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Found 16 results

  1. We still have a lot to learn ... and a long way to go.
  2. The same old drill ... Votes 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  3. AND IT STARTS AGAIN ... by The Oracle Melbourne goes into the 2018 season full of the usual hope that fills up an coming teams that are starting to show maturity and it comes up against the perfect opponent to show its wares against in Sunday afternoon’s blockbuster at the MCG. Aside from Richmond which by far exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2017 including its own, Geelong is a club that certainly surprised many with its third placed finish and a home and away record of 16 wins and 6 defeats that paved the way for a Preliminary Final appearance after beating the Swans in a Semi Final. They weren’t supposed to go that far but the Cats ended up a mere whisker away from a grand final and their fans are adamant that they could have gone all the way had they been given a chance. But the Demons were the real coulda, woulda, shoulda team of the competition as they failed to put away some of the competition’s lowly sides and stumbled late when the opportunity was there to build on percentage lost in the last-round to Collingwood who had nothing to gain while Melbourne had everything to lose. The result was that they not only missed September action by a record 0.5 percentage but had to wait an agonising 24 hours to brood over their fate. The team had a bad year with injury losing Jack Viney and others at the end and Max Gawn and Jesse Hogan for half a season soon after the start but they had a place in the finals all but wrapped up halfway through the last quarter of the penultimate game of the season only to permit 45 minutes of game time to destroy the dream. Along the way, there were a few missteps apart from the injury problems. The Demons were in the wars from day one with Bernie Vince reported in round 1 and Jordan Lewis copping three weeks and Jesse Hogan two in round 2 against Carlton. Clayton Oliver was involved in some uncomfortable on field incidents and then there was Tomas Bugg ... In light of the above, the controversial cancellation of the pre season training camp and the PR fiasco that followed has the football world wondering whether the Demons are made of the right stuff to step into what is for them, the unfamiliar territory of finals football. THE GAME Melbourne v Geelong at the MCG on Sunday 26 March 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 84 wins Geelong 128 wins 2 draws At MCG Melbourne 51 wins Geelong 52 wins The last five meetings Melbourne 1 win Geelong 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Scott 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 and Fox Sports Live RADIO - TBA LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 20.6.126 defeated Melbourne 13.19.97 at Etihad Stadium in Round 3, 2017 In what was a disastrous game for the Demons’ 2017 aspirations, Max Gawn tore his hamstring, the team dominated for much of the middle part of the game but bad kicking is bad football. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Jake Lever, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Bernie Vince, Jordan Lewis, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Cam Pedersen, James Harmes F: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen I/C: Jake Melksham, Mitch Hannan, Corey Maynard, Josh Wagner Emg: Angus Brayshaw, Tom Bugg, Sam Frost, Dom Tyson NEW: Bayley Fritsch (Casey Demons), Jake Lever (Adelaide) GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Harry Taylor, Zach Tuohy HB: Mark Blicavs, Tom Stewart, Jed Bus C: Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan HF: Cory Gregson, Esava Ratugolea, James Parsons F: Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, Brendan Parfitt R: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, Sam Menegola I/C: Lachie Fogarty, Zac Guthrie, Tim Kelly, Jordan Murdoch Emg: Charlie Constable, Jordan Cunico, Rhys Stanley, Cameron Thurlow NEW: Lachie Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Esava Ratugolea (Murray Bushrangers) OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Whispering Jack The shadow of injuries to key players looms heavily over this game with the Cats missing one of the jewels of their midfield triumvirate in Paddy Dangerfield and coming in with underdone veteran Gary Ablett back for the first time since leaving the Suns while the Demons have been rocked by the news that Jack Viney and Tom McDonald will miss six-to-eight weeks and the surprise omission from the final team of Andrew Brayshaw and Dom Tyson. This is however, not the time to dwell on injuries. We are on the cusp of a new season and this is the exact time of year for clubs not only to make statements about the year ahead but to stake their early claims for finals places. As Melbourne learned to their pain in 2017, every game and every quarter of football counts. The shortfall of two goals that cost it a place last year could just as easily have been made up in the opening quarter of its first game against St Kilda as it could in the last quarter against Collingwood in Round 23. And with that in mind, I’m tipping the Demons who have lived and breathed with this thought for the past six months. Even though pre season form is not necessarily a guide to anything much in particular, it was the way they impressed in their unbeaten two game JLT Community Series that sways my thinking. They outclassed North Melbourne and dominated St Kilda for all but a quarter but it was the way they did it, without relying on dominant individuals in any part of the ground that resonated with me. The fact that they had multiple goal kickers in both games and generally dominated the opposition midfields in a total team effort that is thematic of today’s game. It’s how the Tigers came out of the pack in the latter part of last year with their high pressure game that made the difference in the end. That is why losing a Viney or a T McDonald might be inconvenient in the short term but it won’t make a difference against Geelong. The Cats are now heavily dependent on their midfield which was below par in the JLT series and without Dangerfield they look to be highly exposed. It would take a superhuman effort from G Ablett (the “G” standing for “Grandfather”) or a substantial amount of successful head ducking from Joel Selwood to get them across the line this week. Sunday’s game is the first MCG clash between these teams since 2014. I can’t remember the last time Melbourne beat Geelong on their home ground but the time has come. It will happen in game one with Demons coming out of the shadows to win by 10 points.
  4. After the 2017 finale to the season, where the Demons were denied a finals spot by ½ a percent, surely the message about those little efforts in a game which affect the final outcome should have been learned. Yet again, the Demons failed at the final hurdle, and it wasn’t that a Max Gawn shot on goal cost the game, but when those chances are given to a player, it can mean the difference between winning and losing ... or missing the finals by ½ a per cent. And there were others in the game who stuffed up opportunities that would have broken Geelong’s back and they too fluffed those chances. Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen and Corey Maynard all produced some shockers at critical times, and the overall situation wasn’t helped by the sheer lack of output from too many in the side. Mitch Hannan with only 9 touches, Salem with 12, ANB with 13 simply wasn’t good enough when playing through the mid-field, and each and every one of these will come under scrutiny for their places next week, especially since the likes of Dom Tyson, Sam Frost, Tom Bugg and Angus Brayshaw stand match ready. The real positive to come out of this game was that Geelong (even without Dangerfield) were and probably still are a top 4 side. That is the standard that the Demons have to aspire to, and they took it up to the Cats the whole game. Virtually all statistics, but for uncontested marks were nearly identical, yet this stat showed the willingness of the Geelong players to run to position and offer an option. Equally troubling was the lack of willingness to “man up” in those one on one situations, and the Melbourne players too often let their direct opponent run into that space, without being right on their shoulder. The other troubling problem was the lack of forward pressure from the small forwards. Geelong were always playing one extra deep in defence and often up to three extras behind the ball. The likes of Jeff Garlett, James Harmes and need to tackle and harass, Garlett with a solitary tackle and Hannan with 2. Harmes had 4, but most of his efforts were broken. As well they didn’t provide the ground-level support to Hogan who was a first rate target and brought the ball to ground, only to find no Melbourne forward at his feet. With three goals to his name after being double-teamed for much of the game, this was a courageous outcome from him. First gamer Bailey Fritsch showed more than enough in his debut with his strong aerial capabilities and willingness to compete. And down back Jordan Lewis and Bernie Vince held the fortress time and time again with 17 and 24 touches each, and Lewis having 10 contested possessions. Most will overlook Oscar McDonald’s efforts, but his direct opponent in Tom Hawkins finished the day with a solitary behind! Next week is an away game against a young Brisbane side. To avoid a repeat of 2017, this is a side that not only needs to be beaten, but beaten by a large margin, to ensure the percentage boost necessary to put the Demons in a good place come year end, when a spot on the ladder can be made or lost by a goal here or there……or ½ of one %! Melbourne 6.1.37 8.5.53 12.9.81 13.16.94 Geelong 5.3.33 12.8.80 13.10.88 14.13.97 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Neal-Bullen Pedersen 2 Fritsch Garlett Gawn Hannan Oliver Petracca Geelong Menzel 4 Parfitt 2 Ablett Fogarty C Guthrie Kelly Murdoch Parsons Ratugolea Smith Best Melbourne Petracca Gawn Oliver Jones Hogan Lewis Geelong Selwood Ablett Menzel Duncan Parfitt Kelly Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong Taylor (foot), Stewart (ankle) C Guthrie (groin) Reports Nil Umpires Stevic, Deboy, Gavine Official crowd 54,112 at the MCG
  5. ½ PER CENT DEMONS by George on the Outer After the 2017 finale to the season, where the Demons were denied a finals spot by ½ a percent, surely the message about those little efforts in a game which affect the final outcome should have been learned. Yet again, the Demons failed at the final hurdle, and it wasn’t that a Max Gawn shot on goal cost the game, but when those chances are given to a player, it can mean the difference between winning and losing ... or missing the finals by ½ a per cent. And there were others in the game who stuffed up opportunities that would have broken Geelong’s back and they too fluffed those chances. Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen and Corey Maynard all produced some shockers at critical times, and the overall situation wasn’t helped by the sheer lack of output from too many in the side. Mitch Hannan with only 9 touches, Salem with 12, ANB with 13 simply wasn’t good enough when playing through the mid-field, and each and every one of these will come under scrutiny for their places next week, especially since the likes of Dom Tyson, Sam Frost, Tom Bugg and Angus Brayshaw stand match ready. The real positive to come out of this game was that Geelong (even without Dangerfield) were and probably still are a top 4 side. That is the standard that the Demons have to aspire to, and they took it up to the Cats the whole game. Virtually all statistics, but for uncontested marks were nearly identical, yet this stat showed the willingness of the Geelong players to run to position and offer an option. Equally troubling was the lack of willingness to “man up” in those one on one situations, and the Melbourne players too often let their direct opponent run into that space, without being right on their shoulder. The other troubling problem was the lack of forward pressure from the small forwards. Geelong were always playing one extra deep in defence and often up to three extras behind the ball. The likes of Jeff Garlett, James Harmes and need to tackle and harass, Garlett with a solitary tackle and Hannan with 2. Harmes had 4, but most of his efforts were broken. As well they didn’t provide the ground-level support to Hogan who was a first rate target and brought the ball to ground, only to find no Melbourne forward at his feet. With three goals to his name after being double-teamed for much of the game, this was a courageous outcome from him. First gamer Bailey Fritsch showed more than enough in his debut with his strong aerial capabilities and willingness to compete. And down back Jordan Lewis and Bernie Vince held the fortress time and time again with 17 and 24 touches each, and Lewis having 10 contested possessions. Most will overlook Oscar McDonald’s efforts, but his direct opponent in Tom Hawkins finished the day with a solitary behind! Next week is an away game against a young Brisbane side. To avoid a repeat of 2017, this is a side that not only needs to be beaten, but beaten by a large margin, to ensure the percentage boost necessary to put the Demons in a good place come year end, when a spot on the ladder can be made or lost by a goal here or there……or ½ of one %! Melbourne 6.1.37 8.5.53 12.9.81 13.16.94 Geelong 5.3.33 12.8.80 13.10.88 14.13.97 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Neal-Bullen Pedersen 2 Fritsch Garlett Gawn Hannan Oliver Petracca Geelong Menzel 4 Parfitt 2 Ablett Fogarty C Guthrie Kelly Murdoch Parsons Ratugolea Smith Best Melbourne Petracca Gawn Oliver Jones Hogan Lewis Geelong Selwood Ablett Menzel Duncan Parfitt Kelly Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong Taylor (foot), Stewart (ankle) C Guthrie (groin) Reports Nil Umpires Stevic, Deboy, Gavine Official crowd 54,112 at the MCG
  6. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 1

    The two oldest clubs in the game do battle today but Geelong has regularly held the upper hand for well over a decade in our own heartland. Time to take the MCG back.
  7. Demonland

    The Last Time they Met

    The game was at Etihad and it was a disaster ... THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Zach Touhy, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Jackson Thurlow C: Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Sam Menegola HF: James Parsons, Harry Taylor, Brandan Parfitt F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Daniel Menzel FOLL: Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Cameron Guthrie I/C: Mitch Duncan, Lincoln McCarthy, Jordan Murdoch, Tom Ruggles EMG: Jed Bews, Darcy Lang, Rhys Stanley IN: Cameron Guthrie, Sam Menegola, James Parsons, Zac Smith OUT: Josh Cowan (managed), George Horlin-Smith (hand), Darcy Lang (omitted), Rhys Stanley (omitted) NEW: James Parsons MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt HB: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, James Harmes HF: Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Christian Petracca, Timothy Smith FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney I/C: Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts EMG: Tomas Bugg, Cameron Pedersen, Jake Spencer IN: Dean Kent Timothy Smith, Bernie Vince OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted), Jesse Hogan (suspended), Jordan Lewis (suspended) NEW: Timothy Smith
  8. Melbourne goes into the 2018 season full of the usual hope that fills up an coming teams that are starting to show maturity and it comes up against the perfect opponent to show its wares against in Sunday afternoon’s blockbuster at the MCG. Aside from Richmond which by far exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2017 including its own, Geelong is a club that certainly surprised many with its third placed finish and a home and away record of 16 wins and 6 defeats that paved the way for a Preliminary Final appearance after beating the Swans in a Semi Final. They weren’t supposed to go that far but the Cats ended up a mere whisker away from a grand final and their fans are adamant that they could have gone all the way had they been given a chance. But the Demons were the real coulda, woulda, shoulda team of the competition as they failed to put away some of the competition’s lowly sides and stumbled late when the opportunity was there to build on percentage lost in the last-round to Collingwood who had nothing to gain while Melbourne had everything to lose. The result was that they not only missed September action by a record 0.5 percentage but had to wait an agonising 24 hours to brood over their fate. The team had a bad year with injury losing Jack Viney and others at the end and Max Gawn and Jesse Hogan for half a season soon after the start but they had a place in the finals all but wrapped up halfway through the last quarter of the penultimate game of the season only to permit 45 minutes of game time to destroy the dream. Along the way, there were a few missteps apart from the injury problems. The Demons were in the wars from day one with Bernie Vince reported in round 1 and Jordan Lewis copping three weeks and Jesse Hogan two in round 2 against Carlton. Clayton Oliver was involved in some uncomfortable on field incidents and then there was Tomas Bugg ... In light of the above, the controversial cancellation of the pre season training camp and the PR fiasco that followed has the football world wondering whether the Demons are made of the right stuff to step into what is for them, the unfamiliar territory of finals football. THE GAME Melbourne v Geelong at the MCG on Sunday 26 March 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 84 wins Geelong 128 wins 2 draws At MCG Melbourne 51 wins Geelong 52 wins The last five meetings Melbourne 1 win Geelong 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Scott 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 and Fox Sports Live RADIO - TBA LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 20.6.126 defeated Melbourne 13.19.97 at Etihad Stadium in Round 3, 2017 In what was a disastrous game for the Demons’ 2017 aspirations, Max Gawn tore his hamstring, the team dominated for much of the middle part of the game but bad kicking is bad football. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Jake Lever, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Bernie Vince, Jordan Lewis, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Cam Pedersen, James Harmes F: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen I/C: Jake Melksham, Mitch Hannan, Corey Maynard, Josh Wagner Emg: Angus Brayshaw, Tom Bugg, Sam Frost, Dom Tyson NEW: Bayley Fritsch (Casey Demons), Jake Lever (Adelaide) GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Harry Taylor, Zach Tuohy HB: Mark Blicavs, Tom Stewart, Jed Bus C: Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan HF: Cory Gregson, Esava Ratugolea, James Parsons F: Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, Brendan Parfitt R: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, Sam Menegola I/C: Lachie Fogarty, Zac Guthrie, Tim Kelly, Mark O’Connor Emg: Charlie Constable, Jordan Cunico, Jordan Murdoch, Rhys Stanley NEW: Lachie Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Esava Ratugolea (Murray Bushrangers) OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Whispering Jack The shadow of injuries to key players looms heavily over this game with the Cats missing one of the jewels of their midfield triumvirate in Paddy Dangerfield and coming in with underdone veteran Gary Ablett back for the first time since leaving the Suns while the Demons have been rocked by the news that Jack Viney and Tom McDonald will miss six-to-eight weeks and the surprise omission from the final team of Andrew Brayshaw and Dom Tyson. This is however, not the time to dwell on injuries. We are on the cusp of a new season and this is the exact time of year for clubs not only to make statements about the year ahead but to stake their early claims for finals places. As Melbourne learned to their pain in 2017, every game and every quarter of football counts. The shortfall of two goals that cost it a place last year could just as easily have been made up in the opening quarter of its first game against St Kilda as it could in the last quarter against Collingwood in Round 23. And with that in mind, I’m tipping the Demons who have lived and breathed with this thought for the past six months. Even though pre season form is not necessarily a guide to anything much in particular, it was the way they impressed in their unbeaten two game JLT Community Series that sways my thinking. They outclassed North Melbourne and dominated St Kilda for all but a quarter but it was the way they did it, without relying on dominant individuals in any part of the ground that resonated with me. The fact that they had multiple goal kickers in both games and generally dominated the opposition midfields in a total team effort that is thematic of today’s game. It’s how the Tigers came out of the pack in the latter part of last year with their high pressure game that made the difference in the end. That is why losing a Viney or a T McDonald might be inconvenient in the short term but it won’t make a difference against Geelong. The Cats are now heavily dependent on their midfield which was below par in the JLT series and without Dangerfield they look to be highly exposed. It would take a superhuman effort from G Ablett (the “G” standing for “Grandfather”) or a substantial amount of successful head ducking from Joel Selwood to get them across the line this week. Sunday’s game is the first MCG clash between these teams since 2014. I can’t remember the last time Melbourne beat Geelong on their home ground but the time has come. It will happen in game one with Demons coming out of the shadows to win by 10 points.
  9. One of the worst performances from a Melbourne team on the MCG. Yes - we had some debacles in the past few years but we're supposed to have a good coach and some players now and we surely have gone backwards in the last two weeks.
  10. I just figured out that we give more votes every week than we kick goals but please go ahead anyway.
  11. Whispering_Jack

    CATS AND DOGS by George on the Outer

    Usually the phrase "cats and dogs" is reserved for heavy downpours of rain and bad weather. And with the weather at the MCG showing a temperature that barely got into double figures, it was a similar scoreboard outcome for the Demons when they turned up to play the Cats. And Cats and Dogs it was. The Cats rained goals and the Demons played like Dogs. Not a solitary goal in the first quarter again, and trailing by 10 goals at half time, the supporters were hoping that the heavens truly opened to slow down the Geelong scoring. Whether they took the foot off the accelerator or just stopped trying too hard in the second half, the final score showed a similar margin at the final bell. Paul Roos said before the game, "We've still got seven dress-rehearsal games for pre-season, that's the way I look at it,".and "For some of them you can shape your career in a pretty short space of time." Well today some had their careers truly shaped and it wont be the way they would like. Luke Tapscott marked his cards with a 4 kick and zero mark performance. Jack Watts has probably got trade at all costs on his ticket, after yet another lacklustre performance. Yet Aidan Riley with a 17 disposal and 7 tackle game, not to mention the G & D that he shows all the time has his card marked as a keeper for 2015. When we see Lynden Dunn playing forward, James Frawley down back again and Cam Pedersen making his mark around the ground, then we know that Roos is true to his word. He now knows a thing or two about those sorts of players and what he can do with them in the future its the fringe players who are either choosing not to or are incapable of performing at the standard required by Roos who are writing their tickets right now. In contrast Geelong showed little which would suggest a Grand Final appearance this year. Yes they are methodical and their players are willing to run to space and provide options, but there are an awful lot of ordinary players in that side now, who are being held in good stead by the likes of Johnson, Bartel, Selwood and Kelly. Would that the Demons had players of that quality to rely upon! Unfortunately, we depend on second year players like Jack Viney to show how the game should be played, or Mark Jamar who showed resilience and fortitude all day long in the ruck. We all know these couple of games are a real test for the club, as they have to play 5 of the top 6 sides in an 8 week period. We could not expect to win against such quality at this end of the season, but the team is being let down again by those who capitulate all that easily when the game gets a little tough. Roos job is being made really, really easy. There wont be players who are marginal, there wont be an argument about whether they can or cant. The proof is being made all too obvious through actual performance. There will be no room for Dogs in a Demons side in 2015. Melbourne 0.2.2 2.5.17 4.6.30 5.6.36 Geelong 3.7.25 11.10.76 12.13.85 14.18.102 Goals Melbourne Howe 2 Keny Pedersen Vince Geelong Hawkins 3 Johnson Kersten 2 Bartel Christensen Duncan Guthrie Hartman McIntosh Motlop Best Melbourne Riley Viney Garland Howe N Jones Frawley Geelong Selwood Motlop Johnson McIntosh Mackie Kelly Guthrie Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong (knee) Changes Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Stevic, Hay, Armstrong Crowd 36,385 at the MCG
  12. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 17

    The weather report says "showers easing, chance of hail" but I just looked outside the window and the sun was shining. Sounds like a wonderful day coming up today.
  13. FLEETING MOMENTS by Whispering Jack There was a fleeting moment earlier in the week when I thought to myself, "we might win this." My logic was based on the fact that a little over a week ago, Melbourne came very close to beating the Western Bulldogs with a final score of 13.7.85 to 14.7.91. It was a defeat by a mere goal and we know full well that had the umpires used their whistles properly in those dying moments, a different result might well have ensued. And some tighter play on first year Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli might have prevented those final two snap shot goals from out of his backside that won his team the four points. So moving forward seven days, the same Bulldogs took on Geelong who are Melbourne's opponents this week but this time they registered not one but two scoring shots at goal more than their opponent to score 7.14.56 to 10.9.69. However, this time, they lost by 13 points. You know where I'm going here. It's a trap many of us fall into when comparing the performance of teams over two games. I agonise over why could the Doggies not have kicked that 7.14 against us instead of 14.7. I also figure that if there's only one scoring shot difference between Melbourne and Geelong in consecutive games against the Bullies, then we have to be somewhere in the same ball park. Right? Wrong? Wrong, because I look at how Melbourne went even more recently - last Saturday night against Fremantle - and then I ask myself the rhetorical question, " what was I thinking?" I made the point some weeks earlier when Melbourne seemed to be coming out of its shell to surprise some reasonably good opposition with its grinding defensive play, that it was time for coach Paul Roos to encourage a little more attacking flair in the team. Instead of playing the game in stop, start pedestrian style that often can break down with skill errors, I advocated in favour of the players taking the game on a little bit but that's starting to look like a forlorn hope. Instead, we are seeing a different pattern emerging; one in which we try to assert defensive pressure and are broken down because we've become so predictable in how we play. In the end, the opposition get a run on as we lose confidence and those big bursts of goals more or less put us out of contention. Against Geelong this week, Melbourne is particularly exposed because even though the Cats aren't anywhere near their peak, they play exactly the type of game that breaks the defensive mould and then destroys it. I therefore can't see Melbourne coming close this week. Not even for a fleeting moment. THE GAME Melbourne v Geelong at the MCG on Saturday 12 July 2014 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins Geelong 125 wins 2 draws At the MCG Melbourne 51 wins 51 Geelong wins The last five years Melbourne 0 wins Geelong 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 Scott 0 MEDIA TV - Fox Sports Channel live at 1.30pm RADIO -Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne to win $7.00 Geelong to win $1.10 LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 13.20.98 defeated Melbourne 4.6.30 at Simonds Stadium in Round 16, 2013 It rained at Skilled Stadium and Melbourne had trouble in getting the ball into its forward half. The Demons managed a pitiful 19 incursions into the forward 50 (a record low) against 70 from the Cats. There are those who think it won't be much better this week. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Lynden Dunn, James Frawley, Colin Garland HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Jordie McKenzie HF: Matt Jones, Cam Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Rohan Bail, Chris Dawes, Jack Viney FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones I/C: Dean Kent, Aidan Riley, Luke Tapscott, Dean Terlich EMG: Sam Blease, Max Gawn, Christian Salem IN: Neville Jetta, Aidan Riley, Luke Tapscott OUT: Dom Barry, Max Gawn, Christian Salem GEELONG B: Corey Enright, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Cameron Guthrie, Harry Taylor, Jared Rivers C: Jimmy Bartel, Joel Selwood, Travis Varcoe HF: Allen Christensen, Shane Kersten, Jordan Murdoch F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson FOLL: Hamish McIntosh, James Kelly, Josh Caddy I/C: Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan, Brad Hartman,George Horlin-Smith EMG: Jed Bews, Dawson Simpson, Billie Smedts IN: James Kelly OUT: Jed Bews (omitted) It's a common story whenever Melbourne plays that it has to achieve a substantial breakthrough even to think of winning a game. This week's opposition, Geelong, has not only won the last nine encounters between the teams - it has done so by an average winning margin of 12 goals. These wins have come at the MCG, at the Cattery, in fine weather and foul, in wind and driving rain. If that's not enough, Melbourne has to butter up after a loss up in the tropical Top End. Not only does it have a problem winning games up there, it has even more difficulty in winning games immediately after the long trip north. And if that doesn't take care of the Demons, let's not forget that the Cats have a top four spot at stake and defeat at the hands of a bottom four team would surely be a catastrophe for them and the sleepy hollow of a town they represent. It would seem that the Demons' selectors have recognised some of the issues facing the team of late by omitting a few youngsters in Dom Barry, Max Gawn and Christian Salem and replacing them with a few stronger, harder bodied types like Aidan Riley and Luke Tapscott along with Neville Jetta returning from suspension. But the Demons need more than just a harder edge - they need a capacity to score, more avenues to goal and a way to move the ball a little more quickly than they have done of late. They have this penchant in recent times of kicking ridiculously low scores of three, four or five goals and with the conditions likely to be fairly dire - showers easing and local hail - I'm not holding out much hope of a big score. In terrible conditions last year, the Dees averaged less than five inside 50 entries per quarter for a total of four goals. On last week's form against the Dockers, can we expect much more? If there is to be a chance, then it might come in the most unlikely of places - the middle of the ground where Geelong has struggled to win clearances and create goal scoring opportunities for itself. If the likes of the Jones boys, Jack Viney and Dom Tysom can take charge at the stoppages and at the feet of an in form Mark Jamar and Jordie McKenzie can take care of Joel Selwood, there might be a brief ray of hope. But I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting. Geelong by 37 points
  14. There was a fleeting moment earlier in the week when I thought to myself, "we might win this." My logic was based on the fact that a little over a week ago, Melbourne came very close to beating the Western Bulldogs with a final score of 13.7.85 to 14.7.91. It was a defeat by a mere goal and we know full well that had the umpires used their whistles properly in those dying moments, a different result might well have ensued. And some tighter play on first year Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli might have prevented those final two snap shot goals from out of his backside that won his team the four points. So moving forward seven days, the same Bulldogs took on Geelong who are Melbourne's opponents this week but this time they registered not one but two scoring shots at goal more than their opponent to score 7.14.56 to 10.9.69. However, this time, they lost by 13 points. You know where I'm going here. It's a trap many of us fall into when comparing the performance of teams over two games. I agonise over why could the Doggies not have kicked that 7.14 against us instead of 14.7. I also figure that if there's only one scoring shot difference between Melbourne and Geelong in consecutive games against the Bullies, then we have to be somewhere in the same ball park. Right? Wrong? Wrong, because I look at how Melbourne went even more recently - last Saturday night against Fremantle - and then I ask myself the rhetorical question, " what was I thinking?" I made the point some weeks earlier when Melbourne seemed to be coming out of its shell to surprise some reasonably good opposition with its grinding defensive play, that it was time for coach Paul Roos to encourage a little more attacking flair in the team. Instead of playing the game in stop, start pedestrian style that often can break down with skill errors, I advocated in favour of the players taking the game on a little bit but that's starting to look like a forlorn hope. Instead, we are seeing a different pattern emerging; one in which we try to assert defensive pressure and are broken down because we've become so predictable in how we play. In the end, the opposition get a run on as we lose confidence and those big bursts of goals more or less put us out of contention. Against Geelong this week, Melbourne is particularly exposed because even though the Cats aren't anywhere near their peak, they play exactly the type of game that breaks the defensive mould and then destroys it. I therefore can't see Melbourne coming close this week. Not even for a fleeting moment. THE GAME Melbourne v Geelong at the MCG on Saturday 12 July 2014 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins Geelong 125 wins 2 draws At the MCG Melbourne 51 wins 51 Geelong wins The last five years Melbourne 0 wins Geelong 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 Scott 0 MEDIA TV - Fox Sports Channel live at 1.30pm RADIO -Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne to win $7.00 Geelong to win $1.10 LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 13.20.98 defeated Melbourne 4.6.30 at Simonds Stadium in Round 16, 2013 It rained at Skilled Stadium and Melbourne had trouble in getting the ball into its forward half. The Demons managed a pitiful 19 incursions into the forward 50 (a record low) against 70 from the Cats. There are those who think it won't be much better this week. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Lynden Dunn, James Frawley, Colin Garland HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Jordie McKenzie HF: Matt Jones, Cam Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Rohan Bail, Chris Dawes, Jack Viney FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones I/C: Dean Kent, Aidan Riley, Luke Tapscott, Dean Terlich EMG: Sam Blease, Max Gawn, Christian Salem IN: Neville Jetta, Aidan Riley, Luke Tapscott OUT: Dom Barry, Max Gawn, Christian Salem GEELONG B: Corey Enright, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Cameron Guthrie, Harry Taylor, Jared Rivers C: Jimmy Bartel, Joel Selwood, Travis Varcoe HF: Allen Christensen, Shane Kersten, Jordan Murdoch F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson FOLL: Hamish McIntosh, James Kelly, Josh Caddy I/C: Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan, Brad Hartman,George Horlin-Smith EMG: Jed Bews, Dawson Simpson, Billie Smedts IN: James Kelly OUT: Jed Bews (omitted) It's a common story whenever Melbourne plays that it has to achieve a substantial breakthrough even to think of winning a game. This week's opposition, Geelong, has not only won the last nine encounters between the teams - it has done so by an average winning margin of 12 goals. These wins have come at the MCG, at the Cattery, in fine weather and foul, in wind and driving rain. If that's not enough, Melbourne has to butter up after a loss up in the tropical Top End. Not only does it have a problem winning games up there, it has even more difficulty in winning games immediately after the long trip north. And if that doesn't take care of the Demons, let's not forget that the Cats have a top four spot at stake and defeat at the hands of a bottom four team would surely be a catastrophe for them and the sleepy hollow of a town they represent. It would seem that the Demons' selectors have recognised some of the issues facing the team of late by omitting a few youngsters in Dom Barry, Max Gawn and Christian Salem and replacing them with a few stronger, harder bodied types like Aidan Riley and Luke Tapscott along with Neville Jetta returning from suspension. But the Demons need more than just a harder edge - they need a capacity to score, more avenues to goal and a way to move the ball a little more quickly than they have done of late. They have this penchant in recent times of kicking ridiculously low scores of three, four or five goals and with the conditions likely to be fairly dire - showers easing and local hail - I'm not holding out much hope of a big score. In terrible conditions last year, the Dees averaged less than five inside 50 entries per quarter for a total of four goals. On last week's form against the Dockers, can we expect much more? If there is to be a chance, then it might come in the most unlikely of places - the middle of the ground where Geelong has struggled to win clearances and create goal scoring opportunities for itself. If the likes of the Jones boys, Jack Viney and Dom Tysom can take charge at the stoppages and at the feet of an in form Mark Jamar and Jordie McKenzie can take care of Joel Selwood, there might be a brief ray of hope. But I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting. Geelong by 37 points
  15. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was down at Simonds Stadium late last year when we kept Geelong down to less than 100 points - a rare feat in 2013. Trouble was they had 70 inside 50s to our 19 and scored 13.20.98 to 4.6.30. On our current form would we be happy with that? GEELONG Backs Cameron Guthrie Harry Taylor Josh Hunt Half backs Travis Varcoe Tom Lonergan Andrew Mackie Centreline Taylor Hunt Joel Selwood Mitch Duncan Half forwards Mathew Stokes James Podsiadly Billie Smedts Forwards Josh Caddy Tom Hawkins Steven Motlop Followers Dawson Simpson James Kelly Jimmy Bartel Interchange Mark Blicavs Steve Johnson Jordan Murdoch Jesse Stringer In Steve Johnson Travis Varcoe Billie Smedts Out Allen Christensen (hamstring) Joel Corey (concussion) Corey Enright (foot) MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs Tom McDonald James Frawley Mitchell Clisby Centreline Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Jack Grimes Half forwards Sam Blease Jack Watts Matt Jones Forwards Jack Fitzpatrick Chris Dawes Jeremy Howe Followers Max Gawn Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Shannon Byrnes Aaron Davey Dean Kent Daniel Nicholson Emergencies Jordie McKenzie Cameron Pedersen David Rodan In Sam Blease Out David Rodan
  16. Two weeks after the euphoria of the win over Richmond at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne catapulted back to earth and landed in the country's red centre. It wasn't a crash landing and there was a lot to like about the Demons who lost their second NAB Challenge match to a more skillful and composed Cats outfit at Traeger Park, Alice Springs by a mere 13 points. I have this feeling that the final margin might be a little flattering in view of the fact that the Demons achieved the result with the benefit of substantially less scoring shots, half the number of forward entries inside fifty metres and with the benefit of three nine-point supergoals which won't be available in the regular season but there were lots of positives among all of this including the comeback in the second quarter after a slow start and keeping Geelong goalless in the last. While we should never be happy with a defeat, the way the team performed produced an interesting conundrum for the club's coaching panel which opens the door for a positive future. Melbourne exceeded 400 disposals for the second time in a row but had far less inside 50's (31 to 62). which means that if Paul Roos can work out how his team can translate 444 touches into a lot more than 31 inside 50's there will be plenty to look forward to as the season unfolds. We are in the very early days of the Roos era and one would expect that he's been working on the answer for some time because it's not exactly a new phenomenon at the club. Part of the answer is to do away with a few of the less skilled players and therefore reduce the abysmal disposal and bad decision-making that results in bad turnovers and another part is to inject a few key talls - Frawley and Garland into the defence and Dawes and Clark into the forward line. The Roos style will get better and with the right personnel, I expect it will give his charges a good chance against all but the top sides this season. Certainly, the addition of Vince, Tyson, Cross and Michie to the midfield and the promise of young Hogan were all major plusses and I couldn't help but wonder what might have been had Kennedy-Harris been given another run instead of sending him off to the backblocks of Gippsland. We could be onto some good things in the near future and perhaps looking at up to 10 wins. Melbourne 0.3.0.18 2.5.0.48 2.7.1.61 3.9.3.84 Geelong 0.6.5.41 0.8.6.54 0.14.9.93 0.14.13.97 Supergoals Melbourne N Jones Michie Vince Geelong Nil Goals Melbourne Howe 2 Bail Cross Hogan N Jones Michie Toumpas Trengove Geelong Brown 3 Bartel Duncan Taylor 2 Caddy Hawkins Horlin-Smith Varcoe, Walker Best Melbourne Vince Tyson Cross N Jones Michie Dunn Geelong Duncan Caddy Johnson Bartel Horlin-Smith Rivers Injuries Melbourne Toumpas (head) Geelong Selwood (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Billie Smedts for striking Jimmy Toumpas in the third quarter Umpires Fleer Wenn Deboy Attendance 5,378 at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs
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