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Found 17 results

  1. Tell us what you think about today’s game and what lies in store for the club in the weeks and months ahead.
  2. Cast your votes for the Demonland Player of the Year 2018 please ... Vote 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  3. I arrived at the Gabba 40 minutes before scheduled start to the game and knew there was something strange in the air. The Gates were locked! Perhaps the ground staff knew that a paltry 6,060 people were going to turn up because the only people in the queues outside were Melbourne supporters. And even when everyone was “packed” inside, the Demon followers outnumbered Suns fans by a factor of 10 to 1. While we can sympathise with their players who have had to travel all over the country, and even next week to China because their home ground remains unavailable, the fact is the Coast is a comfortable hours drive down the road. And yet, even being generous, a miniscule 1k of supporters bothered to take that trip, even with three wins on the board to date. It was a clear demonstration of the black hole that is the Gold Coast Suns. After struggling through the crowds at the gate, even worse was to come for the Suns. Although they were in the game in the first ½ of the game, thatbwas only through the inaccuracy of Melbourne in front of goal. Despite having 19 shots to 12 at the main break and the bulk of the inside 50s, Melbourne led by just 22 points. In fact, the Suns actually hit the front during the second quarter before the Demons started to capitalize on their chances. Tom McDonald was a telling target up forward and had four to his name by the main break, before finishing with five for the game (although he spoiled his flawless season by snapping a point as well). His return to the side has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Demons over the past couple of weeks, as he is hugely mobile, takes an excellent contested mark, and kicks truly. In fact, he was playing off the wing for the first half, leaving the Suns with the problem of trying to harness Hogan and Weidemann up front. Melbourne pulled away slightly in the third to lead by six or seven before the Suns pulled back the lead to 19 points or so and then the dam wall broke! In the middle, Max Gawn in a match-long battle with Witts, truly got on top, and fed the ball down the throats of Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Nathan Jones and Clayton Oliver, although each of them were furious in and under, amassing 64 contested possessions between them. The result was the ball just kept getting pumped forward, and the Demons equaled the AFL record for 83 inside 50s in a game. The Suns day became a black hole of despair as Melbourne piled on goal after goal, and reversed the inaccuracy with an 8 goal 3 behinds final quarter. The last time the team had scored over 20 goals was also against the Suns, and considering the low scores in other games this season, the percentage boost to the side is telling and will be even more so as we move more into winter. And we all know how important percentage is come season end. As mentioned, the mids were fearsome particularly Harmes, who has taken to this new role with relish. His previous best was 27 touches in a game, yet he produced a 33 disposal 18 contested possession blinder in this one. How to fit Jack Viney into this combination? The backs continued the form that they showed against the Saints with Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald and Jake Lever destroying everything that came their way, while Michael Hibberd also continued his AA type form with telling down-field kicks to break up the press. In what was probably his best game for the MFC, Jordan Lewis simply cut the Suns to pieces with his ability to hit targets and start the chain of possessions that would result in goals up the field. I think it was said that he was involved in 16 plays that resulted in goals! Not bad out of 21. Up front Jesse Hogan notched up three goals, and has been playing a telling mobile forward in the Nick Riewoldt style. He has a huge tank and strength, and when he roams, the backs simply don’t know who to man up, because T McDonald, Gawn, Mitch Hannan and Charlie Spargo just kept slipping in to fill the space. The Demons are now back in the top eight but let’s not forget that this comes off the back of beating 4 of the bottom 5 sides on the ladder. Of course, this is exactly what the Demons haven’t done in the past. The challenge is to continue to make it 5 out of 5 against Carlton next week, and then the real measure of where we sit in the competition will be seen after that when we come up against the teams further up the ladder. For the Suns and the AFL the Gold Coast black hole will get worse. That so few people turned up to see them play in perfect conditions is more than telling. When they capitulate so easily as has happened in the past two weeks, there is little incentive to watch. And when (not if) they become a black hole there will be nothing to see and no memory of their existence. Steven Hawking, after all, taught us that it is only “a matter of time” Melbourne 4.5.29 8.11.59 13.17.95 21.20.146 Gold Coast Suns 3.5.23 5.7.37 9.9.63 11.11.77 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 5 Hannan Hogan 3 Neal-Bullen Salem Spargo 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hibberd Melksham Gold Coast Suns Martin 4 Day 2 Hall Holman May Sexton Young Best Melbourne T McDonald Harmes Oliver Gawn Salem Brayshaw Gold Coast Suns Martin Miller May Hall Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Swallow (knee) Reports Nil Umpires Brown, Schmitt, Harris Official Crowd 6,060 at the Gabba
  4. Demonland

    Match Report - Round 8

    BLACK HOLE SUNS by George on the Outer I arrived at the Gabba 40 minutes before scheduled start to the game and knew there was something strange in the air. The Gates were locked! Perhaps the ground staff knew that a paltry 6,060 people were going to turn up because the only people in the queues outside were Melbourne supporters. And even when everyone was “packed” inside, the Demon followers outnumbered Suns fans by a factor of 10 to 1. While we can sympathise with their players who have had to travel all over the country, and even next week to China because their home ground remains unavailable, the fact is the Coast is a comfortable hours drive down the road. And yet, even being generous, a miniscule 1k of supporters bothered to take that trip, even with three wins on the board to date. It was a clear demonstration of the black hole that is the Gold Coast Suns. After struggling through the crowds at the gate, even worse was to come for the Suns. Although they were in the game in the first ½ of the game, thatbwas only through the inaccuracy of Melbourne in front of goal. Despite having 19 shots to 12 at the main break and the bulk of the inside 50s, Melbourne led by just 22 points. In fact, the Suns actually hit the front during the second quarter before the Demons started to capitalize on their chances. Tom McDonald was a telling target up forward and had four to his name by the main break, before finishing with five for the game (although he spoiled his flawless season by snapping a point as well). His return to the side has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Demons over the past couple of weeks, as he is hugely mobile, takes an excellent contested mark, and kicks truly. In fact, he was playing off the wing for the first half, leaving the Suns with the problem of trying to harness Hogan and Weidemann up front. Melbourne pulled away slightly in the third to lead by six or seven before the Suns pulled back the lead to 19 points or so and then the dam wall broke! In the middle, Max Gawn in a match-long battle with Witts, truly got on top, and fed the ball down the throats of Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Nathan Jones and Clayton Oliver, although each of them were furious in and under, amassing 64 contested possessions between them. The result was the ball just kept getting pumped forward, and the Demons equaled the AFL record for 83 inside 50s in a game. The Suns day became a black hole of despair as Melbourne piled on goal after goal, and reversed the inaccuracy with an 8 goal 3 behinds final quarter. The last time the team had scored over 20 goals was also against the Suns, and considering the low scores in other games this season, the percentage boost to the side is telling and will be even more so as we move more into winter. And we all know how important percentage is come season end. As mentioned, the mids were fearsome particularly Harmes, who has taken to this new role with relish. His previous best was 27 touches in a game, yet he produced a 33 disposal 18 contested possession blinder in this one. How to fit Jack Viney into this combination? The backs continued the form that they showed against the Saints with Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald and Jake Lever destroying everything that came their way, while Michael Hibberd also continued his AA type form with telling down-field kicks to break up the press. In what was probably his best game for the MFC, Jordan Lewis simply cut the Suns to pieces with his ability to hit targets and start the chain of possessions that would result in goals up the field. I think it was said that he was involved in 16 plays that resulted in goals! Not bad out of 21. Up front Jesse Hogan notched up three goals, and has been playing a telling mobile forward in the Nick Riewoldt style. He has a huge tank and strength, and when he roams, the backs simply don’t know who to man up, because T McDonald, Gawn, Mitch Hannan and Charlie Spargo just kept slipping in to fill the space. The Demons are now back in the top eight but let’s not forget that this comes off the back of beating 4 of the bottom 5 sides on the ladder. Of course, this is exactly what the Demons haven’t done in the past. The challenge is to continue to make it 5 out of 5 against Carlton next week, and then the real measure of where we sit in the competition will be seen after that when we come up against the teams further up the ladder. For the Suns and the AFL the Gold Coast black hole will get worse. That so few people turned up to see them play in perfect conditions is more than telling. When they capitulate so easily as has happened in the past two weeks, there is little incentive to watch. And when (not if) they become a black hole there will be nothing to see and no memory of their existence. Steven Hawking, after all, taught us that it is only “a matter of time” Melbourne 4.5.29 8.11.59 13.17.95 21.20.146 Gold Coast Suns 3.5.23 5.7.37 9.9.63 11.11.77 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 5 Hannan Hogan 3 Neal-Bullen Salem Spargo 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hibberd Melksham Gold Coast Suns Martin 4 Day 2 Hall Holman May Sexton Young Best Melbourne T McDonald Harmes Oliver Gawn Salem Brayshaw Gold Coast Suns Martin Miller May Hall Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Swallow (knee) Reports Nil Umpires Brown, Schmitt, Harris Official Crowd 6,060 at the Gabba
  5. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 8

    As the wild and woolly weather persists in Victoria, the Demons should benefit from playing in Brisbane where the sun shines most of the time and pleasant conditions are expected. Go Demons!
  6. Our man George on the Outer is on the outer at Carrara (or possibly the bar by now) ... can't wait for his match report ...
  7. Cast your votes please 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  8. Demonland

    MATCH REPORT - Round 7

    NO MACCAS FOR YOU by George on the Outer As you make your way to Metricon Stadium in Carrara, you can be forgiven for wondering, “what have we gotten ourselves into here?” There isn’t an AFL venue in the country that requires you to take a bus to get there (solely), while enjoying the scenery of cows grazing in the paddocks surrounding it. The upside was the Demons absolutely produced a type of football on Saturday evening that hadn’t been seen by their fans for over 10 years ... and with a result to match. It wasn’t all that pretty in the first quarter with a four goal to one deficit at one stage. Things were beginning to look very similar to the way the St.Kilda game was played out a week earlier. Gaping holes in defence and opposition forwards having free reign to go and do as they pleased and this, despite an overwhelming dominance on the statistics. The Demons were simply unable to produce anything to reflect that on the scoreboard. The second quarter was somewhat similar; the way in which goals were constructed was nothing too convincing. Against more serious opposition, we would have been opened up like a can of sardines, but even at that stage we were starting to see that Gold Coast was not all that good and the demoralising defeat against Geelong was obviously lurking at the back of the player’s minds. Then their worst of their nightmares came to fruition. Firstly, in the form of Max Gawn, who simply took the game and the result by the scruff of the neck. He completely took over in the ruck contests and Currie didn’t know what hit him. Max then continued the same way around the ground and found himself kicking clutch goals, roving to his own hit-outs and bullocking his way and the team toward victory. And when he lifted, then so did others. Nathan Jones played probably his best game for the year, and was back to the form and toughness around the ball that he is known for. But in this game he had two bulldozers behind him in the form of Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver. We all know what Viney is like, but this was also a game where Oliver stamped his authority around the ball. At one point he crunched two Gold Coast players in heavy tackles in quick succession. The second on Sexton unfortunately saw him off the ground with a forearm injury but it didn’t stop Oliver who simply kept going at the ball until he won it. The Demon fans who were there (and there were plenty of them - I estimate that nearly 50% of the crowd were Demons supporters) witnessed Oliver's A grade vision and ability to find the free man in tight situations. As well as this trio of D9 tractors progressively working over the opposition, Dom Tyson came out with his best game of the year as well and provided that extra bit of class around the ball. Nine goals in the 3rd quarter followed by another seven in the final term came from 25 shots on goal in a half of football. It had the supporters and the statisticians looking through the record books, but sadly it was on the back of a flimsy, flaky Gold Coast Suns side. While Lynch, Presia and Saad provided some highlights, there was little substance throughout the rest of the side. Gary Ablett Junior is a mere shadow of his best, as he was caught time and time again by the younger players, and pounded by Viney whenever he came into the middle. When you find him playing a majority of the game off Half-back, it is a good indication he is not fully fit or capable anymore. We continued to see the emergence of Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner. Sure they make mistakes as young players, but they also have that enthusiasm and fire of youth behind them. To reintroduce some of the more “experienced” players back into the side is going to be difficult, because they are more than fulfilling their role and have a much brighter upside. Hunt in particular, when he lights up the afterburners is exciting to watch, and forwards eyes glint when he is free and in the open. Unfortunately, the forwards took little advantage of the massacre taking place up the field. Jesse Hogan with a solitary goal was down from last week's efforts, although he was double-teamed for the whole night. Jack Watts is rapidly facing another cross-road as he has “reverted to type” in the past three weeks. We are seeing the lack of effort when needed and it is easy to cover up in a 12 goal winning side. It won’t be in a closer contest. Viv Michie likewise was exposed by the difference between AFL level and that he has seen at Casey. With only 5 kicks and a total of 13 touches with some diabolical errors, in a dominant side doesn’t bode well for his future, especially when logical replacements like Jack Trengove, Alex Neal-Bullen and other continue to press their case week after week. Finally, while the Demon fans went home (on the bus) singing the club song, the Gold Coast fans went home early and unhappy. Not that they care one iota about the result because the football game is only secondary to them. No, it’s all about turning up to watch bands playing before and after the game….eating fairy floss….drinking copious volumes of Bundaberg … playing schoolyard games of kick the footy … and drinking copious volumes of Bundaberg ... But worst of all was they didn’t get their free Big Mac! Yes, that’s what all Gold Coast fans can look forward to, if their team wins a game. So, no Macca’s for them, and the way they are playing there might be plenty of starving Suns' fans in the coming season. Oh well, there is always plenty of Bundy! POSTSCRIPT If the AFL think that this Gold Coast experiment is going to work they are sadly mistaken. Anyone who lives on the Coast needs a car to get to the game, because there is really no public transport. Metricon Stadium is miles out the back of civilization and there is no viable car parking at the ground! So you go by bus. The AFL are dreaming if they think families are going to drive to a bus stop miles from the stadium and then do the same on the way home. This was a home game for them and there were just as many Demon fans at the game. And only 12,780 made it through the gate on a perfect Queensland night. Their round 20 home game against GWS will set new records for lowest attendance without a doubt. Melbourne 2.3.15 8.7.55 17.11.113 24.16.160 Gold Coast Suns 4.2.26 8.2.50. 11.3.69 14.3.87 Goals Melbourne Garlett Harmes Pedersen 3 Gawn Jones Kennedy Petracca Viney 2 Hogan Kent Stretch Tyson Vince Gold Coast Suns Lynch 4 Ablett Garlett Wright 2 Currie Grant Hall MacPherson Best Melbourne Gawn Viney Jones Harmes Vince Oliver Bugg Gold Coast Suns Lynch Day Saad Miller Harbrow Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Rosa (hamstring), Sexton (forearm) Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Harris, Stephens, Schmitt Official crowd 12,780 at Metricon Stadium
  9. As you make your way to Metricon Stadium in Carrara, you can be forgiven for wondering, “what have we gotten ourselves into here?” There isn’t an AFL venue in the country that requires you to take a bus to get there (solely), while enjoying the scenery of cows grazing in the paddocks surrounding it. The upside was the Demons absolutely produced a type of football on Saturday evening that hadn’t been seen by their fans for over 10 years ... and with a result to match. It wasn’t all that pretty in the first quarter with a four goal to one deficit at one stage. Things were beginning to look very similar to the way the St.Kilda game was played out a week earlier. Gaping holes in defence and opposition forwards having free reign to go and do as they pleased and this, despite an overwhelming dominance on the statistics. The Demons were simply unable to produce anything to reflect that on the scoreboard. The second quarter was somewhat similar; the way in which goals were constructed was nothing too convincing. Against more serious opposition, we would have been opened up like a can of sardines, but even at that stage we were starting to see that Gold Coast was not all that good and the demoralising defeat against Geelong was obviously lurking at the back of the player’s minds. Then their worst of their nightmares came to fruition. Firstly, in the form of Max Gawn, who simply took the game and the result by the scruff of the neck. He completely took over in the ruck contests and Currie didn’t know what hit him. Max then continued the same way around the ground and found himself kicking clutch goals, roving to his own hit-outs and bullocking his way and the team toward victory. And when he lifted, then so did others. Nathan Jones played probably his best game for the year, and was back to the form and toughness around the ball that he is known for. But in this game he had two bulldozers behind him in the form of Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver. We all know what Viney is like, but this was also a game where Oliver stamped his authority around the ball. At one point he crunched two Gold Coast players in heavy tackles in quick succession. The second on Sexton unfortunately saw him off the ground with a forearm injury but it didn’t stop Oliver who simply kept going at the ball until he won it. The Demon fans who were there (and there were plenty of them - I estimate that nearly 50% of the crowd were Demons supporters) witnessed Oliver's A grade vision and ability to find the free man in tight situations. As well as this trio of D9 tractors progressively working over the opposition, Dom Tyson came out with his best game of the year as well and provided that extra bit of class around the ball. Nine goals in the 3rd quarter followed by another seven in the final term came from 25 shots on goal in a half of football. It had the supporters and the statisticians looking through the record books, but sadly it was on the back of a flimsy, flaky Gold Coast Suns side. While Lynch, Presia and Saad provided some highlights, there was little substance throughout the rest of the side. Gary Ablett Junior is a mere shadow of his best, as he was caught time and time again by the younger players, and pounded by Viney whenever he came into the middle. When you find him playing a majority of the game off Half-back, it is a good indication he is not fully fit or capable anymore. We continued to see the emergence of Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner. Sure they make mistakes as young players, but they also have that enthusiasm and fire of youth behind them. To reintroduce some of the more “experienced” players back into the side is going to be difficult, because they are more than fulfilling their role and have a much brighter upside. Hunt in particular, when he lights up the afterburners is exciting to watch, and forwards eyes glint when he is free and in the open. Unfortunately, the forwards took little advantage of the massacre taking place up the field. Jesse Hogan with a solitary goal was down from last week's efforts, although he was double-teamed for the whole night. Jack Watts is rapidly facing another cross-road as he has “reverted to type” in the past three weeks. We are seeing the lack of effort when needed and it is easy to cover up in a 12 goal winning side. It won’t be in a closer contest. Viv Michie likewise was exposed by the difference between AFL level and that he has seen at Casey. With only 5 kicks and a total of 13 touches with some diabolical errors, in a dominant side doesn’t bode well for his future, especially when logical replacements like Jack Trengove, Alex Neal-Bullen and other continue to press their case week after week. Finally, while the Demon fans went home (on the bus) singing the club song, the Gold Coast fans went home early and unhappy. Not that they care one iota about the result because the football game is only secondary to them. No, it’s all about turning up to watch bands playing before and after the game….eating fairy floss….drinking copious volumes of Bundaberg … playing schoolyard games of kick the footy … and drinking copious volumes of Bundaberg ... But worst of all was they didn’t get their free Big Mac! Yes, that’s what all Gold Coast fans can look forward to, if their team wins a game. So, no Macca’s for them, and the way they are playing there might be plenty of starving Suns' fans in the coming season. Oh well, there is always plenty of Bundy! POSTSCRIPT If the AFL think that this Gold Coast experiment is going to work they are sadly mistaken. Anyone who lives on the Coast needs a car to get to the game, because there is really no public transport. Metricon Stadium is miles out the back of civilization and there is no viable car parking at the ground! So you go by bus. The AFL are dreaming if they think families are going to drive to a bus stop miles from the stadium and then do the same on the way home. This was a home game for them and there were just as many Demon fans at the game. And only 12,780 made it through the gate on a perfect Queensland night. Their round 20 home game against GWS will set new records for lowest attendance without a doubt. Melbourne 2.3.15 8.7.55 17.11.113 24.16.160 Gold Coast Suns 4.2.26 8.2.50. 11.3.69 14.3.87 Goals Melbourne Garlett Harmes Pedersen 3 Gawn Jones Kennedy Petracca Viney 2 Hogan Kent Stretch Tyson Vince Gold Coast Suns Lynch 4 Ablett Garlett Wright 2 Currie Grant Hall MacPherson Best Melbourne Gawn Viney Jones Harmes Vince Oliver Bugg Gold Coast Suns Lynch Day Saad Miller Harbrow Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Rosa (hamstring), Sexton (forearm) Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Harris, Stephens, Schmitt Official crowd 12,780 at Metricon Stadium
  10. NIGHTMARE by The Oracle Two teams that have promised a great deal early on in this season but badly disappointed their fans in their last starts clash this week at Metricon Stadium in a game that is a true example of the tipster's nightmare. The Demons were riding high after their Anzac Eve triumph at the MCG over the Tigers but six days later crashed against the Saints at Etihad. There was no comparison between performances as the Jekyll and Hyde-like Demons played like pedestrians against a more mobile opposition with nobody prepared to take on the aging Nick Riewoldt while St Kilda's inclusions Tim Membrey and Blake Acres played the games of their lives to help their team overcome a deficit of 17 points to what was at one stage more than a 10 goal turnaround. The Suns opened the season promisingly enough with three good wins but then one needs to consider the quality of their opposition in those games - Essendon, Fremantle and Carlton. After that, they failed to Brisbane and fell away completely when confronted by stronger teams in North Melbourne and Geelong against who they were insipid last week at Simonds Stadium. And so the two of them come together this week at Metricon where they have strangely enough, rarely been pitted against one another. I suspect that home ground advantage will bring the Suns out of their current stupor and they will operate more effectively than the outfit that stood like witches hats as the Cats played and danced brilliantly around them. But where Melbourne is concerned, I simply have no idea what team will turn up. One can't even hang one's hat on the fact that the Suns' 20 goal loss puts them in a position whereby they can hardly be expected to recover in the space of one week to win their next game. We saw how that worked last year when Essendon, coming of a 100 point plus loss against St Kilda upset none other than Melbourne on the MCG. There are light years of difference between the Melbourne that capitulated against Essendon in that game and again in Round 2 this year and allowed St Kilda to drive Demon fans to exasperation last week. Yes, it's true that they are a young team and the one it fielded against the Saints was close to if not the most inexperienced in the competition but that applied equally in the three weeks prior and it didn't seem to matter then. Whilst it's true that inexperienced sides are the least consistent there were other factors to consider as a result of last week's demise. There was little consideration given to the effect of the six day break and the team certainly lacked the freshness of its opponents. The handling of the introduction of Christian Petracca into the side as the lone inclusion leaving too much focus on the youngster has also been criticized in similar terms to the way the ill fated debut of Jack Watts was handled in 2010. Then there was the coaching and the failure to cover the dominance of the Saints in the second term which led to a torrent of goals against in the third and the team's ultimate capitulation. On that subject, I trust that more care will be given to doing something about Suns' veteran Gary Ablett's capacity to dominate a game of football than was done last week with Riewoldt. Melbourne's prospects of winning this week will depend greatly on what it's brains trust does to produce a performance more akin to the ones we see after the Essendon debacle. Otherwise, the fans will face more nightmares. THE GAME Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne at Metricon Stadium Saturday 7 May, 2016 at 5.10 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Gold Coast Suns 3 wins Melbourne 4 wins At Metricon - Stadium Melbourne 0 wins Gold Coast Suns 1 win Past five matches - Gold Coast Suns 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches - Eade 0 wins Roos 1 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 - 5.00pm (live) RADIO – SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Gold Coast Suns to win - $1.92 Melbourne to win - $1.92 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.13.115 defeated Gold Coast Suns 13.11.95 at the MCG, Round 1, 2015 Jack Viney took on Gary Ablett and did enough to limit his effectiveness to allow for the Demons to come home with the goods and with their first opening round match in ages. THE TEAMS GOLD COAST B: Adam Saad Henry Schade Sean Lemmens HB: Jarrod Harbrow Sam Day Nick Malceski C: Kade Kolodjashnij Gary Ablett Matt Rosa HF: Jarrod Garlett Tom Lynch Jack Martin F: Alex Sexton Peter Wright Clay Cameron FOLL: Daniel Currie Jesse Lonergan Dion Prestia I/C Jarrad Grant Aaron Hall Touk Miller Darcy Macpherson EMG: Brandon Matera Matt Shaw Mackenzie Willis IN: Jarrod Garlett Darcy Macpherson Adam Saad OUT: Ryan Davis (omitted) Trent McKenzie (ankle) Mackenzie Willis (omitted) NEW: Jarrod Garlett MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Josh Wagner, Colin Garland, Jayden Hunt C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, James Harmes HF: Jack Watts, Cameron Pedersen, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Christian Petracca FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Clayton Oliver, Billy Stretch, Viv Michie, Ben Kennedy EMG: Oscar McDonald, Alex Neal-Bullen, Jack Grimes IN: Colin Garland, Viv Michie, Clayton Oliver, Billy Stretch Out: Lynden Dunn, Sam Frost, Heritier Lumumba (concussion), Christian Salem (concussion)
  11. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 7

    We haven't won a game at Carrara since 1990 when we were in the midst of the recession we had to have. It's time to break another hoodoo but can we do it if Gary Ablett Junior gets 40 touches?
  12. Demonland

    NIGHTMARE by The Oracle

    Two teams that have promised a great deal early on in this season but badly disappointed their fans in their last starts clash this week at Metricon Stadium in a game that is a true example of the tipster's nightmare. The Demons were riding high after their Anzac Eve triumph at the MCG over the Tigers but six days later crashed against the Saints at Etihad. There was no comparison between performances as the Jekyll and Hyde-like Demons played like pedestrians against a more mobile opposition with nobody prepared to take on the aging Nick Riewoldt while St Kilda's inclusions Tim Membrey and Blake Acres played the games of their lives to help their team overcome a deficit of 17 points to what was at one stage more than a 10 goal turnaround. The Suns opened the season promisingly enough with three good wins but then one needs to consider the quality of their opposition in those games - Essendon, Fremantle and Carlton. After that, they failed to Brisbane and fell away completely when confronted by stronger teams in North Melbourne and Geelong against who they were insipid last week at Simonds Stadium. And so the two of them come together this week at Metricon where they have strangely enough, rarely been pitted against one another. I suspect that home ground advantage will bring the Suns out of their current stupor and they will operate more effectively than the outfit that stood like witches hats as the Cats played and danced brilliantly around them. But where Melbourne is concerned, I simply have no idea what team will turn up. One can't even hang one's hat on the fact that the Suns' 20 goal loss puts them in a position whereby they can hardly be expected to recover in the space of one week to win their next game. We saw how that worked last year when Essendon, coming of a 100 point plus loss against St Kilda upset none other than Melbourne on the MCG. There are light years of difference between the Melbourne that capitulated against Essendon in that game and again in Round 2 this year and allowed St Kilda to drive Demon fans to exasperation last week. Yes, it's true that they are a young team and the one it fielded against the Saints was close to if not the most inexperienced in the competition but that applied equally in the three weeks prior and it didn't seem to matter then. Whilst it's true that inexperienced sides are the least consistent there were other factors to consider as a result of last week's demise. There was little consideration given to the effect of the six day break and the team certainly lacked the freshness of its opponents. The handling of the introduction of Christian Petracca into the side as the lone inclusion leaving too much focus on the youngster has also been criticized in similar terms to the way the ill fated debut of Jack Watts was handled in 2010. Then there was the coaching and the failure to cover the dominance of the Saints in the second term which led to a torrent of goals against in the third and the team's ultimate capitulation. On that subject, I trust that more care will be given to doing something about Suns' veteran Gary Ablett's capacity to dominate a game of football than was done last week with Riewoldt. Melbourne's prospects of winning this week will depend greatly on what it's brains trust does to produce a performance more akin to the ones we see after the Essendon debacle. Otherwise, the fans will face more nightmares. THE GAME Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne at Metricon Stadium Saturday 7 May, 2016 at 5.10 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Gold Coast Suns 3 wins Melbourne 4 wins At Metricon - Stadium Melbourne 0 wins Gold Coast Suns 1 win Past five matches - Gold Coast Suns 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches - Eade 0 wins Roos 1 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 - 5.00pm (live) RADIO – SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Gold Coast Suns to win - $1.92 Melbourne to win - $1.92 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.13.115 defeated Gold Coast Suns 13.11.95 at the MCG, Round 1, 2015 Jack Viney took on Gary Ablett and did enough to limit his effectiveness to allow for the Demons to come home with the goods and with their first opening round match in ages. THE TEAMS GOLD COAST B: Adam Saad Henry Schade Sean Lemmens HB: Jarrod Harbrow Sam Day Nick Malceski C: Kade Kolodjashnij Gary Ablett Matt Rosa HF: Jarrod Garlett Tom Lynch Jack Martin F: Alex Sexton Peter Wright Clay Cameron FOLL: Daniel Currie Jesse Lonergan Dion Prestia I/C Jarrad Grant Aaron Hall Touk Miller Darcy Macpherson EMG: Brandon Matera Matt Shaw Mackenzie Willis IN: Jarrod Garlett Darcy Macpherson Adam Saad OUT: Ryan Davis (omitted) Trent McKenzie (ankle) Mackenzie Willis (omitted) NEW: Jarrod Garlett MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Josh Wagner, Colin Garland, Jayden Hunt C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, James Harmes HF: Jack Watts, Cameron Pedersen, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Christian Petracca FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Clayton Oliver, Billy Stretch, Viv Michie, Ben Kennedy EMG: Oscar McDonald, Alex Neal-Bullen, Jack Grimes IN: Colin Garland, Viv Michie, Clayton Oliver, Billy Stretch Out: Lynden Dunn, Sam Frost, Heritier Lumumba (concussion), Christian Salem (concussion)
  13. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was a long, long time ago ... MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Heritier Lumumba, Daniel Cross, Ben Newton HF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jimmy Toumpas F: Jeff Garlett, Sam Frost, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Max Gawn, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones NEW: Angus Brayshaw, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Heritier Lumumba, Ben Newton, Aaron vandenBerg GOLD COAST SUNS B: Jarrod B: Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Kade Kolodjashnij HB: Trent McKenzie, Steven May, Nick Malceski C: Jack Martin, Dion Prestia, Alex Sexton HF: Michael Rischitelli, Sam Day, Matt Shaw F: Harley Bennell, Daniel Gorringe, Touk Miller FOLL: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, David Swallow I/C: Mitch Hallahan, Jarrod Garlett, Adam Saad, Greg Broughton EMG: Tom Nicholls, Brandon Matera, Seb Tape NEW: Jarrod Garlett, Mitch Hallahan, Nick Malceski, Touk Miller, Adam Saad
  14. 10 Goals 17 behinds with set shots sprayed at either side of the big sticks doesnt create the possibility of winning. And so it was for the Melbourne side against the Gold Coast Suns. The result was far better than the 10 goal thrashing we had to endure at our home ground earlier in the season, but losses are losses. We simply should have won this match, and to sit and watch Shannon Byrnes kill any hope with his errant kicking; to watch Dan Nicolson kick his 14th behind for the season running into an open goal is not the formula for success. At least Jack Fitzpatrick's howler in front of goals was reversed 30 seconds later after Jordie McKenzie crumbed the pack in the forward line. And what a delight it was to see Jordie in action again. While his kicking still leaves a lot to be desired, his relentless tagging of potentially this year's Brownlow Medallist and holding him to a mere 19 possessions was a first class effort. More importantly, he is someone who helps fills the hole in the middle that we all know we have. But a bigger hole filler is Jack Viney. The kid, and that is all he is today, is just as good as his old man, with his tenacious attack on ball and man. It has been a long first season for him but he is still in there at the end. With another season under his belt, we will start to see his true capabilities. If there was ever evidence that Neil Craig is a superior coach to Mark Neeld it is in the performance of Jake Spencer. Prior to the change, Spencer would not keep his eyes on the ball, constantly looking at the opposition ruckman and trying to second guess. Now he just goes for it. And when you are that big, you usually do! Why has it taken so long? The bonus is that the mids are finally given a chance, where they were only getting scraps before. May we see more of it ... However, Craigs positioning of players is still questionable. Why Troy Davis was in the forward line all night, having played all of his career in defense is incomprehensible. Ill give him slack for the Watts back move, as Jack hates having an opponent. The move gives him the freedom to use his skills, but guess what Jack? This is AFL level football and there are plenty of coaches already aware of your weaknesses. You wont get this chance against the good sides. When we go into a game without Frawley and Dawes and then lose Pederson and Howe before the game starts, you know its going to be difficult. Why James Magner cant get a run over the others brought in, is confusing to say the least - especially after he was upgraded just this week. You might think it was because we need to see who is worth keeping, but winning a game with your best players playing in their best positions might be a good starting point! Jack Fitzpatrick has become another positive since Neeld left, and thank goodness for that. He at least competes and brings the ball to ground. Its almost a bonus when he scores goals, but he has the endurance and marking capabilities to be far more threatening when he has a couple of other big bodies around him, hopefully next year. Other positives at this late stage of the season are Mitch Clisby, Dean Kent, Matt Jones and Dean Terlich. Clisby is a natural footballer with the brain to do the job. He is smart and can execute quickly, which is what is needed at AFL level. He will finish up in the middle when his body fills out. Jones, Kent and Terlich are further plusses, and can be forgiven for their occasional lapses as they find their way in their first season. Pity is that these three first year players are light-years ahead of some of their more senior and more highly paid teammates. The real downer from this game is that Melbourne have forgotten how to win. The chance was there, and all that was needed was that little bit extra. Especially with Gold Coast having three injured on the bench in the last quarter. It wasnt provided by those experienced players who we brought in for exactly that. The lapses of runs of goals to Gold Coast only happened while Nathan Jones was off the ground (usually getting another repair job done to his nose), and showed his immense value and courage to the team. If he can do it, why not others? Melbourne 3.2.20 5.6.36 8.11.59 10.17.77 Gold Coast Suns 2.4.16 5.9.39 10.11.71 13.12.90 Goals Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Byrnes Davey Fitzpatrick McKenzie Sylvia Tapscott Gold Coast Suns Brown 3 Sumner 2 Ablett Bennell Day Dixon Hall Stanley Swallow Thompson Best Melbourne Viney Nathan Jones McKenzie Spencer Garland Watts Gold Coast Swallow Prestia, Brown O'Meara Thompson McBurney Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Bock (leg) Day (quad) May (hamstring) Sexton (dislocated shoulder) Changes Melbourne Jeremy Howe (calf) and Cam Pedersen (ill) replaced by Dan Nicholson and James Strauss Gold Coast Matt Shaw (virus) replaced by Thomas Murphy Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Umpires McBurney Fila Foot Official Attendance 13,840 at Metricon Stadium
  15. WINNERS AND LOSERS by Whispering Jack This has already been one of the most remarkable weeks in the history of our code of football. We've seen headlines like this one - Essendon players given banned drugs which follows on the footsteps of this one from one and a half months ago - I took banned drug: Watson . Despite evidence that players took prohibited substances and the admission on television of the Bomber captain, we are being told of the likelihood that no player will be served with infraction notices over the club's supplements regime. And despite the fact that when news of the scandal broke on 5 February, Essendon coach James Hird declared he would take full responsibility for the clubs supplements program, he continues to hang on as coach with the full support of his club. The evidence of the use of banned substances is said to be only "circumstantial". As long as the sports science man at the centre of the drug scandal, Stephen Dank, avoids interrogation by ASADA, we may never find out exactly what was injected into the Essendon players inside that club's "vault" opposite Windy Hill last year. Even then, we may never know. The Bombers are one of the AFL's strongest clubs. They are wealthy, have a strong supporter base and in Hird, have a coach with an impressive record of 35½ wins from 63 matches. That, and the adulation of his fans and his club are keeping him from being the second coach to depart the AFL scene in 2013 although some are predicting that this will change soon. The first coach to go was our own Mark Neeld about who I wrote on the eve of Melbourne's first encounter with the Gold Coast Suns earlier in the year:- Mark Neeld never had much in common with James Hird. The latter was adored by all and sundry at his club and had the full support of its board, staff and players from the very start. He was a winner. Neeld has had his detractors from day one, he suffered from an atmosphere of bitterness and instability and inherited a poor and ill-disciplined list with which he struggled and which ultimately brought him down. The damage was in part self-inflicted; he showed very little on match days to inspire any confidence in his capacity to bring success to the club and he lasted exactly 1½ seasons. He was a loser. However, in the face of the supplements scandal one has to wonder whether Hird can remain a winner for much longer. Will the legacy of his time at his club become even more destructive than that left by Neeld at Melbourne? And for all of his failings, Neeld could never be accused of failing to look after his players as the Bombers have with theirs. With Neeld now gone and, in his absence, another humiliating loss at the hands of the AFL's other new franchise team fresh in their minds, the onus is on the players to produce something better this week. They have been losers for far too long. THE GAME Gold Coast v Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday 10 August 2013 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Gold Coast 1 win Melbourne 3 wins Metricon Stadium Gold Coast 0 wins Melbourne 0 wins Since 2000 Gold Coast 1 win Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches McKenna 0 wins Craig 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel live at 7.30pm Radio SEN ABC THE BETTING Gold Coast $1.12 to win Melbourne $6.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Gold Coast Suns 16.18.114 defeated Melbourne 7.12.54 in round 7, 2013 at the MCG. The fitter, faster and more enthusiastic Suns jumped the Demons at the start and destroyed them utterly. Coach Mark Neeld was to last a further four weeks but this was really the end for him. THE TEAMS GOLD COAST SUNS Backs Trent McKenzie Sam May Seb Tape Half forwards Greg Broughton Rory Thompson Luke Russell Centreline Harley Bennell Gary Ablett Jarrod Harbrow Half forwards Jaeger O'Meara Sam Day Aaron Hall Forwards Campbell Brown Charlie Dixon Nathan Bock Followers Daniel Gorringe Danny Stanley David Swallow Interchange Dion Prestia Andrew Sexton Matt Shaw Tim Sumner Emergencies Jackson Allen Andrew Boston Thomas Murphy No change MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs James Strauss Tom McDonald Mitch Clisby Centreline Jack Grimes Jack Viney Jordie McKenzie Half forwards Matt Jones Jack Watts Jack Trengove Forwards Dean Kent Jack Fitzpatrick Luke Tapscott Followers Jake Spencer Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Shannon Byrnes Aaron Davey Troy Davis Dan Nicholson Emergencies Sam Blease In Troy Davis Jordie McKenzie Dan Nicholson James Strauss Out Max Gawn Jeremy Howe (calf) Cam Pedersen Jimmy Toumpas DEPRESS CONFERENCE After 12 months of dominating the media for mostly all the wrong reasons the Melbourne Football Club hit the wall as far as the media goes when Neil Craig's press conference could only muster three journalists this week - Melbourne coach Neil Craig says players have opportunity to make club relevant in last four games of season. Yes, you do tend to become irrelevant when you lose a game by 37 points to a bunch of pimply faced young kids, many of them barely out of their teens but the humiliation sets in when you realise that of the trio, one's your own club historian and another was only there at gunpoint. Anyway, the club is working on ways to attract a bigger crowd to the next presser. Aside from offering free grog, one of the suggestions made by the MFC media working party was to have Neil Craig turn up wearing a Paul Roos mask. This would also serve the purpose of causing the confidence of the playing group to soar, Demon supporter forums would go into a frenzy and the number of assorted media people attending would not only go through the roof but most of them would, in all likelihood manage to stay awake and ask some decent questions for once. Anyway, that's not the club's most pressing problem at the moment. It's main task, and a mountainous one at that is to overcome the Gold Coast Suns on their home turf at Metricon Stadium and avoid becoming the first club in AFL history to lose in consecutive weeks to the franchise newbies. The bookies are convinced as they've installed the home team as the strongest favourite to win in its brief history. The Demons are deservedly listed at $6.25 and desperate to see the end of the season come in a little over three week's time. If the Suns could toy with this mob at the MCG in May, then surely a hot August night on the Gold Coast with Gary Ablett Junior in Brownlow winning form should see them winning by a big margin particularly given the lifeless efforts the Demons have produced in the last fortnight. Unless the playing group makes an effort and demonstrates some pride in itself, then the team will continue to generate more depressing scenes such as those at this week's presser when they were even short of attracting the proverbial three men and a dog. Gold Coast by 78 points.
  16. This has already been one of the most remarkable weeks in the history of our code of football. We've seen headlines like this one - Essendon players given banned drugs which follows on the footsteps of this one from one and a half months ago - I took banned drug: Watson . Despite evidence that players took prohibited substances and the admission on television of the Bomber captain, we are being told of the likelihood that no player will be served with infraction notices over the club's supplements regime. And despite the fact that when news of the scandal broke on 5 February, Essendon coach James Hird declared he would take full responsibility for the clubs supplements program, he continues to hang on as coach with the full support of his club. The evidence of the use of banned substances is said to be only "circumstantial". As long as the sports science man at the centre of the drug scandal, Stephen Dank, avoids interrogation by ASADA, we may never find out exactly what was injected into the Essendon players inside that club's "vault" opposite Windy Hill last year. Even then, we may never know. The Bombers are one of the AFL's strongest clubs. They are wealthy, have a strong supporter base and in Hird, have a coach with an impressive record of 35½ wins from 63 matches. That, and the adulation of his fans and his club are keeping him from being the second coach to depart the AFL scene in 2013 although some are predicting that this will change soon. The first coach to go was our own Mark Neeld about who I wrote on the eve of Melbourne's first encounter with the Gold Coast Suns earlier in the year:- Mark Neeld never had much in common with James Hird. The latter was adored by all and sundry at his club and had the full support of its board, staff and players from the very start. He was a winner. Neeld has had his detractors from day one, he suffered from an atmosphere of bitterness and instability and inherited a poor and ill-disciplined list with which he struggled and which ultimately brought him down. The damage was in part self-inflicted; he showed very little on match days to inspire any confidence in his capacity to bring success to the club and he lasted exactly 1½ seasons. He was a loser. However, in the face of the supplements scandal one has to wonder whether Hird can remain a winner for much longer. Will the legacy of his time at his club become even more destructive than that left by Neeld at Melbourne? And for all of his failings, Neeld could never be accused of failing to look after his players as the Bombers have with theirs. With Neeld now gone and, in his absence, another humiliating loss at the hands of the AFL's other new franchise team fresh in their minds, the onus is on the players to produce something better this week. They have been losers for far too long. THE GAME Gold Coast v Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday 10 August 2013 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Gold Coast 1 win Melbourne 3 wins Metricon Stadium Gold Coast 0 wins Melbourne 0 wins Since 2000 Gold Coast 1 win Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches McKenna 0 wins Craig 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel live at 7.30pm Radio SEN ABC THE BETTING Gold Coast $1.12 to win Melbourne $6.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Gold Coast Suns 16.18.114 defeated Melbourne 7.12.54 in round 7, 2013 at the MCG. The fitter, faster and more enthusiastic Suns jumped the Demons at the start and destroyed them utterly. Coach Mark Neeld was to last a further four weeks but this was really the end for him. THE TEAMS GOLD COAST SUNS Backs Trent McKenzie Sam May Seb Tape Half forwards Greg Broughton Rory Thompson Luke Russell Centreline Harley Bennell Gary Ablett Jarrod Harbrow Half forwards Jaeger O'Meara Sam Day Aaron Hall Forwards Campbell Brown Charlie Dixon Nathan Bock Followers Daniel Gorringe Danny Stanley David Swallow Interchange Dion Prestia Andrew Sexton Matt Shaw Tim Sumner Emergencies Jackson Allen Andrew Boston Thomas Murphy No change MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs James Strauss Tom McDonald Mitch Clisby Centreline Jack Grimes Jack Viney Jordie McKenzie Half forwards Matt Jones Jack Watts Jack Trengove Forwards Dean Kent Jack Fitzpatrick Luke Tapscott Followers Jake Spencer Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Shannon Byrnes Aaron Davey Troy Davis Dan Nicholson Emergencies Sam Blease In Troy Davis Jordie McKenzie Dan Nicholson James Strauss Out Max Gawn Jeremy Howe (calf) Cam Pedersen Jimmy Toumpas DEPRESS CONFERENCE After 12 months of dominating the media for mostly all the wrong reasons the Melbourne Football Club hit the wall as far as the media goes when Neil Craig's press conference could only muster three journalists this week - Melbourne coach Neil Craig says players have opportunity to make club relevant in last four games of season. Yes, you do tend to become irrelevant when you lose a game by 37 points to a bunch of pimply faced young kids, many of them barely out of their teens but the humiliation sets in when you realise that of the trio, one's your own club historian and another was only there at gunpoint. Anyway, the club is working on ways to attract a bigger crowd to the next presser. Aside from offering free grog, one of the suggestions made by the MFC media working party was to have Neil Craig turn up wearing a Paul Roos mask. This would also serve the purpose of causing the confidence of the playing group to soar, Demon supporter forums would go into a frenzy and the number of assorted media people attending would not only go through the roof but most of them would, in all likelihood manage to stay awake and ask some decent questions for once. Anyway, that's not the club's most pressing problem at the moment. It's main task, and a mountainous one at that is to overcome the Gold Coast Suns on their home turf at Metricon Stadium and avoid becoming the first club in AFL history to lose in consecutive weeks to the franchise newbies. The bookies are convinced as they've installed the home team as the strongest favourite to win in its brief history. The Demons are deservedly listed at $6.25 and desperate to see the end of the season come in a little over three week's time. If the Suns could toy with this mob at the MCG in May, then surely a hot August night on the Gold Coast with Gary Ablett Junior in Brownlow winning form should see them winning by a big margin particularly given the lifeless efforts the Demons have produced in the last fortnight. Unless the playing group makes an effort and demonstrates some pride in itself, then the team will continue to generate more depressing scenes such as those at this week's presser when they were even short of attracting the proverbial three men and a dog. Gold Coast by 78 points.
  17. Demonland

    IMPRINT

    IMPRINT by Whispering Jack Mark Neeld's initiation as coach of Melbourne was eerie to say the least. In a part of the world known for its theme parks and somewhat curiously dubbed "The Sunshine State", his team braved monsoonal rain conditions and broke even in its two matches played on the AFL's second newest football ground, Metricon Stadium. The day broke with rain belting down laterally on the Gold Coast. I spent the morning shopping for a suitably fashionable poncho and picked up the bargain of my four day rain soaked visit to this place at a seedy looking shop on the highway. It cost me two bucks. Then it was off to the Queensland Demons lunch brilliantly organised by Demondeb and hosted by Chris Connolly. There were Demon fans from everywhere - even as far as drought-striken WA who looked at the rain teeming outside with curiosity and even the arrival of the great Ronald Dale Barassi was not enough to stop the deluge as the Emerald Lakes Golf Club (where the function was being held) threatened to become one giant lake and the 18th green became a major water hazard. As game time neared, I grabbed my belongings, ditched my losing raffle ticket and wondered if I would ever again see the vehicle I left in the car park. The ominous sign at the beginning of the street warning of local flooding didn't make me feel any better. The rain actually eased off a little as I entered the ground having first located my Demon supporting companions. I also spotted Jack Viney's father entering the ground with another former player, Kelly O'Donnell. So many coincidences. We stepped inside south east Queensland's football theme park as the rain started belting down again. I think I've set the scene well for what was to come. The reconditioned ground at Carrara is now thankfully blessed with state of the art drainage systems but it was still impossible for the teams to put on a decent display of footy. Melbourne, already without a handful of its best (including co-skipper Jack Trengove, Liam Jurrah, the exciting young Sam Blease, Jordie McKenzie and Cale Morton) left out some of its better and more experienced players for the second and started Mark Jamar and Brent Moloney in the green substitute vests for the Gold Coast Suns' game. The indications were clear that the result of the game was not particularly relevant. The Demons were nevertheless quick off the blocks with the game's first two goals. The first was from a strong mark by Mitch Clark who provided a long awaited key position target in the forward line, the second a long goal from a busy Nathan Jones after a free kick. Some poor defensive errors let the Suns back in to level the scores at half time. The new Mark Neeld style was evident with more emphasis on defence, strong play at the stoppages and long kicks into attack. In some instances, this brought the team undone but the players kept their discipline. The Suns won the second half through opportunist goals and greater accuracy but Melbourne did unearth some talent apart from the obvious one in Clark. James Magner's ferocity at the football was outstanding at stoppages, Tom Couch not far behind him and Josh Tynan was also impressive fitting directly into Neeld's mould of a hard working no nonsense ballgetter. Jack Fitzpatrick toiled hard in conditions which were very trying for the young ruckman. Matthew Bate got a lot of the football and worked hard to win the footy while Aaron Davey played probably his best football in two years to allay fears that his career was in steep decline. Late in the game he had an opportunity to snap the winning goal from a difficult angle but it just missed. Lynden Dunn missed what, for him, should have been a simple set shot but it too was wayward. Melbourne 0.2.2 3.5.23 Gold Coast Suns 0.2.2 0.4.26 Goals: Melbourne Bartram Clark Jones Gold Coast Suns Hall 2 Fraser Rischitelli Best: Melbourne Clark Jones Magner Bartram Bate Davey Gold Coast Suns Ablett Rischitelli Hall Bock Prestia Weller Injuries Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Suns Nil Umpires Stevic McKenzie Gleeson The heavens opened up during the break just as I was in the (uncovered) queue for refreshments. This gave me a fairly good insight into what the players had to endure in the second game against the Lions when Neeld brought in his A team including Jack Grimes, Colin Sylvia, Brad Green, Jared Rivers and Rohan Bail. One would have expected a much better effort given that it was a much stronger side on paper but Melbourne never fails to disappoint and a scoreless quarter (half?) beckoned, punctuated by a James Frawley blooper that was uncharacteristic for him. Later his attempt to soccer the ball was almost the team's undoing but, in between, he was a solid defender. Bate and Magner continued to plug away and Dan Nicholson started coming into the game while Rohan Bail added to the mix with some coolness under pressure. James Sellar was also cool when he converted a free in front of goals but the coolest of them all was skipper Jack Grimes who twice beat his Brisbane opponent all ends up in the dying moments of the game. In the end, it was a mixed day for the Demons who should have won the first game and deserved to lose the second. There were some good signs suggesting that bruise free football is now a thing of the past but the club still lacks a game breaker of Black Caviar quality like Gary Ablett Junior. In the absence of such a player, the rest of the team will need to work harder to develop their game in much the same way that Collingwood did some two or three years ago under Mick Malthouse. You can see Mark Neeld's faint imprint in that style in what he is bringing to the Melbourne. The way the players are having a decent crack at winning the hard ball suggests he is starting to get his message across. Melbourne 0.0.0 2.1.13 Brisbane Lions 1.1.7 1.4.10 Goals: Melbourne Sellar Sylvia Brisbane Lions Banfield Best: Melbourne Bate Frawley Grimes Jones Moloney Howe Brisbane Lions Beams Lester McGrath Black Yeo Golby Injuries Melbourne Nil Brisband Lions Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Brisbane Lions Nil Umpires Stevic McKenzie Gleeson Official Crowd: 5150 at Metricon Stadium Thanks to gsmith for the ticket into the ground. Much appreciated.
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