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Found 23 results

  1. A loss to Fremantle by two points. Thirteen points to Richmond after it was all tied up as time on began in the last, 29 points to the Cats after leading at the final break and now three points to Hawthorn. In each and every match that Melbourne has lost this year, it has led or been level with the opposition late in the game, and each time it has been unable to put a win on the board. Yes, the Demons are missing an all-Australian ruckman in Max Gawn and more lately his next in line, but they have still outplayed the opposition in his absence, and in this match despite losing the tap-out stats, they still won the clearances. The critical factor missing is the lack of intensity among the players for four quarters. The competition is that even in 2017, that to drop one's guard for even a short period of time can guarantee a loss. In this match it was all to be seen in the first quarter, with the half-hearted efforts from numerous players who thought they just had to go through the motions. Suddenly, the team was four goals down and effectively, given the end result, all but over. Running hard, tackling, and being aggressive at the ball and man wasn’t seen in that first half. It was only after the main break that the Demons produced the football we now know they are capable of, and dragged back the four goal deficit to be within a point at ¾ time. How a team can kick four goals in a half of football and then seven in the next 30 minutes is enough to give the coaching team nightmares. And Simon Goodwin and the coaches can take some credit for that turnaround with their positional moves that produced instant results. Jayden Hunt forward produced two goals in the opening minutes of the second half. Tom McDonals to the backline to bolster and provide a cool head. This not only released Sam Frost to produce some stellar runs and moves, but forced Oscar McDonald to be third man in defence instead of first - a task that was beyond him in the first half of the game. Yet, he became a solid last line and took telling marks and possessions when needed. Despite assistant coach, Troy Chaplin, alluding to it at the ¼ time break, they had to stop overusing the handball, it still took them another quarter until they stopped the frivolous handpass to teammates standing one metre away. Contrast that with the old Hawks, who in a tight situation often put the ball on the boot with accuracy to gain metreage (hope you were watching Clarrie)! And by the way, can one of the defenders stay down in marking contests? It’s becoming a systemic flaw each week now! When those changes were implemented, the Demons returned to dominance and had the Hawks on the ropes. But sadly, some stupid errors and simple mis-positioning in the middle gave them first use of the ball at the critical juncture. With a dominant ruckman in McEvoy, Demon mids left Burgoyne and Mitchell side by side and guess where the ball went and was then delivered to the leading forward? Game over, although Melbourne had one last thrust which again was un-done with stupid handball. It’s a good thing Simon Goodwin has a crew-cut for his hairstyle, because he would be tearing it out when he has to witness that from senior players. All credit must go to the younger players again. Jack Viney led the way for the whole game and despite carrying an injury to his leg ( tape on knee area) 32 touches of which 16 were contested was a true captain's game. Jayden Hunt turned the game on (again) with his speed and toughness. Jesse Hogan deserved more following his return to the game, and if treated as equally by the umpires as Jordan Roughead was in front of goal, his return would have been more than the three goals. Unfortunately JKH, Mitch Hannan and Tom Bugg are probably looking at missing the trip to Adelaide next week, JKH in particular, who managed not to not tackle a single player in 100 minutes of football. Hannan continued to run around without purpose on the forward line and didn’t provide sufficient defensive pressure to stop the ball rebounding for the whole game. Buggy just can’t hit a target when needed and makes silly decisions. For all of them there are easy replacements. So Adelaide it is next week in front of a hostile crowd. There is only one way to silence them, and that is to get off to an early start and take away their momentum. North Melbourne did it to them this week (with the help of a howling wind in the first quarter), but when they failed to score in that quarter, they couldn’t come back. The Demons should learn the lesson from that match and our own. Either bring your best to the contest from the start and play that way for the whole four quarters, or another loss will eventuate. Melbourne 1.1.7 4.2.26 11.6.72 14.7.91 Hawthorn 5.4.34 8.7.51 11.7.73 14.10.94 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 3 Hunt Lewis 2 Jones Pedersen Viney Watts Hawthorn Roughead 4 Gunston McEvoy O'Brien 2 Breust Burgoyne Langford Smith Best Melbourne Viney, Lewis Frost Oliver, Jones Hibberd Hogan Hawthorn McEvoy Burgoyne Roughead Mitchell Langford O'Brien, Hardwick Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn O'Meara (knee soreness) replaced in selected side by Langford Injuries Melbourne Hunt (left shoulder) Hawthorn Birchall (right knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Kamolins Ryan Jeffery Official crowd 38,693 at the MCG
  2. MATCH REPORT - Round 7

    FOUR QUARTERS by George on the Outer A loss to Fremantle by two points. Thirteen points to Richmond after it was all tied up as time on began in the last, 29 points to the Cats after leading at the final break and now three points to Hawthorn. In each and every match that Melbourne has lost this year, it has led or been level with the opposition late in the game, and each time it has been unable to put a win on the board. Yes, the Demons are missing an all-Australian ruckman in Max Gawn and more lately his next in line, but they have still outplayed the opposition in his absence, and in this match despite losing the tap-out stats, they still won the clearances. The critical factor missing is the lack of intensity among the players for four quarters. The competition is that even in 2017, that to drop one's guard for even a short period of time can guarantee a loss. In this match it was all to be seen in the first quarter, with the half-hearted efforts from numerous players who thought they just had to go through the motions. Suddenly, the team was four goals down and effectively, given the end result, all but over. Running hard, tackling, and being aggressive at the ball and man wasn’t seen in that first half. It was only after the main break that the Demons produced the football we now know they are capable of, and dragged back the four goal deficit to be within a point at ¾ time. How a team can kick four goals in a half of football and then seven in the next 30 minutes is enough to give the coaching team nightmares. And Simon Goodwin and the coaches can take some credit for that turnaround with their positional moves that produced instant results. Jayden Hunt forward produced two goals in the opening minutes of the second half. Tom McDonals to the backline to bolster and provide a cool head. This not only released Sam Frost to produce some stellar runs and moves, but forced Oscar McDonald to be third man in defence instead of first - a task that was beyond him in the first half of the game. Yet, he became a solid last line and took telling marks and possessions when needed. Despite assistant coach, Troy Chaplin, alluding to it at the ¼ time break, they had to stop overusing the handball, it still took them another quarter until they stopped the frivolous handpass to teammates standing one metre away. Contrast that with the old Hawks, who in a tight situation often put the ball on the boot with accuracy to gain metreage (hope you were watching Clarrie)! And by the way, can one of the defenders stay down in marking contests? It’s becoming a systemic flaw each week now! When those changes were implemented, the Demons returned to dominance and had the Hawks on the ropes. But sadly, some stupid errors and simple mis-positioning in the middle gave them first use of the ball at the critical juncture. With a dominant ruckman in McEvoy, Demon mids left Burgoyne and Mitchell side by side and guess where the ball went and was then delivered to the leading forward? Game over, although Melbourne had one last thrust which again was un-done with stupid handball. It’s a good thing Simon Goodwin has a crew-cut for his hairstyle, because he would be tearing it out when he has to witness that from senior players. All credit must go to the younger players again. Jack Viney led the way for the whole game and despite carrying an injury to his leg ( tape on knee area) 32 touches of which 16 were contested was a true captain's game. Jayden Hunt turned the game on (again) with his speed and toughness. Jesse Hogan deserved more following his return to the game, and if treated as equally by the umpires as Jordan Roughead was in front of goal, his return would have been more than the three goals. Unfortunately JKH, Mitch Hannan and Tom Bugg are probably looking at missing the trip to Adelaide next week, JKH in particular, who managed not to not tackle a single player in 100 minutes of football. Hannan continued to run around without purpose on the forward line and didn’t provide sufficient defensive pressure to stop the ball rebounding for the whole game. Buggy just can’t hit a target when needed and makes silly decisions. For all of them there are easy replacements. So Adelaide it is next week in front of a hostile crowd. There is only one way to silence them, and that is to get off to an early start and take away their momentum. North Melbourne did it to them this week (with the help of a howling wind in the first quarter), but when they failed to score in that quarter, they couldn’t come back. The Demons should learn the lesson from that match and our own. Either bring your best to the contest from the start and play that way for the whole four quarters, or another loss will eventuate. Melbourne 1.1.7 4.2.26 11.6.72 14.7.91 Hawthorn 5.4.34 8.7.51 11.7.73 14.10.94 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 3 Hunt Lewis 2 Jones Pedersen Viney Watts Hawthorn Roughead 4 Gunston McEvoy O'Brien 2 Breust Burgoyne Langford Smith Best Melbourne Viney, Lewis Frost Oliver, Jones Hibberd Hogan Hawthorn McEvoy Burgoyne Roughead Mitchell Langford O'Brien, Hardwick Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn O'Meara (knee soreness) replaced in selected side by Langford Injuries Melbourne Hunt (left shoulder) Hawthorn Birchall (right knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Kamolins Ryan Jeffery Official crowd 38,693 at the MCG
  3. GAMEDAY - Round 7

    Big day for the club ... Pink Lady Day for Breast Cancer Awareness and 40,000 members for the first time. Playing at home with the prize for a win being a place in the 8.
  4. STATEMENT by The Oracle

    The Melbourne Football Club is at a point in its history when the time has come for the team to make a definitive statement. For too long, the Demons have struggled to produce consistency in their performance from week to week. Supporters have scratched their heads in puzzlement at how their form could ebb and flow and, just when the time was ripe for an upward step, they would put in a shocker. Now is the time for a statement about standing up and winning games they are expected to win. I believe that Melbourne is now in a position to turn the tide of inconsistency and the reason is due in part to the arrival of a trio of players who have come into the fold and who possess the presence and the experience necessary to steady a ship when things go wrong. Former Hawk Jordan Lewis is poised to show his old club the folly of allowing a player of his ilk to slip through their fingers. Last week he added steadiness and invaluable leadership to the Demon midfield with his 30 touches and this was matched by the club's co-captains who were instrumental in helping the team overrun the Bombers in the second half. Two defenders from Essendon in Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham have added solidity to the Melbourne defence. The former has been a revelation in his two matches while the latter is gradually adding to the club's depth in this area*. At a time when injuries have been a negative factor, the presence of the newcomers is helping to change the shape of the club. Of course, it's not just the three on their own - there are young players at the club coming into their own and producing consistent performances. Names like Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Jayden Hunt and Christian Salem are carving a niche in the game for themselves. Last week the Demons missed their All Australian ruckman in Max Gawn (and he will still be missing for several weeks to come) but they are likely to get Jesse Hogan back after the passing of his father. His return will be welcome as it will provide an extra dimension to the team's fire power. After a lacklustre start to the season, he is another important presence on the ground. With Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett, Petracca and Mitch Hannan all capable of kicking goals, the forward line is starting to take on a formidable shape. There's always a danger in underestimating your opponent on any given day and Demon fans are well aware of the perils of taking the demoralized Hawks lightly. The West Coast Eagles discovered that just two weeks ago. But the opportunity is there to make a big statement about the dependability of the playing group even after the injuries, the suspensions and the personal setbacks of the first month and a half of the season. Melbourne will win this game and in doing so will continue the upward trend in its fortunes that began when Paul Roos was appointed to coach the club almost four years ago. * You give a bloke some praise and the selectors drop him. Sheesh! THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday 7 May 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 75 wins Hawthorn 85 wins At MCG Melbourne 36 wins Hawthorn 44 wins Last 5 meetings Melbourne 1 win Hawthorn 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Clarkson 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M, 3AW, ABC, ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne $1.44 to win Hawthorn $2.80 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.8.110 defeated Hawthorn 11.15.81 in Round 20, 2016 at the MCG Max Gawn had 41 hit outs, 16 possessions and 11 marks to drive a famous victory for the Demons who prevailed over the Hawks for the first time in a decade. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Tom Bugg HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Oscar McDonald, Christian Salem, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner EMG: Dean Kent, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch IN: Jesse Hogan, Josh Wagner OUT: Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen HAWTHORN B: Grant Burchall, James Frawley, Ben Stratton, HB: Ryan Burton, Josh Gibson, Shaun Burgoyne C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara HF: Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien, Jack Gunston F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Ben McEvoy Liam Shiels Luke Hodge I/C: Blake Hardwick, Billy Hartung, Daniel Howe, James Sicily, Brendan Whitecross EMG: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford, James Sicily IN: Grant Birchall, Cyril Rioli OUT: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford There is no question that Hawthorn is on a downward spiral. The Hawks have suffered three massive losses in excess of 12 goals so far this year including one by 86 points against Gold Coast in Round 3. However, history tells us that when great teams are in their death throes they retain the capacity to dig deep and rise to the occasion. They did this in Round 5 against the Eagles and with two stars back in their side this week and the recriminations of another failure ringing in their ears, they will certainly be trying to defy their detractors. In a round that is already looming as a round of major upsets, Hawthorn also has the added incentive of atoning for their last encounter with Melbourne which was the Round 20 loss that sent the team spiraling downward from the top ladder position which they then firmly held to a situation where they failed to even make a preliminary final in September and further to the lowly place they now occupy on the competition table. Melbourne also has something to prove as circumstance has robbed it of the opportunity to hold a firm grip on a finals place - even at this early stage. With the club welcoming back Jesse Hogan after Jordan Lewis' return last week and the club debut of Michael Hibberd the week before that, the Demons are back to almost full strength with the exception of the big hole in ruck left by the injury to Max Gawn. The game is all about coping with the loss of players through injury and sometimes this has to be done by improvisation. Simon Goodwin has demonstrated in his short time at the helm that he is capable of pulling rabbits out a hat and last week, his unorthodox ruck set up headed by Cam Pedersen, showed that he is very good at making hard things work. Melbourne by 29 points.
  5. STATEMENT by The Oracle The Melbourne Football Club is at a point in its history when the time has come for the team to make a definitive statement. For too long, the Demons have struggled to produce consistency in their performance from week to week. Supporters have scratched their heads in puzzlement at how their form could ebb and flow and, just when the time was ripe for an upward step, they would put in a shocker. Now is the time for a statement about standing up and winning games they are expected to win. I believe that Melbourne is now in a position to turn the tide of inconsistency and the reason is due in part to the arrival of a trio of players who have come into the fold and who possess the presence and the experience necessary to steady a ship when things go wrong. Former Hawk Jordan Lewis is poised to show his old club the folly of allowing a player of his ilk to slip through their fingers. Last week he added steadiness and invaluable leadership to the Demon midfield with his 30 touches and this was matched by the club's co-captains who were instrumental in helping the team overrun the Bombers in the second half. Two defenders from Essendon in Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham have added solidity to the Melbourne defence. The former has been a revelation in his two matches while the latter is gradually adding to the club's depth in this area*. At a time when injuries have been a negative factor, the presence of the newcomers is helping to change the shape of the club. Of course, it's not just the three on their own - there are young players at the club coming into their own and producing consistent performances. Names like Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Jayden Hunt and Christian Salem are carving a niche in the game for themselves. Last week the Demons missed their All Australian ruckman in Max Gawn (and he will still be missing for several weeks to come) but they are likely to get Jesse Hogan back after the passing of his father. His return will be welcome as it will provide an extra dimension to the team's fire power. After a lacklustre start to the season, he is another important presence on the ground. With Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett, Petracca and Mitch Hannan all capable of kicking goals, the forward line is starting to take on a formidable shape. There's always a danger in underestimating your opponent on any given day and Demon fans are well aware of the perils of taking the demoralized Hawks lightly. The West Coast Eagles discovered that just two weeks ago. But the opportunity is there to make a big statement about the dependability of the playing group even after the injuries, the suspensions and the personal setbacks of the first month and a half of the season. Melbourne will win this game and in doing so will continue the upward trend in its fortunes that began when Paul Roos was appointed to coach the club almost four years ago. * You give a bloke some praise and the selectors drop him. Sheesh! THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday 7 May 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 75 wins Hawthorn 85 wins At MCG Melbourne 36 wins Hawthorn 44 wins Last 5 meetings Melbourne 1 win Hawthorn 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Clarkson 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M, 3AW, ABC, ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne $1.44 to win Hawthorn $2.80 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.8.110 defeated Hawthorn 11.15.81 in Round 20, 2016 at the MCG Max Gawn had 41 hit outs, 16 possessions and 11 marks to drive a famous victory for the Demons who prevailed over the Hawks for the first time in a decade. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Tom Bugg HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Oscar McDonald, Christian Salem, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner EMG: Dean Kent, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch IN: Jesse Hogan, Josh Wagner OUT: Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen HAWTHORN B: Grant Burchall, James Frawley, Ben Stratton, HB: Ryan Burton, Josh Gibson, Shaun Burgoyne C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara HF: Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien, Jack Gunston F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Ben McEvoy Liam Shiels Luke Hodge I/C: Blake Hardwick, Billy Hartung, Daniel Howe, James Sicily, Brendan Whitecross EMG: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford, James Sicily IN: Grant Birchall, Cyril Rioli OUT: Kaiden Brand, Will Langford There is no question that Hawthorn is on a downward spiral. The Hawks have suffered three massive losses in excess of 12 goals so far this year including one by 86 points against Gold Coast in Round 3. However, history tells us that when great teams are in their death throes they retain the capacity to dig deep and rise to the occasion. They did this in Round 5 against the Eagles and with two stars back in their side this week and the recriminations of another failure ringing in their ears, they will certainly be trying to defy their detractors. In a round that is already looming as a round of major upsets, Hawthorn also has the added incentive of atoning for their last encounter with Melbourne which was the Round 20 loss that sent the team spiraling downward from the top ladder position which they then firmly held to a situation where they failed to even make a preliminary final in September and further to the lowly place they now occupy on the competition table. Melbourne also has something to prove as circumstance has robbed it of the opportunity to hold a firm grip on a finals place - even at this early stage. With the club welcoming back Jesse Hogan after Jordan Lewis' return last week and the club debut of Michael Hibberd the week before that, the Demons are back to almost full strength with the exception of the big hole in ruck left by the injury to Max Gawn. The game is all about coping with the loss of players through injury and sometimes this has to be done by improvisation. Simon Goodwin has demonstrated in his short time at the helm that he is capable of pulling rabbits out a hat and last week, his unorthodox ruck set up headed by Cam Pedersen, showed that he is very good at making hard things work. Melbourne by 29 points.
  6. MATCH REPORT - Round 20

    THE BREAKOUT by George on the Outer At some point, as an upcoming side moves upwards from the lower reaches of the League ladder, there comes a defining moment. It is that moment that causes others to take notice, to admit that there is something genuine about the team's progress and to recognise that for the future they will have to be taken seriously. All that occurred in one afternoon in August 2016 when 11th placed Melbourne defeated the top of the ladder Hawthorn by nearly five goals. Paul Roos promised to re-build the playing list during his reign as coach, while off-field leader Peter Jackson has at the same time rebuilt the club. As we approach the end of the 2016 season, Melbourne supporters can finally see that those promises are being delivered. We have seen the steady progression of the side under Roos' tutelage but this game was the breakout that signified the step necessary to be a genuine future contender in the competition. Before the match, there were few who regarded Melbourne's prospects for success on the day. Hawthorn had a nine game winning streak, had won the last three premierships, and were fielding most of their well-credentialed list. Their battle hardened warriors in Hodge, Lewis, Mitchell, Burgoyne, Gibson and Rioli were all there. It had been ten years since a Demons side had beaten Hawthorn. It was a big task for the youngest AFL team to take to the field since the introduction of GWS –Gold Coast to provide even a meaningful contest, especially as it followed a 6 day break and two recent long interstate trips to Perth and Darwin. With everything pointing to an easy Hawthorn victory, the result and the size of the win was particularly notable. The young Demons got off to a flyer of a start with an early goal to Jayden Hunt when on the run, and then Sam Weideman, in his debut game, joined that elite group of AFL players to have kicked a goal with his first touch. But Hawthorn returned the fire and for the majority of the match the scoreboard showed barely a two goal difference between the two sides. That in itself was remarkable, because Hawthon with their skills, experience and stronger bodies should have been making a greater mark. However, the mark was being made by the Melbourne players instead. Max Gawn dominated the Hawthorn duo of McEvoy and Ceglar in the ruck contests with 41 hit-outs. Not only that but he took 11 marks around the ground, with some particularly telling contested ones both in offence and defence. His performances in this match and during the season have surely marked him as a certainty for AA selection this year. The game was almost a repeat of that when the teams last met. Melbourne close, sometimes in front, but eventually losing it in the last quarter. This time the roles were reversed as the Demons played with the same level of intensity, right up to the final siren. What was also different from the last was the output from the younger players. Christian Petracca may not have had spectacular statistics with only 12 touches, but seven of those were contested, and what was not reflected on the stats sheet was his new found ability to break tackles. He now knows his own strength and will use it more and more as he matures from his ripe old age of 20! Once again, it was Jack Viney leading the charge. 39 touches, 16 contested and 7 clearances. He is only 22! Clayton Oliver rejoined the mids after his further development in the VFL to record 23 disposals, 11 contested, 8 clearances. He just turned 19 a fortnight ago! Angus Brayshaw 16 disposals, 6 contested and he is just 20! Complementing them were Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones with their usual output of 30 touches each, and the injection of this talented youth made all the difference to the end result. Despite Jesse Hogan not playing, he was not missed because Weideman, Cameron Pedersen and Jack Watts stood up to more than adequately provide a target when the ball moved forward. Watts was once again unstoppable. With three telling goals, his turnaround from bit player to damaging pivot is yet another example of what Roos has achieved. He might have scored three on his own, but his pin-point passing and willingness to get involved provided others scoring opportunities that were manufactured from nothing. Troubling for the AFL was again the appalling display from the umpiring department. Calls which were just best guesses, or made on the assumption that the Hawthorn player could not possibly do wrong were rife throughout the game. How Rioli was gifted a free 15 metres out after a high bump to Oliver, which will surely be reviewed by the MRC was simply incomprehensible. Six Hawthorn goals came from free kicks. Without this one-sided interpretation, a rout in favour of the Demons would have happened. This was the breakout game. If there was ever any doubt in Hogan and Tom McDonald’s mind about where this club is heading, then this match would have settled it well and truly. The next step is the break-in that will see us vault into the finals. It probably won’t happen this year, but with the surfeit of talent that Roos and his team have accumulated, 2017 is a certainty. Melbourne 5.2.32 9.2.56 12.6.78 17.8.110 Hawthorn 3.3.21 7.9.51 10.12.72 11.15.81 Goals Melbourne Watts 3 Bugg Tyson Weideman 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hunt Pedersen Petracca Stretch vandenBerg Hawthorn Rioli 4 Ceglar Gunston Smith 2 O'Brien Best Melbourne N Jones Gawn Viney Tyson Watts Vince T McDonald Oliver Hawthorn Rioli Smith Hodge Lewis Mitchell Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (bruised knee) replaced by Cameron Pedersen Hawthorn James Frawley (shoulder) replaced by Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Stratton (pectoral muscle) replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Farmer, Rosebury, Wallace Official crowd 38,818 at the MCG
  7. At some point, as an upcoming side moves upwards from the lower reaches of the League ladder, there comes a defining moment. It is that moment that causes others to take notice, to admit that there is something genuine about the team's progress and to recognise that for the future they will have to be taken seriously. All that occurred in one afternoon in August 2016 when 11th placed Melbourne defeated the top of the ladder Hawthorn by nearly five goals. Paul Roos promised to re-build the playing list during his reign as coach, while off-field leader Peter Jackson has at the same time rebuilt the club. As we approach the end of the 2016 season, Melbourne supporters can finally see that those promises are being delivered. We have seen the steady progression of the side under Roos' tutelage but this game was the breakout that signified the step necessary to be a genuine future contender in the competition. Before the match, there were few who regarded Melbourne's prospects for success on the day. Hawthorn had a nine game winning streak, had won the last three premierships, and were fielding most of their well-credentialed list. Their battle hardened warriors in Hodge, Lewis, Mitchell, Burgoyne, Gibson and Rioli were all there. It had been ten years since a Demons side had beaten Hawthorn. It was a big task for the youngest AFL team to take to the field since the introduction of GWS –Gold Coast to provide even a meaningful contest, especially as it followed a 6 day break and two recent long interstate trips to Perth and Darwin. With everything pointing to an easy Hawthorn victory, the result and the size of the win was particularly notable. The young Demons got off to a flyer of a start with an early goal to Jayden Hunt when on the run, and then Sam Weideman, in his debut game, joined that elite group of AFL players to have kicked a goal with his first touch. But Hawthorn returned the fire and for the majority of the match the scoreboard showed barely a two goal difference between the two sides. That in itself was remarkable, because Hawthon with their skills, experience and stronger bodies should have been making a greater mark. However, the mark was being made by the Melbourne players instead. Max Gawn dominated the Hawthorn duo of McEvoy and Ceglar in the ruck contests with 41 hit-outs. Not only that but he took 11 marks around the ground, with some particularly telling contested ones both in offence and defence. His performances in this match and during the season have surely marked him as a certainty for AA selection this year. The game was almost a repeat of that when the teams last met. Melbourne close, sometimes in front, but eventually losing it in the last quarter. This time the roles were reversed as the Demons played with the same level of intensity, right up to the final siren. What was also different from the last was the output from the younger players. Christian Petracca may not have had spectacular statistics with only 12 touches, but seven of those were contested, and what was not reflected on the stats sheet was his new found ability to break tackles. He now knows his own strength and will use it more and more as he matures from his ripe old age of 20! Once again, it was Jack Viney leading the charge. 39 touches, 16 contested and 7 clearances. He is only 22! Clayton Oliver rejoined the mids after his further development in the VFL to record 23 disposals, 11 contested, 8 clearances. He just turned 19 a fortnight ago! Angus Brayshaw 16 disposals, 6 contested and he is just 20! Complementing them were Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones with their usual output of 30 touches each, and the injection of this talented youth made all the difference to the end result. Despite Jesse Hogan not playing, he was not missed because Weideman, Cameron Pedersen and Jack Watts stood up to more than adequately provide a target when the ball moved forward. Watts was once again unstoppable. With three telling goals, his turnaround from bit player to damaging pivot is yet another example of what Roos has achieved. He might have scored three on his own, but his pin-point passing and willingness to get involved provided others scoring opportunities that were manufactured from nothing. Troubling for the AFL was again the appalling display from the umpiring department. Calls which were just best guesses, or made on the assumption that the Hawthorn player could not possibly do wrong were rife throughout the game. How Rioli was gifted a free 15 metres out after a high bump to Oliver, which will surely be reviewed by the MRC was simply incomprehensible. Six Hawthorn goals came from free kicks. Without this one-sided interpretation, a rout in favour of the Demons would have happened. This was the breakout game. If there was ever any doubt in Hogan and Tom McDonald’s mind about where this club is heading, then this match would have settled it well and truly. The next step is the break-in that will see us vault into the finals. It probably won’t happen this year, but with the surfeit of talent that Roos and his team have accumulated, 2017 is a certainty. Melbourne 5.2.32 9.2.56 12.6.78 17.8.110 Hawthorn 3.3.21 7.9.51 10.12.72 11.15.81 Goals Melbourne Watts 3 Bugg Tyson Weideman 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hunt Pedersen Petracca Stretch vandenBerg Hawthorn Rioli 4 Ceglar Gunston Smith 2 O'Brien Best Melbourne N Jones Gawn Viney Tyson Watts Vince T McDonald Oliver Hawthorn Rioli Smith Hodge Lewis Mitchell Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (bruised knee) replaced by Cameron Pedersen Hawthorn James Frawley (shoulder) replaced by Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Stratton (pectoral muscle) replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Farmer, Rosebury, Wallace Official crowd 38,818 at the MCG
  8. THE MOST AWESOME POST MATCH THREAD EVER!!!

    YESYESYESYESYESYDESY [censored] FANTASTIC
  9. Please cast your votes folks ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  10. GAMEDAY - Round 20

    It really is a case of men against boys in today's clash between the Demons and the Hawks at the MCG. The average age of the Hawthorn team selected for today's game is 26½ years - almost four years more than Melbourne's average age. The average games differential is slightly above 80 (137.0 to 56.6) in favour of the reigning premier. The figures suggest a blowout but the spirit of the decision to play our youth and the quality of these young men suggests to me that it's not just about today but rather, about next year ... and the year after. Of course, at this time of the season, it seems like it's always been about "next year" for Demon fans but I seriously think there's something about this group.
  11. PERFECTION by Whispering Jack I was thinking the other day about world affairs and politics and it occurred to me that, given the calibre of the major candidates in the coming elections for the president of the leading country of the so called "free world", we might be in a bit of trouble. Then I looked at who was leading the other "developed" nations across the western world, including our own, and a spot of panic set in. I understand completely that there are many countries across the globe that lack democratic values and are ruled by corrupt, incompetent or plain evil tyrants (and most of them will be on show over the coming weeks at the Olympic Games) but when the calibre of leadership in our democracies is weak and pathetic, I wonder whether mankind has lost its desire to achieve perfection. Of course, philosophers will argue that the question of perfection concerns not whether man is perfect, but whether he should be perfect and if that is true, then how is perfection to be attained? I wonder about this in many spheres of life but last week at roughly 3.30pm last Sunday afternoon, as I sat in the stand at the MCG watching players committing the most basic skill errors such as miskicks and handballs to teammates with their backs to the play, I was confronted with the thought that perhaps the search for perfection in our game is beyond reach. However, it was after the game, when I had time to collect my thoughts and notice who Melbourne was drawn to play against in six days’ time, that I changed my mind. If there is perfection in our game then the current Hawthorn team must be close. The Hawks have won the last three AFL premierships and they currently sit on top of the ladder, two games clear of their nearest rivals and well on their way to achieving a rare fourth successive premiership. I used to think that the Demons of the fifties and sixties were the perfect team but even they fell at the final hurdle in 1958 when their time came to emulate the Magpies' record from three decades earlier. Melbourne's recent record against Hawthorn has been embarrassing. They haven't beaten them since Alistair Clarkson's early days of a decade ago when the young Hawks were like the Demons of today - inexperienced and wet behind the ears. Two months ago, an enthusiastic young Melbourne team took it right up to them for three quarters but they were overwhelmed in the final term. This week, they face a ruthless foe that has its eyes firmly set on winning the flag in September and it will give others no favours in that quest. The Hawks' game against Carlton was by no means perfect but they were fielding a side that was nowhere near to their best. They are expected to bring in Cyril Rioli, Paul Puopolo and possibly Liam Shiels this week and against the tiring young Demons, I fear that we might finally see a team achieve perfection. THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Saturday 6 August 2016 at 2.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 74 wins Hawthorn 85 wins At MCG Melbourne 35 wins Hawthorn 44 wins Last 5 meetings Melbourne 0 wins Hawthorn 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Clarkson 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 Live at 2.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne $5.75 to win Hawthorn $1.14 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 11.16.82 defeated Melbourne 10.4.64 in Round 11, 2016 at the MCG The Demons lasted for three quarters before the weight of experience and talent started taking its toll. The Hawks' 18 point win in the wet gloomy conditions was their 13th win in a row in a streak that goes all the way back to 2006. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Billy Stretch C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Clayton Oliver F: Sam Weideman, Cameron Pedersen, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Tomas Bugg, James Harmes, Aaron Vandenberg EMG: Colin Garland, Matt Jones IN: Tomas Bugg, Clayton Oliver, Cameron Pedersen, Sam Weideman OUT: Chris Dawes (omitted), Jesse Hogan (knee), Matt Jones (omitted), Josh Wagner (omitted) NEW: Sam Weideman HAWTHORN B: Taylor Duryea, Ben Stratton, Brendan Whitecross HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Birchall C: Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Bradley Hill HF: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Will Langford F: Tim O'Brien, Ben McEvoy, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Jordan Lewis, Luke Hodge I/C: Kaiden Brand, Kurt Heatherley, Jonathan O'Rourke, James Sicily EMG: Blake Hardwick, Dallas Willsmore IN: Kurt Heatherley, Cyril Rioli OUT: James Frawley (shoulder), Blake Hardwick (omitted)
  12. PERFECTION by Whispering Jack

    I was thinking the other day about world affairs and politics and it occurred to me that, given the calibre of the major candidates in the coming elections for the president of the leading country of the so called "free world", we might be in a bit of trouble. Then I looked at who was leading the other "developed" nations across the western world, including our own, and a spot of panic set in. I understand completely that there are many countries across the globe that lack democratic values and are ruled by corrupt, incompetent or plain evil tyrants (and most of them will be on show over the coming weeks at the Olympic Games) but when the calibre of leadership in our democracies is weak and pathetic, I wonder whether mankind has lost its desire to achieve perfection. Of course, philosophers will argue that the question of perfection concerns not whether man is perfect, but whether he should be perfect and if that is true, then how is perfection to be attained? I wonder about this in many spheres of life but last week at roughly 3.30pm last Sunday afternoon, as I sat in the stand at the MCG watching players committing the most basic skill errors such as miskicks and handballs to teammates with their backs to the play, I was confronted with the thought that perhaps the search for perfection in our game is beyond reach. However, it was after the game, when I had time to collect my thoughts and notice who Melbourne was drawn to play against in six days’ time, that I changed my mind. If there is perfection in our game then the current Hawthorn team must be close. The Hawks have won the last three AFL premierships and they currently sit on top of the ladder, two games clear of their nearest rivals and well on their way to achieving a rare fourth successive premiership. I used to think that the Demons of the fifties and sixties were the perfect team but even they fell at the final hurdle in 1958 when their time came to emulate the Magpies' record from three decades earlier. Melbourne's recent record against Hawthorn has been embarrassing. They haven't beaten them since Alistair Clarkson's early days of a decade ago when the young Hawks were like the Demons of today - inexperienced and wet behind the ears. Two months ago, an enthusiastic young Melbourne team took it right up to them for three quarters but they were overwhelmed in the final term. This week, they face a ruthless foe that has its eyes firmly set on winning the flag in September and it will give others no favours in that quest. The Hawks' game against Carlton was by no means perfect but they were fielding a side that was nowhere near to their best. They are expected to bring in Cyril Rioli, Paul Puopolo and possibly Liam Shiels this week and against the tiring young Demons, I fear that we might finally see a team achieve perfection. THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Saturday 6 August 2016 at 2.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 74 wins Hawthorn 85 wins At MCG Melbourne 35 wins Hawthorn 44 wins Last 5 meetings Melbourne 0 wins Hawthorn 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Clarkson 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 Live at 2.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne $5.75 to win Hawthorn $1.14 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 11.16.82 defeated Melbourne 10.4.64 in Round 11, 2016 at the MCG The Demons lasted for three quarters before the weight of experience and talent started taking its toll. The Hawks' 18 point win in the wet gloomy conditions was their 13th win in a row in a streak that goes all the way back to 2006. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Billy Stretch C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Clayton Oliver F: Sam Weideman, Cameron Pedersen, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Tomas Bugg, James Harmes, Aaron Vandenberg EMG: Colin Garland, Matt Jones IN: Tomas Bugg, Clayton Oliver, Cameron Pedersen, Sam Weideman OUT: Chris Dawes (omitted), Jesse Hogan (knee), Matt Jones (omitted), Josh Wagner (omitted) NEW: Sam Weideman HAWTHORN B: Taylor Duryea, Ben Stratton, Brendan Whitecross HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Birchall C: Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Bradley Hill HF: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Will Langford F: Tim O'Brien, Ben McEvoy, Cyril Rioli FOLL: Jonathon Ceglar, Jordan Lewis, Luke Hodge I/C: Kaiden Brand, Kurt Heatherley, Jonathan O'Rourke, James Sicily EMG: Blake Hardwick, Dallas Willsmore IN: Kurt Heatherley, Cyril Rioli OUT: James Frawley (shoulder), Blake Hardwick (omitted)
  13. BUILDING ROME by The Oracle

    After the game, the coach explained: ''If the criteria was to have won 12 games by now, I don't reckon we would have taken Jesse Hogan at pick three and we sure as hell wouldn't have taken a kid that had two hip operations at pick four.'' He wasn't telling us that his arithmetic is poor or that his employers were idiots who can't count either given that he was commenting after just the 10th game of the season but that Rome wasn't built in a day. The problem is that when I visited the Italian capital city a few years ago, I saw a lot of ruined buildings and I'm worried that, at the pace with which the Melbourne is developing at the moment, the MCG might well look a little like the Colosseum when the Demons are next able to cope with the Hawks. Well, enough with the poor attempts at sarcasm. The fact was there to see that despite Melbourne's best efforts, the team was monstered by a far more experienced and accomplished outfit which had more depth and was therefore able to overwhelm a young opponent early and without a great deal of trouble. The best indicator of that was the difference between the playmakers of the respective teams. Brad Sewell (who could easily have been a Demon today but that's another story) picked up 31 disposals for the game and, in doing so, was in balance an attacking force for his team having a hand in setting up so many scoring opportunities in his team's easy win. Of course, he had plenty of classy midfielders around him as back up. On the other hand, Nathan Jones got his hands on the ball 28 times and while it was a tremendous effort on his part, his work was often the stuff of defending against the odds, under packs, under enormous pressure and just getting his team out of pickles caused by others making simple skill errors. Were he a Hawk, he would almost certainly have been best on ground but as a Demon, he simply didn't have the luxury of 21 others around him working their butts off as he does. One bright light was the performance of Chris Dawes who provided a target up forward and a glimmer of what might have been had Mitch Clark stayed healthy for more than just the first four weeks. James Frawley and Colin Garland were grand defenders and will form part of a terrific defence one day when Rome starts developing a suburban sprawl and Jeremy Howe showed his potential at times. Dean Kent is a keep as well. Other than that, there wasn't enough class and the work rate was still below what is expected to remain competitive with the lower ranked teams, let alone a premiership contender. Melbourne 0.3.3 1.7.13 5.10.40 6.12.48 Hawthorn 3.9.27 12.10.82 14.14.98 21.17.143 Goals Melbourne Davey Dawes Evans Howe Kent Watts Hawthorn Breust 5 Roughead 3 Franklin Hill Puopolo Smith 2 Birchall, Burgoyne Grimley Lewis Simpkin Best Melbourne N Jones Dawes Frawley Garland Howe Terlich Hawthorn Sewell Lewis Breust Puopolo Burgoyne Birchall Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Hay Farmer Mitchell Crowd 28,546 at the MCG
  14. POST MATCH DISCUSSION

    BUILDING ROME by The Oracle After the game, the coach explained: ''If the criteria was to have won 12 games by now, I don't reckon we would have taken Jesse Hogan at pick three and we sure as hell wouldn't have taken a kid that had two hip operations at pick four.'' He wasn't telling us that his arithmetic is poor or that his employers were idiots who can't count either given that he was commenting after just the 10th game of the season but that Rome wasn't built in a day. The problem is that when I visited the Italian capital city a few years ago, I saw a lot of ruined buildings and I'm worried that, at the pace with which the Melbourne is developing at the moment, the MCG might well look a little like the Colosseum when the Demons are next able to cope with the Hawks. Well, enough with the poor attempts at sarcasm. The fact was there to see that despite Melbourne's best efforts, the team was monstered by a far more experienced and accomplished outfit which had more depth and was therefore able to overwhelm a young opponent early and without a great deal of trouble. The best indicator of that was the difference between the playmakers of the respective teams. Brad Sewell (who could easily have been a Demon today but that's another story) picked up 31 disposals for the game and, in doing so, was in balance an attacking force for his team having a hand in setting up so many scoring opportunities in his team's easy win. Of course, he had plenty of classy midfielders around him as back up. On the other hand, Nathan Jones got his hands on the ball 28 times and while it was a tremendous effort on his part, his work was often the stuff of defending against the odds, under packs, under enormous pressure and just getting his team out of pickles caused by others making simple skill errors. Were he a Hawk, he would almost certainly have been best on ground but as a Demon, he simply didn't have the luxury of 21 others around him working their butts off as he does. One bright light was the performance of Chris Dawes who provided a target up forward and a glimmer of what might have been had Mitch Clark stayed healthy for more than just the first four weeks. James Frawley and Colin Garland were grand defenders and will form part of a terrific defence one day when Rome starts developing a suburban sprawl and Jeremy Howe showed his potential at times. Dean Kent is a keep as well. Other than that, there wasn't enough class and the work rate was still below what is expected to remain competitive with the lower ranked teams, let alone a premiership contender. Melbourne 0.3.3 1.7.13 5.10.40 6.12.48 Hawthorn 3.9.27 12.10.82 14.14.98 21.17.143 Goals Melbourne Davey Dawes Evans Howe Kent Watts Hawthorn Breust 5 Roughead 3 Franklin Hill Puopolo Smith 2 Birchall, Burgoyne Grimley Lewis Simpkin Best Melbourne N Jones Dawes Frawley Garland Howe Terlich Hawthorn Sewell Lewis Breust Puopolo Burgoyne Birchall Injuries Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Hay Farmer Mitchell Crowd 28,546 at the MCG
  15. It was Jerry Seinfeld’s response to a question from Elaine “ what compels a seemingly normal human being to do something like that?” So what would compel a seemingly normal Melbourne supporter to turn up and watch what could only be described as a massacre in the making? You guessed it: Now I know this is meant to be a preview but we first look at the recent history. Round 7, 2012 Melbourne 6.13 (49) Hawthorn 15.25 (115) Round 18, 2011 Melbourne 12.6 (78) Hawthorn 20.12 (132) Round 2, 2011 Melbourne 12.5 (77) Hawthorn 16.26 (122) Round 20, 2010 Melbourne 12.6 (78) Hawthorn 15.9 (99) Round 1, 2010 Melbourne 8.13 (61) Hawthorn 17.15 (117) Well there’s nothing in that recent history which would inspire anyone … the only common factor seems to be that Melbourne are only capable of 18 to 20 scoring shots on goal in the whole game! Phew! I thought that Mark Neeld’s presence caused us to stink but it seems that we have been consistently on the nose for a long time before that, and I didn’t want to dredge too far back into the past against Hawthorn, lest I come up against a certain preliminary final match in the late 80’s! We do, of course, live with eternal hope. We could find someone in the side who has the same “intestinal fortitude” as Ben Watson in this clip: Also note we would struggle to have ANY recent pictures on the walls at the club if we used the Patriots criteria. And Watson’s comment “ stuff like that doesn’t take a whole lot of talent” rings particularly with what is lacking at Melbourne today. It’s all about effort…it’s all the fans need, but they are being starved of any sort of hope until the players decide that they are prepared to put in … THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday 2 June 2013 at 3.20 pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 74 wins Hawthorn 81 wins At MCG Melbourne 35 wins Hawthorn 40 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 5 wins Hawthorn 15 wins The Coaches Neeld 0 wins Clarkson 1 win MEDIA TV – TBA RADIO – TBA THE BETTING Melbourne $TBA to win Hawthorn $1.00 to win. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 15.25.115 defeated Melbourne 6.13.49 in Round 7, 2012 at the MCG The Hawks managed double the scoring shots while Melbourne's performance, like most of those against this club in particular, was a blight on the game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts Cam Pedersen Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Michael Evans Matt Jones Half forwards Luke Tapscott Jeremy Howe Rohan Bail Forwards David Rodan Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Dean Kent Joel Macdonald James Strauss Emergencies Daniel Nicholson James Sellar Jake Spencer James Strauss In Jack Fitzpatrick Dean Kent Joel Macdonald Cam Pedersen David Rodan James Strauss Out Shannon Byrnes (wrist) Neville Jetta Max Gawn James Magner Daniel Nicholson HAWTHORN Backs Ben Stratton Brian Lake Brent Guerra Half backs Josh Gibson Grant Birchall Sam Mitchell Centreline Isaac Smith Luke Hodge Liam Shiels Half forwards Brad Hill Lance Franklin Jordan Lewis Forwards Paul Puopolo Jarryd Roughead Luke Breust Followers David Hale Brad Sewell Shaun Burgoyne Interchange Kyle Cheney Taylor Duryea Sam Grimley Jonathan Simpkin Emergencies Max Bailey Michael Osborne Shane Savage In Grant Birchall David Hale Out Max Bailey Jack Gunston (calf) Prediction: We will run Buddy into form, Jordan Lewis get blisters from the leather, Luke Hodge to break the bones in his foot from kicking the ball too often and the scoreboard to have not enough zero’s to match the stats for the Hawks….unless they use the zero’s from our side of the ledger! Hawks by 15 goals…..
  16. I hate Hawthorn more than any club in the competition and by a long way. I dislike there supporters, in fact the only two times I have come close to belting someone at the footy was last year against Hawthorn when some low life got into the trident reserved area with his mates and got right on our faces and my brother who is a Hawthorn supporter after Jimmy ran across the mark. The underlying issue I have with Hawthorn is that we the MFC are their Bi..hes, their whipping boys, they own us and have done for some time. We talk about '87, the '88 through the early 90's and especially over the past 9 years. 2004 they sucked winning 4 games beat us round 1, 2005 Hawthorn Sucked winning 5 matches, they beat us, 2006 one year we smashed them and this would be the last win over them, the loss round 1 2008 was smashing, they destroyed us and basically have done so every game since. 2011 we had them at half time to be absolutely smashed in the third quarter. This week if they decide to beat us by 120 points they will. We move into Sunday, I will be their but unless our team can show some sort of fight It could be only for a very short time. The Biff is out of the game but we need to start something in the first quarter, all in just hopefully may fire us up and get them off there game. Hawthorn in 2008 played unsocial football, every chance they had to stick an elbow in your ribs and annoy the crap out of you the did, this is what we need to do. If it gets heated so be it a few fines, god knows our players haven't deserved their full match payments over the past 9 weeks anyway. I heard Dermie talking about the Hawthorn/Essendon game I believe 2006 or 07, the frustration on the past players was the Hawthorn had become Esseondons Whipping boys, they still got beaten that game but the next they won and haven't lost to them since. It was the turning point for that young inexpereinced Group.
  17. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    About 12 months ago. A year before that, the Hawks exposed us in the third quarter of their game on the MCG which set the standard to this very day. MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland Cale Morton Centreline Ricky Petterd Brent Moloney Jack Trengove Half forwards Nathan Jones Mitch Clark Jamie Bennell Forwards Jeremy Howe Colin Sylvia Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar James Magner Jordie McKenzie Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Jack Fitzpatrick Tom McDonald Emergencies Lynden Dunn Joel Macdonald Luke Tapscott In Jamie Bennell Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd Out Lynden Dunn James Sellar (calf) Luke Tapscott HAWTHORN Backs Benjamin Stratton Stephen Gilham Brent Guerra Half backs Matt Suckling Ryan Schoenmakers Grant Birchall Centreline Jordan Lewis Sam Mitchell Brendan Whitecross Half forwards Luke Breust Lance Franklin Isaac Smith Forwards Michael Osborne Jarryd Roughead Cyril Rioli Followers David Hale Shaun Burgoyne Brad Sewell Interchange Paul Puopolo Shane Savage Liam Shiels Clinton Young Emergencies Kyle Cheney Bradley Hill Broc McCauley In Stephen Gilham Clinton Young Out Jarrad Boumann Luke Hodge (knee)
  18. NUMBERS UP

    NUMBERS UP by Sam the Stats Man The numbers don't lie. Bar the first quarter (which it won by 3 points) and the third quarter (which it drew), it was a horror night for the Demons. In fact, I'll describe it as "mean average" which in the language of the statistician means "bloody awful". Demon recruit of the decade Mitch Clark was one of my few highlights when he sent flutters through the hearts of the Hawks' fans early in the evening kicking three great goals despite starting in the ruck. At one stage, his team's score was almost double that of the opposition so that those in the crowd who believed in miracles were becoming enthralled at the possibility of a boilover. Miraculous, because when the Demons led late in the opening term they had half the number of their opponents' possessions and trailed in almost every statistical category available bar the one that matters - the scoreboard. Unfortunately, I can vouch for the fact that miracles in the AFL are a statistical impossibility. This was borne out forty minutes after Clark had booted his third goal when the half time siren sounded, at which time the Hawks had added a further 7.8.50 to the Demons' 0.2.2 (from three shots of which .666 of them were from sitters in front of the big sticks). Clark was still Melbourne's sole goalkicker. The AFL was certainly not pleased. I have it on good authority from a mate who counts the numbers of television sets switched onto the football, that the ratings plummeted as half time approached. He maintains that five minutes into the third term more people were watching part three of a doco on SBS about some long march to freedom than there were viewing the footy. However, the long march failed to beat the Demons' performance on the Bureau of Statistics absolute rubbish index which rated 99.9% in the final term. There weren't all that many stars in the Melbourne line up other than Clark. James Magner, Clint Bartram, Nathan Jones and Mark Jamar all put their hands up from time to time but too many of their teammates seemed indifferent to the task at hand. As usual there was little run and spread for the ball and the Hawks beat Melbourne for skill and execution. For the most part, they basically did as they pleased and too many Demons simply failed to produce the goods. Colin Sylvia (6 disposals in 85% of game time), Jamie Bennell (4 - 91%) and Ricky Petterd (5 - 84%) had statistics that were barely better than the spectators in the stands. (And yes, I'm fully aware from my observations of what many Demon supporters were doing in the latter part of the game that many of them barely made it to 75% of game time!) For all of the coach's pre season talk about Melbourne becoming a harder team to beat, there is one absolutely damning statistic (among many available from this game) and that is scores from stoppages which Hawthorn won 8.8.56 to 0.4.4. That with a ruck division which had 31 hit outs to 26 on the night but whose hit outs to advantage were half that of the opposition. Therein lies 92% of the problem. A systemically dysfunctional on ball division. Melbourne 3.3.21 3.5.23 5.11.41 6.13.49 Hawthorn 2.6.18 8.12.60 10.18.78 15.25.115 Goals Melbourne Clark 3 Howe McKenzie Magner Hawthorn Franklin 3 Puopolo Young 2 Breust Hale Rioli Roughead Savage Smith Suckling Best Melbourne Clark Magner Jones Jamar Howe Frawley Hawthorn Lewis Burgoyne Shiels Birchall Savage Sewell Whitecross Suckling Injuries Melbourne Garland (leg) Hawthorn Osborne (knee) Changes Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Hawthorn Nil Umpires Findlay Rosebury Bannister Crowd 36,430 at MCG
  19. THE REVERSAL OF FORTUNES

    THE REVERSAL OF FORTUNES by JVM One of the common practices when writing up previews of games is to go back to the last time the competing teams met each other but in the case of games between Melbourne and Hawthorn, there’s been such a sameness of late from one year to another that one need hardly bother. Apart from a game played in the wet at the MCG near the end of the 2010 season (a 21 point loss that some might have described as “gallant”), most of the others have been severe blowouts. When the two teams last met it was a nine goal win to the Hawks but my impression of that game was that on top of being totally dominant for most of the game, they were being charitable and never got out of second gear as they strangled a second rate opposition that was heading in the direction of a steep cliff with a steep and perilous descent awaiting (of course, that was still six days away). The details of that last encounter can be seen below. But the thing that I want to discuss here is a game that produced a happier outcome for the Demons almost six years ago to the day. It was also a Friday night game played at the MCG in the autumn and it was the last time Melbourne beat Hawthorn. The score was 20.16.136 to 9.7.61. It need not be said that both teams had different line ups at the time. Melbourne’s was:- Backs Bate Carroll Whelan Half backs Yze Rivers Bell Centreline Green Bruce McLean Half forwards Robertson Miller Davey Forwards Jamar Neitz Pickett Followers White Moloney Johnstone Interchange Bartram Dunn Godfrey McDonald Emergencies C Johnson Holland Read Hawthorn came in with this line up: Backs Jacobs Dawson Sewell Half backs Smith Roughead Guerra Centreline Bateman Mitchell Vandenberg Half forwards Clarke Boyle Brown Forwards Dixon Williams Miller Followers Everitt Hodge Crawford Interchange Birchall Campbell Kane Ladson Emergencies Lewis Ries Taylor The game was an absolute massacre. The Hawks tried to unsettle the Demons with their aggression but Byron Pickett had some ideas of his own. Once the initial heat dies down, it was the experience of Melbourne that told. Scoop Junior wrote in his report for Demonland that the Demon midfield “dominated when the game opened up to the outside. Through superior class, skill and deeper rotations, the Demons made Hawthorn look second rate at times. Brock McLean and James McDonald were keys in tight, winning plenty of ball at the stoppages, while Cameron Bruce, Travis Johnstone and Brent Moloney provided great drive.” David Neitz who always produced the goods against the Hawks booted six goals and Melbourne was untroubled to record another win and to establish its place in the top eight after opening the season with three defeats. The team made the finals that year, beat St. Kilda in an elimination final and ended up the best performed of the Victorian clubs. On the other hand, Hawthorn finished well of the pace. We all know what happens next – the reversal of fortunes. The Hawks, with a young emerging side rose swiftly up the ladder in 2007 and by 2008 had pulled off the seemingly impossible – a premiership well ahead of time. The Demons, with an older more experienced side fell into a heap. By the end of 2007 it was well inside the bottom quartile of the competition, flattered by a final round win against a tanking Carlton. A win that would prove costly at a future time. The collapse was complete twelve months later. And so the teams meet again on a Friday night in autumn with the Hawks at their peak and the Demons still languishing. It would seem that it’s almost an unfair contest but, as history showed back then, situations and tiems can change rapidly. Is it possible that waiting in the wings for Melbourne there’s a potential Buddy or Cyril who can lift the team to great heights? Time will tell. THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Friday 11 May 2012 at 7.50 pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 74 wins Hawthorn 80 wins At MCG Melbourne 35 wins Hawthorn 39 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 5 wins Hawthorn 14 wins The Coaches Neeld 0 wins Clarkson 0 wins MEDIA TV – Fox Footy Channel, Channel 7 7:30 pm (live) RADIO – SEN ABC774 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Melbourne $13.00 to win Hawthorn $1.03 to win. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 20.12.132 defeated Melbourne 12.6.78 in Round 18, 2011 at the MCG It was all pretty much routine fare for a Melbourne v Hawthorn encounter of late. The Hawks overpowered the Demons early and floated away to the easiest of wins. Buddy kicked his five, Cyril got a few, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis were unstoppable in the midfield and Melbourne was fairly innocuous. Brad Green flew the flag with four goals (but wasn’t so convincing the next day On the Couch) and Jeremy Howe undelined his potential with a few. Stef Martin and Nathan Jones did well and the rest … pffft! THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland Cale Morton Centreline Ricky Petterd Brent Moloney Jack Trengove Half forwards Nathan Jones Mitch Clark Jamie Bennell Forwards Jeremy Howe Colin Sylvia Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar James Magner Jordie McKenzie Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Jack Fitzpatrick Tom McDonald Emergencies Lynden Dunn Joel Macdonald Luke Tapscott In Jamie Bennell Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd Out Lynden Dunn James Sellar (calf) Luke Tapscott HAWTHORN Backs Benjamin Stratton Stephen Gilham Brent Guerra Half backs Matt Suckling Ryan Schoenmakers Grant Birchall Centreline Jordan Lewis Sam Mitchell Brendan Whitecross Half forwards Luke Breust Lance Franklin Isaac Smith Forwards Michael Osborne Jarryd Roughead Cyril Rioli Followers David Hale Shaun Burgoyne Brad Sewell Interchange Paul Puopolo Shane Savage Liam Shiels Clinton Young Emergencies Kyle Cheney Bradley Hill Broc McCauley In Stephen Gilham Clinton Young Out Jarrad Boumann Luke Hodge (knee) Umpires B Rosebury R Findlay J Bannister AT BEST I read in one of the media previews of the game the comment that "Melbourne will need to be at its best to upset Hawthorn on Friday night." No kidding? The Hawks are going into the game as red hot favourite to win despite the fact that they're not travelling as well as might have been expected this season, remembering that on the eve of the season they were highly fancied among many of the experts to win this year's flag. And they might still do that after showing a dramatic lift in tempo last week against their bitter rivals, the Saints, who have always had the wood on them, particularly in their Saturday night fixtures. Last week, Hawthorn was particularly ruthless against St. Kilda with Cyril Rioli kicking six goals and Buddy Franklin returning five. The Hawks will be eager to not only win the four points but also to build up percentage given the tightness of the competition and their unflattering start of only two wins in the first five games. Melbourne already has nightmares about its recent record against this opposition and these are not confined to thoughts of their regular season reminiscences alone. These teams often meet in the pre season and the outcomes have been equally disasterous with this year proving no exception. Way back in February, the Demons gave Mark Neeld his first win in what remotely resembled a game of football when they bested the Magpies in a tightly fought NAB Cup game at Etihad Stadium. Hopes were high among the Demon faithful that this year was truly going to be something different under the new coaching regime. The midfield was strong in the contest for the ball, the defence stood up and the forward line functioned as perfectly as one could expect in the month of February. A week later and all that was shattered. The team has barely come close to looking like a cohesive unit in the past three months apart from some momentary glimmers in recent weeks but, to be competitive against the might of Hawthorn? I think not. There is so little for one to hang the hat on as the team goes into battle against an implacable foe. Despite the comment about needing to be at its best to beat them, there has to be a serious doubt about whether the team can even come close to the Hawks at this stage of its development. Despite the fact that Melbourne has been showing improvement of late and continues to do well in winning contested possession, it still legs well below its opponents on a week to week basis in winning the uncontested football. At least this week it appears to have acted at selection to address its lack of leg speed which is regarded as one of the factors in explaining this deficiency but that alone will not be enough. Hawthorn to win by 47 points.
  20. THE REVERSAL OF FORTUNES

    THE REVERSAL OF FORTUNES by JVM One of the common practices when writing up previews of games is to go back to the last time the competing teams met each other but in the case of games between Melbourne and Hawthorn, there’s been such a sameness of late from one year to another that one need hardly bother. Apart from a game played in the wet at the MCG near the end of the 2010 season (a 21 point loss that some might have described as “gallant”), most of the others have been severe blowouts. When the two teams last met it was a nine goal win to the Hawks but my impression of that game was that on top of being totally dominant for most of the game, they were being charitable and never got out of second gear as they strangled a second rate opposition that was heading in the direction of a steep cliff with a steep and perilous descent awaiting (of course, that was still six days away). The details of that last encounter can be seen below. But the thing that I want to discuss here is a game that produced a happier outcome for the Demons almost six years ago to the day. It was also a Friday night game played at the MCG in the autumn and it was the last time Melbourne beat Hawthorn. The score was 20.16.136 to 9.7.61. It need not be said that both teams had different line ups at the time. Melbourne’s was:- Backs Bate Carroll Whelan Half backs Yze Rivers Bell Centreline Green Bruce McLean Half forwards Robertson Miller Davey Forwards Jamar Neitz Pickett Followers White Moloney Johnstone Interchange Bartram Dunn Godfrey McDonald Emergencies C Johnson Holland Read Hawthorn came in with this line up: Backs Jacobs Dawson Sewell Half backs Smith Roughead Guerra Centreline Bateman Mitchell Vandenberg Half forwards Clarke Boyle Brown Forwards Dixon Williams Miller Followers Everitt Hodge Crawford Interchange Birchall Campbell Kane Ladson Emergencies Lewis Ries Taylor The game was an absolute massacre. The Hawks tried to unsettle the Demons with their aggression but Byron Pickett had some ideas of his own. Once the initial heat dies down, it was the experience of Melbourne that told. Scoop Junior wrote in his report for Demonland that the Demon midfield “dominated when the game opened up to the outside. Through superior class, skill and deeper rotations, the Demons made Hawthorn look second rate at times. Brock McLean and James McDonald were keys in tight, winning plenty of ball at the stoppages, while Cameron Bruce, Travis Johnstone and Brent Moloney provided great drive.” David Neitz who always produced the goods against the Hawks booted six goals and Melbourne was untroubled to record another win and to establish its place in the top eight after opening the season with three defeats. The team made the finals that year, beat St. Kilda in an elimination final and ended up the best performed of the Victorian clubs. On the other hand, Hawthorn finished well of the pace. We all know what happens next – the reversal of fortunes. The Hawks, with a young emerging side rose swiftly up the ladder in 2007 and by 2008 had pulled off the seemingly impossible – a premiership well ahead of time. The Demons, with an older more experienced side fell into a heap. By the end of 2007 it was well inside the bottom quartile of the competition, flattered by a final round win against a tanking Carlton. A win that would prove costly at a future time. The collapse was complete twelve months later. And so the teams meet again on a Friday night in autumn with the Hawks at their peak and the Demons still languishing. It would seem that it’s almost an unfair contest but, as history showed back then, situations and tiems can change rapidly. Is it possible that waiting in the wings for Melbourne there’s a potential Buddy or Cyril who can lift the team to great heights? Time will tell. THE GAME Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Friday 11 May 2012 at 7.50 pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 74 wins Hawthorn 80 wins At MCG Melbourne 35 wins Hawthorn 39 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 5 wins Hawthorn 14 wins The Coaches Neeld 0 wins Clarkson 0 wins MEDIA TV – Fox Footy Channel, Channel 7 7:30 pm (live) RADIO – SEN ABC774 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Melbourne $13.00 to win Hawthorn $1.03 to win. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Hawthorn 20.12.132 defeated Melbourne 12.6.78 in Round 18, 2011 at the MCG It was all pretty much routine fare for a Melbourne v Hawthorn encounter of late. The Hawks overpowered the Demons early and floated away to the easiest of wins. Buddy kicked his five, Cyril got a few, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis were unstoppable in the midfield and Melbourne was fairly innocuous. Brad Green flew the flag with four goals (but wasn’t so convincing the next day On the Couch) and Jeremy Howe undelined his potential with a few. Stef Martin and Nathan Jones did well and the rest … pffft! THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland Cale Morton Centreline Ricky Petterd Brent Moloney Jack Trengove Half forwards Nathan Jones Mitch Clark Jamie Bennell Forwards Jeremy Howe Colin Sylvia Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar James Magner Jordie McKenzie Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Jack Fitzpatrick Tom McDonald Emergencies Lynden Dunn Joel Macdonald Luke Tapscott In Jamie Bennell Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd Out Lynden Dunn James Sellar (calf) Luke Tapscott HAWTHORN Backs Benjamin Stratton Stephen Gilham Brent Guerra Half backs Matt Suckling Ryan Schoenmakers Grant Birchall Centreline Jordan Lewis Sam Mitchell Brendan Whitecross Half forwards Luke Breust Lance Franklin Isaac Smith Forwards Michael Osborne Jarryd Roughead Cyril Rioli Followers David Hale Shaun Burgoyne Brad Sewell Interchange Paul Puopolo Shane Savage Liam Shiels Clinton Young Emergencies Kyle Cheney Bradley Hill Broc McCauley In Stephen Gilham Clinton Young Out Jarrad Boumann Luke Hodge (knee) Umpires B Rosebury R Findlay J Bannister AT BEST I read in one of the media previews of the game the comment that "Melbourne will need to be at its best to upset Hawthorn on Friday night." No kidding? The Hawks are going into the game as red hot favourite to win despite the fact that they're not travelling as well as might have been expected this season, remembering that on the eve of the season they were highly fancied among many of the experts to win this year's flag. And they might still do that after showing a dramatic lift in tempo last week against their bitter rivals, the Saints, who have always had the wood on them, particularly in their Saturday night fixtures. Last week, Hawthorn was particularly ruthless against St. Kilda with Cyril Rioli kicking six goals and Buddy Franklin returning five. The Hawks will be eager to not only win the four points but also to build up percentage given the tightness of the competition and their unflattering start of only two wins in the first five games. Melbourne already has nightmares about its recent record against this opposition and these are not confined to thoughts of their regular season reminiscences alone. These teams often meet in the pre season and the outcomes have been equally disasterous with this year proving no exception. Way back in February, the Demons gave Mark Neeld his first win in what remotely resembled a game of football when they bested the Magpies in a tightly fought NAB Cup game at Etihad Stadium. Hopes were high among the Demon faithful that this year was truly going to be something different under the new coaching regime. The midfield was strong in the contest for the ball, the defence stood up and the forward line functioned as perfectly as one could expect in the month of February. A week later and all that was shattered. The team has barely come close to looking like a cohesive unit in the past three months apart from some momentary glimmers in recent weeks but, to be competitive against the might of Hawthorn? I think not. There is so little for one to hang the hat on as the team goes into battle against an implacable foe. Despite the comment about needing to be at its best to beat them, there has to be a serious doubt about whether the team can even come close to the Hawks at this stage of its development. Despite the fact that Melbourne has been showing improvement of late and continues to do well in winning contested possession, it still legs well below its opponents on a week to week basis in winning the uncontested football. At least this week it appears to have acted at selection to address its lack of leg speed which is regarded as one of the factors in explaining this deficiency but that alone will not be enough. Hawthorn to win by 47 points.
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