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Found 21 results

  1. KILLERS by George on the Outer

    A guaranteed finals berth was on offer - a chance to stamp some authority on the season and to not be the Melbourne of old. It was all there in the final match of the home and away season against Collingwood. The team came out killers. Not the ones that are ruthless and single minded, but season killers. Supporter killers. Killers of hope and aspiration. From the very first bounce it was obvious which was the team who was going to win the match, and it wasn’t Melbourne. The old “turn up and win” attitude was on full display as players simply trotted around and failed to get to the contests. There was no grit and determination, no tackling and no willingness to put in the extra effort needed to justify a finals berth. It wasn’t until the third quarter that any effort was forthcoming, but even then the lack of skill and multiple stupid turnovers cost dearly. The final quarter was the same with supposed senior players failing to show the necessary calmness under pressure. The momentum that had been gained by coming back from a five goal deficit was stifled and killed, as the usual culprits handballed when not needed, or failed to kick sufficiently accurately to hit Melbourne players on the chest. All around the ground Melbourne players were beaten. Max Gawn continued his poor form as he was not only beaten in the ruck, but around the ground as well with only eight touches in total and only three marks to his name for the game . Even Mason Cox managed five, while Max’s regular opponent in Grundy took eight as well. Dom Tyson put in yet another shocker and continues to turn the ball over by failing to kick it when getting possession. He puts teammates under extreme pressure, when the ball should be 40 metres downfield instead. A midfielder running at below 60% efficiency is damaging to the side, and today, he was a killer. Mitch Hannan and James Harmes failed to trouble the statisticians too much and one could ask whether they were on the field for the game at all such was their lack of influence. Things weren’t helped when Jesse Hogan went down in the second quarter with a hamstring, leaving the side one short. Fortunately, Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca started something in the third term by bullocking and putting in, even though the results didn’t come immediately. Being five goals down was too much to ask, and even when there seemed like a glimmer of hope in the final quarter, Tom McDonald managed a couple of howlers in the backline and up forward to kill the game. Even Bernie Vince fluffed an easy snap in the dying seconds, which we can only hope doesn’t mean the difference between finals and not. All round it was a killer of a day. There was little to be taken away and now the whole season outcome is out of our hands. We still haven’t learnt the lessons shown by the likes of Sydney and Hawthorn, who in dire circumstances will always stand up. Melbourne 1.3.9 4.8.32 9.10.64 12.11.83 Collingwood 6.5.41 9.6.60 12.10.82 14.15.99 Goals Melbourne Melksham 3 Garlett Neal-Bullen Petracca 2 Hannan Pedersen Watts Collingwood Elliott 3 Cox Hoskin-Elliott Phillips 2 Adams Broomhead Daicos Grundy Sidebottom Best Melbourne Oliver Petracca Lewis Melksham Jones Watts Collingwood Elliott Adams Hoskin-Elliott Sidebottom Treloar Dunn Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Reid (general soreness) replaced by Kirby in the selected side Injuries Melbourne Hogan (hamstring) Collingwood Sidebottom (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Umpires Rosebury, Deboy, Pannell Official crowd 51,223 at the MCG
  2. MATCH REPORT - Round 23

    KILLERS by George on the Outer A guaranteed finals berth was on offer - a chance to stamp some authority on the season and to not be the Melbourne of old. It was all there in the final match of the home and away season against Collingwood. The team came out killers. Not the ones that are ruthless and single minded, but season killers. Supporter killers. Killers of hope and aspiration. From the very first bounce it was obvious which was the team who was going to win the match, and it wasn’t Melbourne. The old “turn up and win” attitude was on full display as players simply trotted around and failed to get to the contests. There was no grit and determination, no tackling and no willingness to put in the extra effort needed to justify a finals berth. It wasn’t until the third quarter that any effort was forthcoming, but even then the lack of skill and multiple stupid turnovers cost dearly. The final quarter was the same with supposed senior players failing to show the necessary calmness under pressure. The momentum that had been gained by coming back from a five goal deficit was stifled and killed, as the usual culprits handballed when not needed, or failed to kick sufficiently accurately to hit Melbourne players on the chest. All around the ground Melbourne players were beaten. Max Gawn continued his poor form as he was not only beaten in the ruck, but around the ground as well with only eight touches in total and only three marks to his name for the game . Even Mason Cox managed five, while Max’s regular opponent in Grundy took eight as well. Dom Tyson put in yet another shocker and continues to turn the ball over by failing to kick it when getting possession. He puts teammates under extreme pressure, when the ball should be 40 metres downfield instead. A midfielder running at below 60% efficiency is damaging to the side, and today, he was a killer. Mitch Hannan and James Harmes failed to trouble the statisticians too much and one could ask whether they were on the field for the game at all such was their lack of influence. Things weren’t helped when Jesse Hogan went down in the second quarter with a hamstring, leaving the side one short. Fortunately, Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca started something in the third term by bullocking and putting in, even though the results didn’t come immediately. Being five goals down was too much to ask, and even when there seemed like a glimmer of hope in the final quarter, Tom McDonald managed a couple of howlers in the backline and up forward to kill the game. Even Bernie Vince fluffed an easy snap in the dying seconds, which we can only hope doesn’t mean the difference between finals and not. All round it was a killer of a day. There was little to be taken away and now the whole season outcome is out of our hands. We still haven’t learnt the lessons shown by the likes of Sydney and Hawthorn, who in dire circumstances will always stand up. Melbourne 1.3.9 4.8.32 9.10.64 12.11.83 Collingwood 6.5.41 9.6.60 12.10.82 14.15.99 Goals Melbourne Melksham 3 Garlett Neal-Bullen Petracca 2 Hannan Pedersen Watts Collingwood Elliott 3 Cox Hoskin-Elliott Phillips 2 Adams Broomhead Daicos Grundy Sidebottom Best Melbourne Oliver Petracca Lewis Melksham Jones Watts Collingwood Elliott Adams Hoskin-Elliott Sidebottom Treloar Dunn Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Reid (general soreness) replaced by Kirby in the selected side Injuries Melbourne Hogan (hamstring) Collingwood Sidebottom (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Umpires Rosebury, Deboy, Pannell Official crowd 51,223 at the MCG
  3. Well ... that was fairly conclusive, wasn't it?
  4. GAMEDAY - Round 23

    There's a sense of history about today - much like it was with the final round of 1987 when many of us travelled to Footscray and watched Melbourne's famous victory. Back then, we depended on Hawthorn to beat Geelong and Jason Dunstall's late goal saw us in into the finals. We went all the way to the preliminary final and the Jim Stynes 15 metre penalty that deprived us of a grand final appearance. This time, it's clear - we depend on no one - it's up to us. Let's do it!
  5. THE EQUATION by Whispering Jack The equation is really simple now. Win the game and you finish in seventh place and face a trip to either Adelaide or Sydney in the first week of the finals or lose and sweat it out until Sunday night when the result of the West Coast v Adelaide game is known. It's a situation of the club's own making, the result of a failure to win games against lesser credentialed teams and/or failure to apply the blowtorch when you're in full control in games like Port Adelaide or last week against the Brisbane Lions when the lead was by 32 points at the 5 minute mark of the final quarter. But it's water under the bridge now and all that stands between Melbourne and the finals is the old arch nemesis in Collingwood. There are no excuses either. There's an air of desperation about the Magpies. There's confusion, uncertainty and doubt about the coaching position. Eddie seems to no longer be the golden haired saviour who could be relied upon to find a way to revive their flagging fortunes. The club seems to be on its knees. The Melbourne injury list appears to be more or less under control, give or take a Jack Viney and a few players who provide depth and for once, the Demons face a side that has far more top players sidelined with injury. Bernie Vince and Jack Watts have both escaped possible suspensions from the weekend's games and Christian Salem is back after doing his penance for a week. The selectors have available to them, close to the best material to enable them to pick a winning team to lift the club out of the pit of misery it has occupied for more than a decade. What could possibly go wrong? THE GAME Collingwood v Melbourne at MCG Saturday 26 August 2017 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Collingwood 146 wins, Melbourne 83 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Collingwood 79 wins, Melbourne 63 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Collingwood 1 win, Melbourne 4 wins The Coaches Buckley 0 wins, Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, live at 1.30pm. Radio - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Collingwood $2.30 to win, Melbourne $1.62 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.14.104 defeated Collingwood 15.10.100 at MCG in Round 12, 2017 The Demons were staring defeat in the face at half time when the Magpies held a 23 point lead but they dug deep and turned their game around in the second half. When Jack Watts kicked the sealer, the home crowd erupted. THE TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Tyson Goldsack HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom Langdon, Jack Crisp C: Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams, Tom Phillips HF: Josh Daicos, Darcy Moore, Callum Brown F: Jamie Elliott, Mason Cox, Will Hoskin-Elliott FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Josh Thomas, Adam Treloar I/C: James Aish, Tim Broomhead, Kayle Kirby, Matthew Scharenberg EMG: Jarryd Blair, Jackson Ramsay, Josh Smith IN: Tyson Goldsack, Brodie Grundy, Kayle Kirby OUT: Jarryd Blair, Josh Smith (omitted), Ben Reid (soreness) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Nathan Jones, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt C: Jordan Lewis, Christian Petracca, Christian Salem HF: Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan Jake Melksham F: Jeff Garlett, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes FOLL: Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Jack Watts EMG: Declan Keilty, Corey Maynard, Josh Wagner IN: Christian Salem, Jack Watts OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted), Josh Wagner (omitted) Melbourne and Collingwood are both known for being hard at it, high disposal teams that are usually unable to sustain the pressure for the full 100 minutes of a game. They are therefore inconsistent both between games and within them. However, the seventh-placed Demons have everything to fight for in this match while the Magpies are limping towards the line after what has been another disappointing season. They haven't completely given up the fight but they do go into the final-round clash without some of their stars who gave their season a boost soon after these teams met in mid-year. They are missing skipper Scott Pendlebury, Jordan De Goey, Alex Fasolo, Levi Greenwood, Travis Varcoe and Daniel Wells and yet have given some of the top sides plenty of trouble over the past month or so. Melbourne which has this week selected possibility its strongest possible side bar the injured co-skipper Viney, struggled last week to hold off the bottom side, the Brisbane Lions, and not long ago lost for the second time this year to the other wooden spoon contender, North Melbourne. On that basis, it's a wonder that the Demons are still in contention and if they lose to another team outside the top 8 in Collingwood, then they truly are not yet ready for finals football. The ruck duel between Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy shapes up as one of prime importance. The Demon midfield and forward line looks capable of besting the Pies, particularly if Jesse Hogan and Cam Pedersen can emulate last week's form and if the Jack Watts of the middle part of the season turns up to play. There are a lot of ifs in this game but with the equation down to a very simple win or lose scenario, I expect Melbourne to end its finals drought and win by 20 points.
  6. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    It wasn't all that long ago and we dominated them in the last half after a really poor start. MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones HF: Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Tomas Bugg, James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jake Spencer, Josh Wagner IN: Christian Salem OUT: Josh Wagner COLLINGWOOD B: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Brayden Maynard HB: Josh Smith, Tom Langdon, Matthew Scharenberg C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Alex Fasolo, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Callum Brown, Darcy Moore, Tim Broomhead FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar I/C: James Aish, Jack Crisp, Ben Crocker, Levi Greenwood EMG: Mason Cox, Chris Mayne, Jackson Ramsay IN: James Aish, Callum Brown, Alex Fasolo, Tom Langdon OUT: Jamie Elliott (ankle), Tyson Goldsack (shoulder), Jackson Ramsay (omitted), Daniel Wells (calf) NEW: Callum Brown
  7. MAIDEN VICTORY by Bewitched After a week of soul searching after a dramatic fade out in the lightning, thunder and rain at Casey in the AFLW's opening round, the women of Melbourne had a lot to be concerned about at half time at Ikon Park last night. They were down by 19 points and being totally outplayed after recording just one goal in their past four quarters of football and staring into oblivion in a seven game competition that allows only two teams to advance to the grand final. Moana Hope, the much vaunted Magpie strong lady had wreaked havoc in the early going, setting up her team's first goal and scoring its second before Jessica Anderson's running goal opened the Demons' account but that was the team's only joy as their opponents streamed ahead. However, this time there was no storm to blunt Melbourne's style in the second half and instead, the team kept Collingwood scoreless after the main break to record their first AFLW win. The move of Mel Hickey onto Hope was a good one. The dangerous Magpie forward was hardly seen as the Demons took over. Skipper Daisy Pearce provided lots of run in the back half and Karen Paxman moved the ball forward to the likes of Cat Phillips, the ultimate Frisbee player, and Alyssa Mifsud and the flood gates opened. Phillips' goal from an impossible angle was a highlight. The team that had been starved of scoring opportunities was now alight and winning in the middle. They scored 4.1 for the term to grab the lead at the final break. The Magpie fade out continued despite some strong arm tactics which saw a late head high hit on Meg Downie force a delay in play as the Demon was concussed and stretchered off in a neck brace. Coach Mick Stinear later said his player had been cleared of any serious damage but the likely outcome should see the first tribunal sitting in AFLW history. The Dees kept on running when play resumed and finally ran out winners 7.2.44 to 5.1.31. The class of Pearce and Paxman should ensure that Melbourne remains a contender in this competition. Elise "Junior" O'Dea is a great prospect and kept going all night and Lily Mithen lived up to the family name with a solid contribution. All in all, it was a great maiden victory for the women of the Melbourne Football Club who now take on their foundation rivals, the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Saturday night. The men's JLT Community Series game will be the curtain raiser to this historic match. Melbourne 1.0.6 1.0.6 5.1.31 7.2.44 Collingwood 3.1.19 0 4.1.25 4.1.25 4.1.25 Goals Melbourne Phillips 2 Anderson Jolly Mifsud Paxman Scott Collingwood Cameron Edwards Grant Hope Best Melbourne Pearce Phillips Paxman O'Dea Mithen Collingwood D'Arcy Eva Barden Chiocci Crowd 6,917 at Ikon Park
  8. MAIDEN VICTORY by Bewitched

    After a week of soul searching after a dramatic fade out in the lightning, thunder and rain at Casey in the AFLW's opening round, the women of Melbourne had a lot to be concerned about at half time at Ikon Park last night. They were down by 19 points and being totally outplayed after recording just one goal in their past four quarters of football and staring into oblivion in a seven game competition that allows only two teams to advance to the grand final. Moana Hope, the much vaunted Magpie strong lady had wreaked havoc in the early going, setting up her team's first goal and scoring its second before Jessica Anderson's running goal opened the Demons' account but that was the team's only joy as their opponents streamed ahead. However, this time there was no storm to blunt Melbourne's style in the second half and instead, the team kept Collingwood scoreless after the main break to record their first AFLW win. The move of Mel Hickey onto Hope was a good one. The dangerous Magpie forward was hardly seen as the Demons took over. Skipper Daisy Pearce provided lots of run in the back half and Karen Paxman moved the ball forward to the likes of Cat Phillips, the ultimate Frisbee player, and Alyssa Mifsud and the flood gates opened. Phillips' goal from an impossible angle was a highlight. The team that had been starved of scoring opportunities was now alight and winning in the middle. They scored 4.1 for the term to grab the lead at the final break. The Magpie fade out continued despite some strong arm tactics which saw a late head high hit on Meg Downie force a delay in play as the Demon was concussed and stretchered off in a neck brace. Coach Mick Stinear later said his player had been cleared of any serious damage but the likely outcome should see the first tribunal sitting in AFLW history. The Dees kept on running when play resumed and finally ran out winners 7.2.44 to 5.1.31. The class of Pearce and Paxman should ensure that Melbourne remains a contender in this competition. Elise "Junior" O'Dea is a great prospect and kept going all night and Lily Mithen lived up to the family name with a solid contribution. All in all, it was a great maiden victory for the women of the Melbourne Football Club who now take on their foundation rivals, the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Saturday night. The men's JLT Community Series game will be the curtain raiser to this historic match. Melbourne 1.0.6 1.0.6 5.1.31 7.2.44 Collingwood 3.1.19 0 4.1.25 4.1.25 4.1.25 Goals Melbourne Phillips 2 Anderson Jolly Mifsud Paxman Scott Collingwood Cameron Edwards Grant Hope Best Melbourne Pearce Phillips Paxman O'Dea Mithen Collingwood D'Arcy Eva Barden Chiocci Crowd 6,917 at Ikon Park
  9. All of a sudden the Demons are blessed with a bounty of riches! Despite the heartache of a last gasp loss to North last week, they have bounced back in an emphatic fashion to completely obliterate Collingwood, and send them spiralling toward the bottom of the ladder. Much rested upon this match for the Demons; another loss would have put them in a similar position to the Pies, with both sides having just scraped over the line for their solitary win to date. But that was not to be and a first quarter blitz of six goals to one solitary major from Collingwood, almost had the match sewn up at the first change. Another five straight in the second quarter should have sealed the game but a series of awful turnovers saw five of Collingwood's next six goals come directly from Melbourne errors. The accuracy of the Melbourne forwards put plenty of breathing space between the two sides, with Jack Watts contributing four up to the major break, including two pearlers from on the boundary line. Even though Collingwood were pressing, it was these clutch goals that just kept on putting them “back in their box”. Fortunately, they also provided some classic howlers in their backline to give easy goals to Jack Viney and Dean Kent. The second half became much of a slog with really no change to the quarter time margin, but again for the Melbourne supporters, it was comforting to see players still putting in for the whole game. No more head-dropping as we are now seeing a new confidence building among the playing group. Collingwood seem to have long passed their premiership window and are quickly heading for a long time in oblivion. Without Swan and Pendelbury injured, they lacked any real ball getting ability. Now with Cloke also injured and mostly disinterested, they don’t have too many other options up forward either. A truly delightful situation! Contrast that with the situation in which the Demons now find themselves. Despite some misgivings, the coaching staff introduced two new additions to the side in the past fortnight- Josh Wagner and Jayden Hunt. They held their spots admirably; Josh Wagner in particular with 24 possessions in defence. And the backline is looking much more solid with each of the defenders working as a team to nullify the opposition’s chances. With Lynden Dunn back on the goal line the team just looks so much more stable. It gives Tom McDonald the opportunity to take those critical marks and spoils in front, and Dunn's kicking gives more options to exit the defensive zone. If Nev Jetta could switch on some time before half time, the whole unit would be even better. His position and role must be under threat from Jack Grimes next week following a good game at Casey. And after a solid win like this one, it is such a contrast with the situation we faced last year and the year before and ... boom recruit Christian Petracca is in the background steadily mounting a solid case for a senior spot with Jack Trengove doing likewise. Even more satisfying is the fact that Jeff Garlett and Aaron vandenBerg should be available for next week together with last year's best and fairest winner Bernie Vince returns from suspension ... and we have Grimes and Viv Michie named among the best at Casey also in the mix. Our cup filled up during this game. Confidence is building and the competition for places is getting seriously hot. If this translates into the ruthless game style that we saw during the first quarter of this match, then Richmond are facing another miserable result next week, to top off the shellacking they copped at the weekend against the Eagles. That would really make out cup run over ... Melbourne 6.2.38 11.2.68 14.4.98 16.6.102 Collingwood 1.2.8 6.5.41 8.10.58 9.13.67 Goals Melbourne Watts 4 Hogan Pedersen Tyson 2 Brayshaw Frost Gawn Kennedy Kent Viney Collingwood Cloke Sidebottom 2 Fasolo Moore Sinclair Treloar Varcoe Best Melbourne Gawn Viney Watts Wagner Tyson N Jones Bugg Collingwood Pendlebury Treloar Sidebottom Adams Langdon Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Goldsack (illness) replaced in selected side by White Injuries Melbourne Brayshaw (concussion) Collingwood Cloke (elbow) Reid (knee) Sinclair (concussion), Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Umpires O'Gorman Meredith Ryan Official Crowd 47,558 at the MCG
  10. COMING SOON by Whispering Jack I have lost count of the number of times the old adage about the need to ignore pre season form has been proven to be correct and this year's AFL NAB Challenge is yet another case in point. Fremantle, Melbourne and Collingwood were the only undefeated teams in that series but the former has yet to record a win in the opening three rounds of AFL competition while the other two have managed only one win each and in both cases, they fell in by a solitary point. This week those other two front runners and old time traditional Victorian rivals meet in what will be a do or die struggle at the MCG. The loser of the Magpies v Demons clash will be sitting in tatters close to the foot of the table while the winner will have some hope restored for the season ahead. Strangely enough for the AFL and despite the early disappointing form of their respective teams' performances, both coaches can rest comfortably in the knowledge that their positions are safe for this year at least. Paul Roos is departing anyway as part of the succession plan he set up which has installed Simon Goodwin as coach in waiting. Nathan Buckley was reappointed to his position just three weeks ago and whilst three weeks is a long time in football, Eddie McGuire keeps on insisting that his man is safe. There's been little to differentiate the two teams' performances to date this season so, in determining the final outcome of this battle, little things can mean a lot. As between these competitors, Collingwood will gain the advantage of Tribunal outcomes because it stands to benefit from the return of Steele Sidebottom from suspension while Melbourne's Bernie Vince who was good last week against North Melbourne is out this week. Last year's best and fairest winner Vince, starred when these teams last met and he will be sorely missed this weekend. On the other side of "little" things are the ruck battles. Melbourne has been getting great value from Max Gawn who comprehensively beat the AFL's number one in this area last week but for the second week in a row, the opposition exposed the Demons' weakness in back up tall timber in the last line of defence. Two weeks ago, they couldn't counter Joe Daniher's height at full forward and in Hobart, it was Goldstein who was the destroyer with five goals. Melbourne has not been as dangerous up forward with its own talls despite the fact that for the first time in ages, it is regularly getting the ball inside its own forward 50 more times than the opposition. That statistic is the diametrically opposite to what was taking place with this team only two years ago and it is what contributes to my belief that there will be major improvements to the team's overall performances coming soon. Perhaps, even as soon as this Sunday. Melbourne to win by 15 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Sunday 17 April 2016 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Collingwood 146 wins Melbourne 80 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Collingwood 79 wins Melbourne 55 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Collingwood 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches: Buckley 2 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3, Channel 7 live at 3.00pm Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Collingwood $1.53 to win Melbourne $2.50 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.13.91 defeated Collingwood 7.12.54 at MCG in Round 18, 2015 The Demons shrugged off some indifferent form to record their first win over the Magpies in seven years - a comprehensive 37-point victory that had many supporters scratching their heads over why the team was unable to consistently produce such form on a regular basis. Jesse Hogan and Bernie Vince kicked two goals each and the latter was best on the ground. THE TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Ben Sinclair, Nathan Brown, Tom Langdon HB: Goldsack, Ben Reid, Alan Toovey C: Adam Oxley, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom HF: Travis Varcoe, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Goey F: Alex Fasolo, Travis Cloke, Jeremy Howe FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams I/C: James Aish, Jarryd Blair, Jack Crisp, Levi Greenwood EMG: Mason Cox, Matthew Goodyear, Brent Macaffer, IN: Steele Sidebottom, Alan Toovey, Travis Varcoe OUT: Matthew Goodyear (omitted), Brayden Maynard (hamstring), Marley Williams (foot) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba, Christian Salem C: James Harmes, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, Matt Jones F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner EMG: Jack Grimes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch In: Angus Brayshaw, Jayden Hunt, Cam Pedersen Out: Aaron vandenBerg (ankle), Bernie Vince (suspension), Billy Stretch (omitted) New: Jayden Hunt (21, Brighton Grammar)
  11. COMING SOON by Whispering Jack

    I have lost count of the number of times the old adage about the need to ignore pre season form has been proven to be correct and this year's AFL NAB Challenge is yet another case in point. Fremantle, Melbourne and Collingwood were the only undefeated teams in that series but the former has yet to record a win in the opening three rounds of AFL competition while the other two have managed only one win each and in both cases, they fell in by a solitary point. This week those other two front runners and old time traditional Victorian rivals meet in what will be a do or die struggle at the MCG. The loser of the Magpies v Demons clash will be sitting in tatters close to the foot of the table while the winner will have some hope restored for the season ahead. Strangely enough for the AFL and despite the early disappointing form of their respective teams' performances, both coaches can rest comfortably in the knowledge that their positions are safe for this year at least. Paul Roos is departing anyway as part of the succession plan he set up which has installed Simon Goodwin as coach in waiting. Nathan Buckley was reappointed to his position just three weeks ago and whilst three weeks is a long time in football, Eddie McGuire keeps on insisting that his man is safe. There's been little to differentiate the two teams' performances to date this season so, in determining the final outcome of this battle, little things can mean a lot. As between these competitors, Collingwood will gain the advantage of Tribunal outcomes because it stands to benefit from the return of Steele Sidebottom from suspension while Melbourne's Bernie Vince who was good last week against North Melbourne is out this week. Last year's best and fairest winner Vince, starred when these teams last met and he will be sorely missed this weekend. On the other side of "little" things are the ruck battles. Melbourne has been getting great value from Max Gawn who comprehensively beat the AFL's number one in this area last week but for the second week in a row, the opposition exposed the Demons' weakness in back up tall timber in the last line of defence. Two weeks ago, they couldn't counter Joe Daniher's height at full forward and in Hobart, it was Goldstein who was the destroyer with five goals. Melbourne has not been as dangerous up forward with its own talls despite the fact that for the first time in ages, it is regularly getting the ball inside its own forward 50 more times than the opposition. That statistic is the diametrically opposite to what was taking place with this team only two years ago and it is what contributes to my belief that there will be major improvements to the team's overall performances coming soon. Perhaps, even as soon as this Sunday. Melbourne to win by 15 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Sunday 17 April 2016 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Collingwood 146 wins Melbourne 80 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Collingwood 79 wins Melbourne 55 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Collingwood 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches: Buckley 2 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3, Channel 7 live at 3.00pm Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Collingwood $1.53 to win Melbourne $2.50 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.13.91 defeated Collingwood 7.12.54 at MCG in Round 18, 2015 The Demons shrugged off some indifferent form to record their first win over the Magpies in seven years - a comprehensive 37-point victory that had many supporters scratching their heads over why the team was unable to consistently produce such form on a regular basis. Jesse Hogan and Bernie Vince kicked two goals each and the latter was best on the ground. THE TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Ben Sinclair, Nathan Brown, Tom Langdon HB: Goldsack, Ben Reid, Alan Toovey C: Adam Oxley, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom HF: Travis Varcoe, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Goey F: Alex Fasolo, Travis Cloke, Jeremy Howe FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams I/C: James Aish, Jarryd Blair, Jack Crisp, Levi Greenwood EMG: Mason Cox, Matthew Goodyear, Brent Macaffer, IN: Steele Sidebottom, Alan Toovey, Travis Varcoe OUT: Matthew Goodyear (omitted), Brayden Maynard (hamstring), Marley Williams (foot) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba, Christian Salem C: James Harmes, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, Matt Jones F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner EMG: Jack Grimes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch In: Angus Brayshaw, Jayden Hunt, Cam Pedersen Out: Aaron vandenBerg (ankle), Bernie Vince (suspension), Billy Stretch (omitted) New: Jayden Hunt (21, Brighton Grammar)
  12. LAST TIME THEY MET

    We beat them at last! COLLINGWOOD B: Tom Langdon, Nathan Brown, Marley Williams HB: Alan Toovey, Jack Frost, Brayden Maynard C: Paul Seedsman, Dane Swan, Steele Sidebottom HF: Sam Dwyer, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Hoey F: Alex Fasolo, Brodie Grundy, Jamie Elliott Foll: Jarrod Witts, Jack Crisp, Scott Pendlebury I/C: Tyson Goldsack, Levi Greenwood, Paul Seedsman, Travis Varcoe EMG: Jarryd Blair, Jonathon Marsh, Matthew Scharenberg IN: Taylor Adams, Sam Dwyer, Jamie Elliott, Paul Seedsman OUT: Jarryd Blair (omitted), Ben Kennedy (omitted), Adam Oxley (rested), Jesse White (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jordie McKenzie IN: Alex Neal-Bullen OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted)
  13. For a tiny bit over three quarters it was a game of ebbs and flows with Melbourne holding the ascendancy for the most part after dominating the opening stanza with four goals to one. It should have been more but Jack Viney and Dom Tyson missed easy shots late in the term after Jesse Hogan nailed his second goal for the game after just 23 minutes. That was the sort of thing that we've seen before this season with the game against the Crows at the Adelaide Oval a case in point so it came as no surprise that Collingwood was able to hit the front at the midpoint of the next quarter when Travis Varcoe goaled. At that point, we feared the worst - that the tide was turning the game in the direction of debacles like the GWS and Port Adelaide games but the Demons surprised us, regrouped and went into the main break with an eleven point lead thanks to the brilliance of Bernie Vince and emerging big man Max Gawn. The Demons' dominance continued into the what they call the premiership quarter which for Melbourne is a concept so far embedded in its distant past as to be rendered almost meaningless. But there's a new kid on the block who might just change that one day and his name his Jesse Hogan. After a wide kick at goal spoiled what would have been a dream start to the second half, he had the presence of mind to tickle the ball of the ground after a spillage and the Demons were away. The Pies fought back but goals to Vince and another to Jack Watts who keeps getting better and better, opened up a 23 point lead before the flow of the game changed once more. It was all Collingwood in the second half of the third term leading to heart flutters among the Demon faithful in the crowd. It was as if the fact that the team had hit the magical 60 point mark meant that everything came to a grinding halt. The tide ebbed as Collingwood clawed the deficit back to a manageable 8 points by the final break and narrowed it further thanks to a rushed behind early in the last. Then Vince re-entered the scoring fray and it was over. Goals flowed and the opposition capitulated in a reversal of the situation when the teams met on Queens Birthday. Of course, back then it was Melbourne that was ravaged with injury. Now it was Collingwood whose main weapons were missing. No Cloke meant no seven straight goals and Tom McDonald was able to play the monster on young Darcy Moore. Once Neville Jetta shut Alex Fasolo down, the Pies had very little potency up forward. Nathan Jones did his job as usual but the most pleasing aspect of recent weeks for Melbourne is the emergence of Max Gawn towards the fringes of the elite among the competition's ruckmen and Jack Viney's growth in the midfield. The defining aspect was that despite the presence of five first year players, Melbourne was the more experienced team in terms of games in legs - a vast difference to the week before when St. Kilda's match winners were all on the other side of thirty. That's exactly why the lamentations of many supporters and independent observers were a bit off the mark with their panic stations wrist slashing of last week. The form of young sides will always ebb and flow from week to week. The main thing is that the tide is taking you in the right direction. Melbourne 4.4.28 6.5.41 9.6 .60 13.13.91 Collingwood 1.4.10 4.6.30 7.10.52 7.12.54 Goals Melbourne Hogan Vince 3 Garlett 2 Harmes Howe N Jones vandenBerg Watts Collingwood Fasolo 3 Adams Pendlebury Varcoe Witts Best Melbourne Vince Jones Gawn Viney Garland Watts Cross Collingwood Swan Fasolo Varcoe Williams Adams Langdon Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Matt Scharenberg replaced Tyson Goldsack (tight quad) in the selected side. Injuries Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Substitutions Melbourne James Harmes replaced Viv Michie in the third quarter. Collingwood Jamie Elliott replaced Paul Seedsman in the third quarter. Umpires Donlon Kamolins Jeffery Official crowd 37,894 at the MCG.
  14. Please cast your votes 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  15. EBBS AND FLOWS by Whispering Jack For a tiny bit over three quarters it was a game of ebbs and flows with Melbourne holding the ascendancy for the most part after dominating the opening stanza with four goals to one. It should have been more but Jack Viney and Dom Tyson missed easy shots late in the term after Jesse Hogan nailed his second goal for the game after just 23 minutes. That was the sort of thing that we've seen before this season with the game against the Crows at the Adelaide Oval a case in point so it came as no surprise that Collingwood was able to hit the front at the midpoint of the next quarter when Travis Varcoe goaled. At that point, we feared the worst - that the tide was turning the game in the direction of debacles like the GWS and Port Adelaide games but the Demons surprised us, regrouped and went into the main break with an eleven point lead thanks to the brilliance of Bernie Vince and emerging big man Max Gawn. The Demons' dominance continued into the what they call the premiership quarter which for Melbourne is a concept so far embedded in its distant past as to be rendered almost meaningless. But there's a new kid on the block who might just change that one day and his name his Jesse Hogan. After a wide kick at goal spoiled what would have been a dream start to the second half, he had the presence of mind to tickle the ball of the ground after a spillage and the Demons were away. The Pies fought back but goals to Vince and another to Jack Watts who keeps getting better and better, opened up a 23 point lead before the flow of the game changed once more. It was all Collingwood in the second half of the third term leading to heart flutters among the Demon faithful in the crowd. It was as if the fact that the team had hit the magical 60 point mark meant that everything came to a grinding halt. The tide ebbed as Collingwood clawed the deficit back to a manageable 8 points by the final break and narrowed it further thanks to a rushed behind early in the last. Then Vince re-entered the scoring fray and it was over. Goals flowed and the opposition capitulated in a reversal of the situation when the teams met on Queens Birthday. Of course, back then it was Melbourne that was ravaged with injury. Now it was Collingwood whose main weapons were missing. No Cloke meant no seven straight goals and Tom McDonald was able to play the monster on young Darcy Moore. Once Neville Jetta shut Alex Fasolo down, the Pies had very little potency up forward. Nathan Jones did his job as usual but the most pleasing aspect of recent weeks for Melbourne is the emergence of Max Gawn towards the fringes of the elite among the competition's ruckmen and Jack Viney's growth in the midfield. The defining aspect was that despite the presence of five first year players, Melbourne was the more experienced team in terms of games in legs - a vast difference to the week before when St. Kilda's match winners were all on the other side of thirty. That's exactly why the lamentations of many supporters and independent observers were a bit off the mark with their panic stations wrist slashing of last week. The form of young sides will always ebb and flow from week to week. The main thing is that the tide is taking you in the right direction. Melbourne 4.4.28 6.5.41 9.6 .60 13.13.91 Collingwood 1.4.10 4.6.30 7.10.52 7.12.54 Goals Melbourne Hogan Vince 3 Garlett 2 Harmes Howe N Jones vandenBerg Watts Collingwood Fasolo 3 Adams Pendlebury Varcoe Witts Best Melbourne Vince Jones Gawn Viney Garland Watts Cross Collingwood Swan Fasolo Varcoe Williams Adams Langdon Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Matt Scharenberg replaced Tyson Goldsack (tight quad) in the selected side. Injuries Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Substitutions Melbourne James Harmes replaced Viv Michie in the third quarter. Collingwood Jamie Elliott replaced Paul Seedsman in the third quarter. Umpires Donlon Kamolins Jeffery Official crowd 37,894 at the MCG.
  16. GAMEDAY - Round 18

    One of the big questions for today is whether people will bother to turn up for the game given that it's a clash between two out of form (at least I think that's a description of how Melbourne is playing at the moment) and out of luck teams occupying 11th and 15th spots on the ladder. The early morning weather out there looks foreboding - it's cold and bleak although the forecast says "rain clearing, wind easing" and it's true that Collingwood fans stick fat so you can still expect them to turn up in numbers for their home game on a ground they occupy and consider their own. But how many of our own will turn up to watch, given we're playing the type of game that's produced an average of 56½ points in the past four games which have involved opposition currently sitting in 13th, 14th and 18th spots on the ladder?
  17. COLD AS ICE by JVM Two teams whose recent records have been disappointing meet on Saturday afternoon at the MCG. The Magpies are on a five game losing streak, their last win coming against the GWS Giants in the week after Queens Birthday. That was the day that Mummy, Phil Davis and Joel Patfull all got injured and the Giants fell apart conceding eight final quarter goals in what became a 42 point defeat. A week earlier, it also took a resounding final term for the Magpies to prevail over their old rivals, the Demons. For its part, Melbourne has also been disappointing with two wins (Geelong and Brisbane), some narrow defeats (St. Kilda and Essendon) and a couple of beltings (West Coast and St. Kilda, the second time around). Both teams can lay claim to being young and inexperienced and use that to explain away their indifferent form. You could also say that the form of both teams is as cold as ice (or snow in the case of the MFC ) However, most people would still see the Magpies' form as more encouraging than the Demons. Whilst Collingwoods run of losses has been disastrous to its finals prospects, the defeats have in the main been gallant as they have struggled with injury and still come close to beating some of the competition's leading lights like Fremantle and Hawthorn. Recently, they have had to soldier on without Travis Cloke and Jamie Elliott who between them kicked 10 goals straight and registered 200 dream team points on Queens Birthday. With both players highly in doubt to take their places in their team this week, you would have thought Collingwood might start underdogs but hey ... the opposition is Melbourne, a team that's flakey and never too comfortable with the prospect of being the favourite. In fact, the Demons are more likely to perform well when they're down and out ... so perhaps there's hope for them. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Saturday 1 August 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Collingwood 146 wins Melbourne 79 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Collingwood 79 wins Melbourne 54 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Collingwood 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches: Buckley 2 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Collingwood $1.31 to win Melbourne $3.45 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Collingwood 17.8.110 defeated Melbourne 13.7.85 at MCG in Round 10, 2015 It was a game where both teams played in fits and starts but the Demons were forced to play catch up footy for most of the afternoon after Travis Cloke burst out of the blocks with a bang and smashed the previously untouchable Tom McDonald. Melbourne made a good fist of catching up, doing so twice in the space of the afternoon before a goaless final quarter finished them off. TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Tom Langdon, Nathan Brown, Marley Williams HB: Alan Toovey, Jack Frost, Brayden Maynard C: Paul Seedsman, Dane Swan, Steele Sidebottom HF: Sam Dwyer, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Hoey F: Alex Fasolo, Brodie Grundy, Jamie Elliott Foll: Jarrod Witts, Jack Crisp, Scott Pendlebury I/C: Tyson Goldsack, Levi Greenwood, Paul Seedsman, Travis Varcoe EMG: Jarryd Blair, Jonathon Marsh, Matthew Scharenberg IN: Taylor Adams, Sam Dwyer, Jamie Elliott, Paul Seedsman OUT: Jarryd Blair (omitted), Ben Kennedy (omitted), Adam Oxley (rested), Jesse White (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jordie McKenzie IN: Alex Neal-Bullen OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted) There are two games of AFL being played on Saturday afternoon and historically at least, you would have thought a Collingwood v Melbourne clash would easily overshadow the one down the highway between Geelong and the Brisbane Lions. After all, the two teams doing battle at the MCG were once the biggest show in town when they clashed, they're won plenty of premierships between them and they've produced some fascinating and famous past contests. Not so these days. The Pies are facing their sixth defeat in a row - something they haven't done since 2005 when you could have sworn they were tanking for draft picks. Melbourne is looking at a fifth consecutive game in which it has been unable to exceed 60 points and its opposition in its three past games have occupied the bottom third of the ladder, a fact that is so completely damning of its playing style, skills and the decision-making of those who make up its team, that some of its staunchest and most loyal supporters are wondering whether it's really worthwhile turning up to the game. If there is a silver lining for the Demons, it's the fact that the two players instrumental in destroying them on Queens Birthday, Cloke and Oxley, will be watching from the stands and another in Elliott was looking proppy earlier in the week and even ruled out of this game by some at the club. However, it may not matter because the Pies seem to have discovered a new goal kicking ace in Darcy Moore who booted five last Sunday against the Bulldogs and, let's face it, anyone can fill the role that Oxley played if they're allowed to play the extra man in defence while their presence goes completely ignored by an opposing side that continually bombs the ball up making it all the more difficult for its own forwards to take marks and outnumbered if the ball hits the ground. Melbournes midfield led by Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Jack Viney can be relied upon to toil away and work hard but that's not enough. Apart from the possibility of a few sparks of excitement from Jesse Hogan and Angus Brayshaw and another strong ruck performance from Max Gawn, there's little for the Demon fans or anyone else for that matter to get excited about in what was once billed as one of the great clashes of traditional rivals of our game. Collingwood by 42 points in a low scoring, dull affair that will make many wish they were in sleepy hollow or just home by the fireside.
  18. COLD AS ICE by JVM

    Two teams whose recent records have been disappointing meet on Saturday afternoon at the MCG. The Magpies are on a five game losing streak, their last win coming against the GWS Giants in the week after Queens Birthday. That was the day that Mummy, Phil Davis and Joel Patfull all got injured and the Giants fell apart conceding eight final quarter goals in what became a 42 point defeat. A week earlier, it also took a resounding final term for the Magpies to prevail over their old rivals, the Demons. For its part, Melbourne has also been disappointing with two wins (Geelong and Brisbane), some narrow defeats (St. Kilda and Essendon) and a couple of beltings (West Coast and St. Kilda, the second time around). Both teams can lay claim to being young and inexperienced and use that to explain away their indifferent form. You could also say that the form of both teams is as cold as ice (or snow in the case of the MFC ) However, most people would still see the Magpies' form as more encouraging than the Demons. Whilst Collingwoods run of losses has been disastrous to its finals prospects, the defeats have in the main been gallant as they have struggled with injury and still come close to beating some of the competition's leading lights like Fremantle and Hawthorn. Recently, they have had to soldier on without Travis Cloke and Jamie Elliott who between them kicked 10 goals straight and registered 200 dream team points on Queens Birthday. With both players highly in doubt to take their places in their team this week, you would have thought Collingwood might start underdogs but hey ... the opposition is Melbourne, a team that's flakey and never too comfortable with the prospect of being the favourite. In fact, the Demons are more likely to perform well when they're down and out ... so perhaps there's hope for them. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Saturday 1 August 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Collingwood 146 wins Melbourne 79 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Collingwood 79 wins Melbourne 54 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Collingwood 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches: Buckley 2 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Collingwood $1.31 to win Melbourne $3.45 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Collingwood 17.8.110 defeated Melbourne 13.7.85 at MCG in Round 10, 2015 It was a game where both teams played in fits and starts but the Demons were forced to play catch up footy for most of the afternoon after Travis Cloke burst out of the blocks with a bang and smashed the previously untouchable Tom McDonald. Melbourne made a good fist of catching up, doing so twice in the space of the afternoon before a goaless final quarter finished them off. TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Tom Langdon, Nathan Brown, Marley Williams HB: Alan Toovey, Jack Frost, Brayden Maynard C: Paul Seedsman, Dane Swan, Steele Sidebottom HF: Sam Dwyer, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Hoey F: Alex Fasolo, Brodie Grundy, Jamie Elliott Foll: Jarrod Witts, Jack Crisp, Scott Pendlebury I/C: Tyson Goldsack, Levi Greenwood, Paul Seedsman, Travis Varcoe EMG: Jarryd Blair, Jonathon Marsh, Matthew Scharenberg IN: Taylor Adams, Sam Dwyer, Jamie Elliott, Paul Seedsman OUT: Jarryd Blair (omitted), Ben Kennedy (omitted), Adam Oxley (rested), Jesse White (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jordie McKenzie IN: Alex Neal-Bullen OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted) There are two games of AFL being played on Saturday afternoon and historically at least, you would have thought a Collingwood v Melbourne clash would easily overshadow the one down the highway between Geelong and the Brisbane Lions. After all, the two teams doing battle at the MCG were once the biggest show in town when they clashed, they're won plenty of premierships between them and they've produced some fascinating and famous past contests. Not so these days. The Pies are facing their sixth defeat in a row - something they haven't done since 2005 when you could have sworn they were tanking for draft picks. Melbourne is looking at a fifth consecutive game in which it has been unable to exceed 60 points and its opposition in its three past games have occupied the bottom third of the ladder, a fact that is so completely damning of its playing style, skills and the decision-making of those who make up its team, that some of its staunchest and most loyal supporters are wondering whether it's really worthwhile turning up to the game. If there is a silver lining for the Demons, it's the fact that the two players instrumental in destroying them on Queens Birthday, Cloke and Oxley, will be watching from the stands and another in Elliott was looking proppy earlier in the week and even ruled out of this game by some at the club. However, it may not matter because the Pies seem to have discovered a new goal kicking ace in Darcy Moore who booted five last Sunday against the Bulldogs and, let's face it, anyone can fill the role that Oxley played if they're allowed to play the extra man in defence while their presence goes completely ignored by an opposing side that continually bombs the ball up making it all the more difficult for its own forwards to take marks and outnumbered if the ball hits the ground. Melbournes midfield led by Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Jack Viney can be relied upon to toil away and work hard but that's not enough. Apart from the possibility of a few sparks of excitement from Jesse Hogan and Angus Brayshaw and another strong ruck performance from Max Gawn, there's little for the Demon fans or anyone else for that matter to get excited about in what was once billed as one of the great clashes of traditional rivals of our game. Collingwood by 42 points in a low scoring, dull affair that will make many wish they were in sleepy hollow or just home by the fireside.
  19. LAST TIME THEY MET

    They went down by 25 points after a goalless final quarter. The Queens Birthday game promised a lot - especially the beginning of Max Gawn's ruck dominance but two months down the track, we simply can't score goals any more. MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Fitzpatrick HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Ben Newton, Cam Pedersen, Jack Viney F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Aidan Riley FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Watts EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Jake Spencer IN: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley OUT: Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Jake Spencer (all omitted) COLLINGWOOD B: Tom Langdon, Nathan Brown, Marley Williams HB: Alan Toovey, Jack Frost, Tyson Goldsack C: Travis Varcoe, Dane Swan, Paul Seedsman HF: Jamie Elliott, Jesse White, Steele Sidebottom F: Alex Fasolo, Travis Cloke, Jarryd Blair FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Jack Crisp, Scott Pendlebury I/C: Tim Broomhead, Jordan De Goey, Adam Oxley, Jarrod Witts EMG: Sam Dwyer, Ben Kennedy, Brayden Maynard IN: Tim Broomhead OUT: Taylor Adams (toe)
  20. THE LEAN AND HUNGRY LOOK

    THE LEAN AND HUNGRY LOOK by The Oracle "Let me have men about me that are fat, Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, He thinks too much; such men are dangerous." William Sheakespeare - Julius Caesar: Act 1, scene 2, 190–195 It was a strange game of football at Etihad Stadium. While it ebbed and flowed as all good games do, the ascendency was held, surprisingly, by the team that finished off 2011 like a ship without a rudder. Not the one that came into last year's grand final as the warm favourite. At half time, when the Magpies had just managed to snatch the lead for the first time with a Nick Maxwell goal after the siren, they decided to make a sporting declaration by removing half a dozen of their A team and replaced them with youngsters and overseas imports. The Demons responded with some changes of their own and proceeded to apply the same disciplines using the same structures that gave them a moral victory in the first half. The result was not simply a victory on the scoreboard but an early moment of pleasure for the coach and supporters. A breakthrough for Melbourne at the Docklands and the dawn of a new era for the club. After so long, the lean and hungry look has returned to the Melbourne Football Club and we welcome it back with open arms even if it comes in a NAB Cup game that everybody says noddingly in agreement that it means nothing. Especially when they lose. We've heard about and discussed Mark Neeld's game plan whereby his team hustles and grinds the opposition, works hard defensively to eke out errors, kicks long to position and performs with discipline. But this is also the result of hard work on the track and in the gym over many months. Strength, endurance, bodies changing and taking shape. We saw some good signs; the rejuvenation of players, some in rebirth and some new faces. Brad Green is back in town. Nathan Jones and Matthew Bate are changed for the better and a couple of hard nuts in James Magner and Tom Couch have been found. And there's more to come. Melbourne 0.2.6.18 0.3.9.27 0.7.11.53 0.11.13.79 Collingwood 0.2.3.15 0.4.4.28 1.6.5.50 1.9.7.70 Goals Melbourne Dunn Jones Martin Petterd 2 Green Howe Sylvia Collingwood Shaw (supergoal) Rounds Thomas 2 Ball Ceglar Cloke Maxwell Paine Best Melbourne Garland Petterd Magner Jones Sellar Green Injuries Melbourne Nil. Collingwood Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Collingwood Nil. Umpires Stevic Armstrong Kronk Official crowd 12,954 at Etihad Stadium
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