the Gabba because Mitch Clark's injury has revolutionised my thinking about the result. That and the fact that the Lions have discovered a rich vein of form and my relatives up there are even mentioning the "F" word (meaning "finals" in case you're wondering). Yes, a win to the Lions would put them on six wins and level with Carlton whose supporters still talk in hushed terms of not only making the finals but of winning the flag. In this game, both teams on the up and up and both have recently beaten genuine premiership contenders rather than sham ones like Carlton. Brisbane’s form against West Coast certainly shocked the football world but it’s follow up victory against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad certainly made them sit up. They have few injuries and their midfield of Black, Rich, Redden and Rockliff was good enough to destroy Melbourne back in March and continues to be its dominant line, so that is the department where the Demons need to improve if they are to win. Melbourne’s midfield stocks have also improved. Not so much in the terms of its personnel but more in its intensity and its work rate, which was virtually nonexistent after half time when the teams last met. I recall on that occasion, even without Jonathan Brown in the line up, the Lions were able to capitalise on their midfield dominance to score with regularity throughout the game. This time, with Brown and with at least one of the defenders having to drop forward to fill in for the loss of Clark and the continuing absence of Liam Jurrah, I expect Brisbane to just get home. Brisbane by 3 points. And for those who are going to the game, this special treat - 3 Things You Should Know For Your Great Gabba Getaway – Press Release
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