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Found 21 results

  1. Demonland

    THE POOR HOUSE by Ruby Tuesday

    How could they possibly have lost this one? At quarter time, they held a lead of 1.5.11 to their opponent’s score of nothing. The Dockers had barely gone into attack and certainly not once had they gone inside 50 to the Demons’ 15 entries. It had all of the hallmarks of a rout except for a litany of wasted opportunities that saw Tegan Cunningham as the only goal kicker, scored at the seven-minute mark. It was not only the five behinds but a few other potential goals missed the sticks altogether or failed to make the distance. The game should have been sewn up, such was Melbourne’s dominance. They were playing like careless millionaires who had no regard for their money and when you take such a course, you need to watch out because you could well end up in the poor house. So despite Daisy Pearce’s complete dominance (she had 15 disposals by the half time break), the Dees lapsed a couple of times in the second quarter to let the home side in for two goals to hold a slender one point lead at the halfway mark. Things got worse after the break when Fremantle opened up with another two goals to lead by 13 points less than four minutes into the second half. Just when we thought it was all over, the Demons hit back hard with goals to Aliesha Newman, Cunningham (who kicked her second) and Karen Paxman. The lead at the last change was a single goal but Melbourne had all of the momentum. Surely they would get up and win to take top spot on the AFLW ladder? No. The Dockers kicked the only two goals for the final quarter and the last roll of the dice for the Demons, yielded yet another minor score and poverty for the frustrated Demons who missed out on their quest for top place. Melbourne 1.5.11 1.5.11 4.6.30 4.7.31 Fremantle 0.0.0 2.0.12 4.0.24 6.0.36 Goals Melbourne Cunningham 2 Newman Paxman. Fremantle McGuire 2 Lavell Antonio Webb Caulfield. Best Melbourne Pearce Cunningham Paxman O’Dea Hickey Fremantle Donnellan Webb Gooch Antonio Filocamo McGuire Injuries Melbourne C Phillips (ankle) Fremantle Nil Reports Nil Umpires J Howorth D Johansen A Heffernan Official crowd 3,125 at Fremantle Oval
  2. ANGRY by The Oracle Spring is just around the corner and it's rather inspirational that the Demons have the opportunity this year to contest a game in September. It won't be a final but next week's "home" game at Etihad Stadium against the Giants will provide them with the opportunity to prove that the events of the month since their last win against Collingwood hasn't been an aberration. Against Fremantle at Domain Stadium in Perth, the recurring nightmare of the month duly eventuated after the team which was instructed to play angry managed to make its supporters (who are the cause of all their problems after all) really angry by conceding the first 10 goals of the game to lead by 60 points when the second quarter was a little more than ten minutes old. Jeff Garlett kicked their first goal at the mid point in that term and Melbourne came back a little to have four goals on the board by half time. By then, it had lost skipper Nathan Jones to an ankle injury which soured his 200th game and second ruckman Jake Spencer had followed him when a head knock caused him concussion leaving the team one short for the remainder of proceedings. In the normal course that would be a major issue in a game of football but, in this instance, it was offset by the circumstance that Fremantle was assured of top position going into the finals (meaning they're unlikely to have to front up to Hawthorn in a fortnight's time) and they let the intensity drop off dramatically. As a result, the Demons were able to stumble and fumble their way to an even par finish for the rest of a game that had long been rendered meaningless. Indeed, had they managed to hold on in the final ten minutes and avoided conceding the last three goals when the fatigue had really set in, they might have even won the second half and added a false aura of respectability to the outcome. As it was, the 54 point defeat was a positively better result than some of the hidings handed out to the competition's other lesser lights and when you consider that there a difference of 1352 in games played between the two sides and Melbourne had 10 players on the ground who had played less than 50 games including promising Oscar McDonald in his first, you have your answer - it's not not negativity but rather, a lack of experience and know how, particularly when you're another 200 games down when your skipper gets subbed out. More so, when you consider that the club rested two of its promising youngsters in Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes and there's a fair whack of other good players missing from the mix. In those circumstances, the Demons would be encouraged that some of their better players were their youth. You couldn't go past the 30 possession game of Jack Viney (with 12 tackles and six clearances) and the hard work in the ruck of Max Gawn agains one of the AFL's maestros or the run of Christian Salem. Daniel Cross had a standout 39 touches and worked his butt off belying his age. Unfortunately, the depth just wasn't there and the bottom half dozen weren't good or interested enough for this standard and consequently might be angry at themselves in a month or two's time when they're told their truth that their AFL careers are over. Melbourne 0.1.1 4.2.26 6.5.41 8.6.54 Fremantle 5.1.31 11.3.69 14.5.89 17.6.108 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 2 Gawn Grimes Vince Watts Fremantle Pavlich Pearce 3 De Boer Neale 2 Barlow Hill Ibbotson Mayne Mzungu Sandilands Sheridan Best MelbourneCross Viney Salem Dunn Gawn Vince Fremantle Mundy Neale Barlow Hill Suban D Pearce Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle , M Walters (calf) replaced in selected side by P Duffield Injuries Melbourne N Jones (ankle) J Spencer (head) Fremantle C Sutcliffe (shoulder) Substitutions Melbourne N Jones (ankle) replaced by J Grimes in the second quarter Fremantle M Pavlich replaced by P Duffield in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Dean Margetts Luke Farmer Nick Brown Official Crowd 33,529 at Domain Stadium s ...
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  4. Demonland

    ANGRY by The Oracle

    Spring is just around the corner and it's rather inspirational that the Demons have the opportunity this year to contest a game in September. It won't be a final but next week's "home" game at Etihad Stadium against the Giants will provide them with the opportunity to prove that the events of the month since their last win against Collingwood hasn't been an aberration. Against Fremantle at Domain Stadium in Perth, the recurring nightmare of the month duly eventuated after the team which was instructed to play angry managed to make its supporters (who are the cause of all their problems after all) really angry by conceding the first 10 goals of the game to lead by 60 points when the second quarter was a little more than ten minutes old. Jeff Garlett kicked their first goal at the mid point in that term and Melbourne came back a little to have four goals on the board by half time. By then, it had lost skipper Nathan Jones to an ankle injury which soured his 200th game and second ruckman Jake Spencer had followed him when a head knock caused him concussion leaving the team one short for the remainder of proceedings. In the normal course that would be a major issue in a game of football but, in this instance, it was offset by the circumstance that Fremantle was assured of top position going into the finals (meaning they're unlikely to have to front up to Hawthorn in a fortnight's time) and they let the intensity drop off dramatically. As a result, the Demons were able to stumble and fumble their way to an even par finish for the rest of a game that had long been rendered meaningless. Indeed, had they managed to hold on in the final ten minutes and avoided conceding the last three goals when the fatigue had really set in, they might have even won the second half and added a false aura of respectability to the outcome. As it was, the 54 point defeat was a positively better result than some of the hidings handed out to the competition's other lesser lights and when you consider that there a difference of 1352 in games played between the two sides and Melbourne had 10 players on the ground who had played less than 50 games including promising Oscar McDonald in his first, you have your answer - it's not not negativity but rather, a lack of experience and know how, particularly when you're another 200 games down when your skipper gets subbed out. More so, when you consider that the club rested two of its promising youngsters in Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes and there's a fair whack of other good players missing from the mix. In those circumstances, the Demons would be encouraged that some of their better players were their youth. You couldn't go past the 30 possession game of Jack Viney (with 12 tackles and six clearances) and the hard work in the ruck of Max Gawn agains one of the AFL's maestros or the run of Christian Salem. Daniel Cross had a standout 39 touches and worked his butt off belying his age. Unfortunately, the depth just wasn't there and the bottom half dozen weren't good or interested enough for this standard and consequently might be angry at themselves in a month or two's time when they're told their truth that their AFL careers are over. Melbourne 0.1.1 4.2.26 6.5.41 8.6.54 Fremantle 5.1.31 11.3.69 14.5.89 17.6.108 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 2 Gawn Grimes Vince Watts Fremantle Pavlich Pearce 3 De Boer Neale 2 Barlow Hill Ibbotson Mayne Mzungu Sandilands Sheridan Best MelbourneCross Viney Salem Dunn Gawn Vince Fremantle Mundy Neale Barlow Hill Suban D Pearce Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle , M Walters (calf) replaced in selected side by P Duffield Injuries Melbourne N Jones (ankle) J Spencer (head) Fremantle C Sutcliffe (shoulder) Substitutions Melbourne N Jones (ankle) replaced by J Grimes in the second quarter Fremantle M Pavlich replaced by P Duffield in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Dean Margetts Luke Farmer Nick Brown Official Crowd 33,529 at Domain Stadium
  5. DETERMINED AND DASHING DEES WILL BE TOO HOT FOR DIVING DOCKERS AT DOMAIN by Positive Peter from Perth The writing is on the wall for the Dockers. After plunging to defeat against North Melbourne last Sunday at Etihad Stadium, they are odds on (in my book anyway) to suffer another loss to the plucky Demons who will cross the Nullarbor with every reason to feel confident about their prospects knowing that thousands of their own long-suffering negative supporters have been left behind whining and moaning in Melbourne. With very few supporters in Perth, the Dees will be able to lift the "veil of negativity" and play the style of free-flowing running football that the modern game requires without the worrisome and pessimistic vibes of supporters in the stands who have stunted the team's performances since coach Paul Roos took over the coaching reins almost two years ago. The hard working Melbourne board and its coaching panel are entitled to expect positivity to course through and through the veins of every player who runs out onto the hallowed turf of Domain Stadium unburdened by the pressure of thousands of critical pairs of eyes of the fans left behind in Victoria. Max Gawn will cut Aaron Sandilands down to size in the ruck duels and his dominance there and around the ground should lead the way for the Demon midfield to destroy those hesitant worry warts in the Docker on ball division which will be quaking in their collective boots knowing that their star player and Brownlow favourite Nat Fyfe has been ruled out of this game because of a "leg injury". Leg injury, my foot. The bloke's supposed to have inflammation in his fibula in his left leg, a condition known as periostitis but my spies tell me he took one look at the vision of Melbourne's midfield in full flight against Carlton at the MCG last Sunday and quickly bailed out knowing that there was absolutely no chance that he could possibly poll any votes against that lot. After all, he's no Patrick Cripps is he? The Demons should be first to the ball at every contest. There will be no fumbling and no turnovers. Jack Watts will barge his way through packs to win the footy, Chris Dawes will mark everything in sight and every inside fifty pass will hit Jess Hogan on the tit as he gives Fred Fanning's long standing goal kicking record a fair shake. By about 7.00pm AEST the commentators on the Fox Footy Channel will be delving into the record books to ascertain whether they have just witnessed the biggest upset in the history of the game. And don't think Sunday's inevitable victory of Fremantle will be the end of the matter for the dazzling Dees. They will go on to bigger and brighter things to wrap up the season by finally winning successive AFL home and away games for the first time since Methuselah was a boy and simultaneously break their Etihad Stadium hoodoo by teaching the GWS Giants a lesson on how to play football under a roof in front of a non existent crowd because, like their counterparts from Sydney's western suburbs, those negative nellies are unlikely to turn up to the game either. After that, I fully expect them to go further onwards and upwards with a 2016 season that will make the Western Bulldogs' turnaround of this year look like small pickings because I'm one of those people who (like the Doggies' coach and former Demon player, Luke Beveridge) doesn't place modest objectives on my team. I have loftier ideals. And I'm positive about that! THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Domain Stadium Sunday 30th August, 2015 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Fremantle 20 wins Melbourne 13 14 wins At Domain Stadium: Fremantle 10 wins Melbourne 3 4 wins Last Five meetings: Fremantle 5 4 wins Melbourne 0 1 wins The Coaches: Lyon 2 wins Roos 0 1 wins * since I have no doubt that the Dees will whip the Dockers within an inch of their lives, I already have credited them with the win in advance in the above stats. Why muck around after all? MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, live at 4.30pm (AEST) Radio - SEN, ABC, ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Fremantle $1.07 to win Melbourne $8.50 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 18.10.118 defeated Melbourne 6.14.50 at the MCG, Round 5, 2015 The Dockers toyed with the Demons and never really gave them a look in. Nat Fyfe picked up his inevitable three Brownlow votes with consumate ease and Chris Mayne booted four against the hapless Dees who only had one player, Daniel Cross (21) who could manage more than twenty touches. FREMANTLE B: Lee Spurr, Luke McPharlin, Tendai Mzungu HB: Cameron Sutcliffe, Michael Johnson, Garrick Ibbotson C: Michael Barlow, Stephen Hill, Nick Suban HF: Danyle Pearce, Matthew Pavlich, Matt de Boer F: Jonathon Griffin, Chris Mayne, Michael Walters FOLL: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Lachie Neale I/C: Zac Dawson, Ed Langdon, Clancee Pearce, Tommy Sheridan EMG: Paul Duffield, Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner IN: Ed Langdon, Matthew Pavlich, Clancee Pearce OUT: Hayden Crozier (omitted), Nat Fyfe (leg), Alex Pearce (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Matt Jones, Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross HF: Viv Michie, Jesse Hogan, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jake Spencer, Oscar McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jack Grimes, Ben Newton, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts EMG: Rohan Bail, James Harmes, Aidan Riley IN: Neville Jetta, Matt Jones, Oscar McDonald, Jake Spencer OUT: Angus Brayshaw (rested), Chris Dawes (ankle), James Harmes (omitted), Heritier Lumumba (ankle) NEW: Oscar McDonald (19, North Ballarat) What more can I say? The Demons are so confident of a win that they decided to rest young guns Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes this week and gave Oscar McDonald a debut game in the penultimate round in much the same way as they did with older brother Tom some four years ago. Even the selection moves are oozing positivity! It wasn't all that many moons ago that a different Melbourne turned up at the airport in Perth ready to do battle with Fremantle at the same ground (although it was called something else at the time). It was around the middle of the last decade when they were actually ranked more highly than any other Victorian club in the AFL. Back then, the Demons had a dip but the Dockers were committed, on song and on the way up. Conversely and unbeknown to them, the visitors from interstate were on the wrong side of their then coach's premiership clock which had not only stopped ticking but was about to break a spring and stop working altogether. Co-incidentally, some of the major players in the club's more recent past were aligned to the Dockers but were brought back home to help the Dees when they went into decline. Sadly, that didn't help. In the interim it's no secret that Melbourne has struggled in the west. The team has lost its last 15 games at Domain Stadium and their last six against Fremantle have been by an average of 68 points. However, we know that the tide must turn one day and what better day than now? The Dockers have been unconvincing in recent weeks, having lost their last two matches and now must finish off the home and away season without playmaker Nat Fyfe who dominated when these teams last met at the MCG earlier in the season. Teams always lift for milestone games and I expect Melbourne to lift for its courageous captain Nathan Jones who will notch up his 200th in this match. It's no coincidence that the team's performances have slipped in synch with a decline in the skipper's form over the past few weeks when he didn't look quite right but those who attended the club's training session at Domain reckon both he and Bernie Vince look to be in tip top shape for this one. Their return to form and the absence of Fyfe could swing this one in the Dees' favour. I already alluded to big Max Gawn earlier but there is really only one man in the competition who can stare eye to eye into the face of Docker ruckman Aaron Sandilands and that man is Max who I tip will topple him in an intriguing contest between the two tallest men in the AFL. I also believe the Demons will be primed to win the key position battles with Tom McDonald and Jesse Hogan forming the new breed of dominant key position players of the future joined by T Mac's younger bit slightly taller brother Oscar making his long-awaited debut. Make no mistake - the Dockers are in a state of panic about this game. The best indication of that is the fact that they rushed Matthew Pavlich back prematurely when he really should be sitting in the stand resting with Nat! The pundits are giving the Dees no chance in this game but I'm predicting a shock (but not for me) result in a game that will push the Dockers further into decline. Melbourne by 29 points.
  6. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 22

    I'm inspired by the ministrations of Positive Peter and his preview of the penultimate game of the season. I just hope the players follow suit and take note of how the supporters of the club have rallied with enough auras of positivity to stretch across the Nullarbor following coach Paul Roos' comments about how we were causing the players to drop marks, miskick the footy and handball poorly. Never again. I'm confident of a big day today.
  7. The writing is on the wall for the Dockers. After plunging to defeat against North Melbourne last Sunday at Etihad Stadium, they are odds on (in my book anyway) to suffer another loss to the plucky Demons who will cross the Nullarbor with every reason to feel confident about their prospects knowing that thousands of their own long-suffering negative supporters have been left behind whining and moaning in Melbourne. With very few supporters in Perth, the Dees will be able to lift the "veil of negativity" and play the style of free-flowing running football that the modern game requires without the worrisome and pessimistic vibes of supporters in the stands who have stunted the team's performances since coach Paul Roos took over the coaching reins almost two years ago. The hard working Melbourne board and its coaching panel are entitled to expect positivity to course through and through the veins of every player who runs out onto the hallowed turf of Domain Stadium unburdened by the pressure of thousands of critical pairs of eyes of the fans left behind in Victoria. Max Gawn will cut Aaron Sandilands down to size in the ruck duels and his dominance there and around the ground should lead the way for the Demon midfield to destroy those hesitant worry warts in the Docker on ball division which will be quaking in their collective boots knowing that their star player and Brownlow favourite Nat Fyfe has been ruled out of this game because of a "leg injury". Leg injury, my foot. The bloke's supposed to have inflammation in his fibula in his left leg, a condition known as periostitis but my spies tell me he took one look at the vision of Melbourne's midfield in full flight against Carlton at the MCG last Sunday and quickly bailed out knowing that there was absolutely no chance that he could possibly poll any votes against that lot. After all, he's no Patrick Cripps is he? The Demons should be first to the ball at every contest. There will be no fumbling and no turnovers. Jack Watts will barge his way through packs to win the footy, Chris Dawes will mark everything in sight and every inside fifty pass will hit Jess Hogan on the tit as he gives Fred Fanning's long standing goal kicking record a fair shake. By about 7.00pm AEST the commentators on the Fox Footy Channel will be delving into the record books to ascertain whether they have just witnessed the biggest upset in the history of the game. And don't think Sunday's inevitable victory of Fremantle will be the end of the matter for the dazzling Dees. They will go on to bigger and brighter things to wrap up the season by finally winning successive AFL home and away games for the first time since Methuselah was a boy and simultaneously break their Etihad Stadium hoodoo by teaching the GWS Giants a lesson on how to play football under a roof in front of a non existent crowd because, like their counterparts from Sydney's western suburbs, those negative nellies are unlikely to turn up to the game either. After that, I fully expect them to go further onwards and upwards with a 2016 season that will make the Western Bulldogs' turnaround of this year look like small pickings because I'm one of those people who (like the Doggies' coach and former Demon player, Luke Beveridge) doesn't place modest objectives on my team. I have loftier ideals. And I'm positive about that! THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Domain Stadium Sunday 30th August, 2015 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Fremantle 20 wins Melbourne 13 14 wins At Domain Stadium: Fremantle 10 wins Melbourne 3 4 wins Last Five meetings: Fremantle 5 4 wins Melbourne 0 1 wins The Coaches: Lyon 2 wins Roos 0 1 wins * since I have no doubt that the Dees will whip the Dockers within an inch of their lives, I already have credited them with the win in advance in the above stats. Why muck around after all? MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, live at 4.30pm (AEST) Radio - SEN, ABC, ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Fremantle $1.07 to win Melbourne $8.50 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 18.10.118 defeated Melbourne 6.14.50 at the MCG, Round 5, 2015 The Dockers toyed with the Demons and never really gave them a look in. Nat Fyfe picked up his inevitable three Brownlow votes with consumate ease and Chris Mayne booted four against the hapless Dees who only had one player, Daniel Cross (21) who could manage more than twenty touches. FREMANTLE B: Lee Spurr, Luke McPharlin, Tendai Mzungu HB: Cameron Sutcliffe, Michael Johnson, Garrick Ibbotson C: Michael Barlow, Stephen Hill, Nick Suban HF: Danyle Pearce, Matthew Pavlich, Matt de Boer F: Jonathon Griffin, Chris Mayne, Michael Walters FOLL: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Lachie Neale I/C: Zac Dawson, Ed Langdon, Clancee Pearce, Tommy Sheridan EMG: Paul Duffield, Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner IN: Ed Langdon, Matthew Pavlich, Clancee Pearce OUT: Hayden Crozier (omitted), Nat Fyfe (leg), Alex Pearce (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Matt Jones, Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross HF: Viv Michie, Jesse Hogan, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jake Spencer, Oscar McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jack Grimes, Ben Newton, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts EMG: Rohan Bail, James Harmes, Aidan Riley IN: Neville Jetta, Matt Jones, Oscar McDonald, Jake Spencer OUT: Angus Brayshaw (rested), Chris Dawes (ankle), James Harmes (omitted), Heritier Lumumba (ankle) NEW: Oscar McDonald (19, North Ballarat) What more can I say? The Demons are so confident of a win that they decided to rest young guns Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes this week and gave Oscar McDonald a debut game in the penultimate round in much the same way as they did with older brother Tom some four years ago. Even the selection moves are oozing positivity! It wasn't all that many moons ago that a different Melbourne turned up at the airport in Perth ready to do battle with Fremantle at the same ground (although it was called something else at the time). It was around the middle of the last decade when they were actually ranked more highly than any other Victorian club in the AFL. Back then, the Demons had a dip but the Dockers were committed, on song and on the way up. Conversely and unbeknown to them, the visitors from interstate were on the wrong side of their then coach's premiership clock which had not only stopped ticking but was about to break a spring and stop working altogether. Co-incidentally, some of the major players in the club's more recent past were aligned to the Dockers but were brought back home to help the Dees when they went into decline. Sadly, that didn't help. In the interim it's no secret that Melbourne has struggled in the west. The team has lost its last 15 games at Domain Stadium and their last six against Fremantle have been by an average of 68 points. However, we know that the tide must turn one day and what better day than now? The Dockers have been unconvincing in recent weeks, having lost their last two matches and now must finish off the home and away season without playmaker Nat Fyfe who dominated when these teams last met at the MCG earlier in the season. Teams always lift for milestone games and I expect Melbourne to lift for its courageous captain Nathan Jones who will notch up his 200th in this match. It's no coincidence that the team's performances have slipped in synch with a decline in the skipper's form over the past few weeks when he didn't look quite right but those who attended the club's training session at Domain reckon both he and Bernie Vince look to be in tip top shape for this one. Their return to form and the absence of Fyfe could swing this one in the Dees' favour. I already alluded to big Max Gawn earlier but there is really only one man in the competition who can stare eye to eye into the face of Docker ruckman Aaron Sandilands and that man is Max who I tip will topple him in an intriguing contest between the two tallest men in the AFL. I also believe the Demons will be primed to win the key position battles with Tom McDonald and Jesse Hogan forming the new breed of dominant key position players of the future joined by T Mac's younger bit slightly taller brother Oscar making his long-awaited debut. Make no mistake - the Dockers are in a state of panic about this game. The best indication of that is the fact that they rushed Matthew Pavlich back prematurely when he really should be sitting in the stand resting with Nat! The pundits are giving the Dees no chance in this game but I'm predicting a shock (but not for me) result in a game that will push the Dockers further into decline. Melbourne by 29 points.
  8. Apart from the hope of a win to start the 2015 season, was there anything to be gained or learned from the match against the Dockers? The Demons were playing against a team with a home ground advantage, in fact a home training ground advantage, who had finished 4th in 2014. The Demons, remember, finished a lowly 17th with a meagre 4 wins. Surely, a one-sided contest could have been expected? Well, it was a NAB Practice match and while the stifling conditions and the missing players from each side make it nearly impossible to assess if there is something better to hope for in 2015 for the Demon fans, the answer must be that there is. The 18 point margin in the end could have so easily been in the Demons favour, could they have been able to execute some really simple tasks. Twenty metre kicks that missed targets by ten, three set shots at goal from inside thirty in the final quarter that failed to produce a solitary score, a single point from the whole second term, these were the things which let them down in the end. By way of contrast, Fremantle made the most of its opportunities when it had them, and made a habit of hitting targets when most needed. In the end it produced the scoreboard results to win the game. But it was not all doom and gloom. Although Fremantle must be questioning the value of these events, when injuries to Barlow, Mundy and Duffield have compromised the start of their season. For the Demons, there were too many players who simply did not contribute at all during the game, yet others lifted beyond expectations to show their tardy team-mates the amount of effort required to play at AFL level. Heritier Lumumba showed he will be a positive live-wire in the back line and up the ground. Sam Frost, likewise was a force to be reckoned with for his first outing in the red and the blue (or in this case, the red, white and the blue. Dom Tyson was superb and Nathan Jones was his usual self showing the way. Aaron vandenBerg, coming off the rookie list can see an early elevation if he performs like this again in his next match, and Ben Newton showed more than enough until taken from the ground injured. Paul Roos played a lot with positioning in the first half, which didnt always play to the team's strengths, but these games are the only chance to do exactly that without consequences. Jeff Garlett in the middle, Frost up forward, Lumumba all around the place were all experiments to see what alternatives could be used during the season proper. When he returned to a more stable structure, the game started to swing Melbourne's way, kicking 3.4 to 1 point in the third term. The finishing let them down in the end and must be worked upon and while a win would have been good, the team remained competitive and was never blown away as we have seen all too often in recent times. Bring on the next game! MELBOURNE 0.3.1 0.3.2 0.6.6 0.6.7 (43) FREMANTLE 0.3.2 0.7.4 0.7.5 0.9.7 (61) GOALS Melbourne: Dawes, Hogan, N Jones, Kent, Newton, vandenBerg Fremantle: Pavlich, Taberner 3, Crozier, Mayne, Walters SUPERGOALS Melbourne: Nil Fremantle: Nil BEST Melbourne: N Jones, Lumumba, Tyson, Cross, T McDonald, Newton Fremantle: Hill, Taberner, Neale, Pavlich, Mzungu, Sutcliffe INJURIES Melbourne: Newton (cut head) Fremantle: Barlow (right ankle), Mundy (ankle), Duffield (left shoulder) SUBSTITUTES Melbourne: McKenzie replaced Newton at half-time; vanderBerg replaced Jetta at half-time Fremantle: Blakely replaced Barlow at three-quarter time; Smith replaced Mundy in the fourth quarter Reports: Nil Umpires: Farmer, Dalgleish, Stephens, Edwards Official crowd: 8000 approx. at Fremantle Oval
  9. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    Too shocking to contemplate ... FREMANTLE Backs Lee Spurr Zac Dawson Michael Johnson Half back Garrick Ibbotson Luke McPharlin Alex Silvagni Centreline Cameron Sutcliffe Ryan Crowley Chris Duffield Half forwards Michael Barlow Chris Mayne Nathan Fyfe Forwards Matt de Boer Zachary Clarke Hayden Ballantyne Followers Jack Hannath David Mundy Danyle Pearce Interchange Hayden Crozier Tendai Mzungu Clancee Pearce Nick Suban Emergencies Viv Michie Josh Simpson Matt Taberner In Hayden Crozier Out Michael Walters (ankle) MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts James Sellar Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Michael Evans Matt Jones Half forwards Luke Tapscott Jeremy Howe Neville Jetta Forwards Max Gawn Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Nathan Jones James Magner Interchange Rohan Bail Shannon Byrnes Jordie McKenzie Daniel Nicholson Emergencies Tom Gillies Jake Spencer James Strauss In Shannon Byrnes Jack Watts Out Jimmy Toumpas (ankle) James Strauss
  10. Fremantle set out to teach Melbourne a lesson in their clash at Patersons Stadium and the Dockers well and truly did this from the first minutes of the game. It started when the usually reliable Michael Barlow errantly passed the ball coming out of defence directly into the waiting arms of Jack Watts for Melbourne's first goal. From that brief but painful beginning for the home team, the Demons took the lead from their hosts and stumbled, fumbled and turned over the football to their opposition gifting away goal after goal to give them leads of 40 and 71 points respectively at each of the first two breaks. Surprisingly, Melbourne won the premiership quarter and narrowed the deficit by a few points in the third before the inevitable fall off at the end which resulted in a thumping defeat that filled the heart of the faithful with enough pain and provided the club with a further dose of humiliation. It was a result which almost certainly will hasten the end of the coach's career. One senses that the silence coming from both the Board and the newly appointed and temporary CEO points to the fact that the end will inevitably come shortly and all that remains to make it complete is the bean counting on the final settlement and the finalisation of the name of the fill in coach. That will be a sad day for the club because Mark Neeld has had the unenviable task of changing what for lack of a better description can be termed "the club's poor culture". This is something that requires more time than seems available to him as the naysayers gain the ascendency in the debate about his future. Other than that, there's not much to write about this game from a Demon perspective although I continue to be impressed with Jack Trengove, a young man who has been given a job that would be difficult on many other older and more experienced shoulders. He has carried himself well both off the field and now on the field this week and he must become one of the club's spearheads for its ultimate revival. I loved Jeremy Howe's work especially given that he looked gone going for the obligatory weekly mark of the year after suffering a tunneling attack from a Docker opponent. The two Jones boys worked hard but for most of the rest, it's the failure to work hard that again brought the team undone. That, and the lack of progress under Neeld is testament to the fact that the Board and CEO will most likely act soon to put an end to the pain. But will that course of action be the pain killer? Melbourne 1.1.7 2.2.14 5.3.33 6.4.40 Fremantle 7.5.47 13.7.85 15.11.101 19.16.130 Goals Melbourne Howe Trengove 2 M Jones Watts Fremantle Ballantyne Mzungu 3 Crozier Mayne Pearce 2, Barlow Crowley Fyfe Hannath Ibbotson Mundy Silvagni Best Melbourne Howe Trengove N Jones Magner McKenzie M Jones Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Ibbotson Pearce Mzungu Injuries Melbourne Dean Terlich (ribs) Fremantle Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Silvagni in the second term for rough conduct on N Jones. Umpires Hay Farmer Fisher Crowd 32,950 at Subiaco.
  11. Demonland

    THE PAIN KILLER

    THE PAIN KILLER by Whispering Jack Fremantle set out to teach Melbourne a lesson in their clash at Patersons Stadium and the Dockers well and truly did this from the first minutes of the game. It started when the usually reliable Michael Barlow errantly passed the ball coming out of defence directly into the waiting arms of Jack Watts for Melbourne's first goal. From that brief but painful beginning for the home team, the Demons took the lead from their hosts and stumbled, fumbled and turned over the football to their opposition gifting away goal after goal to give them leads of 40 and 71 points respectively at each of the first two breaks. Surprisingly, Melbourne won the premiership quarter and narrowed the deficit by a few points in the third before the inevitable fall off at the end which resulted in a thumping defeat that filled the heart of the faithful with enough pain and provided the club with a further dose of humiliation. It was a result which almost certainly will hasten the end of the coach's career. One senses that the silence coming from both the Board and the newly appointed and temporary CEO points to the fact that the end will inevitably come shortly and all that remains to make it complete is the bean counting on the final settlement and the finalisation of the name of the fill in coach. That will be a sad day for the club because Mark Neeld has had the unenviable task of changing what for lack of a better description can be termed "the club's poor culture". This is something that requires more time than seems available to him as the naysayers gain the ascendency in the debate about his future. Other than that, there's not much to write about this game from a Demon perspective although I continue to be impressed with Jack Trengove, a young man who has been given a job that would be difficult on many other older and more experienced shoulders. He has carried himself well both off the field and now on the field this week and he must become one of the club's spearheads for its ultimate revival. I loved Jeremy Howe's work especially given that he looked gone going for the obligatory weekly mark of the year after suffering a tunneling attack from a Docker opponent. The two Jones boys worked hard but for most of the rest, it's the failure to work hard that again brought the team undone. That, and the lack of progress under Neeld is testament to the fact that the Board and CEO will most likely act soon to put an end to the pain. But will that course of action be the pain killer? Melbourne 1.1.7 2.2.14 5.3.33 6.4.40 Fremantle 7.5.47 13.7.85 15.11.101 19.16.130 Goals Melbourne Howe Trengove 2 M Jones Watts Fremantle Ballantyne Mzungu 3 Crozier Mayne Pearce 2, Barlow Crowley Fyfe Hannath Ibbotson Mundy Silvagni Best Melbourne Howe Trengove N Jones Magner McKenzie M Jones Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Ibbotson Pearce Mzungu Injuries Melbourne Dean Terlich (ribs) Fremantle Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Silvagni in the second term for rough conduct on N Jones. Umpires Hay Farmer Fisher Crowd 32,950 at Subiaco.
  12. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 9

    Not long to go now.
  13. A BAD BET by William from West Perth In days of yore it would have been an inviting prospect for a Melbourne team visiting these parts to come across a Fremantle side bereft of players of the quality of (in alphabetical order) Kepler Bradley, Hayden Crozier, Max Duffy, Jonathon Griffin, Stephen Hill, Sam Menegola, Craig Moller, Anthony Morabito, Lachie Neale, Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Michael Walters. However, in this new modern age, the Dockers have sufficient depth to overcome the shell-shocked Demons even without the aforementioned players and with competition strong for one of those coveted top four spots at the end of the year, they are hardly likely to let slip a game in which they are considered such certainties that Sportsbet is offering their backers a mere 1 cent per dollar invested. The punters over here might well be bemoaning the end of the minerals boom but those odds won't generate much interest. Melbourne has its own injury woes and whilst not as significant in numbers, they are in terms of player depth but they still don't match those of Fremantle who have managed to cover their losses well. Their players are keen and willing to give their all for the cause and do so week in, week out. They are particularly strong at home where they have beaten all comers in recent times with the exception of Essendon who fell into a win over there when they were going great guns earlier in the season before their own magic formula started to wear off. The area where Melbourne might be expected to hold the ascendency is in the ruck duels where Mark Jamar goes into the game knowing that he doesn't have to face a barrage from the usual brigade of giants headed by Aaron Sandilands. His likely opponent is Jack Hannath, who the Demons had earmarked as his understudy only to be plucked away by the Dockers through last years pre-season draft. Some say that Freo took Hannath purely in revenge for the Mitch Clark heist a year earlier but that isn't stopping them from eyeing Jack Watts who should come back for this game after a month out with injury. In that case, the former number one draft pick will need to produce something out of the box to impress his suitors. I don't think Jack has been quite right this season (even before his injury). Sunday afternoon is his opportunity to show his wares. There are plenty of others who also need to produce some effort for their success starved supporters out west. We haven't seen a win here since Brock McLean was a loyal young and enthusiastic Demon in his first season and we know those days are long gone. And we don't just want the team to be competitive, we want them striving for a win and giving their opponents more than the slight heart flutter they handed the Tigers last week. The problem as I see it is that the ground on which this game will be played requires run and effort because of its extra length. Melbourne, with its weak midfield is unlikely to sustain a long, hard day under the pressure that Fremantle can and will exert. If pressed for a tip, my bet is therefore: Fremantle by 42 points THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Sunday 26 May, 2013 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Fremantle 16 wins Melbourne 13 wins Patersons Stadium Fremantle 9 wins Melbourne 3 wins Since 2000 Fremantle 12 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Lyon 2 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel (live at 4.30pm AEST) RADIO SEN, ABC THE BETTING Fremantle $1.01 Melbourne $17.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 14.17.101 defeated Melbourne 5.10.40 Round 23, 2012 at Paterson Stadium Melbourne has not beaten Fremantle in Perth since 2004 and on this evening, it never looked like breaking the curse of Subiaco. The Demons were horrible as the Dockers cantered into the finals. THE TEAMS FREMANTLE Backs Lee Spurr Zac Dawson Michael Johnson Half back Garrick Ibbotson Luke McPharlin Alex Silvagni Centreline Cameron Sutcliffe Ryan Crowley Chris Duffield Half forwards Michael Barlow Chris Mayne Nathan Fyfe Forwards Matt de Boer Zachary Clarke Hayden Ballantyne Followers Jack Hannath David Mundy Danyle Pearce Interchange Hayden Crozier Tendai Mzungu Clancee Pearce Nick Suban Emergencies Viv Michie Josh Simpson Matt Taberner In Hayden Crozier Out Michael Walters (ankle) MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts James Sellar Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Michael Evans Matt Jones Half forwards Luke Tapscott Jeremy Howe Neville Jetta Forwards Max Gawn Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Nathan Jones James Magner Interchange Rohan Bail Shannon Byrnes Jordie McKenzie Daniel Nicholson Emergencies Tom Gillies Jake Spencer James Strauss In Shannon Byrnes Jack Watts Out Jimmy Toumpas (ankle) James Strauss THE YEAR SO FAR by Sam the Stats Man I had hoped that by the time I came back from Melbourne's season in hell, things might be better but they're not. Injuries, poor form and controversy continue to haunt the club. Here, is my look at the players statistically over the first eight rounds of 2013:- BAIL, Rohan MFC 6 games, 4 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 2 goals - has been struggling to find form after issues with concussion both last year and during the pre-season. BARRY, Dominic CFC Seniors 3 games, 2 goals, CFC DL 2 games, 2 goals - skilful but lightly built youngster in development phase at Casey. BLEASE, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 4 games, 1 goal - seems to struggle when he gets his chance at AFL level. BYRNES, Shannon MFC 7 games, 5 goals - a handy small forward has had a couple of good days. CLARK, Mitch MFC 4 games, 7 goals - tragedy hit when another foot injury put him out of action for at least two months. CLISBY, Mitch * CFC Seniors 4 games 0 goals - running defender showing some promise at Casey. COUCH, Tom * CFC Seniors 5 games, 4 goals - once again a ball magnet at Casey but possibly a little short on pace to make it to the big time. DAVEY, Aaron MFC 6 games, 9 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - patchy, but starting to show the form of old. DAVIS, Troy CFC Seniors 4 games, 0 goals - pushing for his first game at AFL level. DAWES, Chris MFC 2 games, 2 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 5 goals - hit by injury in the pre-season and has only just broken into the team. DUNN, Lynden MFC 4 games, 3 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 2 goals - missed a few games with injury but has been handy since his return. EVANS, Michael MFC 6 games, 5 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - a most improved player since return after a long stint out with a back injury. FRAWLEY, James MFC 8 games, 0 goals - has had a few good games interspersed with some poor ones. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - one of the shining lights in defence in recent weeks. GAWN, Max MFC 5 games, 6 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 2 goals - the tall ruckman is learning his craft and showing lots of promise after a second knee reconstruction kept him out for all of 2012. GILLIES, Tom MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 3 games, 0 goals - struggling for form. GRIMES, Jack MFC 6 games, 1 goal - was starting to come good as a team leader when he broke his collarbone against Carlton. On long term injury list. HOGAN, Jesse ** CFC Seniors 5 games, 12 goals - good signs in his development year at the Scorpions. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 13 goals - doing more than just taking mark of the week every second week. Will benefit when Clark and Dawes are the regular key forwards. JAMAR, Mark MFC 6 games, 2 goals - really missed in the ruck duels when out injured. Still needs to do a lot more around the ground. JETTA, Neville MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - was starting to show some form when an indiscretion led to suspension. JONES, Matthew MFC 8 games, 1 goal one of the revelations of the season, Jones has regularly been in the best players. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 game, 3 games deserved to gain the captaincy even though the circumstances were rather unusual. Heading for back to back best and fairests. KENT, Dean MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 4 games, 3 goals young, raw and probably introduced to the senior team a little early. MACDONALD, Joel CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - injured at the start of the season and unable to break into the side until now. McDONALD, Tom MFC 5 games, 0 goals not at his best early in the season then missed a few weeks to injury. MCKENZIE, Jordie MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 0 goals another whose season has been interrupted by injury and who has struggled to perform consistently. MAGNER, James * MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 5 games, 2 goals came off the rookie list last week after a string of high possession games and was immediately in the thick of things. NICHOLSON, Daniel MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - still struggles with poor execution. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 4 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - picking up the pieces at Casey after a poor start at the club. RODAN, David MFC 3 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 3 games, 5 goals - hasn't had the impact some expected from him. SELLAR, James MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 1 game, 0 goals - adequately fills a role whether placed up forward or down back. SPENCER, Jake MFC 2 games, 0 games, CFC Seniors 4 games, 0 goals - struggled to impress in his two games with the Demons. STARK, Nathan * CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals - restricted by injury to just one development league game. STRAUSS, James MFC 3 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 4 games, 2 goals - working on developing his defensive side. SYLVIA, Colin MFC 7 games, 6 goals - was showing some settled form before being outed for three weeks. TAGGERT, Rory CFC Seniors 5 games, 5 goals. CFC DL 1 game, 1 goal - returning from a back injury and isn't likely to push up for AFL. TAPSCOTT, Luke MFC 7 games, 3 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 6 goals - despite playing 7 on the trot, still yet to prove that he can establish a permanent place in the line up. TERLICH, Dean MFC 7 games, 0 goals - like Matt Jones, this mature aged player has made a promising start to his career. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 1 goal - another youngster struggling to adapt to the higher standard of the game and injuries aren't helping him. TRENGOVE, Jack MFC 6 games, 3 goals - no pre-season to speak of and is doing it hard. TYNAN, Josh CFC Seniors 4 games, 1 goal. CFC DL 2 games, 0 goals - struggling to hold a place at Casey in their seniors, so is still a long way back. VINEY, Jack MFC 6 games, 1 goal - lively and goes in hard. On the sidelines with a toe injury that should keep him out for several weeks. WATTS, Jack MFC 4 games, 2 goals - momentarily moved forward for 2 quick goals in the week before his injury. Although much maligned, he remains one of the team's best users of the football and is waiting for a break through game. WESTRUPP, Maia ** CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals played his first game with the Casey development league team last weekend.
  14. A BAD BET by William from West Perth In days of yore it would have been an inviting prospect for a Melbourne team visiting these parts to come across a Fremantle side bereft of players of the quality of (in alphabetical order) Kepler Bradley, Hayden Crozier, Max Duffy, Jonathon Griffin, Stephen Hill, Sam Menegola, Craig Moller, Anthony Morabito, Lachie Neale, Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Michael Walters. However, in this new modern age, the Dockers have sufficient depth to overcome the shell-shocked Demons even without the aforementioned players and with competition strong for one of those coveted top four spots at the end of the year, they are hardly likely to let slip a game in which they are considered such certainties that Sportsbet is offering their backers a mere 1 cent per dollar invested. The punters over here might well be bemoaning the end of the minerals boom but those odds won't generate much interest. Melbourne has its own injury woes and whilst not as significant in numbers, they are in terms of player depth but they still don't match those of Fremantle who have managed to cover their losses well. Their players are keen and willing to give their all for the cause and do so week in, week out. They are particularly strong at home where they have beaten all comers in recent times with the exception of Essendon who fell into a win over there when they were going great guns earlier in the season before their own magic formula started to wear off. The area where Melbourne might be expected to hold the ascendency is in the ruck duels where Mark Jamar goes into the game knowing that he doesn't have to face a barrage from the usual brigade of giants headed by Aaron Sandilands. His likely opponent is Jack Hannath, who the Demons had earmarked as his understudy only to be plucked away by the Dockers through last years pre-season draft. Some say that Freo took Hannath purely in revenge for the Mitch Clark heist a year earlier but that isn't stopping them from eyeing Jack Watts who should come back for this game after a month out with injury. In that case, the former number one draft pick will need to produce something out of the box to impress his suitors. I don't think Jack has been quite right this season (even before his injury). Sunday afternoon is his opportunity to show his wares. There are plenty of others who also need to produce some effort for their success starved supporters out west. We haven't seen a win here since Brock McLean was a loyal young and enthusiastic Demon in his first season and we know those days are long gone. And we don't just want the team to be competitive, we want them striving for a win and giving their opponents more than the slight heart flutter they handed the Tigers last week. The problem as I see it is that the ground on which this game will be played requires run and effort because of its extra length. Melbourne, with its weak midfield is unlikely to sustain a long, hard day under the pressure that Fremantle can and will exert. If pressed for a tip, my bet is therefore: Fremantle by 42 points THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Sunday 26 May, 2013 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Fremantle 16 wins Melbourne 13 wins Patersons Stadium Fremantle 9 wins Melbourne 3 wins Since 2000 Fremantle 12 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Lyon 2 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel (live at 4.30pm AEST) RADIO SEN, ABC THE BETTING Fremantle $1.01 Melbourne $17.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 14.17.101 defeated Melbourne 5.10.40 Round 23, 2012 at Paterson Stadium Melbourne has not beaten Fremantle in Perth since 2004 and on this evening, it never looked like breaking the curse of Subiaco. The Demons were horrible as the Dockers cantered into the finals. THE TEAMS FREMANTLE Backs Lee Spurr Zac Dawson Michael Johnson Half back Garrick Ibbotson Luke McPharlin Alex Silvagni Centreline Cameron Sutcliffe Ryan Crowley Chris Duffield Half forwards Michael Barlow Chris Mayne Nathan Fyfe Forwards Matt de Boer Zachary Clarke Hayden Ballantyne Followers Jack Hannath David Mundy Danyle Pearce Interchange Hayden Crozier Tendai Mzungu Clancee Pearce Nick Suban Emergencies Viv Michie Josh Simpson Matt Taberner In Hayden Crozier Out Michael Walters (ankle) MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts James Sellar Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Michael Evans Matt Jones Half forwards Luke Tapscott Jeremy Howe Neville Jetta Forwards Max Gawn Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Nathan Jones James Magner Interchange Rohan Bail Shannon Byrnes Jordie McKenzie Daniel Nicholson Emergencies Tom Gillies Jake Spencer James Strauss In Shannon Byrnes Jack Watts Out Jimmy Toumpas (ankle) James Strauss THE YEAR SO FAR by Sam the Stats Man I had hoped that by the time I came back from Melbourne's season in hell, things might be better but they're not. Injuries, poor form and controversy continue to haunt the club. Here, is my look at the players statistically over the first eight rounds of 2013:- BAIL, Rohan MFC 6 games, 4 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 2 goals - has been struggling to find form after issues with concussion both last year and during the pre-season. BARRY, Dominic CFC Seniors 3 games, 2 goals, CFC DL 2 games, 2 goals - skilful but lightly built youngster in development phase at Casey. BLEASE, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 4 games, 1 goal - seems to struggle when he gets his chance at AFL level. BYRNES, Shannon MFC 7 games, 5 goals - a handy small forward has had a couple of good days. CLARK, Mitch MFC 4 games, 7 goals - tragedy hit when another foot injury put him out of action for at least two months. CLISBY, Mitch * CFC Seniors 4 games 0 goals - running defender showing some promise at Casey. COUCH, Tom * CFC Seniors 5 games, 4 goals - once again a ball magnet at Casey but possibly a little short on pace to make it to the big time. DAVEY, Aaron MFC 6 games, 9 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - patchy, but starting to show the form of old. DAVIS, Troy CFC Seniors 4 games, 0 goals - pushing for his first game at AFL level. DAWES, Chris MFC 2 games, 2 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 5 goals - hit by injury in the pre-season and has only just broken into the team. DUNN, Lynden MFC 4 games, 3 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 2 goals - missed a few games with injury but has been handy since his return. EVANS, Michael MFC 6 games, 5 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - a most improved player since return after a long stint out with a back injury. FRAWLEY, James MFC 8 games, 0 goals - has had a few good games interspersed with some poor ones. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - one of the shining lights in defence in recent weeks. GAWN, Max MFC 5 games, 6 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 2 goals - the tall ruckman is learning his craft and showing lots of promise after a second knee reconstruction kept him out for all of 2012. GILLIES, Tom MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 3 games, 0 goals - struggling for form. GRIMES, Jack MFC 6 games, 1 goal - was starting to come good as a team leader when he broke his collarbone against Carlton. On long term injury list. HOGAN, Jesse ** CFC Seniors 5 games, 12 goals - good signs in his development year at the Scorpions. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 13 goals - doing more than just taking mark of the week every second week. Will benefit when Clark and Dawes are the regular key forwards. JAMAR, Mark MFC 6 games, 2 goals - really missed in the ruck duels when out injured. Still needs to do a lot more around the ground. JETTA, Neville MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 1 goal - was starting to show some form when an indiscretion led to suspension. JONES, Matthew MFC 8 games, 1 goal one of the revelations of the season, Jones has regularly been in the best players. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 game, 3 games deserved to gain the captaincy even though the circumstances were rather unusual. Heading for back to back best and fairests. KENT, Dean MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 4 games, 3 goals young, raw and probably introduced to the senior team a little early. MACDONALD, Joel CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - injured at the start of the season and unable to break into the side until now. McDONALD, Tom MFC 5 games, 0 goals not at his best early in the season then missed a few weeks to injury. MCKENZIE, Jordie MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 0 goals another whose season has been interrupted by injury and who has struggled to perform consistently. MAGNER, James * MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 5 games, 2 goals came off the rookie list last week after a string of high possession games and was immediately in the thick of things. NICHOLSON, Daniel MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - still struggles with poor execution. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 4 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 0 goals - picking up the pieces at Casey after a poor start at the club. RODAN, David MFC 3 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 3 games, 5 goals - hasn't had the impact some expected from him. SELLAR, James MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 1 game, 0 goals - adequately fills a role whether placed up forward or down back. SPENCER, Jake MFC 2 games, 0 games, CFC Seniors 4 games, 0 goals - struggled to impress in his two games with the Demons. STARK, Nathan * CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals - restricted by injury to just one development league game. STRAUSS, James MFC 3 games, 1 goal, CFC Seniors 4 games, 2 goals - working on developing his defensive side. SYLVIA, Colin MFC 7 games, 6 goals - was showing some settled form before being outed for three weeks. TAGGERT, Rory CFC Seniors 5 games, 5 goals. CFC DL 1 game, 1 goal - returning from a back injury and isn't likely to push up for AFL. TAPSCOTT, Luke MFC 7 games, 3 goals, CFC Seniors 1 game, 6 goals - despite playing 7 on the trot, still yet to prove that he can establish a permanent place in the line up. TERLICH, Dean MFC 7 games, 0 goals - like Matt Jones, this mature aged player has made a promising start to his career. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Seniors 2 games, 1 goal - another youngster struggling to adapt to the higher standard of the game and injuries aren't helping him. TRENGOVE, Jack MFC 6 games, 3 goals - no pre-season to speak of and is doing it hard. TYNAN, Josh CFC Seniors 4 games, 1 goal. CFC DL 2 games, 0 goals - struggling to hold a place at Casey in their seniors, so is still a long way back. VINEY, Jack MFC 6 games, 1 goal - lively and goes in hard. On the sidelines with a toe injury that should keep him out for several weeks. WATTS, Jack MFC 4 games, 2 goals - momentarily moved forward for 2 quick goals in the week before his injury. Although much maligned, he remains one of the team's best users of the football and is waiting for a break through game. WESTRUPP, Maia ** CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals played his first game with the Casey development league team last weekend.
  15. alpha33

    Injury List - Round 9

    I'm not even going to waste anybody's time with the injury list from the Herald Sun's barometer series because they never get it right and even if they were remotely close, they would still miss out on the mystery injuries of the week like Shannon Byrnes and Jack Viney from last week. So I'll concentrate on the opposition this week and if they got them right, then we really can't cry about our injury toll this week: Jon Griffin (knee) season Kepler Bradley (knee) season Aaron Sandilands (hamstring) 5 weeks Matthew Pavlich (achilles) 2 weeks Anthony Morabito (knee) 4 weeks Stephen Hill (quad) 1-2 weeks Michael Walters (ankle) 3-4 weeks As for Melbourne, it's looking like one out will be Jimmy Toumpas while Jack Watts could come back from injury and Cam Pedersen is also a good chance after a very good game with Casey and possibly Sam Blease.
  16. Demonland

    HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND

    HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND by Whispering Jack There's a fair chance that not many people on this side of the continent will remember the last game of 2012 in the years to come. Mark Neeld took a team of twenty-two players who looked and played as if they were physically and mentally exhausted, washed up, wounded and hurt, and the result they produced against an opponent on its way to the finals was thoroughly predictable. At least the game put paid to the idea that there is such a thing as tanking in Australian football. It's actually called "controlling the outcome", as football icon Leigh Matthews declared this week in the media when he suggested that Ross Lyon should take such steps as are necessary to manufacture a home town Derby final against the Eagles for next week. The idea never had a chance of flying anywhere with the Dockers shooting out of the blocks and never being even remotely troubled on their way to their eighth win from their past nine matches to land seventh position and an away final against Geelong. It was hard to believe that less than two months earlier, an injury hit Melbourne team already playing on two cylinders led Fremantle at three quarter time in their "home" game at Etihad Stadium only to be rolled over at the end when the capacity to rotate players was stretched to the limit. And it's the very thought of how the Demons fought in that game that is perhaps a major redeeming feature as we begin to reflect on yet another disastrous period in the club's history. The events have been well dicumented and don't bear repeating but by Round 16 their season was as good as over with as many players heading for the infirmary as were those heading for the scrapheap but they bested the finals bound Dockers for most of the game. Since then, there have been a couple of consolation wins (against the franchise teams) but the coach has been confined to a short list of players fit enough to play at their optimum. A number of others were simply not up to performing to required AFL standards. Nor are some capable of preparing themselves to play the game the way the coach dictates. They are, of course, finished. Done. Kaput. I can think of a few others who would have been better off "rested" for the last couple of games but that would have only invited scorn among the club's enemies amid allegations that the club was ... ahem ... controlling the outcome to improve its draft position. Now that's a total myth as this game proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The Demons were bad enough on their own to make the result an absolute certainty from the outset. I will exclude from the "bad" characterisation, the club's two young skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove who were thrust by circumstance into their difficult roles and who (I have no doubt whatsoever on this) will shame their critics in future years. They were there to learn their roles this year and have shown that they are responding extremely well to the challenge. Colin Sylvia has also responded well, albeit late in the season, and defied his critics with another solid performance. Nearing the veteran stage, he's no longer "the kid" and it's to be hoped that he can finally put together a solid season of football. Nathan Jones had the solid Crowley tag and, despite having his output reduced to less than twenty disposals, he demonstrated to the rest of this young side the rewards that can be achieved by a solid hard pre season. A couple of young blokes in Tom McDonald and Jack Fitzpatrick showed that they have talent and it will be interesting to see how they and many of the other youngsters in this group develop over the next year or two. Let's face it, player development is an area where the club has lagged behind the rest of the field over the past decade or so. It remains one of the club's major challenges as we enter the coming era. Development, fitness and hard work over the off season is a necessity for all clubs in this highly competitive industry. It's going to be even more important for what is left of the 2012 list and for those who join it in the coming months. It is on that which we will have to hang our hopes over the coming long, hot summer. Melbourne 1.3.9 2.5.17 4.8.32 5.10.40 Fremantle 3.5.23 7.7.49 11.14.80 14.17.101 Goals Melbourne Fitzpatrick 2 Blease Jones Sellar Fremantle Ballantyne 3 Griffin Mzungu Pavlich Sandilands 2 Mayne Mundy Walters Best Melbourne Sylvia Grimes Jones Trengove Fitzpatrick Garland Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Pearce Hill Sandilands Injuries Melbourne Nil Fremantle McPharlin (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Farmer Dalgleish Leppard Official Crowd 32,687 at Patersons Stadium.
  17. HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND by Whispering Jack There's a fair chance that not many people on this side of the continent will remember the last game of 2012 in the years to come. Mark Neeld took a team of twenty-two players who looked and played as if they were physically and mentally exhausted, washed up, wounded and hurt, and the result they produced against an opponent on its way to the finals was thoroughly predictable. At least the game put paid to the idea that there is such a thing as tanking in Australian football. It's actually called "controlling the outcome", as football icon Leigh Matthews declared this week in the media when he suggested that Ross Lyon should take such steps as are necessary to manufacture a home town Derby final against the Eagles for next week. The idea never had a chance of flying anywhere with the Dockers shooting out of the blocks and never being even remotely troubled on their way to their eighth win from their past nine matches to land seventh position and an away final against Geelong. It was hard to believe that less than two months earlier, an injury hit Melbourne team already playing on two cylinders led Fremantle at three quarter time in their "home" game at Etihad Stadium only to be rolled over at the end when the capacity to rotate players was stretched to the limit. And it's the very thought of how the Demons fought in that game that is perhaps a major redeeming feature as we begin to reflect on yet another disastrous period in the club's history. The events have been well dicumented and don't bear repeating but by Round 16 their season was as good as over with as many players heading for the infirmary as were those heading for the scrapheap but they bested the finals bound Dockers for most of the game. Since then, there have been a couple of consolation wins (against the franchise teams) but the coach has been confined to a short list of players fit enough to play at their optimum. A number of others were simply not up to performing to required AFL standards. Nor are some capable of preparing themselves to play the game the way the coach dictates. They are, of course, finished. Done. Kaput. I can think of a few others who would have been better off "rested" for the last couple of games but that would have only invited scorn among the club's enemies amid allegations that the club was ... ahem ... controlling the outcome to improve its draft position. Now that's a total myth as this game proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The Demons were bad enough on their own to make the result an absolute certainty from the outset. I will exclude from the "bad" characterisation, the club's two young skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove who were thrust by circumstance into their difficult roles and who (I have no doubt whatsoever on this) will shame their critics in future years. They were there to learn their roles this year and have shown that they are responding extremely well to the challenge. Colin Sylvia has also responded well, albeit late in the season, and defied his critics with another solid performance. Nearing the veteran stage, he's no longer "the kid" and it's to be hoped that he can finally put together a solid season of football. Nathan Jones had the solid Crowley tag and, despite having his output reduced to less than twenty disposals, he demonstrated to the rest of this young side the rewards that can be achieved by a solid hard pre season. A couple of young blokes in Tom McDonald and Jack Fitzpatrick showed that they have talent and it will be interesting to see how they and many of the other youngsters in this group develop over the next year or two. Let's face it, player development is an area where the club has lagged behind the rest of the field over the past decade or so. It remains one of the club's major challenges as we enter the coming era. Development, fitness and hard work over the off season is a necessity for all clubs in this highly competitive industry. It's going to be even more important for what is left of the 2012 list and for those who join it in the coming months. It is on that which we will have to hang our hopes over the coming long, hot summer. Melbourne 1.3.9 2.5.17 4.8.32 5.10.40 Fremantle 3.5.23 7.7.49 11.14.80 14.17.101 Goals Melbourne Fitzpatrick 2 Blease Jones Sellar Fremantle Ballantyne 3 Griffin Mzungu Pavlich Sandilands 2 Mayne Mundy Walters Best Melbourne Sylvia Grimes Jones Trengove Fitzpatrick Garland Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Pearce Hill Sandilands Injuries Melbourne Nil Fremantle McPharlin (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Farmer Dalgleish Leppard Official Crowd 32,687 at Patersons Stadium.
  18. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 23

    They say that it "ain't over until it's over" but I think for most of us, 2012 has been over for a while. Still, it will be good to officially lay the season to rest. Can anybody see any redeeming features coming out of tonight's game?
  19. Demonland

    TEN YEARS AFTER

    TEN YEARS AFTER by William from West Perth The hardy band of long-suffering Demon followers of the most prosperous state in the Commonwealth welcome back their team on Saturday night in the hope that it can turn on something better than it has on previous visits dating back more than a decade. Only once in that time has Melbourne tasted victory west of the Nullarbor and that was on a rainy day at Subiaco in Round 11, 2004. It was Brock McLean's breakout game and Peter Vardy lit up the ground with his # 19 jumper. But I missed that game and the last time I saw a Melbourne win in these parts was against the Eagles in Round 19, 2002 when the Demons fell in by 6 points to break a three game losing streak and secure a place in the finals. I remember that day well. Travis Johnstone was in sizzling form and Adem Yze was not far behind him. Ironically, the Eagles hadn't lost all year in Perth. Melbourne fought back after being jumped in the first quarter and booted seven to one in the second. West Coast came back in the third before Melbourne delivered with the wind in the last. That was Sunday, 11 August, 2002 and it was a far cry from Melbourne's last visit to WA when we were humiliated y the Eagles on a hot April day early this season. In the absence of Mitch Clark to kick five goals in a single handed performance, who knows how large the West Coast Eagles winning margin would have been? This week against the purple haze, there will be no Mitch Clark and a number of others from the Demon visit to the ground will also be among the missing. We won't have a chance to farewell Brad Green either because he has hung up his boots. The Dockers swamped us in the final term at Etihad just a few weeks ago kicking 7 goals to nil and the last nine of the game to turn a three goal deficit into a 34 point win and that was when Freo was out of form! Three weeks later they demolished West Coast by 75 points on the very ground on which Saturday night’s game is being played. No doubt as a result, Sportsbet is offering me $12.00 the win for the Demons! Still, I am an unabashed supporter and I will be there to farewell the team at the end of its dreadful 2012 and hope that 2013 will bring much better things to come. THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Saturday 1 September at 7.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Fremantle 15 wins Melbourne 13 wins Patersons Stadium Fremantle 8 wins Melbourne 3 wins Since 2000 Fremantle 11 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Lyon 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel at 7:30pm Channel 7 (live) RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Fremantle $1.03 Melbourne $12.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 18.9.117 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 Round 16, 2012 at Etihad Melbourne led for the first three quarters but its grip on the game was loosened as a result of injuries to Mark Jamar and Jamie Bennell while one or two other were wonky. The Dockers, with Matthew Pavlich starring ran all over the locals who had put in a strong performance earlier in the game but wilted badly at the end. THE TEAMS FREMANTLE Backs Adam McPhee Luke McPharlin Zac Dawson Half backs Lee Spurr Michael Johnson Paul Duffield Centreline Michael Barlow Ryan Crowley Tendai Mzungu Half forwards Michael Walters Christopher Mayne David Mundy Forwards Hayden Ballantyne Matthew Pavlich Clancee Pearce Followers Aaron Sandilands Nathan Fyfe Stephen Hill Interchange Jonathon Griffin Garrick Ibbotson Thomas Sheridan Nicholas Suban Emergencies Zachary Clarke Jesse Crichton Dylan Roberton In Jonathon Griffin Matthew Thomas Sheridan Out Kepler Bradley (concussion), Zachary Clarke Matthew de Boer (ankle) MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Watts James Frawley Lynden Dunn Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes Half forwards Luke Tapscott Colin Garland Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Jared Rivers Sam Blease Followers Mark Jamar Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Neville Jetta Daniel Nicholson Josh Tynan Emergencies Jordan Gysberts Jake Spencer James Strauss In Jack Fitzpatrick Mark Jamar Josh Tynan Out Brad Green (retired) Jake Spencer James Strauss Milestone Jared Rivers 150 games Things move very quickly in AFL football. A week ago, nobody expected the door to the finals to be shut tight at this point in time. There were many Docker supporters around my workplace who feared their team would lose to the rampant Kangaroos once Matthew Pavlich was ruled unfit for last weekend's game. The expectation was also that Carlton would give Gold Coast a hammering, a result thay would have put the Blues in the eight leaving the Dockers supporters with a nervous week in the lead up to a challenging round that could easily have seen their finals hopes in tatters. Well things turned out differently with the Gold Coast Suns scoring a sensational victory over Carlton (goodbye Brett Ratten) and Fremantle knocking over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium. With the top eight done and dusted, the game on Saturday night assumes a different level of importance. For the visitors it's still one of the toughest games on its fixture but one wonders how the Dockers are going to approach the game. On the one hand, there is the view that Fremantle, armed with the knowledge of the outcome of other games played earlier in the round, will tailor its game accordingly. If an eighth place finish gives it the benefit of a home final Derby against a fifth placed finishing West Coast then there are some who might argue, a moderate sized win or even a loss becomes the priority. The flaw with this concept is that, as I pointed out above, things move quickly in the AFL. With Essendon meeting Collingwood at the same time, a shock result in that game would leave egg on the face for Ross Lyon because their first final would suddenly become an away game at the MCG against the Magpies. I don't think they will flirt with their form on the eve of only the third final series in their history - especially as they've just struck a rich vein of form in recent weeks. I expect Matthew Pavlich to suit up for the game and Aaron Sandilands needs a big warm up after an injury interrupted season. There will be no surprise omissions, no strange positional moves and no tanking. Besides which they don't need them based on the look of the young side selected by Melbourne for this game. Many far more experienced Demon outfits in the past have struggled with the configuration of this ground. I just can't see them troubling the home side. Mark Jamar is back but has played little football in the back half of the season and will struggle against the tallest bloke in the competition. The midfield is capably led by Nathan Jones, who has had a great season, but in its entirety, it lacks the strength and experience. Colin Sylvia is coming good at this late stage but the forward line, lacked the goalkicking ability even before Brad Green retired and I don't expect miracles in his absence. The best we might expect in terms of excitement are some exciting speccies from Jumping Jeremy Howe but in any event ... Fremantle by 36 points
  20. Demonland

    TEN YEARS AFTER

    TEN YEARS AFTER by William from West Perth The hardy band of long-suffering Demon followers of the most prosperous state in the Commonwealth welcome back their team on Saturday night in the hope that it can turn on something better than it has on previous visits dating back more than a decade. Only once in that time has Melbourne tasted victory west of the Nullarbor and that was on a rainy day at Subiaco in Round 11, 2004. It was Brock McLean's breakout game and Peter Vardy lit up the ground with his # 19 jumper. But I missed that game and the last time I saw a Melbourne win in these parts was against the Eagles in Round 19, 2002 when the Demons fell in by 6 points to break a three game losing streak and secure a place in the finals. I remember that day well. Travis Johnstone was in sizzling form and Adem Yze was not far behind him. Ironically, the Eagles hadn't lost all year in Perth. Melbourne fought back after being jumped in the first quarter and booted seven to one in the second. West Coast came back in the third before Melbourne delivered with the wind in the last. That was Sunday, 11 August, 2002 and it was a far cry from Melbourne's last visit to WA when we were humiliated y the Eagles on a hot April day early this season. In the absence of Mitch Clark to kick five goals in a single handed performance, who knows how large the West Coast Eagles winning margin would have been? This week against the purple haze, there will be no Mitch Clark and a number of others from the Demon visit to the ground will also be among the missing. We won't have a chance to farewell Brad Green either because he has hung up his boots. The Dockers swamped us in the final term at Etihad just a few weeks ago kicking 7 goals to nil and the last nine of the game to turn a three goal deficit into a 34 point win and that was when Freo was out of form! Three weeks later they demolished West Coast by 75 points on the very ground on which Saturday night’s game is being played. No doubt as a result, Sportsbet is offering me $12.00 the win for the Demons! Still, I am an unabashed supporter and I will be there to farewell the team at the end of its dreadful 2012 and hope that 2013 will bring much better things to come. THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Saturday 1 September at 7.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Fremantle 15 wins Melbourne 13 wins Patersons Stadium Fremantle 8 wins Melbourne 3 wins Since 2000 Fremantle 11 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Lyon 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel at 7:30pm Channel 7 (live) RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Fremantle $1.03 Melbourne $12.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Fremantle 18.9.117 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 Round 16, 2012 at Etihad Melbourne led for the first three quarters but its grip on the game was loosened as a result of injuries to Mark Jamar and Jamie Bennell while one or two other were wonky. The Dockers, with Matthew Pavlich starring ran all over the locals who had put in a strong performance earlier in the game but wilted badly at the end. THE TEAMS FREMANTLE Backs Adam McPhee Luke McPharlin Zac Dawson Half backs Lee Spurr Michael Johnson Paul Duffield Centreline Michael Barlow Ryan Crowley Tendai Mzungu Half forwards Michael Walters Christopher Mayne David Mundy Forwards Hayden Ballantyne Matthew Pavlich Clancee Pearce Followers Aaron Sandilands Nathan Fyfe Stephen Hill Interchange Jonathon Griffin Garrick Ibbotson Thomas Sheridan Nicholas Suban Emergencies Zachary Clarke Jesse Crichton Dylan Roberton In Jonathon Griffin Matthew Thomas Sheridan Out Kepler Bradley (concussion), Zachary Clarke Matthew de Boer (ankle) MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Watts James Frawley Lynden Dunn Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes Half forwards Luke Tapscott Colin Garland Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Jared Rivers Sam Blease Followers Mark Jamar Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Neville Jetta Daniel Nicholson Josh Tynan Emergencies Jordan Gysberts Jake Spencer James Strauss In Jack Fitzpatrick Mark Jamar Josh Tynan Out Brad Green (retired) Jake Spencer James Strauss Milestone Jared Rivers 150 games Things move very quickly in AFL football. A week ago, nobody expected the door to the finals to be shut tight at this point in time. There were many Docker supporters around my workplace who feared their team would lose to the rampant Kangaroos once Matthew Pavlich was ruled unfit for last weekend's game. The expectation was also that Carlton would give Gold Coast a hammering, a result thay would have put the Blues in the eight leaving the Dockers supporters with a nervous week in the lead up to a challenging round that could easily have seen their finals hopes in tatters. Well things turned out differently with the Gold Coast Suns scoring a sensational victory over Carlton (goodbye Brett Ratten) and Fremantle knocking over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium. With the top eight done and dusted, the game on Saturday night assumes a different level of importance. For the visitors it's still one of the toughest games on its fixture but one wonders how the Dockers are going to approach the game. On the one hand, there is the view that Fremantle, armed with the knowledge of the outcome of other games played earlier in the round, will tailor its game accordingly. If an eighth place finish gives it the benefit of a home final Derby against a fifth placed finishing West Coast then there are some who might argue, a moderate sized win or even a loss becomes the priority. The flaw with this concept is that, as I pointed out above, things move quickly in the AFL. With Essendon meeting Collingwood at the same time, a shock result in that game would leave egg on the face for Ross Lyon because their first final would suddenly become an away game at the MCG against the Magpies. I don't think they will flirt with their form on the eve of only the third final series in their history - especially as they've just struck a rich vein of form in recent weeks. I expect Matthew Pavlich to suit up for the game and Aaron Sandilands needs a big warm up after an injury interrupted season. There will be no surprise omissions, no strange positional moves and no tanking. Besides which they don't need them based on the look of the young side selected by Melbourne for this game. Many far more experienced Demon outfits in the past have struggled with the configuration of this ground. I just can't see them troubling the home side. Mark Jamar is back but has played little football in the back half of the season and will struggle against the tallest bloke in the competition. The midfield is capably led by Nathan Jones, who has had a great season, but in its entirety, it lacks the strength and experience. Colin Sylvia is coming good at this late stage but the forward line, lacked the goalkicking ability even before Brad Green retired and I don't expect miracles in his absence. The best we might expect in terms of excitement are some exciting speccies from Jumping Jeremy Howe but in any event ... Fremantle by 36 points
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