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Found 29 results

  1. Eight days is a long time ...
  2. Can we find six players please?
  3. Demonland

    Match Report - Round 4

    CHANGING THE NARRATIVE by George on The Outer We’re changing the narrative said the coach over the past couple of weeks. So is there another word that can be used instead of “cr..p” to describe the performance of the MFC against Hawthorn? Every one of the traditional criticisms of how this Club plays football was brought to the fore as the players simply gave up trying in the last quarter. There was simply no excuse for allowing Hawthorn to waltz in seven goals, no matter how badly you have played. Teams that stop trying will NEVER be any influence in Finals, leave alone the possibility of even getting to September action. And this was after Melbourne had allowed Hawthorn to kick 16 goals to 1 from mid way through the first quarter, despite it leading at quarter time. Just to top it off, Hawthorn had lost Rioli and Puopolo at ¾ time, and were forced to bring Frawley back on the ground, despite being him being injured in the first quarter, and sitting on the pine for nearly a ½ of football. And it is not a new narrative needed for a whole raft of players currently playing ( if that’s the word) in the side. A relocation to Casey is all that is required. Tom Bugg was simply shocking, yet again, and his inability to kick the ball straight from 20 metres from goal or to another player in the open was repeated again and again. No point getting possessions if they are meaningless or cause turnovers by handpassing to teammates already under pressure. It just kills any momentum that has come from hard work up the field, when this happens. Jake Melksham has not had any impact in any game this season, Jeff Garlett only five touches for the whole game, while Jordan Lewis continues to stumble and fumble when needed. James Harmes, nine touches while playing in the middle is simply insufficient output. Yet there was some real fortitude shown by a few. Max Gawn in the ruck overpowered McEvoy, but his good work was undone by the shocking coaching inaction in the game. Hawthorn had 8 players at the back of the square at centre bounces, while we continued to have solitary isolated wingers. Hawthorn numbers stormed from their backline, skirted the pack, and overwhelmed the Melbourne mids. No wonder Max won the hitouts 66 to 27, but the clearances were lost by a margin of 17! The coaching decision to once again not have a back-up ruck proved to be disastrous, as we saw Harmes up against McEvoy at times, when the rotations were messed up. Then he had to ruck against Roughead or O’Brien, both of who stand well above him. But the single faiing from the coaching box was the inability to change the way the game was played in wet and slippery conditions. Sticking to the quick movement and slick handball type play doesn’t work, when simple grunt is required. Hawthorn stacked the backline and waited for the turnover, which invariably came. The rebound saw Melbourne players hopelessly behind the ball, and length of the field goals came easily and regularly. Where was the change? Where were the extra bodies sent back to stop the rot? No, we finished with Jesse Hogan playing up the field, and a forward line of Bugg, Bayley Fritsch and Garlett hoping to outmark and out-position bigger opponents on a wet day! Nathan Jones was magnificent, yet again, as he held Tom Mitchell to 24 touches, while he himself racked up 20. Considering Mitchell’s record setting disposals in the previous 3 games, it was a sterling performance, but Jones had only Clayton Oliver assisting him to actually get the ball, or Christian Petracca, when he was rotated through the middle. Given the regularity with which the ball came into the Hawthorn forward line, the backs did a fairly good job. O Mac was solid and while Roughead kicked 3, one was from a free and another in junk time. The real worry is the lack of composure among Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost and Jake Lever when the pressure is on, so we saw the Hawks time and time again craft goals from scrubby kicks out of packs or soccered through after the ball was allowed to bobble around in the goal mouth, instead of being killed by the defenders. Lewis is supposedly in the side for leadership in the backline, but there needs to be another narrative for his performance. The game against Richmond now looms as a horror prospect. A depleted Hawthorn side (without Burgoyne as well) with 2 injured on the bench and another injure on the field, gave Melbourne an first class walloping. With the Tigers in full flight and a full fit side to put on the field, there may be a new narrative needed for the carnage which threatens this Melbourne side. Melbourne 5.5.35 5.9.39 5.11.41 6.12.48 Hawthorn 3.5.23 7.5.47 11.7.73 18.7.115 Goals Melbourne Kent 3 Hogan Neal-Bullen Salem Hawthorn Breust 4 O'Brien Roughead 3 Gunston O'Meara Smith 2 Henderson Puopolo, Best Melbourne Oliver McDonald Hogan N Jones Kent Hawthorn Shiels, Gunston, O'Meara, Smith, Breust, Sicily, Mitchell Injuries Melbourne Jetta (leg) Hawthorn Frawley (migraine & hand), Rioli (medial ligament), Puopolo (hamstring) Reports Nil Umpires Foot, Margetts, Chamberlain Official crowd 41,973 at the MCG
  4. We’re changing the narrative said the coach over the past couple of weeks. So is there another word that can be used instead of “cr..p” to describe the performance of the MFC against Hawthorn? Every one of the traditional criticisms of how this Club plays football was brought to the fore as the players simply gave up trying in the last quarter. There was simply no excuse for allowing Hawthorn to waltz in seven goals, no matter how badly you have played. Teams that stop trying will NEVER be any influence in Finals, leave alone the possibility of even getting to September action. And this was after Melbourne had allowed Hawthorn to kick 16 goals to 1 from mid way through the first quarter, despite it leading at quarter time. Just to top it off, Hawthorn had lost Rioli and Puopolo at ¾ time, and were forced to bring Frawley back on the ground, despite being him being injured in the first quarter, and sitting on the pine for nearly a ½ of football. And it is not a new narrative needed for a whole raft of players currently playing ( if that’s the word) in the side. A relocation to Casey is all that is required. Tom Bugg was simply shocking, yet again, and his inability to kick the ball straight from 20 metres from goal or to another player in the open was repeated again and again. No point getting possessions if they are meaningless or cause turnovers by handpassing to teammates already under pressure. It just kills any momentum that has come from hard work up the field, when this happens. Jake Melksham has not had any impact in any game this season, Jeff Garlett only five touches for the whole game, while Jordan Lewis continues to stumble and fumble when needed. James Harmes, nine touches while playing in the middle is simply insufficient output. Yet there was some real fortitude shown by a few. Max Gawn in the ruck overpowered McEvoy, but his good work was undone by the shocking coaching inaction in the game. Hawthorn had 8 players at the back of the square at centre bounces, while we continued to have solitary isolated wingers. Hawthorn numbers stormed from their backline, skirted the pack, and overwhelmed the Melbourne mids. No wonder Max won the hitouts 66 to 27, but the clearances were lost by a margin of 17! The coaching decision to once again not have a back-up ruck proved to be disastrous, as we saw Harmes up against McEvoy at times, when the rotations were messed up. Then he had to ruck against Roughead or O’Brien, both of who stand well above him. But the single faiing from the coaching box was the inability to change the way the game was played in wet and slippery conditions. Sticking to the quick movement and slick handball type play doesn’t work, when simple grunt is required. Hawthorn stacked the backline and waited for the turnover, which invariably came. The rebound saw Melbourne players hopelessly behind the ball, and length of the field goals came easily and regularly. Where was the change? Where were the extra bodies sent back to stop the rot? No, we finished with Jesse Hogan playing up the field, and a forward line of Bugg, Bayley Fritsch and Garlett hoping to outmark and out-position bigger opponents on a wet day! Nathan Jones was magnificent, yet again, as he held Tom Mitchell to 24 touches, while he himself racked up 20. Considering Mitchell’s record setting disposals in the previous 3 games, it was a sterling performance, but Jones had only Clayton Oliver assisting him to actually get the ball, or Christian Petracca, when he was rotated through the middle. Given the regularity with which the ball came into the Hawthorn forward line, the backs did a fairly good job. O Mac was solid and while Roughead kicked 3, one was from a free and another in junk time. The real worry is the lack of composure among Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost and Jake Lever when the pressure is on, so we saw the Hawks time and time again craft goals from scrubby kicks out of packs or soccered through after the ball was allowed to bobble around in the goal mouth, instead of being killed by the defenders. Lewis is supposedly in the side for leadership in the backline, but there needs to be another narrative for his performance. The game against Richmond now looms as a horror prospect. A depleted Hawthorn side (without Burgoyne as well) with 2 injured on the bench and another injure on the field, gave Melbourne a first class walloping. With the Tigers in full flight and a full fit side to put on the field, there may be a new narrative needed for the carnage which threatens this Melbourne side. Melbourne 5.5.35 5.9.39 5.11.41 6.12.48 Hawthorn 3.5.23 7.5.47 11.7.73 18.7.115 Goals Melbourne Kent 3 Hogan Neal-Bullen Salem Hawthorn Breust 4 O'Brien Roughead 3 Gunston O'Meara Smith 2 Henderson Puopolo Best Melbourne Oliver McDonald Hogan N Jones Kent Hawthorn Shiels, Gunston, O'Meara, Smith, Breust, Sicily, Mitchell Injuries Melbourne Jetta (leg) Hawthorn Frawley (migraine & hand), Rioli (medial ligament), Puopolo (hamstring) Reports Nil Umpires Foot, Margetts, Chamberlain Official crowd 41,973 at the MCG
  5. Josh

    GAME DAY - ROUND 4

    Only quietly confident today but confident none the less. I find my self less and less worrying about weather Gawn or Hogan or Oliver or Jones will have massive days and more about how as a team we can can get over the line. Wife has been away all weekend so me and the boys will have to get rid of all the evidence of fun we have had, gonna be a big job. Lucky I have a few 500ml Carlsberg cans left. Hard to go past Mitchell in sizzling form for BOG but apart from him the Dee's will beat their opponents. Dee's by 32.
  6. OMEN by The Oracle Melbourne takes on Hawthorn in a crucial match up on Sunday afternoon at the MCG. Both teams are sitting on a 2/1 record so, even at this early stage of the season, a win is crucial because the victor gets a little separation from the main pack challenging for a berth in the competition’s top echelon. The Demons, who have in the past year or so, made an art form out of letting opportunity slip from their grasp, badly need the win because it has an appointment with reigning premier Richmond coming up on Anzac Eve. Win both games and they are in a rarefied atmosphere for this football the club and off to their best start since 2005. And, in a similar vein to last week when Melbourne broke a long-standing losing streak against North Melbourne, the club is aiming to overturn a huge disparity between wins and losses in its recent history against Hawthorn. The Hawks have won 14 out of 15 against the Demons, the only exception being their Round 20, 2016 contest when they were top of the ladder and went down in a surprise loss that sent them hurtling from premiership favouritism for what would have been a fourth consecutive flag. Hawthorn bottomed out remarkably quickly last year and seem to be on the up and up just as quickly off the back mainly of their master stroke in the recruiting of midfielders Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara but Melbourne’s midfield is more multifaceted and adaptable including a wide range of players with varying degrees of size and experience. One of those midfielders is in form Christian Petracca to who I look for both inspiration and an omen in this game. The omen is drawn from Petracca’s former basketballing teammate Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons who has been creating a storm in NBA circles. The 76ers were a struggling team until Simmons made his debut late last year. They began their season slowly but suddenly moved into play off contention and now, after their 15th consecutive win yesterday, they are nicely placed in third place on the Eastern Conference ladder. Their latest victim? The Atlanta Hawks. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday 15 April 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 86 wins Melbourne 75 wins At MCG Hawthorn 45 wins Melbourne 36 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Clarkson 1 win Goodwin 0 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports3, Seven Mate live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 14.10.94 defeated Melbourne 14.7.91 in Round 7, 2017 at the MCG The Hawks skipped away to an early lead and were never headed although the Demons made a desperate lunge in the latter stages of the game. After Jeff Garlett’s third goal close to the three quarter time reduced the margin to 1 point, the teams traded goals until Jordan Lewis goaled with less than a minute remaining to reduce the margin to 3 points, but it was all too late. THE TEAMS The Hawks caused an upset when these two teams met but, in a way, it was on the cards. In the absence of injured big men Max Gawn and Jake Spencer and before Simon Goodwin could work on his ruck plan B, Ben McEvoy dominated the ruck with 53 hit-outs and gave his onballers an armchair ride. Even back then, Tom Mitchell was starring as a midfielder and with Jarryd Roughead, on the comeback trail from his illness, able to flush out every ounce of sympathy available from the umpires, the Hawks opened up an early lead that was a smidgeon beyond the Demons’ comeback challenge. Things are different this time on two major fronts. Firstly, there’s the Max Factor. The Melbourne big man is not only back but he’s showing the same, if not better, standard of mastery of his craft that won him All-Australian honours two years ago. Then there’s Jesse Hogan who took place in the equivalent game last year but was in the wrong space, recovery from the recent loss of his father and about to receive a cancer diagnosis. He’s in a much better place this time around and I suspect that he will prove a difficult opponent to overcome for whoever draws the short straw to oppose him. And that Hawk midfield might be leading the field in terms of centre clearances at 16.7 (a tremendous achievement given their opposition this year has included the Cats’ triumvirate and the reigning premiers’ on ball combinations) but the Demons are not that far behind at 16.0 with their multifaceforted engine room that includes the experience of Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson and the rapidly coming on Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca who are both in great early-season touch. Around the ground, I think the Demons will be too solid for the Hawks who will be missing Shaun Burgoyne (hamstring) as well as a couple of other handy defenders. The result is that Hawks will lower the colours to the Dees for only the second time in a dozen years. Melbourne by 29 points.
  7. Demonland

    OMEN by The Oracle

    Melbourne takes on Hawthorn in a crucial match up on Sunday afternoon at the MCG. Both teams are sitting on a 2/1 record so, even at this early stage of the season, a win is crucial because the victor gets a little separation from the main pack challenging for a berth in the competition’s top echelon. The Demons, who have in the past year or so, made an art form out of letting opportunity slip from their grasp, badly need the win because it has an appointment with reigning premier Richmond coming up on Anzac Eve. Win both games and they are in a rarefied atmosphere for this football the club and off to their best start since 2005. And, in a similar vein to last week when Melbourne broke a long-standing losing streak against North Melbourne, the club is aiming to overturn a huge disparity between wins and losses in its recent history against Hawthorn. The Hawks have won 14 out of 15 against the Demons, the only exception being their Round 20, 2016 contest when they were top of the ladder and went down in a surprise loss that sent them hurtling from premiership favouritism for what would have been a fourth consecutive flag. Hawthorn bottomed out remarkably quickly last year and seem to be on the up and up just as quickly off the back mainly of their master stroke in the recruiting of midfielders Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara but Melbourne’s midfield is more multifaceted and adaptable including a wide range of players with varying degrees of size and experience. One of those midfielders is in form Christian Petracca to who I look for both inspiration and an omen in this game. The omen is drawn from Petracca’s former basketballing teammate Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons who has been creating a storm in NBA circles. The 76ers were a struggling team until Simmons made his debut late last year. They began their season slowly but suddenly moved into play off contention and now, after their 15th consecutive win yesterday, they are nicely placed in third place on the Eastern Conference ladder. Their latest victim? The Atlanta Hawks. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday 15 April 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 86 wins Melbourne 75 wins At MCG Hawthorn 45 wins Melbourne 36 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Clarkson 1 win Goodwin 0 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports3, Seven Mate live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 14.10.94 defeated Melbourne 14.7.91 in Round 7, 2017 at the MCG The Hawks skipped away to an early lead and were never headed although the Demons made a desperate lunge in the latter stages of the game. After Jeff Garlett’s third goal close to the three quarter time reduced the margin to 1 point, the teams traded goals until Jordan Lewis goaled with less than a minute remaining to reduce the margin to 3 points, but it was all too late. THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Conor Glass, James Frawley, Blake Hardwick HB: Taylor Duryea, Ben Stratton, James Sicily C: Ricky Henderson, Jarman Impey, Isaac Smith HF: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Tim O’Brien F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli Foll: Ben McEvoy, Tom Mitchell, Liam Shiels I/C: Daniel Howe, David Mirra, Harry Morrison, Jaeger O’Meara Emg: Ryan Burton, James Cousins, Mitchell Lewis, Brendan Whitecross In: Conor Glass, David Mirra, James Sicily Out: Kaiden Brand (omitted), Ryan Burton (omitted), Will Langford (omitted) New: David Mirra (Box Hill Hawks) MELBOURNE B: Christian Petracca, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Michael Hibberd, Jake Lever, Bernie Vince C: James Harmes, Nathan Jones, Jordan Lewis HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Sam Frost, Tom Bugg F: Jake Melksham, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent Foll: Max Gawn, Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Bayley Fritsch, Jeff Garlett, Josh Wagner, Emg: Mitch Hannan, Jayden Hunt, Billy Stretch, Sam Weideman In: Angus Brayshaw Out: Dom Tyson (ill) The Hawks caused an upset when these two teams met but, in a way, it was on the cards. In the absence of injured big men Max Gawn and Jake Spencer and before Simon Goodwin could work on his ruck plan B, Ben McEvoy dominated the ruck with 53 hit-outs and gave his onballers an armchair ride. Even back then, Tom Mitchell was starring as a midfielder and with Jarryd Roughead, on the comeback trail from his illness, able to flush out every ounce of sympathy available from the umpires, the Hawks opened up an early lead that was a smidgeon beyond the Demons’ comeback challenge. Things are different this time on two major fronts. Firstly, there’s the Max Factor. The Melbourne big man is not only back but he’s showing the same, if not better, standard of mastery of his craft that won him All-Australian honours two years ago. Then there’s Jesse Hogan who took place in the equivalent game last year but was in the wrong space, recovery from the recent loss of his father and about to receive a cancer diagnosis. He’s in a much better place this time around and I suspect that he will prove a difficult opponent to overcome for whoever draws the short straw to oppose him. And that Hawk midfield might be leading the field in terms of centre clearances at 16.7 (a tremendous achievement given their opposition this year has included the Cats’ triumvirate and the reigning premiers’ on ball combinations) but the Demons are not that far behind at 16.0 with their multifaceforted engine room that includes the experience of Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson and the rapidly coming on Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca who are both in great early-season touch. Around the ground, I think the Demons will be too solid for the Hawks who will be missing Shaun Burgoyne (hamstring) as well as a couple of other handy defenders. The result is that Hawks will lower the colours to the Dees for only the second time in a dozen years. Melbourne by 29 points.
  8. Demonland

    The Last Time They Met

    At the time, the Hawks were playing like pox and we were trying to push for a place in the finals. Predictably, we lost ... MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Tom Bugg HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Oscar McDonald, Christian Salem, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner EMG: Dean Kent, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch IN: Jesse Hogan, Josh Wagner OUT: Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen HAWTHORN B: Grant Burchall, James Frawley, Ben Stratton, HB: Ryan Burton, Josh Gibson, Shaun Burgoyne C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara HF: Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien, Jack Gunston F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Ben McEvoy Liam Shiels Luke Hodge I/C: Blake Hardwick, Billy Hartung, Daniel Howe, Brendan Whitecross EMG: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford, James Sicily IN: Grant Birchall, Cyril Rioli OUT: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford
  9. TWELVE AND A HALF MONTHS by The Oracle It has been twelve and a half months since Melbourne fans have had to experience watching their team suffer humiliation at the hands of Hawthorn in an AFL game. This annual ritual of the Hawks flogging the Demons has been going on for a decade now since Al Clarkson's young team was beaten by an experienced side coached by Neale Daniher way back in 2006 on a wet night. Back in those days, the AFL was generous enough to gift games on Friday night to then lowly clubs like the Hawks but not so now. Soon after that game, Hawthorn commenced its ascendency while Melbourne's fortunes nose dived. Melbourne opened the 2007 season as the highest ranked of the Victorian clubs and lost their first match against St Kilda at the MCG marking the first of a series of 13 consecutive losses to the Saints. The following week saw the Hawks start their run of 12 wins on end against the Demons and it seems a near certainty that the number will stretch to an unlucky 13 by late Saturday afternoon. This season started as one of promise for the Demons and they certainly have had their moments with a 50/50 record of wins in the bag to date. But they have failed to reproduce the three victories scored in the pre season against Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda and they lost to the AFL's punching bag, Essendon. They are in danger of being overtaken on the ladder this weekend by Carlton who were expected to challenge the Bombers for the wooden spoon. Melbourne has failed to come up to the challenge in quite a few winnable games already this year. It has lost it's best player this year to suspension and one of its' few functioning defenders in an inexplicably feeble defence to injury. The deck chairs on the Titanic will no doubt be rotated around this week in an effort to turn things around but it was last week when the selectors should have been brave and bold with the team coming off a six day break. One wonders what the team can do this week in the face of a Hawthorn which most of the time manages to hold firm even without such vital team members as Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead. Pray that it will be another twelve and a half months before they meet again, I suppose. Hawthorn by a lot. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday 4 June 2016 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 84 wins Melbourne 74 wins At MCG Hawthorn 43 wins Melbourne 35 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Clarkson 2 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel at 1.45pm (live) Channel 7 3.15pm (delayed) RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Hawthorn $1.24 to win Melbourne $4.15 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 24.11.155 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 in Round 7, 2015 at the MCG Six minutes into the game, Melbourne had the only two goals on the board and Hawthorn was scoreless. Those minutes provided the only joy for the day for Demon fans who had to endure two hours of hell before the final siren revealed their team had just succumbed to another 100 point defeat. THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Taylor Duryea, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Burchill C: Isaac Smith, Jordan Lewis, Brad Hill HF: Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien, Jack Gunston F: Paul Puopolo, James Sicily, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Sam Mitchell, Liam Shiels I/C: Billy Hartung, Daniel Howe, Ben McEvoy, Kade Stewart EMG: Kaiden Brand, Teia Miles, Angus Litherland IN: Daniel Howe, Kade Stewart OUT: Will Langford (managed), Matt Spangher (hamstring) NEW: Kade Stewart (19, South Fremantle) MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tom Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner C: Dean Kent, Jack Trengove, Bernie Vince HF: Billy Stretch, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Chris Dawes FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Sam Frost, James Harmes, Clayton Oliver, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Cam Pedersen IN: Chris Dawes, Sam Frost, Clayton Oliver, Jack Trengove, Aaron vandenBerg OUT: Colin Garland (cheekbone), Ben Kennedy (omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted), Ben Newton (omitted), Jack Viney (suspended)
  10. Demonland

    MATCH REPORT - Round 11

    SENSIBLE, SILLY, SMART, SUCKERED by George on the Outer Sensible, Silly, Smart, Suckered ... Yes that was the summation of the game in which the Demons failed to pull off what was potentially a surprise victory against one of the powerhouse sides of the competition in Hawthorn. But where the Hawks were sensible, the Demons were silly. When the Hawks played smart, the Demons were suckered and in the end it cost them the game, despite leading for a good part of the match. For the Demons fans it was heartening to see the return of Jack Trengove, and while he struggled with the pace of the game, 19 touches in your first game back after 2 years on the sidelines is highly commendable. What the Demons didn’t notice was the greasy and wet conditions on the ground. That is why the Hawks played smart. There was nothing too fancy - just get the ball moving by any means. Scramble it forward, kick it off the ground. Melbourne simply tried to play dry weather footy until they followed the example of Bernie Vince, who just kept putting the ball on his boot. His 21 touches to half time and 36 for the game was the sign of leadership that was needed around the ball. The trouble was that Melbourne squandered plenty of opportunity before it woke up to what was going on. Players like Lewis and Mitchell weren’t at the bottom of packs; they just sat outside and waited for the cake of soap to slip out of hands and then they booted the ball forwards time and time again. Not one Demon player was smart enough to stand them and they were still doing the same in the final quarter. All too often Melbourne players went up in marking contests when not needed. The smarter Hawks stayed down and accepted the ball as it inevitably spilled over the back. That’s smart football. And like the hardened team that has won multiple premiership flags, they know when to start a fight and distract younger players from playing football. It happened when Melbourne came from behind and challenged them. It is all well and good to be tough and physical, and not be intimidated, but not while the opposition have the ball and are running toward goal. The Demons were simply suckered and while we often use the excuse of being a younger side, the lesson to be clearly learned was how to conduct yourself if you want to be a premiership side. In order to do that you need contributions from all the players in the side. Sadly, there were still too many passengers in the Melbourne side. Jeff Garlett has gone missing in the weeks since signing up for an extended contract, and he hasn’t realized that there is more to a game of footy than hanging out the back and then outrunning the opposition. Only five touches again this week brings his total to 12 for the past two games. Even if you aren’t playing well you can tackle, but this has also gone missing from his game, as the ball rebounded from the Hawks defence all to easily. In contrast at the other end Neville Jetta was a standout. How many times he saved goals by simply putting everything on the line or just getting to contests was hard to remember. Unfortunately, he seemed to be playing a lone hand in the backline as Frost and Oscar McDonald simply couldn’t put a foot right for the whole game. Defenders they are not at this point in time, and playing at this level is proving to be too costly to the overall team performance. We have to hope that the return of Aaron Vandenberg, Chris Dawes and Jack Trengove enables them to get some game fitness because they have a long way to go to get back to their best. Each produced a highlight or two particularly VDB with his tackling efforts that produced a critical goal, but we simply need more output in future games. Finally, I was able to have a good look at the defensive structures this week. There was more cohesion with the set-up, and it did work this week. It was let down by some simply incompetent individual efforts. It it has been difficult to work out why we have been broken open so easily in the past weeks. It is the lack of effort from the wingers who get sucked toward the ball and fail to watch their man folding back to the middle of the ground or the forward line. It would have happened again this week, but the mids managed to contain the ball movement. Only a goal to Brad Hill was the result of poor marking. It is up to Billy Stretch, Tom Bugg, Dean Kent and James Harmes to stop being one way players and start playing smart football. Or we will just keep getting suckered by teams like Hawthorn and other serious finals contenders. Melbourne 2.0.12 7.2.44 10.2.62 10.4.64 Hawthorn 4.5.29 6.7.43 8.14.62 11.16.82 Goals Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Dawes Hogan N Jones Petracca Tyson vandenBerg Hawthorn Gunston 3 Breust O'Brien 2 Hill Puopolo Rioli Stewart Best Melbourne Tyson Vince N Jones Watts T McDonald Kent Hawthorn Mitchell Lewis Gibson Birchall Smith Frawley Gunston Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Jack Gunston (right ankle) Reports Melbourne Bernie Vince (Melbourne) for striking in the fourth quarter Hawthorn Nil Umpires Bannister, Ryan, Pannell Official crowd 41,833 at the MCG
  11. Sensible, Silly, Smart, Suckered ... Yes that was the summation of the game in which the Demons failed to pull off what was potentially a surprise victory against one of the powerhouse sides of the competition in Hawthorn. But where the Hawks were sensible, the Demons were silly. When the Hawks played smart, the Demons were suckered and in the end it cost them the game, despite leading for a good part of the match. For the Demons fans it was heartening to see the return of Jack Trengove, and while he struggled with the pace of the game, 19 touches in your first game back after 2 years on the sidelines is highly commendable. What the Demons didn’t notice was the greasy and wet conditions on the ground. That is why the Hawks played smart. There was nothing too fancy - just get the ball moving by any means. Scramble it forward, kick it off the ground. Melbourne simply tried to play dry weather footy until they followed the example of Bernie Vince, who just kept putting the ball on his boot. His 21 touches to half time and 36 for the game was the sign of leadership that was needed around the ball. The trouble was that Melbourne squandered plenty of opportunity before it woke up to what was going on. Players like Lewis and Mitchell weren’t at the bottom of packs; they just sat outside and waited for the cake of soap to slip out of hands and then they booted the ball forwards time and time again. Not one Demon player was smart enough to stand them and they were still doing the same in the final quarter. All too often Melbourne players went up in marking contests when not needed. The smarter Hawks stayed down and accepted the ball as it inevitably spilled over the back. That’s smart football. And like the hardened team that has won multiple premiership flags, they know when to start a fight and distract younger players from playing football. It happened when Melbourne came from behind and challenged them. It is all well and good to be tough and physical, and not be intimidated, but not while the opposition have the ball and are running toward goal. The Demons were simply suckered and while we often use the excuse of being a younger side, the lesson to be clearly learned was how to conduct yourself if you want to be a premiership side. In order to do that you need contributions from all the players in the side. Sadly, there were still too many passengers in the Melbourne side. Jeff Garlett has gone missing in the weeks since signing up for an extended contract, and he hasn’t realized that there is more to a game of footy than hanging out the back and then outrunning the opposition. Only five touches again this week brings his total to 12 for the past two games. Even if you aren’t playing well you can tackle, but this has also gone missing from his game, as the ball rebounded from the Hawks defence all to easily. In contrast at the other end Neville Jetta was a standout. How many times he saved goals by simply putting everything on the line or just getting to contests was hard to remember. Unfortunately, he seemed to be playing a lone hand in the backline as Frost and Oscar McDonald simply couldn’t put a foot right for the whole game. Defenders they are not at this point in time, and playing at this level is proving to be too costly to the overall team performance. We have to hope that the return of Aaron Vandenberg, Chris Dawes and Jack Trengove enables them to get some game fitness because they have a long way to go to get back to their best. Each produced a highlight or two particularly VDB with his tackling efforts that produced a critical goal, but we simply need more output in future games. Finally, I was able to have a good look at the defensive structures this week. There was more cohesion with the set-up, and it did work this week. It was let down by some simply incompetent individual efforts. It it has been difficult to work out why we have been broken open so easily in the past weeks. It is the lack of effort from the wingers who get sucked toward the ball and fail to watch their man folding back to the middle of the ground or the forward line. It would have happened again this week, but the mids managed to contain the ball movement. Only a goal to Brad Hill was the result of poor marking. It is up to Billy Stretch, Tom Bugg, Dean Kent and James Harmes to stop being one way players and start playing smart football. Or we will just keep getting suckered by teams like Hawthorn and other serious finals contenders. Melbourne 2.0.12 7.2.44 10.2.62 10.4.64 Hawthorn 4.5.29 6.7.43 8.14.62 11.16.82 Goals Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Dawes Hogan N Jones Petracca Tyson vandenBerg Hawthorn Gunston 3 Breust O'Brien 2 Hill Puopolo Rioli Stewart Best Melbourne Tyson Vince N Jones Watts T McDonald Kent Hawthorn Mitchell Lewis Gibson Birchall Smith Frawley Gunston Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Jack Gunston (right ankle) Reports Melbourne Bernie Vince (Melbourne) for striking in the fourth quarter Hawthorn Nil Umpires Bannister, Ryan, Pannell Official crowd 41,833 at the MCG
  12. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 11

    This would have been a good day to have had Jack Viney in the side.
  13. It has been twelve and a half months since Melbourne fans have had to experience watching their team suffer humiliation at the hands of Hawthorn in an AFL game. This annual ritual of the Hawks flogging the Demons has been going on for a decade now since Al Clarkson's young team was beaten by an experienced side coached by Neale Daniher way back in 2006 on a wet night. Back in those days, the AFL was generous enough to gift games on Friday night to then lowly clubs like the Hawks but not so now. Soon after that game, Hawthorn commenced its ascendency while Melbourne's fortunes nose dived. Melbourne opened the 2007 season as the highest ranked of the Victorian clubs and lost their first match against St Kilda at the MCG marking the first of a series of 13 consecutive losses to the Saints. The following week saw the Hawks start their run of 12 wins on end against the Demons and it seems a near certainty that the number will stretch to an unlucky 13 by late Saturday afternoon. This season started as one of promise for the Demons and they certainly have had their moments with a 50/50 record of wins in the bag to date. But they have failed to reproduce the three victories scored in the pre season against Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda and they lost to the AFL's punching bag, Essendon. They are in danger of being overtaken on the ladder this weekend by Carlton who were expected to challenge the Bombers for the wooden spoon. Melbourne has failed to come up to the challenge in quite a few winnable games already this year. It has lost it's best player this year to suspension and one of its' few functioning defenders in an inexplicably feeble defence to injury. The deck chairs on the Titanic will no doubt be rotated around this week in an effort to turn things around but it was last week when the selectors should have been brave and bold with the team coming off a six day break. One wonders what the team can do this week in the face of a Hawthorn which most of the time manages to hold firm even without such vital team members as Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead. Pray that it will be another twelve and a half months before they meet again, I suppose. Hawthorn by a lot. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday 4 June 2016 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 84 wins Melbourne 74 wins At MCG Hawthorn 43 wins Melbourne 35 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Clarkson 2 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel at 1.45pm (live) Channel 7 3.15pm (delayed) RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Hawthorn $1.24 to win Melbourne $4.15 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 24.11.155 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 in Round 7, 2015 at the MCG Six minutes into the game, Melbourne had the only two goals on the board and Hawthorn was scoreless. Those minutes provided the only joy for the day for Demon fans who had to endure two hours of hell before the final siren revealed their team had just succumbed to another 100 point defeat. THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Taylor Duryea, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Burchill C: Isaac Smith, Jordan Lewis, Brad Hill HF: Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien, Jack Gunston F: Paul Puopolo, James Sicily, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Sam Mitchell, Liam Shiels I/C: Billy Hartung, Daniel Howe, Ben McEvoy, Kade Stewart EMG: Kaiden Brand, Teia Miles, Angus Litherland IN: Daniel Howe, Kade Stewart OUT: Will Langford (managed), Matt Spangher (hamstring) NEW: Kade Stewart (19, South Fremantle) MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tom Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner C: Dean Kent, Jack Trengove, Bernie Vince HF: Billy Stretch, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Chris Dawes FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Sam Frost, James Harmes, Clayton Oliver, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Cam Pedersen IN: Chris Dawes, Sam Frost, Clayton Oliver, Jack Trengove, Aaron vandenBerg OUT: Colin Garland (cheekbone), Ben Kennedy (omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted), Ben Newton (omitted), Jack Viney (suspended)
  14. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    The usual outcome last time after we gained some early false hope kicking away with the first couple of goals. HAWTHORN B: Shaun Burgoyne, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Taylor Duryea C: Bradley Hill, Sam Mitchell, Matthew Suckling HF: Isaac Smith, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli F: Ben McEvoy, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Paul Puopolo, Liam Shiels I/C: Ryan Schoenmakers, Will Langford, Angus Litherland, Billy Hartung EMG: Daniel Howe, Jonathan Simpkin, Tim O'Brien IN: James Frawley, Angus Litherland OUT: Jed Anderson, Brendan Whitecross MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Jack Grimes, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe C: Daniel Cross, Nathan Jones, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Rohan Bail F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Aaron Vandenberg FOLL: Jake Spencer, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Matt Jones, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch, Jimmy Toumpas EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Cameron Pedersen IN: Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones, Viv Michie OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris (groin), Ben Newton, Cam Pedersen, Jack Watts
  15. ENHANCING THE FAN EXPERIENCE by George on the Outer During the week some of our readers would have received a survey from the MFC and the AFL, seeking their opinion of the Fan Experience, which has resulted in our senses being assailed by bright lights, loud music and boorish ground announcers. Sadly for the Demon supporters they would be happy for some fan experience of the traditional type going to see their side compete ... perchance winning now and then, and even dreaming of the fan experience of the Hawthorn supporters who have witnessed decades of success both on and off the field. But the only experience they got was another shellacking from a team that is obviously a premiership contender (again), and a football lesson on how very, very far the Demons are from being both relevant and successful in todays competition. And that shellacking was delivered without the services of Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis! The opening two goals by the Demons pointed to something possible, before the Hawks had registered a major but the first two goals to the Hawks came from direct turnovers, as the Melbourne players set about destroying their own confidence. To finish the quarter they then piled on another four for good measure, as the players in Red and Blue in many cases stood idly by. That was bettered again the 3rd with an 8 goal haul, and another 6 in the final term to round it out nicely. Were it not for Tom McDonald and Col Garland the rout that was to ensue would have been even uglier. And yes, they made a couple of mistakes themselves, but when the ball keeps coming in so freely and often, they can be more than forgiven. Similarly Nathan Jones played his guts out again, and seems to have lost all the promised support he had at year start. It certainly doesnt help when your ruckman cant hit the ball remotely near a red and blue shirted player. Or even to hit the ball! What cant be forgiven is the unwillingness to run and run hard when needed by the Melbourne players. A classic example was when Gibson gathered the ball in the Hawthorn backline and delivered to Rioli on the wing. As Rioli ran forward to eventually score the goal, Gibson ran behind him all the way to the goal line, protecting him from any defenders. A look back to the Melbourne forward line saw Gibson's direct opponent still standing, looking downfield. For the Hawks it is all about team! The ruthlessness of Hawthorn has to be admired and their goal-kicking and field delivery is exceptional. Roughead, Gunston, Suckling, and Bruest have the most delightful kicking style and accuracy. The 50 metre arc is only a way-point to goal as they consistently make the distance and usually the accuracy. Contrast that with the efforts of a number of Melbourne players who couldnt make either the distance or the accuracy from points well inside the 50 metre arc. While the overall result wouldnt have changed, another 5 or 6 very gettable goals start to make the score-line respectable and give some hope for the future. But even if everything had gone our way up forward, the obvious holes and NQR players proliferate throughout the side. We have imported, traded and drafted some serious talent over the past 2 years, but when the names of M. Jones, Bail, Grimes, Howe and Spencer appear in the team selected, we can be certain that we are scraping the barrel. The fact that we HAVE to play kids like Billy Stretch, Angus Brayshaw and then supplement them with other first year players like Aaron Vandenberg, shows the true lack of depth that the club faces. Yet all of these first year players acquitted themselves admirably. That no one in the Casey lineup can or is capable of giving them a rest is a real indictment. By season's end they may well be burnt out, battered and deflated. Even more so when they realise what some players are being paid to run around with the Scorpions! Contrast those NQR players with the performance, and strong marking efforts of Cam Pedersen, who truly took his slim opportunity to play at senior level and turned it into a sterling performance. He willed himself to contests and created opportunities up forward to not only score three goals off his own boot but give Garlett chances that wouldnt have otherwise happened. Then he pinch hits in the ruck and even gives us a couple of clearances that were non-existent for most of the match. Hell be back next week, and unfortunately the list will be populated with more of the NQR players again. Losing Christian Salem to a hamstring makes the selection committee's job even harder as they are forced to put forward names that simply shouldnt be on the radar. Worse still is the fan experience that the supporters will be forced to endure when those same players run out on the ground again, and perform to the same miserable standards that we have witnessed all this season. Melbourne 2.0.12 3.3.21 4.6.30 7.8.50 HAWTHORN 6.2.38 10.6.66 18.8.116 24.11.155 Goals Melbourne Garlett Pedersen 3 Bail Hawthorn Roughead 4 Breust Rioli 3 Hale Langford Puopolo Schoenmakers 2 Ceglar Gunston Hartung, Hill Mitchell Suckling Best Melbourne Garlett Pedersen T McDonald N Jones Hawthorn Mitchell Hartung Hill Roughead Burgoyne Langford Shiels Ceglar Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Cam Pedersen Hawthorn Isaac Smith (illness) replaced in the selected side by Jonathan Simpkin Injuries Melbourne Christian Salem (hamstring) Hawthorn Nil Substitutes Melbourne Billy Stretch replaced Christian Salem in the second quarter Hawthorn Jonathan Simpkin replaced David Hale in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Rosebury Edwards Ryan Official crowd 41,935 at the MCG
  16. Unfortunately, we still need to give votes to six players.
  17. During the week some of our readers would have received a survey from the MFC and the AFL, seeking their opinion of the Fan Experience, which has resulted in our senses being assailed by bright lights, loud music and boorish ground announcers. Sadly for the Demon supporters they would be happy for some fan experience of the traditional type going to see their side compete ... perchance winning now and then, and even dreaming of the fan experience of the Hawthorn supporters who have witnessed decades of success both on and off the field. But the only experience they got was another shellacking from a team that is obviously a premiership contender (again), and a football lesson on how very, very far the Demons are from being both relevant and successful in todays competition. And that shellacking was delivered without the services of Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis! The opening two goals by the Demons pointed to something possible, before the Hawks had registered a major but the first two goals to the Hawks came from direct turnovers, as the Melbourne players set about destroying their own confidence. To finish the quarter they then piled on another four for good measure, as the players in Red and Blue in many cases stood idly by. That was bettered again the 3rd with an 8 goal haul, and another 6 in the final term to round it out nicely. Were it not for Tom McDonald and Col Garland the rout that was to ensue would have been even uglier. And yes, they made a couple of mistakes themselves, but when the ball keeps coming in so freely and often, they can be more than forgiven. Similarly Nathan Jones played his guts out again, and seems to have lost all the promised support he had at year start. It certainly doesnt help when your ruckman cant hit the ball remotely near a red and blue shirted player. Or even to hit the ball! What cant be forgiven is the unwillingness to run and run hard when needed by the Melbourne players. A classic example was when Gibson gathered the ball in the Hawthorn backline and delivered to Rioli on the wing. As Rioli ran forward to eventually score the goal, Gibson ran behind him all the way to the goal line, protecting him from any defenders. A look back to the Melbourne forward line saw Gibson's direct opponent still standing, looking downfield. For the Hawks it is all about team! The ruthlessness of Hawthorn has to be admired and their goal-kicking and field delivery is exceptional. Roughead, Gunston, Suckling, and Bruest have the most delightful kicking style and accuracy. The 50 metre arc is only a way-point to goal as they consistently make the distance and usually the accuracy. Contrast that with the efforts of a number of Melbourne players who couldnt make either the distance or the accuracy from points well inside the 50 metre arc. While the overall result wouldnt have changed, another 5 or 6 very gettable goals start to make the score-line respectable and give some hope for the future. But even if everything had gone our way up forward, the obvious holes and NQR players proliferate throughout the side. We have imported, traded and drafted some serious talent over the past 2 years, but when the names of M. Jones, Bail, Grimes, Howe and Spencer appear in the team selected, we can be certain that we are scraping the barrel. The fact that we HAVE to play kids like Billy Stretch, Angus Brayshaw and then supplement them with other first year players like Aaron Vandenberg, shows the true lack of depth that the club faces. Yet all of these first year players acquitted themselves admirably. That no one in the Casey lineup can or is capable of giving them a rest is a real indictment. By season's end they may well be burnt out, battered and deflated. Even more so when they realise what some players are being paid to run around with the Scorpions! Contrast those NQR players with the performance, and strong marking efforts of Cam Pedersen, who truly took his slim opportunity to play at senior level and turned it into a sterling performance. He willed himself to contests and created opportunities up forward to not only score three goals off his own boot but give Garlett chances that wouldnt have otherwise happened. Then he pinch hits in the ruck and even gives us a couple of clearances that were non-existent for most of the match. Hell be back next week, and unfortunately the list will be populated with more of the NQR players again. Losing Christian Salem to a hamstring makes the selection committee's job even harder as they are forced to put forward names that simply shouldnt be on the radar. Worse still is the fan experience that the supporters will be forced to endure when those same players run out on the ground again, and perform to the same miserable standards that we have witnessed all this season. Melbourne 2.0.12 3.3.21 4.6.30 7.8.50 HAWTHORN 6.2.38 10.6.66 18.8.116 24.11.155 Goals Melbourne Garlett Pedersen 3 Bail Hawthorn Roughead 4 Breust Rioli 3 Hale Langford Puopolo Schoenmakers 2 Ceglar Gunston Hartung, Hill Mitchell Suckling Best Melbourne Garlett Pedersen T McDonald N Jones Hawthorn Mitchell Hartung Hill Roughead Burgoyne Langford Shiels Ceglar Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Cam Pedersen Hawthorn Isaac Smith (illness) replaced in the selected side by Jonathan Simpkin Injuries Melbourne Christian Salem (hamstring) Hawthorn Nil Substitutes Melbourne Billy Stretch replaced Christian Salem in the second quarter Hawthorn Jonathan Simpkin replaced David Hale in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Rosebury Edwards Ryan Official crowd 41,935 at the MCG
  18. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 7

    I really wish that I could believe what Chris Dawes said this week about coming up against the Hawks and his personal battle with Chip but really ...
  19. READY FOR THE KILL by Whispering Jack A couple of weeks ago, we breathed a sigh of relief when two of Hawthorn's most important players lost the plot and earned themselves a few weeks holiday courtesy of the AFL system which punishes such indiscretions as whacking unsuspecting opponents in the head and the like. It didn't take long for the suspensions of Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to have a negative impact on the Hawks. Their surprise defeat at the hands of the GWS Giants put them three games behind competition leader Fremantle and, even at this early stage of proceedings that makes the possibility of them having to negotiate an interstate final a likely outcome given the line-up of teams currently near the top of the table. All this spells trouble for Melbourne reeling from consecutive big losses at the hands of two of those big guns and now staring down the barrel at a confrontation with the wounded reigning premiers. They are not likely to take the Demons easily or give any concessions but rather will approach this clash with a heightened sense of "unsociability" given how problematic a surprise defeat at the hands of an AFL minnow would be to its prospects of pulling off an AFL premiership "threepeat". So Melbourne fans going to Saturday afternoon's away game at the MCG should not draw any solace from the fact that Hodge and Lewis are going to be sitting in the stands along with one or two of their key defenders. Hawthorn will come out fully pumped, ready for the kill and out to add to its imposing string of impressive wins (eleven in a row) mostly by huge winning margins stretching out to almost a decade. And sadly, judging by how meekly their opponents have succumbed in the past couple of matches, they won't need to whack any heads to achieve that feat again on Saturday. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday 16 May 2015 at 2.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 83 wins Melbourne 74 wins At MCG Hawthorn 42 wins Melbourne 35 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Clarkson 1 win Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Sports Channel 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Hawthorn $1.13 to win Melbourne $6.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 17.13.115 defeated Melbourne 9.11.65 in Round 20, 2014 at the MCG It was just another one of the many since Melbourne beat them on a Friday night in 2006 before the deluge came for the Demons. Nothing changed. They came out. Went bang. We lost by 50 points. THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Shaun Burgoyne, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Taylor Duryea C: Bradley Hill, Sam Mitchell, Matthew Suckling HF: Isaac Smith, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli F: Ben McEvoy, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Paul Puopolo, Liam Shiels I/C: Ryan Schoenmakers, Will Langford, Angus Litherland, Billy Hartung EMG: Daniel Howe, Jonathan Simpkin, Tim O'Brien IN: James Frawley, Angus Litherland OUT: Jed Anderson, Brendan Whitecross MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Jack Grimes, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe C: Daniel Cross, Nathan Jones, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Rohan Bail F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Aaron Vandenberg FOLL: Jake Spencer, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Matt Jones, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch, Jimmy Toumpas EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Cameron Pedersen IN: Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones, Viv Michie OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris (groin), Ben Newton, Cam Pedersen, Jack Watts Hawthorn's reputation is not only one of "unsociability" but it is also completely ruthless and, unfortunately for Melbourne, that streak has come out the most this year when the Hawks have been recently wounded. You only need to look at how they bounced back after losses to Essendon and Port Melbourne by flogging the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne to know that there will be no complacency in the camp after their upset loss to Greater Western Sydney which was their first ever to one of the two new franchise clubs. The problem for Melbourne is that it has almost picked the wrong week to come up against Hawthorn. Sure, it would have been much worse had Hodge, Lewis and Lake been available but the Hawks have a happy knack of being able to cover their losses reasonably well. Even without their two highly regarded midfielders, they have the likes of Sam Mitchell and Shaun Burgoyne in the heart of the ground with dangerous players like Cyril, Brad Hill and Liam Shiels thereabouts and they have class everywhere on the ground. This should all prove to much for the Demons whose stocks are somewhat depleted. Even with their best 22 available they would struggle but this week, it could get ugly. Hawthorn by 57 points.
  20. A couple of weeks ago, we breathed a sigh of relief when two of Hawthorn's most important players lost the plot and earned themselves a few weeks holiday courtesy of the AFL system which punishes such indiscretions as whacking unsuspecting opponents in the head and the like. It didn't take long for the suspensions of Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to have a negative impact on the Hawks. Their surprise defeat at the hands of the GWS Giants put them three games behind competition leader Fremantle and, even at this early stage of proceedings that makes the possibility of them having to negotiate an interstate final a likely outcome given the line-up of teams currently near the top of the table. All this spells trouble for Melbourne reeling from consecutive big losses at the hands of two of those big guns and now staring down the barrel at a confrontation with the wounded reigning premiers. They are not likely to take the Demons easily or give any concessions but rather will approach this clash with a heightened sense of "unsociability" given how problematic a surprise defeat at the hands of an AFL minnow would be to its prospects of pulling off an AFL premiership "threepeat". So Melbourne fans going to Saturday afternoon's away game at the MCG should not draw any solace from the fact that Hodge and Lewis are going to be sitting in the stands along with one or two of their key defenders. Hawthorn will come out fully pumped, ready for the kill and out to add to its imposing string of impressive wins (eleven in a row) mostly by huge winning margins stretching out to almost a decade. And sadly, judging by how meekly their opponents have succumbed in the past couple of matches, they won't need to whack any heads to achieve that feat again on Saturday. THE GAME Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday 16 May 2015 at 2.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Hawthorn 83 wins Melbourne 74 wins At MCG Hawthorn 42 wins Melbourne 35 wins Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Clarkson 1 win Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Sports Channel 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Hawthorn $1.13 to win Melbourne $6.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 17.13.115 defeated Melbourne 9.11.65 in Round 20, 2014 at the MCG It was just another one of the many since Melbourne beat them on a Friday night in 2006 before the deluge came for the Demons. Nothing changed. They came out. Went bang. We lost by 50 points. THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Shaun Burgoyne, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Taylor Duryea C: Bradley Hill, Sam Mitchell, Matthew Suckling HF: Isaac Smith, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli F: Ben McEvoy, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Paul Puopolo, Liam Shiels I/C: Ryan Schoenmakers, Will Langford, Angus Litherland, Billy Hartung EMG: Daniel Howe, Jonathan Simpkin, Tim O'Brien IN: James Frawley, Angus Litherland OUT: Jed Anderson, Brendan Whitecross MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Jack Grimes, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe C: Daniel Cross, Nathan Jones, Heritier Lumumba HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Rohan Bail F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Aaron Vandenberg FOLL: Jake Spencer, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Matt Jones, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch, Jimmy Toumpas EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Cameron Pedersen IN: Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones, Viv Michie OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris (groin), Ben Newton, Cam Pedersen, Jack Watts Hawthorn's reputation is not only one of "unsociability" but it is also completely ruthless and, unfortunately for Melbourne, that streak has come out the most this year when the Hawks have been recently wounded. You only need to look at how they bounced back after losses to Essendon and Port Melbourne by flogging the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne to know that there will be no complacency in the camp after their upset loss to Greater Western Sydney which was their first ever to one of the two new franchise clubs. The problem for Melbourne is that it has almost picked the wrong week to come up against Hawthorn. Sure, it would have been much worse had Hodge, Lewis and Lake been available but the Hawks have a happy knack of being able to cover their losses reasonably well. Even without their two highly regarded midfielders, they have the likes of Sam Mitchell and Shaun Burgoyne in the heart of the ground with dangerous players like Cyril, Brad Hill and Liam Shiels thereabouts and they have class everywhere on the ground. This should all prove to much for the Demons whose stocks are somewhat depleted. Even with their best 22 available they would struggle but this week, it could get ugly. Hawthorn by 57 points.
  21. Demonland

    LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was just another day in the bomb shelter ... THE TEAMS HAWTHORN B: Taylor Duryea, Josh Gibson, Matt Spangher HB: Luke Hodge, Ben Stratton, Grant Birchall C: Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Matthew Suckling HF: Bradley Hill, Ryan Schoenmakers, Luke Breust F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Jordan Lewis FOLL: Ben McEvoy, Shaun Burgoyne, Liam Shiels I/C: David Hale, Jonathan Simpkin, Billy Hartung, Will Langford EMG: Jonathon Ceglar, Angus Litherland, Alex Woodward IN: Billy Hartung, Sam Mitchell, Isaac Smith OUT: Jack Gunston (knee), Angus Litherland, Alex Woodward MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Matt Jones C: Rohan Bail, Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross HF: Jay Kennedy-Harris, James Frawley, Jack Watts F: Mark Jamar, Chris Dawes, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dom Barry, Viv Michie, Aidan Riley, Jack Viney EMG: Jack Fitzpatrick, Jordie McKenzie, Daniel Nicholson IN: Dom Barry, Daniel Cross, Max Gawn, Matt Jones, Viv Michie OUT: Blease, McKenzie, Pedersen (head), Tapscott (knee), Terlich
  22. SQUAWKING by Whispering Jack This match report on the Round 20 game between Melbourne and Hawthorn opens with a definitive statement: "Forget about all of this baloney about Melbourne being scarred by tanking talk. That controversy was five years ago, and to raise it now simply smells of a club looking for excuses." The excuse-making and squawking after last week's pathetic capitulation to the Brisbane Lions was hopefully an aberration on the part of Demon coach Paul Roos which will not be repeated. He may not have been aware of it, but his comments would open up old wounds and allow some to approach their soap boxes and raise old agendas that need to be set aside if the club is to progress. Moreover, telling players publicly that they are wounded by a long gone event that happened when only 20% of the current list was at the club (including some of its better players who are by no means haunted by the experience) is likely to be counterproductive. It certainly turned out that way in the game against Hawthorn. The Hawks dominated from go to whoa and at times, toyed with the Demons whose play was still very much defensive and stilted in style and which contained the fair share of hesitation, skill errors and turnovers. Thankfully, some of the changes to the line up necessitated by last week's fiasco, gave the team a harder edge and we saw less of the bumbling and stumbling that highlighted that performance. Of course, that was a necessity given that the Demons were playing the top of the ladder Hawks rather than the lowly Lions of a week before. In the end, Melbourne lost by 50 points but it was one in which it would have succumbed by double that only twelve months ago. The team once again failed to score even ten goals and there was little to suggest any impending improvement in its forward potency. Chris Dawes continues to disappoint as the team's only true key forward. He did have an interrupted preseason but he doesn't seem to be playing with his earlier zest and needs the back up of at least one or two other effective talls up forward if there is to be improvement in this department. Max Gawn's return to the team after a strong month in the VFL was a promising start. Again, quoting from the above article: "Five of Melbournes first seven goals came from direct kicks to the space in front of the goalsquare, and yet that particularly option seemed the one they were least inclined to take. "Instead, there were numerous passages of play where Melbourne second-guessed itself. At one point in the second term Chris Dawes came streaming up the wing, marking beautifully on the lead. His first instinct was to then turn around and kick it 45 metres backwards, prompting booing from the Members Stand." ... and ... "There were even instances where Melbourne players were in the clear within 30 or 40 metres of goal, and rather than taking the shot, they looked to handball to a teammate under even more pressure." Clearly, none of this has anything to do with what might have taken place in the "vault" at the Junction Oval or how a team that lost 11 out of its first 12 games in Dean Bailey's second season as coach and which culminated in an expression of dismay by the tanking accusers that Melbourne had the temerity to lose its last game of the 2009 to top-of-the-ladder St. Kilda. To suggest otherwise is, at best, indulging in fantasy. The Demons were well served by its usual midfield guns in Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson while Neville Jetta continues to shine and demonstrate why he is easily the club's most improved player. As mentioned above, Gawn helped to improve the forward set up and Aidan Riley had a real impact when he was substituted into the game. One expects the club will continue to give its young players every chance for the rest of the season instead of those who have been around, had their chances and failed to deliver in the past. One also hopes that somehow, the team will play with some more positivity when going into attack from now on as it would, at the very least, give the club's success-starved fans something to look forward to for the remainder of the season and beyond. Melbourne 2.1.13 4.5.29 7.8.50 9.11.65 Hawthorn4.4.28 10.8.68 15.8.98 17.13.115 Goals Melbourne Gawn 2 Dawes Frawley, Kennedy-Harris Kent Riley Tyson Viney Hawthorn Roughead 5 Breust 3 Hill Smith 2 Hale Lewis Puopolo Schoenmakers Shiels Best Melbourne Tyson Jetta, N. Jones Howe Gawn Cross Hawthorn Lewis Shiels Roughead Smith Hodge Birchall Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn J Roughead for tripping D Tyson in the second quarter Umpires Nil Hawthorn Ben Ryan, Jeff Dalgleish, Nicholas Foot Crowd 37,082 at the MCG
  23. Well, we're 20 rounds in which means after this week our voting goes "in camera". In the meantime, please cast your votes and don't forget the Jones rule applies this week -
  24. Demonland

    SQUAWKING by Whispering Jack

    This match report on the Round 20 game between Melbourne and Hawthorn opens with a definitive statement: "Forget about all of this baloney about Melbourne being scarred by tanking talk. That controversy was five years ago, and to raise it now simply smells of a club looking for excuses." The excuse-making and squawking after last week's pathetic capitulation to the Brisbane Lions was hopefully an aberration on the part of Demon coach Paul Roos which will not be repeated. He may not have been aware of it, but his comments would open up old wounds and allow some to approach their soap boxes and raise old agendas that need to be set aside if the club is to progress. Moreover, telling players publicly that they are wounded by a long gone event that happened when only 20% of the current list was at the club (including some of its better players who are by no means haunted by the experience) is likely to be counterproductive. It certainly turned out that way in the game against Hawthorn. The Hawks dominated from go to whoa and at times, toyed with the Demons whose play was still very much defensive and stilted in style and which contained the fair share of hesitation, skill errors and turnovers. Thankfully, some of the changes to the line up necessitated by last week's fiasco, gave the team a harder edge and we saw less of the bumbling and stumbling that highlighted that performance. Of course, that was a necessity given that the Demons were playing the top of the ladder Hawks rather than the lowly Lions of a week before. In the end, Melbourne lost by 50 points but it was one in which it would have succumbed by double that only twelve months ago. The team once again failed to score even ten goals and there was little to suggest any impending improvement in its forward potency. Chris Dawes continues to disappoint as the team's only true key forward. He did have an interrupted preseason but he doesn't seem to be playing with his earlier zest and needs the back up of at least one or two other effective talls up forward if there is to be improvement in this department. Max Gawn's return to the team after a strong month in the VFL was a promising start. Again, quoting from the above article: "Five of Melbournes first seven goals came from direct kicks to the space in front of the goalsquare, and yet that particularly option seemed the one they were least inclined to take. "Instead, there were numerous passages of play where Melbourne second-guessed itself. At one point in the second term Chris Dawes came streaming up the wing, marking beautifully on the lead. His first instinct was to then turn around and kick it 45 metres backwards, prompting booing from the Members Stand." ... and ... "There were even instances where Melbourne players were in the clear within 30 or 40 metres of goal, and rather than taking the shot, they looked to handball to a teammate under even more pressure." Clearly, none of this has anything to do with what might have taken place in the "vault" at the Junction Oval or how a team that lost 11 out of its first 12 games in Dean Bailey's second season as coach and which culminated in an expression of dismay by the tanking accusers that Melbourne had the temerity to lose its last game of the 2009 to top-of-the-ladder St. Kilda. To suggest otherwise is, at best, indulging in fantasy. The Demons were well served by its usual midfield guns in Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson while Neville Jetta continues to shine and demonstrate why he is easily the club's most improved player. As mentioned above, Gawn helped to improve the forward set up and Aidan Riley had a real impact when he was substituted into the game. One expects the club will continue to give its young players every chance for the rest of the season instead of those who have been around, had their chances and failed to deliver in the past. One also hopes that somehow, the team will play with some more positivity when going into attack from now on as it would, at the very least, give the club's success-starved fans something to look forward to for the remainder of the season and beyond. Melbourne 2.1.13 4.5.29 7.8.50 9.11.65 Hawthorn4.4.28 10.8.68 15.8.98 17.13.115 Goals Melbourne Gawn 2 Dawes Frawley, Kennedy-Harris Kent Riley Tyson Viney Hawthorn Roughead 5 Breust 3 Hill Smith 2 Hale Lewis Puopolo Schoenmakers Shiels Best Melbourne Tyson Jetta, N. Jones Howe Gawn Cross Hawthorn Lewis Shiels Roughead Smith Hodge Birchall Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn J Roughead for tripping D Tyson in the second quarter Umpires Nil Hawthorn Ben Ryan, Jeff Dalgleish, Nicholas Foot Crowd 37,082 at the MCG
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