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Found 33 results

  1. Demonland

    Match Report - Round 23

    BULLDOZERS by George on the Outer It was a little over a week ago when the Fugazi about Melbourne was that it had yet to beat a team in the top eighth, that the word was that it may limp into the finals by dint of the results of games in other matches and it’s decent percentage. The “Bradbury Plan”, if you like. However, the last two games have shown that Melbourne is not just there for show or to make up the numbers by merely limping into September. The stirring finish against the Eagles and the emphatic victory over the Giants is sending a fearsome message to the other finalists - the Demons have simply bulldozed their way to fifth spot on the ladder, past two teams with expectation of solid finishes to the season. And the bulldozing has been emblematic of the type of gamestyle the coach has instilled into the players and with a group of extraordinarily young talent, they truly are setting themselves up for something exciting to come. Jordan Lewis has been attributed as reminding the players, that they not there just to make up the finals numbers. Rather, they are there to win them and, coming up against the Cats in the first Elimination Final, gives them the added incentive of atoning for the two defeats suffered at their hands by less than a kick during the season. The game against the Giants was not unexpectedly a see-sawing contest for the first half. The sides were evenly matched on the ladder with GWS seemingly running into good form with the return of some of their better players in recent weeks. The real concern for them is that they are still a club without a beating heart and while laden with talent, they don’t play together as a team. There is no “fight to the death, with your mates by your side” attitude, and so when challenged, like this week and last, they drop away badly. There was not much more than two kicks in the game at half time and with the Demons already two men down with Kent and Tyson out of the game, it was all there for the Giants to take. However, they were bulldozed aside by the Demons. Max Gawn took Lobb apart from an early stage, and by half time he was struggling to keep up with him around the ground. He finally left the game at ¾ time injured, which only served to let Max rest out the final quarter in the forward line. The mid-fielders took full advantage of Max’s superiority. The GWS opponents are no slouches with Coniglio, Kelly, Ward and Shiel matched up against Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver, James Harmed and Nathan Jones but they were forced to lower their colours in this contest. Harmes truly lived up to his name causing untold harm to the GWS mids - in particular Kelly who had only 19 touches with only six contested. On the other hand, Harmes had 29 disposals and 15 contested possessions. Brayshaw and Oliver both with 30+ touches just added to the GWS pain as they bulldozed their opponents aside, while an old stager in Nathan Jones chipped in with another 27 touches. The result of all this work was to be seen in the premiership quarter. Melbourne piled on five third quarter goals, while they held the Giants goalless. And the reason they failed to score a major was the rock solid defence with Salem running riot in the backline delivering laser type passes up field, Lewis with similar accuracy, while Frost ran and sliced through the hapless GWS forwards. Oscar McDonald took Cameron to the cleaners, once again putting a notch on his tally of full forwards who have failed against him. With the game all over by the final change, all that was left was to see out the final term, and even though GWS had a major on the board within a minute, the Demons swiftly replied to put paid to any suggestion of a last minute revival. At the end - a seven goal win, and 37,000 Demon supporters rocked the house with the Grand Old Flag rendition, not heard sung that way for over a decade. The finals are upon us and the next task is to finish Geelong’s season. Some could suggest they are only there courtesy of thrashing two of the sides in the completion in the past 2 weeks but they still have beaten Melbourne twice this year. While most teams have a long list of injured players at this time of year, our situation is rather dire. The game produced two more serious injuries today, and there are not really any players worthy of elevation from the depleted ranks over at Casey. There is a handy certain starter in the wings in Jack Viney and hopefully Mitch Hannan will overcome his knee soreness but we are really on bare bones. There are others who have done it like the Bulldogs who were decimated at this time two years ago and famously came out of the pre finals to carve out some history for themselves. Can the Demons repeat history and similarly bulldoze their way further through September? Melbourne 4.2.26 7.6.48 12.9.81 15.12.102 GWS Giants 4.1.25 5.5.35 5.8.38 8.9.57 Goals Melbourne T McDonald Petracca 3 Neal-Bullen 2 Brayshaw Gawn Harmes Jones Melksham vandenBerg Weideman, GWS Giants Coniglio 2 Cameron Finlayson Himmelberg Langdon Lobb Tomlinson Best Melbourne Gawn Harmes Brayshaw Oliver Petracca Jones Frost GWS Giants Coniglio Ward Shiel Haynes Kennedy Injuries Melbourne Kent (AC joint) Melksham (head) Tyson (broken arm) Greater Western Sydney Lobb (beaten to a pulp) Reports Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Umpires Dalgleish, Rosebury, Stevic Official crowd 37,285 at the MCG POSTSCRIPT: Wasn’t it nice that Adelaide’s pick received for Jake Lever just dropped three spots as a result of them beating the Blues to who they want to trade the pick for one of their young local draft prospects
  2. It was a little over a week ago when the Fugazi about Melbourne was that it had yet to beat a team in the top eighth, that the word was that it may limp into the finals by dint of the results of games in other matches and it’s decent percentage. The “Bradbury Plan”, if you like. However, the last two games have shown that Melbourne is not just there for show or to make up the numbers by merely limping into September. The stirring finish against the Eagles and the emphatic victory over the Giants is sending a fearsome message to the other finalists - the Demons have simply bulldozed their way to fifth spot on the ladder, past two teams with expectation of solid finishes to the season. And the bulldozing has been emblematic of the type of gamestyle the coach has instilled into the players and with a group of extraordinarily young talent, they truly are setting themselves up for something exciting to come. Jordan Lewis has been attributed as reminding the players, that they not there just to make up the finals numbers. Rather, they are there to win them and, coming up against the Cats in the first Elimination Final, gives them the added incentive of atoning for the two defeats suffered at their hands by less than a kick during the season. The game against the Giants was not unexpectedly a see-sawing contest for the first half. The sides were evenly matched on the ladder with GWS seemingly running into good form with the return of some of their better players in recent weeks. The real concern for them is that they are still a club without a beating heart and while laden with talent, they don’t play together as a team. There is no “fight to the death, with your mates by your side” attitude, and so when challenged, like this week and last, they drop away badly. There was not much more than two kicks in the game at half time and with the Demons already two men down with Kent and Tyson out of the game, it was all there for the Giants to take. However, they were bulldozed aside by the Demons. Max Gawn took Lobb apart from an early stage, and by half time he was struggling to keep up with him around the ground. He finally left the game at ¾ time injured, which only served to let Max rest out the final quarter in the forward line. The mid-fielders took full advantage of Max’s superiority. The GWS opponents are no slouches with Coniglio, Kelly, Ward and Shiel matched up against Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver, James Harmed and Nathan Jones but they were forced to lower their colours in this contest. Harmes truly lived up to his name causing untold harm to the GWS mids - in particular Kelly who had only 19 touches with only six contested. On the other hand, Harmes had 29 disposals and 15 contested possessions. Brayshaw and Oliver both with 30+ touches just added to the GWS pain as they bulldozed their opponents aside, while an old stager in Nathan Jones chipped in with another 27 touches. The result of all this work was to be seen in the premiership quarter. Melbourne piled on five third quarter goals, while they held the Giants goalless. And the reason they failed to score a major was the rock solid defence with Salem running riot in the backline delivering laser type passes up field, Lewis with similar accuracy, while Frost ran and sliced through the hapless GWS forwards. Oscar McDonald took Cameron to the cleaners, once again putting a notch on his tally of full forwards who have failed against him. With the game all over by the final change, all that was left was to see out the final term, and even though GWS had a major on the board within a minute, the Demons swiftly replied to put paid to any suggestion of a last minute revival. At the end - a seven goal win, and 37,000 Demon supporters rocked the house with the Grand Old Flag rendition, not heard sung that way for over a decade. The finals are upon us and the next task is to finish Geelong’s season. Some could suggest they are only there courtesy of thrashing two of the sides in the completion in the past 2 weeks but they still have beaten Melbourne twice this year. While most teams have a long list of injured players at this time of year, our situation is rather dire. The game produced two more serious injuries today, and there are not really any players worthy of elevation from the depleted ranks over at Casey. There is a handy certain starter in the wings in Jack Viney and hopefully Mitch Hannan will overcome his knee soreness but we are really on bare bones. There are others who have done it like the Bulldogs who were decimated at this time two years ago and famously came out of the pre finals to carve out some history for themselves. Can the Demons repeat history and similarly bulldoze their way further through September? Melbourne 4.2.26 7.6.48 12.9.81 15.12.102 GWS Giants 4.1.25 5.5.35 5.8.38 8.9.57 Goals Melbourne T McDonald Petracca 3 Neal-Bullen 2 Brayshaw Gawn Harmes Jones Melksham vandenBerg Weideman, GWS Giants Coniglio 2 Cameron Finlayson Himmelberg Langdon Lobb Tomlinson Best Melbourne Gawn Harmes Brayshaw Oliver Petracca Jones Frost GWS Giants Coniglio Ward Shiel Haynes Kennedy Injuries Melbourne Kent (AC joint) Melksham (head) Tyson (broken arm) Greater Western Sydney Lobb (beaten to a pulp) Reports Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Umpires Dalgleish, Rosebury, Stevic Official crowd 37,285 at the MCG POSTSCRIPT: Wasn’t it nice that Adelaide’s pick received for Jake Lever just dropped three spots as a result of them beating the Blues to who they want to trade the pick for one of their young local draft prospects
  3. The graphic shown this week during a segment of “On the Couch” laid out some extraordinary statistics about the Melbourne Football Club’s season to date. The numbers read as follows:- • Contested possessions differential – #2 • Pressure – #2 • Points for – #1 • Points against – #9 • Points from turnovers differential – #2 • Points from clearances differential – #2 • Inside 50 differential – #1 • Time in forward half – #1 • Forward half intercepts – #1 • Points from forward half chains – #1 This was a selection of the numbers available and is by no means all inclusive about the story of the team’s style this year. They tell the story of a team that’s willing to take games on and that plays an exciting, attacking brand of football but, while the both the style of game and the actual figures are impressive, until last Sunday, they raised a question mark about why this team was desperately fighting for its life as a 2018 finalist, rather than sitting comfortably in the upper echelons of the competition preparing for qualifying finals in the coming weeks. The question was answered partially by Age writer Michael Gleeson before that game in The questions the Demons need to answer where he wrote about the alternate AFL ladder:– “It is the ladder that says what would happen if the team that lost the close games won them instead. So what would happen this year if the teams that lost games by 10 points or less won them? “The answer? Melbourne would be two games clear on top of the ladder.” Gleeson also alluded to the positive statistics such as the Demons’ #1 ranking in the competition for contested possessions but raised the spectre of its then inability to beat a top eight side and pointed to a wide gulf between its performances against top and bottom half teams. The answer according to Gleeson was that the team’s inability to stop the ball going the way of the opposition when it attacks. “Actually, the point is that Melbourne don’t defend.” That was part of the answer but it needed empirical proof and that came by means of the way that Melbourne finished off the game against the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Sunday. In those final ten minutes, after their game-long lead had evaporated before their eyes and their season was on the line, they defended stoutly and showed they had learned the lesson of their soul-destroying loss on enemy territory a month earlier against Geelong. And they did it with the style that should hold them in good stead in the weeks to come. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at the MCG, Sunday 26 August, 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall – GWS Giants 5 wins, Melbourne 5 wins At The MCG – Melbourne 3 wins, GWS Giants 1 win Past five meetings – Melbourne 2 wins, GWS Giants 3 wins The Coaches – Cameron 1 win Goodwin 0 wins THE MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 3, Live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET GWS Giants 14.13.97 defeated Melbourne 10.2.62 at UNSW Canberra Oval, Round #, 2017 The Demons suffered their second consecutive loss and dropped out of the top eight after they were thumped by the Giants in Canberra. Things started well enough with the opening three goals against the wind but GWS rolled into gear with the next eight goals and by the first break it was all but over. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd 😄 Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver, James Harmes HF: Jake Melksham, Tom McDonald, Aaron vandenBerg F: Bayley Fritsch, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca I/C: Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Charlie Spargo, Dom Tyson Emg: Tomas Bugg, Jay Kennedy Harris, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner No change GWS GIANTS B: Jeremy Finlayson, Phil Davis, Adam Tomlinson B: Adam Kennedy, Nick Haynes, Harry Perryman 😄 Lachie Whitfield, Callan Ward, Jacob Hopper F: Sam Reid, Jeremy Cameron, Aiden Bonar F: Zac Langdon, Harry Himmelberg, Josh Kelly Foll: Rory Lobb, Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel I/C: Matt Buntine, Lachlan Keeffe, Daniel Lloyd, Tim Taranto Emg: Dylan Buckley, Isaac Cumming, Brent Daniels, Zac Williams In: Josh Kelly, Sam Reid Out: Brent Daniels (omitted), Ryan Griffen (hamstring) It was the Jake Lever injury that sent Melbourne’s 2018 season into a month-long tailspin and three consecutive defeats in mid-season and which ultimately set the scene for the team’s revival that led to the securing of a berth in the finals. The Lever departure required some tinkering with the defensive line up with which the selectors grappled, struggled and finally got right. There were other elements that required attention, small kinks here and there but despite the pain of the last gasp defeat by Geelong and the confused mess of the Swans game, the 17-point victory over West Coast last weekend, proved they were worthy of participating in the finals after an absence of twelve long years. The irony is that Melbourne’s tough run leading into the finals with three matches on end against three fellow finalists is going to hold it in good stead in September. As far as I’m concerned, coming up against Sydney, West Coast and the GWS Giants represents a perfect preparation, immeasurably better than say, the Cats, who were given the task of playing against witches’ hats on their own home turf in the finals lead up. For the Demons, the game against GWS presents a perfect opportunity to tune up against quality opposition without in any way releasing the pressure valve. Aside from the remote chance of making it back into the top four should the Pies stagger against the Dockers, there’s a home final at stake (although Melbourne seems to play just as well away from home these days). Thankfully, the failure of Port Adelaide and North Melbourne to stitch up opposition teams in recent games, has allowed the Demon faithful some temporary respite for their fraying nerves knowing their team will definitely be featuring in next month’s action. They will no doubt recall the humiliation of their team’s encounter with the Giants in the national capital last year when, after kicking the first three goals against the wind, it conceded an unanswered 8 goals 6 behinds before quarter time to be well and truly blown off the park. The carnage in Canberra this week pales into insignificance against that dark day. The star for GWS was Josh Kelly who returns for them this week to make for a fascinating battle of the midfields. We know how strong the Demons are in this area with their young guns and iron man Nathan Jones. They will have the support of All Australian big man Max Gawn who should match up very favourably against Rory Lobb in the ruck contests but the Giants are the highest-ranked clearance team in the AFL. Ultimately, I believe the Demons will triumph because of their forward line strength (they are the highest-ranked team for scoring, inside 50s and marks inside 50), the defence has at long last settled with Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost solid, and the visitors have the deeper injury list. That’s enough for me to tip Melbourne to win an epic encounter at the MCG by 5 points.
  4. This was a crunch game that Melbourne lost after a strong start when it kicked 3 early goals against the wind at UNSW Canberra Oval but it then conceded the next eight goals in the blink of an eye and the game was all over at quarter time. THE TEAMS GWS GIANTS B: Zac Williams, Adam Tomlinson, Nathan Wilson HB: Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Heath Shaw 😄 Tom Scully, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield HF: Devon Smith, Rory Lobb, Harrison Himmelberg F: Dylan Shiel, Steve Johnson, Matt de Boer FOLL: Shane Mumford, Jacob Hopper, Matthew Kennedy I/C: Stephen Coniglio, Aidan Corr, Brett Deledio, Josh Kelly EMG: Daniel Lloyd, Harry Perryman, Dawson Simpson IN: Brett Deledio, Harrison Himmelberg, Jacob Hopper, Steve Johnson, Shane Mumford OUT: Jeremy Cameron (hamstring), Jonathon Patton (hamstring tightness), Harry Perryman (omitted), Will Setterfield (concussion), Dawson Simpson (omitted) NEW: Brett Deledio (Richmond) MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd 😄 Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince, Christian Salem HF: Clayton Oliver, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, James Harmes FOLL: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Nathan Jones I/C: Corey Maynard, Jake Melksham, Christian Petracca, Jack Watts EMG: Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman IN: Nathan Jones, Corey Maynard, Cameron Pedersen, Bernie Vince OUT: Mitch Hannan (rested), Jesse Hogan (shoulder), Jay Kennedy-Harris (omitted), Jack Trengove (omitted) NEW: Corey Maynard
  5. Demonland

    KNOCK OUT by Ruby Tuesday

    Melbourne overcame a sloppy start to its AFLW season with six straight last half goals including a late snap from Richelle (“Rocky”) Cranston which knocked Greater Western Sydney out of the contest and gave her team the win by six points. The Demons, with midfielder Karen Paxman in great early form with nine possessions, dominated proceedings in the first quarter but their poor disposal and the Giants’ ability to score goals on rare forays up forward, saw them trailing by four points at quarter time. By then, Paxman was off with a back injury (later diagnosed as “back spasms”) and things were not looking good for the Dees when their opponents scored their third goal early in the second term. At the main break they were down by 9 points. However, with skipper Daisy Pearce, the strong and reliable Elise O'Dea and the new look Richelle Cranston all lifting, the Demons willed themselves back into the game after half time. It took just three minutes for them to snatch the lead for the first time and by the 10 minute mark, they were in front themselves by 9 points. But GWS were not to be denied. They fought back against the run of the game with two goals to go into the last break with a 5-point lead. It was still anybody’s game. As it was, the lead changed hands early in the final term with goals from Cranston and Shelley Scott but the Giants were undeterred and fought back to level the scores. Then followed a tense five minutes until Rocky’s snap gave the home side the lead and the win. After the game, Cranston said, “I had no idea how that goal went in – I just heard Daisy say ‘get it on the boot’ and lucky it went through.” Other players who stood out were Meg Downie across half-back, Lily Mithen up forward and newcomers Bianca Jakobsson from Carlton and 194 cm recruit Erin Hoare who had 20 hit-outs in the ruck. The Demons are at home again next week with a clash against reigning premiers Adelaide, smarting from their first up loss last night to Brisbane. Melbourne 1.2.8 1.3.9 4.3.27 7.3.45 GWS Giants 2.0.12 3.0.18 5.2.32 6.3.39 Goals Melbourne Cranston 3 Scott 2 Hore Cunningham GWS Giants McWilliams 3 Barclay 2 Staunton Best Melbourne D Pearce O'Dea Downie Cranston Scott Mithen GWS Giants McWilliams Farrugia Barclay Staunton Injuries Melbourne Paxman (back) GWS Giants Nil Reports Nil Umpires Gibson Johansen Curtis Official crowd 5,100 at Casey Fields
  6. THE VIBE by the Oracle It begins again ... and I have received inspiration from above. Call it the Vibe if you want but I'm going into this Saturday's opening round clash against the GWS Giants at the MCG with somewhat more confidence than I have in the recent past. And it's not based simply on the result of Melbourne's three NAB Challenge games or the fact that the team emerged victorious from all of them, because I am fully aware that pre season matches mean very little when the hurly burly begins of full pressure AFL matches for premiership points. It is however, about the way the team played out these games, that gives rise to that vibe of optimism. I am also buoyed by the fact that the Demons' most recent home and away victory took place at their nemesis ground, Etihad Stadium, and also ended a four game losing streak against this week's opponent. And as if that was not enough, two of the Giants' best players from recent seasons won't be saddling up thanks to Jeremy Cameron's four-game suspension and Adam Treloar's defection to Collingwood. With Cam McCarthy out on indefinite leave and Jonathon Patton still on the comeback trail after an ACL operation, the pressure will be on the Giants away from home. The Giants do have a highly rated midfield led by ruckman Shane Mumford in the ruck and the likes of Callan Ward, Ryan Griffen, Devon Smith, Rhys Palmer, Dylan Shiel, Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly and even that overpaid bloke who used to play for the Demons. However, it was Melbourne whose midfield won the day the last time they met. Way back then it was Max Gawn who dominated in Mumford's absence with 55 hit-outs, while Bernie Vince and Nathan Jones blitzed the game. Gawn has announced himself not by his words but by his deeds in the NAB Challenge and he has the likes of a reinvigorated Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Aaron vandenBerg and newcomer Clayton Oliver to provide plenty of opposition to push the engine room of the much vaunted men in orange and let's face it - the new look Demons are on a roll with their new attacking style of game inculcated by Simon Goodwin to the point where half the media are demanding that the club puts the incumbent coach Paul Roos in front of a firing squad to ensure that he can't resume his coaching duties. To my mind, it doesn't really matter who calls himself the coach. Melbourne will win and win well because the new attacking regimen will favour its forward line which no longer lacks numbers in terms of personnel capable of hitting the scoreboard and hurting the opposition. Last year's major goal scorers Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett are champing at the bit and have plenty of back up with the capability of scoring - Dean Kent, James Harmes, Cam Pedersen and if he rests up there, who is going to stop big Max with those long tentacle arms? Nobody. Melbourne by 28 points. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at the MCG Saturday 26 March, 2016 at 1.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 4 wins GWS Giants 4 wins At the MCG Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win GWS Giants 4 wins The Coaches Roos 1 win Cameron 3 wins MEDIA TV – Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.30 GWS Giants to win - $1.62 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 d GWS Giants 11.11.77 at Etihad Stadium, Round 23, 2015 Both teams were depleted after a long hard season that had failed to deliver much success but it was Melbourne which seized the initiative after half time and never really allowed the Giants back into the game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin GarlandHB: Matt Jones, Oscar McDonald, Christian SalemC: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Aaron vandenBergHF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, James HarmesF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jeff GarlettFOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Tomas Bugg, Ben Kennedy, Clayton Oliver, Cameron PedersenEMG: Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes, Billy Stretch NEW: Tomas Bugg (GWS Giants), Ben Kennedy (Collingwood), Clayton Oliver (Murray Bushrangers) GWS GIANTS B: Heath Shaw, Aidan Corr, Matt BuntineHB: Nathan Wilson, Phil Davis, Adam KennedyC: Lachie Whitfield, Callan Ward, James StewartHF: Rhys Palmer, Rory Lobb, Tom ScullyF: Toby Greene, Adam Tomlinson, Devon SmithFOLL: Shane Mumford, Ryan Griffen, Dylan Shiel I/C: Steve Johnson, Josh Kelly, Caleb Marchbank, Jack SteeleEMG: Stephen Coniglio, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Zac Williams NEW: Steve Johnson (Geelong)
  7. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 1

    The dawn breaks and we're first up today at the MCG. Our opponent has an extraordinary number of top 20 draft choices on its list but, as we well know, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. This game is at our home and, as much as we broke a hoodoo when we beat them in our last game at Etihad, it's time to reclaim the MCG as our home against these northern invaders.
  8. Demonland

    THE VIBE by the Oracle

    It begins again ... and I have received inspiration from above. Call it the Vibe if you want but I'm going into this Saturday's opening round clash against the GWS Giants at the MCG with somewhat more confidence than I have in the recent past. And it's not based simply on the result of Melbourne's three NAB Challenge games or the fact that the team emerged victorious from all of them, because I am fully aware that pre season matches mean very little when the hurly burly begins of full pressure AFL matches for premiership points. It is however, about the way the team played out these games, that gives rise to that vibe of optimism. I am also buoyed by the fact that the Demons' most recent home and away victory took place at their nemesis ground, Etihad Stadium, and also ended a four game losing streak against this week's opponent. And as if that was not enough, two of the Giants' best players from recent seasons won't be saddling up thanks to Jeremy Cameron's four-game suspension and Adam Treloar's defection to Collingwood. With Cam McCarthy out on indefinite leave and Jonathon Patton still on the comeback trail after an ACL operation, the pressure will be on the Giants away from home. The Giants do have a highly rated midfield led by ruckman Shane Mumford in the ruck and the likes of Callan Ward, Ryan Griffen, Devon Smith, Rhys Palmer, Dylan Shiel, Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly and even that overpaid bloke who used to play for the Demons. However, it was Melbourne whose midfield won the day the last time they met. Way back then it was Max Gawn who dominated in Mumford's absence with 55 hit-outs, while Bernie Vince and Nathan Jones blitzed the game. Gawn has announced himself not by his words but by his deeds in the NAB Challenge and he has the likes of a reinvigorated Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Aaron vandenBerg and newcomer Clayton Oliver to provide plenty of opposition to push the engine room of the much vaunted men in orange and let's face it - the new look Demons are on a roll with their new attacking style of game inculcated by Simon Goodwin to the point where half the media are demanding that the club puts the incumbent coach Paul Roos in front of a firing squad to ensure that he can't resume his coaching duties. To my mind, it doesn't really matter who calls himself the coach. Melbourne will win and win well because the new attacking regimen will favour its forward line which no longer lacks numbers in terms of personnel capable of hitting the scoreboard and hurting the opposition. Last year's major goal scorers Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett are champing at the bit and have plenty of back up with the capability of scoring - Dean Kent, James Harmes, Cam Pedersen and if he rests up there, who is going to stop big Max with those long tentacle arms? Nobody. Melbourne by 28 points. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at the MCG Saturday 26 March, 2016 at 1.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 4 wins GWS Giants 4 wins At the MCG Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win GWS Giants 4 wins The Coaches Roos 1 win Cameron 3 wins MEDIA TV – Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.30 GWS Giants to win - $1.62 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 d GWS Giants 11.11.77 at Etihad Stadium, Round 23, 2015 Both teams were depleted after a long hard season that had failed to deliver much success but it was Melbourne which seized the initiative after half time and never really allowed the Giants back into the game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin GarlandHB: Matt Jones, Oscar McDonald, Christian SalemC: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Aaron vandenBergHF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, James HarmesF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jeff GarlettFOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Tomas Bugg, Ben Kennedy, Clayton Oliver, Cameron PedersenEMG: Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes, Billy Stretch NEW: Tomas Bugg (GWS Giants), Ben Kennedy (Collingwood), Clayton Oliver (Murray Bushrangers) GWS GIANTS B: Heath Shaw, Aidan Corr, Matt BuntineHB: Nathan Wilson, Phil Davis, Adam KennedyC: Lachie Whitfield, Callan Ward, James StewartHF: Rhys Palmer, Rory Lobb, Tom ScullyF: Toby Greene, Adam Tomlinson, Devon SmithFOLL: Shane Mumford, Ryan Griffen, Dylan Shiel I/C: Steve Johnson, Josh Kelly, Caleb Marchbank, Jack SteeleEMG: Stephen Coniglio, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Zac Williams NEW: Steve Johnson (Geelong)
  9. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    Strangely enough, the last time these teams met was the last time they played in a full AFL game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Mitch White HF: James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Angus Brayshaw F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton, Billy Stretch EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jack Watts IN: Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Mitch White OUT: Neville Jetta (calf), Matt Jones (omitted), Jake Spencer (concussion), Jack Watts (omitted) NEW: Mitch White (19, Dandenong Stingrays) GWS GIANTS B: Adam Kennedy, Caleb Marchbank, Zac Williams HB: Lachie Plowman, Aidan Corr, James Stewart C: Lachie Whitfield, Adam Treloar, Heath Shaw HF: Devon Smith, Cam McCarthy, Rhys Palmer F: Josh Kelly, Jeremy Cameron, Adam Tomlinson FOLL: Tom Downie, Callan Ward, Tommy Bugg I/C : Jake Barrett, Toby Greene, Jacob Townsend, Nathan Wilson EMG: Paul Ahern, Rory Lobb, Jack Steele IN: Jake Barrett, Jacob Townsend OUT: Stephen Coniglio (hamstring), Ryan Griffen (knee), NEW: Jake Barrett (19, NSW/ACT Rams)
  10. Cast your votes thanks folks - the final time this year.
  11. The old Mike Brady song had lyrics which spoke of the finals and the atmosphere in September. Were the Demons playing in September? Well, yes they were, but ... not in finals. Rather, it was some meaningless game at the end of the home and away season in a dump of a place called Etihad Stadium in front of a meagre 8,974 people - in itself setting a new record for lowest crowd attendance at the venue. At least in Melbourne's case, it finally put to bed yet another hoodoo in what has been a lacklustre year. After 22 consecutive losses the Demons finally beat someone at Etihad. And in bringing up their 7th win for the 2015 season, they gave their long-suffering supporters some glimmer of hope for next year. Yes, it was against a team only two spots above it on the ladder, but one which had recorded eleven wins for the season. It was a very different GWS side that fronted for the final game compared with the one that played in Canberra just a few months ago with the telling difference being the absence of Shane Mumford who simply brutalised Melbourne at Manuka Oval, and fed the small running Giants' players all day. Without him this time, Max Gawn had complete ascendency in the ruck with 55 hit outs! It was he who was able to provide the opportunity to the likes of Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Jack Viney both in the middle and around the ground. While we should never underestimate the value of the big man in this role, it also showed how fragile Melbourne is in this area. Without a suitable back-up, Lynden Dunn was asked to ruck to give Max a break. It was fortunate that GWS also had no backup for Tom Downie, but the team desperately needs someone else for 2016 to step up to assist in this area. With Vince, Jones and Viney all back to their best and Jesse Hogan monstering the young GWS backline the result should have been more of a landslide. Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes also showed the aggression and attack at man and ball necessary at AFL level plus the benefits of a weeks rest on their young bodies. However, there were still too many appalling episodes of play, which the supporters would have been all too familiar with that let the opposition in for easy goals or free kicks that resulted in goals. This writer has been banging on about them all season, and it is all too obvious to those who regularly attend the games, but there were players not playing today who were NOT missed in any way shape or form. Likewise, there were players on the field still, who do not play at the intensity and desperation and skill levels required at AFL level. Once again the off-season should see anywhere between eight and twelve players leave the club either by delisting or trade-out. These players have had their opportunities and simply cant make it. We do not need Hogan, Brayshaw and Viney types giving up, while these others coast along unscathed. Down back, Tom McDonald did a sterling job on Jeremy Cameron holding him to only 2 majors, while Col Garland seemed to find some of his earlier form and confidence as his wing-man. Oscar M is finding his way and it gave us the opportunity to move Dunn up forward and into the ruck pinch-hitting. Christian Salem was simply divine with his foot-skills and ability to read the play and the ball when in the air. How much better would we be as a team with just six others able to execute as well as he does? The other good thing is, while it was only one win in a fairly miserable last month of football, we have seen Roos get games into the youngsters at no real cost. Harmes, O. Mac, Stretch, White, JKH, and ANB all were given games when perhaps they might not have otherwise been entitled to them. But Roos was prepared to risk playing the youth instead of those sitting in the crowd or playing down the road for Casey. At least this group have shown more upside for the future and this has probably has sealed the fate of a few others. Finally, after attending football for a seriously long time I am completely confounded as to what this group of GWS supporters could possibly have been thinking? They cant possibly be married. What woman would let her man out in public dressed like that? In fact, what woman would let them dress like that ever? Melbourne 4.1.25 7.6.48 13.10.82 15.13.103 Greater Western Sydney 4.1.25 7.4.46 9.7.61 11.11.77 Goals Melbourne Hogan Newton 3 Garlett Harmes 2 Dunn Grimes Howe N Jones Kennedy-Harris Greater Western Sydney Cameron Williams 2 Greene Palmer Smith Stewart Townsend Ward Whitfield Best Melbourne N Jones Vince Viney Hogan Cross Garland McDonald Gawn Salem Greater Western Sydney Ward Greene Smith Shaw Townsend Changes Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Injuries Melbourne Cross (concussion) Greater Western Sydney Nil Substitutions Melbourne Alex Neal-Bullen replaced Mitch White in the final term Greater Western Sydney Jake Barrett replaced Caleb Marchbank at half-time Reports Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Umpires Foot Fisher Hay Wallace Official crowd 8,974 at Etihad Stadium
  12. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 23

    The final round of the season was once the day upon which the fate of many players was finally decided. However, I suspect that these days such decisions are already made well in advance and the club's (and in some cases, the players) mind has already been made up. The fate of many has been signed, sealed and delivered. The past month has seen a different mood among the players from the very top down and pronouncements from the coach about the players and their history and of the need for the club to go to "another level and acquiring talent from rival clubs" suggests that we are about to see another exodus of the not quite rights and I suspect that many are aware that today marks the end of their careers at the club, and most likely in the AFL. Sadly, if the last month is anything to go by, we can't even expect them to give it their best shot which is, of course, the ultimate vindication of any decision to let a player go.
  13. THE CURTAIN FALLS by JVM My head is literally spinning at the prospect of Melbourne taking on the GWS Giants in our home city and while the pretenders from Western Sydney are without such key players as Shane Mumford, Phil Davis, Ryan Griffen, Dylan Shiel, Will Hoskin-Elliott and dare I say it, Tom Scully. No, I'm not saying this because I want to emulate the positivity about the club and this game that the powers that be would like displayed by supporters (as if that would have much bearing on team performance anyway) but rather as an indication that the Giants have not used the absence of some of their better players as an excuse for a lapse in effort leading to weak efforts and bad defeats. They are a young side, they have lost key playmakers including some of their most valuable and experienced team members - Mumford alone would make a substantial difference for then - and yet they were able to beat Carlton by 81 points last week. That's the same Carlton that Melbourne embarrassed itself only a week earlier when, at one stage just before half time, it trailed by one goal to ten. This is Melbourne which, a week earlier produced a goalless first quarter against the Bulldogs and were twelve goals down at the main break. The Melbourne which, after the club's negative culture as seen among its long-suffering supporters was emphasised ad nauseum in the media as being the problem. The fact is that the negative vibes at the club are merely a symptom of the fact that there are not enough players at the club who have sufficient ability to perform at the highest level, who can get their 25 to 30 possessions per game at the lower level but when it comes to the crunch, you look at their stats in the Fremantle game and the numbers beside their names are abysmally low and that's just numbers without representing the quality of their product. As a consequence, at this time of year, it's all left to the too few and to the inexperienced young kids and when the form of the team leaders in the categories of disposal count such as Nathan Jones and Bernie fall away from high 20s/30s per game to half that amount, it spells trouble with a capital T. So the curtain falls on a season of unfulfilled promise. There might have been improvement under Paul Roos but it really has been barely enough to register on the Richter Scale when you consider the fact that the club has recruited well and the list of players available is on paper far superior to that which he inherited. There is still much deadwood to be culled before we can stop making excuses. Against that backdrop, it is ironic that the first official end of year departure from the club is Daniel Cross who has been a fantastic heart and soul player in his two seasons with the Demons and whose example and effort will be sorely missed. Not a single one of those who follow him out of the door - and there will be many - will be able to put hand on heart and say he contributed more to the Melbourne Football Club in the last two years. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium, Sunday 6 September, 2015 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 4 wins At Etihad Stadium Melbourne 0 wins GWS Giants 0 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win GWS Giants 4 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Cameron 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel at 1.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.95 GWS Giants to win - $1.41 THE LAST TIME THEY MET GWS Giants 15.11.101 defeated Melbourne 8.8.56 at Startrack Stadium Round 2, 2015 The opposite Melbourne to the one we've seen in the past month played that day. The Demons were on fire early kicking four goals to nil in the opening stanza and late in the first half were leading by seven goals to one. They then put up the shutters and scored only one more goal to travel home totally humiliated, at one stage conceding fourteen unanswered goals. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Mitch White HF: James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Angus Brayshaw F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton, Billy Stretch EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jack Watts IN: Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Mitch White OUT: Neville Jetta (calf), Matt Jones (omitted), Jake Spencer (concussion), Jack Watts (omitted) NEW: Mitch White (19, Dandenong Stingrays) GWS GIANTS B: Adam Kennedy, Caleb Marchbank, Zac Williams HB: Lachie Plowman, Aidan Corr, James Stewart C: Lachie Whitfield, Adam Treloar, Heath Shaw HF: Devon Smith, Cam McCarthy, Rhys Palmer F: Josh Kelly, Jeremy Cameron, Adam Tomlinson FOLL: Tom Downie, Callan Ward, Tommy Bugg I/C : Jake Barrett, Toby Greene, Jacob Townsend, Nathan Wilson EMG: Paul Ahern, Rory Lobb, Jack Steele IN: Jake Barrett, Jacob Townsend OUT: Stephen Coniglio (hamstring), Ryan Griffen (knee), NEW: Jake Barrett (19, NSW/ACT Rams) GWS already boasts its best record against the Dees with four wins to three in its brief history and it has a good chance of improving that on the hard and fast Etihad Stadium surface which is conducive to strong running teams such as the Giants on ballers. But are they really that good? The Giants are certainly not all that great at clearing the ball from the centre since they average only 10.5 centre clearances per game which puts them in 17th place in the competition. The problem however, is that the Demons are 18th in this category with an average of 10.4. I believe therefore that the best way for Melbourne to beat the odds and finish the season with a win - important in my book - is to assert ruck dominance through 208cm Max Gawn who will be relied upon to get the ball down to his on ball division and create enough take aways to make a difference. Gawn's opponent is little known third string ruckman Tom Downie who has been at the club for years but has played only seven games. He stands at 203cm and is in the team only by virtue of injuries to Shane Mumford and Andrew Phillips. The big danger for the Demons is their propensity to turn unknowns into champions overnight with outstanding match-winning performances against them (following which they disappear never to be seen again). However, I have faith in Max getting the pill down to his players and on to Jesse Hogan in quick enough time to make a difference this week. Melbourne desperately needs a quality midfielder so this game affords it the opportunity to impress Adam Treloar and prove to him that the club is a worthy destination. It probably won't happen but who knows? It really is time for the club to beat its Etihad Stadium hoodoo and to that end, it would be really exciting if the Dees could kick a goal in the first fifty minutes of elapsed play time even if there's nobody around to witness the achievement. My tip: a draw.
  14. Demonland

    THE CURTAIN FALLS by JVM

    My head is literally spinning at the prospect of Melbourne taking on the GWS Giants in our home city and while the pretenders from Western Sydney are without such key players as Shane Mumford, Phil Davis, Ryan Griffen, Dylan Shiel, Will Hoskin-Elliott and dare I say it, Tom Scully. No, I'm not saying this because I want to emulate the positivity about the club and this game that the powers that be would like displayed by supporters (as if that would have much bearing on team performance anyway) but rather as an indication that the Giants have not used the absence of some of their better players as an excuse for a lapse in effort leading to weak efforts and bad defeats. They are a young side, they have lost key playmakers including some of their most valuable and experienced team members - Mumford alone would make a substantial difference for then - and yet they were able to beat Carlton by 81 points last week. That's the same Carlton that Melbourne embarrassed itself only a week earlier when, at one stage just before half time, it trailed by one goal to ten. This is Melbourne which, a week earlier produced a goalless first quarter against the Bulldogs and were twelve goals down at the main break. The Melbourne which, after the club's negative culture as seen among its long-suffering supporters was emphasised ad nauseum in the media as being the problem. The fact is that the negative vibes at the club are merely a symptom of the fact that there are not enough players at the club who have sufficient ability to perform at the highest level, who can get their 25 to 30 possessions per game at the lower level but when it comes to the crunch, you look at their stats in the Fremantle game and the numbers beside their names are abysmally low and that's just numbers without representing the quality of their product. As a consequence, at this time of year, it's all left to the too few and to the inexperienced young kids and when the form of the team leaders in the categories of disposal count such as Nathan Jones and Bernie fall away from high 20s/30s per game to half that amount, it spells trouble with a capital T. So the curtain falls on a season of unfulfilled promise. There might have been improvement under Paul Roos but it really has been barely enough to register on the Richter Scale when you consider the fact that the club has recruited well and the list of players available is on paper far superior to that which he inherited. There is still much deadwood to be culled before we can stop making excuses. Against that backdrop, it is ironic that the first official end of year departure from the club is Daniel Cross who has been a fantastic heart and soul player in his two seasons with the Demons and whose example and effort will be sorely missed. Not a single one of those who follow him out of the door - and there will be many - will be able to put hand on heart and say he contributed more to the Melbourne Football Club in the last two years. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium, Sunday 6 September, 2015 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 4 wins At Etihad Stadium Melbourne 0 wins GWS Giants 0 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win GWS Giants 4 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Cameron 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel at 1.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.95 GWS Giants to win - $1.41 THE LAST TIME THEY MET GWS Giants 15.11.101 defeated Melbourne 8.8.56 at Startrack Stadium Round 2, 2015 The opposite Melbourne to the one we've seen in the past month played that day. The Demons were on fire early kicking four goals to nil in the opening stanza and late in the first half were leading by seven goals to one. They then put up the shutters and scored only one more goal to travel home totally humiliated, at one stage conceding fourteen unanswered goals. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Mitch White HF: James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Angus Brayshaw F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton, Billy Stretch EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Jack Watts IN: Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Mitch White OUT: Neville Jetta (calf), Matt Jones (omitted), Jake Spencer (concussion), Jack Watts (omitted) NEW: Mitch White (19, Dandenong Stingrays) GWS GIANTS B: Adam Kennedy, Caleb Marchbank, Zac Williams HB: Lachie Plowman, Aidan Corr, James Stewart C: Lachie Whitfield, Adam Treloar, Heath Shaw HF: Devon Smith, Cam McCarthy, Rhys Palmer F: Josh Kelly, Jeremy Cameron, Adam Tomlinson FOLL: Tom Downie, Callan Ward, Tommy Bugg I/C : Jake Barrett, Toby Greene, Jacob Townsend, Nathan Wilson EMG: Paul Ahern, Rory Lobb, Jack Steele IN: Jake Barrett, Jacob Townsend OUT: Stephen Coniglio (hamstring), Ryan Griffen (knee), NEW: Jake Barrett (19, NSW/ACT Rams) GWS already boasts its best record against the Dees with four wins to three in its brief history and it has a good chance of improving that on the hard and fast Etihad Stadium surface which is conducive to strong running teams such as the Giants on ballers. But are they really that good? The Giants are certainly not all that great at clearing the ball from the centre since they average only 10.5 centre clearances per game which puts them in 17th place in the competition. The problem however, is that the Demons are 18th in this category with an average of 10.4. I believe therefore that the best way for Melbourne to beat the odds and finish the season with a win - important in my book - is to assert ruck dominance through 208cm Max Gawn who will be relied upon to get the ball down to his on ball division and create enough take aways to make a difference. Gawn's opponent is little known third string ruckman Tom Downie who has been at the club for years but has played only seven games. He stands at 203cm and is in the team only by virtue of injuries to Shane Mumford and Andrew Phillips. The big danger for the Demons is their propensity to turn unknowns into champions overnight with outstanding match-winning performances against them (following which they disappear never to be seen again). However, I have faith in Max getting the pill down to his players and on to Jesse Hogan in quick enough time to make a difference this week. Melbourne desperately needs a quality midfielder so this game affords it the opportunity to impress Adam Treloar and prove to him that the club is a worthy destination. It probably won't happen but who knows? It really is time for the club to beat its Etihad Stadium hoodoo and to that end, it would be really exciting if the Dees could kick a goal in the first fifty minutes of elapsed play time even if there's nobody around to witness the achievement. My tip: a draw.
  15. Demonland

    LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was late in the second quarter of this game in Round 2 at Startrack Oval that our season began to unravel. My question this week is if we couldn't beat this mob last time with a 6 goal start, how are we going to go with the current mindset which involves not showing the slightest indication of scoring any goals until late in the first half? GWS GIANTS B: Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Joel Patfull HB: Nick Haynes, Aidan Corr, Rhys Palmer C: Tommy Bugg, Callan Ward, Tom Scully HF: Lachie Whitfield, Jeremy Cameron, Cam McCarthy F: Adam Treloar, Adam Tomlinson, Josh Kelly FOLL: Shane Mumford, Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel I/C: Toby Greene, Ryan Griffen, Devon Smith, Nathan Wilson EMG: Matt Buntine, Andrew Phillips, Zac Williams IN: Nathan Wilson OUT: Curtly Hampton (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Daniel Cross, Heritier Lumumba, Ben Newton HF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jack Viney F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Viv Michie, Jake Spencer IN: Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jimmy Toumpas (both omitted)
  16. This was supposed to be member appreciation round, where the Club showed its appreciation for the loyal supporters who have endured much during the year. The MFC players showed exactly how much they appreciate the support given in 2014 with a totally insipid and downright disgraceful display against a bottom of the ladder side. The fans were rewarded with a 10 goal loss against the Giants, who already had sent 6 of their players off for end of season surgery, and then lost Ward, Patton and Davis all before ½ time! At least the Saints could point to having to play a potential Grand Final contender away, on their home ground despite their 12 goal loss. But there was simply no excuse for what the Melbourne players did at their own home in front nearly 18,000 of their own fans. Half the membership turned out after yet another shocker of a year, and that is how they were rewarded.2 goals to ¾ time, and nearly half a game scoring only a lousy 5 points! Save for Nathan Jones and an occasional cameo from Max Gawn, Bernie Vince and Neville Jetta, the rest of the side shouldnt have turned up and they didnt! We now know Chip Frawley is on his bike, because he is simply disinterested in the game going on around him. Jack Watts has also become a spectator of the game, and stays further away from his opponent than an Ebola quarantine officer does with his patient. Surely Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Michie and Aiden Riley must wonder what they are doing, having left genuine football clubs with players who want to play football. Perhaps they too will fall into the Melbourne mould and adopt the bruise free approach to how to play the game. Perhaps they will adopt the scared little men approach and constantly look for someone else to do the work, or back away from moving forward and putting pressure on the opposition. Yes there is a bit more work required with these players, and we need to get it out of Jack Viney and Nathan Jones while we are at it. So thank you Melbourne players!! We really appreciate the support you have shown us. It would have been good if you had to talk to the long faced Melbourne supporter on the way home on the Belgrave line. He had been a member since 1982 and bought seven memberships for his family this year. But the kids dont want to go to the game any more, and it was probably good they didnt go along today. So he can see no point buying those seven memberships next year that is what happens when you THE PLAYERS serve up what you did today. It is what happens to people who have supported the club for 40 years and have that support rewarded with a spit in the face!! Yes, we the Melbourne supporters are MAD! Angry MAD that we have been treated so badly, and simply MAD to even contemplate turning up to watch the team play when next in Melbourne. We dont appreciate the way you have treated us! Melbourne 2.4.16 2.9.21 2.11.23 3.16.34 Greater Western Sydney 2.1.13 6.4.40 10.7.67 15.8.98 Goals Melbourne Garland Kent Watts Greater Western Sydney Palmer 4 Hoskin-Elliott 3 Kelly Smith 2 Boyd Mumford Shiel Treloar Best Melbourne Kent, N Jones, Tyson, Michie Greater Western Sydney Mumford, Palmer, Hoskin-Elliott, Smith, Shiel, Greene, Kelly, Tomlinson Changes Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Injuries Melbourne Grimes (hamstring) Greater Western Sydney Davis (concussion), Patton (knee), Ward (calf) Reports Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Umpires Craig Fleer Simon Meredith Stuart Wenn Crowd 17,218 at the MCG
  17. I defy anyone to come up with six good players.
  18. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 21

    There is no more appropriate time in the course of Demon events than today for our football team to take a stand for truth, justice and the Australian way. Over the past eight years we've been ravaged, beaten and humiliated by the least worthy of participants in the AFL competition. Twelve months ago, we had our faces rubbed into it by this noxious vermin at some god foresaken wilderness to our north. We went back there again earlier this year and they flogged us within an inch of our lives. Enough with the humiliation! Now that the game's back on the MCG let's teach these suckers the meaning of humility. It's time to draw a line in the sand and not be satisfied to win by 7 goals to 5 which is where we were heading a fortnight ago content to drift home against Brisbane before our wheels fell off. No. In the words of Winston Churchill, today we're going to fight:-
  19. WHO GIVES A PETRACCA? by Whispering Jack Melbourne's last home game for yet another dismal season could not have been played at a more suitable time for the game it promises to be, nor against a more appropriate opponent. It happens at the end of a week during which the game itself has been on trial, when the competition has been exposed in a court as having questionable scruples and considering itself in many ways above the law. This is a competition which favours the strong and gives lip service to helping its weak by doing it favours like giving out meagre compensation to those who are drawn to play at times that are unattractive, making it difficult for them to gather the crowds from which they can draw their life blood. And so it happens that this game which is so important to the clubs, perversely because it will determine how low they will finish and therefore decide the only thing that remains important to them at this time of the season (and how high in draft order), will be played out at the MCG in front of a small crowd in the late afternoon/early evening out of the gaze of a football world that doesn't really care and will shun the game in favour of other potentially more exciting things to watch on their television sets on a late winter's afternoon. Like the test pattern. Does this game therefore even merit a preview? Most likely not because if you take a look at the size of GWS Giants' injury list, with so many of its players out for the remainder of the season, you get the feeling that they might barely muster up a squad to make the flight down to Tullamarine for the game. The last time I saw an injury list so extensive was that of Melbourne circa 2009 and we all know how that ended up. The wags are describing the game as the "Petracca Cup" in honour of the upcoming draft's flavour of the month and the word is that he's the man most wanted by the Giants whose ladder position stunningly dropped below that of Melbourne last week despite the fact that the Dees suffered a 50-point defeat. Now, if they could achieve that in a home game, it's going to be mighty hard not to lose to them on your own dung heap. That is not to say that the Demons at home and in front of a small but strongly partisan crowd will definitely have their own way in this affair. They demonstrated a fortnight ago how limited their appetite and capacity was for playing attacking football when they had another lowly opponent in Brisbane at their mercy early in the final quarter. Coach Paul Roos was quoted in this weeks Inside Football that the defensive mindset that enveloped his team in the final term of the loss to Brisbane wasn't a direction from the coach's box, but was player driven but surely thats been their focus for most of the year? And that's why they could easily lose this time against football's babes if they decide to play sloppy pedestrian football in the super defensive style that has marked a team that struggles regularly to kick ten goals in two hours of football. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at the MCG Sunday 17 August, 2014 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 2 wins At the MCG Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 0 wins Past five years Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 2 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Cameron 1 win MEDIA TV Fox Sports Channel 3 at 3.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.48 GWS Giants to win - $2.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET GWS Giants 10.19.79 defeated Melbourne 7.5.47 at Spotless Stadium Round 3, 2014 Bereft of any key forwards and light on for ruck power against a keen opposition in difficult conditions, Melbourne got to within a point early in the final quarter and then simply gave up the ghost against a team inspired by the dominance of Shane Mumford. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Watts, Daniel Cross HF: Viv Michie, James Frawley, Jack Viney F: Dean Kent, Chris Dawes, Max Gawn FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dom Barry, Matt Jones, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Rohan Bail, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jordie McKenzie IN: Jack Grimes, Christian Salem OUT: Rohan Bail, Jay Kennedy-Harris (both omitted) GWS GIANTS B: Adam Kennedy, Lachie Plowman, Heath Shaw HB: Jono O'Rourke, Phil Davis, Matt Buntine C: Devon Smith, Adam Treloar, Toby Greene HF: Rhys Palmer, Adam Tomlinson, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Joshua Kelly, Jonathon Patton, Tom Boyd FOLL: Shane Mumford, Callan Ward, Dylan Shiel I/C: Tomas Bugg, James Stewart, Mark Whiley, Nathan Wilson EMG: Jon Giles, Tim Golds, Zac Williams IN: James Stewart, Mark Whiley, Nathan Wilson OUT: Tim Golds, Jed Lamb, Zac Williams (all omitted) NEW: James Stewart (Sandringham U18), Mark Whiley (Finley) If anyone believes that I'm suggesting that Melbourne is even remotely considering tanking they should think again. While the "Petracca Cup" might be how most of the football world perceives a game such as this, where the teams are essentially playing off for 16th spot, Melbourne certainly cannot afford to lose a game that would be its seventh defeat on the way to nine losses in a row to end its first season under coach Roos. A win means a lot more to a club which needs to retain membership numbers and hope for the future after eight barren seasons without seeing finals action. Their opposition continues to be propped up by its AFL creator and benefactor and can therefore survive on home crowds of six to seven thousand and little local support but the Demons know that, unless they begin to show significant on field improvement, they will remain on the precipice. Moreover, the draft experts keep saying that there are a number of different candidates for the top four or five draft picks so if it comes down to pick 2 or 3 then it means only that there are some minor strategic differences between success or failure in this game. The common measure among conspiracy theorists on whether a team is "tanking" or not is the number of players for who stumps have been pulled up early and have undergone season ending surgery. While the Giants qualify under this scenario, with almost half their players missing from their round three win over the club, the opposite applies with the Demons who actually have players returning to the ranks. Back in round three, the game was dominated and won by the Giants after three close quarters, by a single player in the guise of Shane Mumford who was simply outstanding with 60 hit outs and who thereby set up numerous attacking moves with his outstanding work around the ground and at the stoppages. The Demons have Mark Jamar and Max Gawn working the ruck this time and whilst one simply mustn't underestimate the work of Mumford for the Giants they now have the opportunity to be at least competitive in an area where they were not when they met earlier in the season. Gawn's major role is expected to be up forward where he will also be partnered by Chris Dawes who is due for a day out after a few quiet weeks. James Frawley will also no doubt play in attack as well. The last time they met he was there for the first time and was the only key in a very undersized, undermanned and dysfunctional attack. If Roos maintains that his team's recent over the top negativity was player driven and not coach driven then surely, against a lesser side like GWS, his charges will have faith in the players he has selected up forward and they will take the game on to go forward the direct way enough times to kick a winning score? The Giants' other advantage when they met at Spotless Stadium earlier in the season was its young, fit, running midfield which is now showing signs of fatigue after a long season. They have plenty of their guns now missing and with two newcomers on the field on Sunday, they cannot be expected to perform in front of what will be a small but hostile pro Melbourne crowd willing their players home. And if they lose the right to Petracca, then so be it. Over the past decade, they have acquired enough first round draft picks for then to be entirely justified in asking, "who gives a Petracca?"
  20. Melbourne's last home game for yet another dismal season could not have been played at a more suitable time for the game it promises to be, nor against a more appropriate opponent. It happens at the end of a week during which the game itself has been on trial, when the competition has been exposed in a court as having questionable scruples and considering itself in many ways above the law. This is a competition which favours the strong and gives lip service to helping its weak by doing it favours like giving out meagre compensation to those who are drawn to play at times that are unattractive, making it difficult for them to gather the crowds from which they can draw their life blood. And so it happens that this game which is so important to the clubs, perversely because it will determine how low they will finish and therefore decide the only thing that remains important to them at this time of the season (and how high in draft order), will be played out at the MCG in front of a small crowd in the late afternoon/early evening out of the gaze of a football world that doesn't really care and will shun the game in favour of other potentially more exciting things to watch on their television sets on a late winter's afternoon. Like the test pattern. Does this game therefore even merit a preview? Most likely not because if you take a look at the size of GWS Giants' injury list, with so many of its players out for the remainder of the season, you get the feeling that they might barely muster up a squad to make the flight down to Tullamarine for the game. The last time I saw an injury list so extensive was that of Melbourne circa 2009 and we all know how that ended up. The wags are describing the game as the "Petracca Cup" in honour of the upcoming draft's flavour of the month and the word is that he's the man most wanted by the Giants whose ladder position stunningly dropped below that of Melbourne last week despite the fact that the Dees suffered a 50-point defeat. Now, if they could achieve that in a home game, it's going to be mighty hard not to lose to them on your own dung heap. That is not to say that the Demons at home and in front of a small but strongly partisan crowd will definitely have their own way in this affair. They demonstrated a fortnight ago how limited their appetite and capacity was for playing attacking football when they had another lowly opponent in Brisbane at their mercy early in the final quarter. Coach Paul Roos was quoted in this weeks Inside Football that the defensive mindset that enveloped his team in the final term of the loss to Brisbane wasn't a direction from the coach's box, but was player driven but surely thats been their focus for most of the year? And that's why they could easily lose this time against football's babes if they decide to play sloppy pedestrian football in the super defensive style that has marked a team that struggles regularly to kick ten goals in two hours of football. THE GAME Melbourne v GWS Giants at the MCG Sunday 17 August, 2014 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 2 wins At the MCG Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 0 wins Past five years Melbourne 3 wins GWS Giants 2 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Cameron 1 win MEDIA TV Fox Sports Channel 3 at 3.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.48 GWS Giants to win - $2.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET GWS Giants 10.19.79 defeated Melbourne 7.5.47 at Spotless Stadium Round 3, 2014 Bereft of any key forwards and light on for ruck power against a keen opposition in difficult conditions, Melbourne got to within a point early in the final quarter and then simply gave up the ghost against a team inspired by the dominance of Shane Mumford. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Watts, Daniel Cross HF: Viv Michie, James Frawley, Jack Viney F: Dean Kent, Chris Dawes, Max Gawn FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dom Barry, Matt Jones, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Rohan Bail, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jordie McKenzie IN: Jack Grimes, Christian Salem OUT: Rohan Bail, Jay Kennedy-Harris (both omitted) GWS GIANTS B: Adam Kennedy, Lachie Plowman, Heath Shaw HB: Jono O'Rourke, Phil Davis, Matt Buntine C: Devon Smith, Adam Treloar, Toby Greene HF: Rhys Palmer, Adam Tomlinson, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Joshua Kelly, Jonathon Patton, Tom Boyd FOLL: Shane Mumford, Callan Ward, Dylan Shiel I/C: Tomas Bugg, James Stewart, Mark Whiley, Nathan Wilson EMG: Jon Giles, Tim Golds, Zac Williams IN: James Stewart, Mark Whiley, Nathan Wilson OUT: Tim Golds, Jed Lamb, Zac Williams (all omitted) NEW: James Stewart (Sandringham U18), Mark Whiley (Finley) If anyone believes that I'm suggesting that Melbourne is even remotely considering tanking they should think again. While the "Petracca Cup" might be how most of the football world perceives a game such as this, where the teams are essentially playing off for 16th spot, Melbourne certainly cannot afford to lose a game that would be its seventh defeat on the way to nine losses in a row to end its first season under coach Roos. A win means a lot more to a club which needs to retain membership numbers and hope for the future after eight barren seasons without seeing finals action. Their opposition continues to be propped up by its AFL creator and benefactor and can therefore survive on home crowds of six to seven thousand and little local support but the Demons know that, unless they begin to show significant on field improvement, they will remain on the precipice. Moreover, the draft experts keep saying that there are a number of different candidates for the top four or five draft picks so if it comes down to pick 2 or 3 then it means only that there are some minor strategic differences between success or failure in this game. The common measure among conspiracy theorists on whether a team is "tanking" or not is the number of players for who stumps have been pulled up early and have undergone season ending surgery. While the Giants qualify under this scenario, with almost half their players missing from their round three win over the club, the opposite applies with the Demons who actually have players returning to the ranks. Back in round three, the game was dominated and won by the Giants after three close quarters, by a single player in the guise of Shane Mumford who was simply outstanding with 60 hit outs and who thereby set up numerous attacking moves with his outstanding work around the ground and at the stoppages. The Demons have Mark Jamar and Max Gawn working the ruck this time and whilst one simply mustn't underestimate the work of Mumford for the Giants they now have the opportunity to be at least competitive in an area where they were not when they met earlier in the season. Gawn's major role is expected to be up forward where he will also be partnered by Chris Dawes who is due for a day out after a few quiet weeks. James Frawley will also no doubt play in attack as well. The last time they met he was there for the first time and was the only key in a very undersized, undermanned and dysfunctional attack. If Roos maintains that his team's recent over the top negativity was player driven and not coach driven then surely, against a lesser side like GWS, his charges will have faith in the players he has selected up forward and they will take the game on to go forward the direct way enough times to kick a winning score? The Giants' other advantage when they met at Spotless Stadium earlier in the season was its young, fit, running midfield which is now showing signs of fatigue after a long season. They have plenty of their guns now missing and with two newcomers on the field on Sunday, they cannot be expected to perform in front of what will be a small but hostile pro Melbourne crowd willing their players home. And if they lose the right to Petracca, then so be it. Over the past decade, they have acquired enough first round draft picks for then to be entirely justified in asking, "who gives a Petracca?"
  21. Demonland

    POST MATCH DISCUSSION

    MORE PERFORMANCE ENHANCING? by George on the Outer It was looking like another week from Hell for the Demon supporters Nineteen points down at ¾ time against the other cellar dweller on the league ladder, with a more dispirited and heartless performance on show up to that point. The opening music of Enter Sandman was prophetic as the Demons sought to put their supporters to sleep. But a Nathan Jones goal early, followed by a Max Gawn grab in the goal-square and suddenly the game was on again, instead of being all over. Even then an unaccountable performance by certain individuals, and a goal to GWS allowed the momentum to be sucked from the Demons, yet again. Finally it was the two Cols who stood up! Firstly, Col Garland who decided that enough was enough and marked strongly on the wing against four others. Had he not, the ball was surely to finish up with another GWS score. Then Col Sylvia also decided that enough was enough and burst through the centre pack to connect with Michael Evans and another major resulted. Another attack then repulsed by Garland alone and the life and hope of GWS disappeared as they watched the Demons pile on their greatest single quarter score in the history of the club. With all the talk about performance enhancing drugs in the past week, it was that old fashioned drug called guts and determination that produced the result. However, if the message had gone out earlier, the pain wouldnt have been so hard to suffer as the 20K of Melbourne fans watched only a couple of solitary gutsy performances by the likes of Nathan and Matt Jones and Mitch Clark that kept the team in any sort of decent position up to the ¾ time break. In contrast there were some simply appalling displays on show. Cameron Mooney is right to suggest Jack Watts needs to be given an accountable role. He continues to fluff around in the backline, expecting others to do the work, while he refuses to man up when needed. Neville Jetta is in the side for his pace, but his speed today was comparable to treacle moving. He will probably get some time on the sidelines by the MRC courtesy of a stupid hit on Lachie Whitfield. The Demons were cut to pieces in the middle. Mark Jamar continues to disappoint, and fails to provide any advantage to his team with his hit-outs. Who would believe he did so 31 times today? Trouble was his more junior opponent had 29 hitouts, and were it not for Max Gawn getting twice the number as his opponents, then the ruck contests would have favoured GWS. Mark could find himself as a 3rd option for ruck if he keeps playing the way he has been this season. He could start by jumping off the ground at contests instead of trying to body out, and then not getting a hand on the ball. The centre-line continues to be problematic. With Jack Viney under some sort of cloud today, we simply didnt have enough talent to put in the centre square. Jones x 2 were superb with 28 and 21 disposals respectively, and both kick the ball when under pressure. Sharp contrast to the handball nellies who almost invariably turn it over. When you have giants of the non-Sydney variety in the goal-square the quicker and easiest way to get it to them is by foot. It shouldnt take brain surgeons to work that out. It was good to winyes. Yet it was hardly a convincing win when the likes of Brogan, Patton and Hoskins-Elliot werent there. We were taken apart by Tom Scully and the contrast to his 11 possession performance last week against the Saints, demonstrates the lack of pressure that was applied around the packs. It was good to be able to eke out a win without Clark & Viney on the ground in the final quarter. It was good for the 20K of Melbourne supporters who showed up, yet again, to demonstrate their solidarity. It was good ... because a win enhances performance. It is the drug that we need to build ANY sort of belief and confidence. The players now know they can turn around and are capable of electrifying scoreboard performances ... if they just set their minds on it. With the equally impressive performance by Casey against Essendon, there will be plenty of players genuinely vying for senior selection. There are senior players who will be offering their roles to those more hungry than was shown in their performances of the first ¾ of todays game. It is Guts and Determination that is the drug of choice. There can be no other way. Melbourne 4.5.29 7.7.49 10.10.70 22.12.144 Greater Western Sydney 3.3.31 8.8.56 13.11.89 15.13.103 Goals Melbourne Howe 4 Byrnes Evans 3 Davey Gawn Pedersen 2 Bail Clark Jamar N Jones Sylvia Trengove Greater Western Sydney O'hAilpin 5 Palmer 2 Cameron Giles Greene Scully Shiel Sumner Treloar Ward Best Melbourne Garland Sylvia N Jones M Jones Gawn Grimes Clark Greater Western Sydney Scully Shiel Treloar Whitfield O'hAilpin Greene Ward Injuries Melbourne TBC Greater Western Sydney TBC Changes Melbourne Nil Greater Western Sydney Nil Substitutes Melbourne Aaron Davey replaced Jack Viney in the third quarter Greater Western Sydney Anthony Miles replaced Nick Haynes at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Neville Jetta reported for engaging in rough conduct on Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney) Greater Western Sydney Nil Umpires Bannister, Margetts, Harris Official crowd 20,018 at the MCG
  22. Demonland

    THE RAT'S CLACKER CUP by JVM

    Jack Trengove was almost effusive about his team's first half against the Eagles last week repeatedly saying things to the effect that it was "some of the most enjoyable footy I've played in years". And really, apart from a few lapses at the end of each of the first two quarters, their play was a thing to behold except for the fact that they were still ten points in arrears at the main break. The fans liked it too because they applauded the team off the ground. Perhaps they should have kept the applause for later in the day because after half time, their team was monstered by bigger and much stronger bodied opponents and it reverted to type. The team was pressured into making error upon error as the West Coast Eagles piled in goal after goal outscoring the hapless Demons by 14 goals in one half of football. The coaches had no idea as to how to stem the bleeding and, for the third week in a row, Melbourne was utterly destroyed. This week, the pressure hits Mark Neeld and his young charges tenfold. Playing at home against the fledgling GWS Giants, they have little to gain and everything to lose. A loss of any sort against this bunch of mainly pimply faced teenagers missing a handful of their bigger bodied players like Patton (injured) and Brogan (suspended) is unacceptable. A win against this new franchise is unlikely to mean a great deal. The result of the game is therefore irrelevant and in that respect, not many people really give a rat's clacker about the outcome. What matters for Melbourne is the way in which the team approaches this game. After a poor debut season under coach Mark Neeld, the fans were entitled to expect substantial improvement this year. The players should have been fitter, stronger, more skilled and playing with greater confidence. None of that has been evident in the three games to date which have seen their average losing margin skyrocket to 107 points. And nothing short of a spectacular turnaround in form and attitude will save heads from rolling. THE GAME Melbourne v. GWS Giants at the MCG Sunday 21 April 2013 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 0 wins At the MCG Melbourne 1 win GWS Giants 0 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 2 wins GWS Giants 0 wins The Coaches Neeld 2 wins Sheedy 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 & Fox Footy Channel, 1:00pm live. RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win $1.58 to GWS Giants to win $2.40 [Note: Inside Football's Robert Shaw has GWS as his safe bet of the week] LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 11.18.84 defeated GWS Giants 9.5.59 in Round at Manuka Melbourne was by far the superior team in size and skill but did the Giants field their best possible team and were they concentrating on other prizes like Lauchie Whitfield? The AFL, which had already launched a tanking inquisition against the Demons weren't taking any notice. Once the Giants had the game well and truly lost, they made a spirited fightback and even Tom Scully looked half good, kicking a goal in the last quarter. Nobody really cared. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs Jack Watts James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Neville Jetta Tom McDonald Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Jack Grimes Jack Viney Half forwards Aaron Davey Mitch Clark Jeremy Howe Forwards Luke Tapscott Max Gawn Shannon Byrnes Followers Mark Jamar Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange (from) Rohan Bail Michael Evans Matt Jones Cam Pedersen Emergencies James Sellar Jake Spencer Jimmy Toumpas GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY Backs Adam Kennedy Tim Mohr Phil Davis Half backs Thomas Bugg Stephen Gilham Nick Haynes Centreline Tom Scully Callan Ward Rhys Palmer Half Forwards Jacob Townsend Jeremy Cameron Sam Reid Forwards Liam Summer Setanta O'hAilpin Sam Frost Followers Jonathan Giles Adam Treloar Dylan Shiel Interchange Stephen Coniglio Toby Greene Anthony Miles Lachie Whitfield Emergencies Tim Golds Lachie Plowman Adam Tomlinson In Sam Frost Nick Haynes Anthony Miles Setanta O'hAilpin Rhys Palmer Jacob Townsend Out Dean Brogan (suspended) Curtly Hampton Will Hoskin-Elliott Jonathon Patton (knee) Lachie Plowman Devon Smith (suspended) THE COACH KILLERS by JVM Last year's wooden spooners aren't much chop. Their buffoon of a coach who passed his use bye date a decade ago gets his thrills from denigrating the opposition in order to drum some enthusiasm up in an area that was once heavily into rugby league but which has fast become a world football stronghold thanks to the success story that is the Western Sydney Wanderers FC. In comparison, Sheedy's mob have been nothing short of abject failures, led by their red nosed clown of a coach and their highly paid boy wonder whose old man's pay cheque is included in the club's bloated salary cap. The only major triumph in their short history to date is that they managed to send Port Adelaide's Matthew Primus into the football wilderness after his side lost to the Giants' in round 19 last year. Mark Neeld's Demons will almost certainly make their coach Sheedy's second scalp on the space of less than half a season if they fail tomorrow. And because the smell of failure has followed Melbourne around both on and off the field for well over half a decade now, its on the cards that the kids from western Sydney could write the final epitaph to the Demon coach's brief, unspectacular and troubled AFL coaching career. The big question is how will the Melbourne players react to yet another week in which their club has been in the news again and for all the wrong reasons. We've seen the Bombers respond with some scintillating football that's done great things to hearten and lift the spirits of their supporters. By contrast, Melbourne has shown little other than a bit of fight for most of their first half against the Eagles before capitulating in disastrous fashion in the second half. The Demons have otherwise failed in every test of character they've faced so far this season. We know that players like Colin Sylvia, James Frawley, Jack Watts, Colin Garland and Mark Jamar are just so much better than what they've served up so far. If they can't improve on that against the young Giants who this week lost a couple of their real giants in Patton and Brogan then they will have given Sheedy a rare victory, lost the faith of their team's supporters and killed their coach. I don't think they're that bad so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt about whether they really give a dead rat's clacker. Melbourne by 10 points. Demons' plan 'working perfectly': Neeld
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