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Found 37 results

  1. Melbourne (the city) turned on its best winter weather for the match against Port Adelaide but it was the Power who were frozen out of the game by the relentless Demons. Any concern about negatives that might be attributed to teams returning from a hot and steamy Darwin trip were well and truly dispelled with both participants in that match, Adelaide and Melbourne, putting on emphatic performances and wins in the following week. It's now clear that Melbourne's sad history of past losses after these games is simply because as a side the Demons were not up to standard. But not so this time. Playing against a top four side, the Demons came out of the blocks hard to hold a four goal lead at quarter time and they maintained that advantage right until the final siren. They also held Port goalless until well into the second quarter, which was remarkable given Port had a percentage well above 130 - an indication of its high scoring capability. With the return of the mid-fielders in Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the whole Demon structure became balanced again. Jack Watts up forward and Christian Salem down back further bolstered the strength of the side and while Watts didn’t have any genuine effect on the game and Tyson tired heavily in the second half after 21 touches in the first, they were all better for the run. We can hope for the same as Gawn and Hogan weren’t up to match speed last week, but they were deciding factors in that frantic first quarter and a half. Clarrie finally had some help, and so racked up another 30 touches as his assistants in Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan and Viney made life for the Power mids very difficult. They simply can’t match up everyone with the talent the Dees now have across the lines, and none more so than down back where Jayden Hunt cut Port to ribbons with his dash and 26 touches while Michael Hibberd got leather poisoning with 36 of his own. How impressive was the backline with Oscar McDonald an absolute rock who rarely makes a mistake these days. Similarly with Sam Frost who displays great dash and with the ever reliable Neville Jetta mopping up anything loose down back. Who would have thought at the start of the season that they could afford not to be playing Tom McDonald in defence? However, with the current crew in defence it is hard to imagine that setup again as we head towards finals. It was good to see the return of Jack Trengove and while he contributed and held his place he still has a way to go. His 16 touches were similar to others in the side who would be competing for those type of spots. With that first game for the season under his belt, he now needs to cement a spot with a step up, as the return of Nathan Jones and perhaps Angus Brayshaw will put pressure on the selectors. The Demons took a nearly five goal lead into the final change, and Port responded with two goals in the first six minutes. In the past this would have seen the flood-gates open as Melbourne had put undue pressure upon itself. But this is a different side that is now developing the maturity to know how to win ugly. They froze the game and for the next ten minutes we saw a rolling maul around the ground with Port unable to get free to continue that scoreboard pressure. Melbourne then grasped the opportunity and Melksham and Petracca took a couple of telling marks and converted to put the game beyond doubt. After the warmth of Darwin, Melbourne now faces further freezing conditions as Hobart and an icy blast coming from Antarctica beckons next week. Then to top it off, we head to Canberra where a lovely minus 7 greeted the day this morning. This is a new and different team of the Demons and until Hell freezes over they will just keep attacking, competing and playing a hot brand of football, no matter what the conditions. Like the Power today, it is the opposition who find themselves out in the cold. Melbourne 4.4.28 8.8.56 11.8.74 13.10.88 Port Adelaide 0.3.3 3.6.24 6.10.46 9.11.65 Goals Melbourne Hogan Melksham 3 Garlett Petracca 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald Port Adelaide Boak 4 Westhoff 2 Dixon Wingard Trengove Best Melbourne Hibberd Tyson Hogan Hunt Gawn Viney Jetta Port Adelaide R Gray Boak Ebert Powell-Pepper Wines S Gray Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right ankle) Port Adelaide Broadbent (leg) Wingard (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Nicholls, Meredith Attendance 27,068 at the MCG
  2. MATCH REPORT - Round 18

    POWER FREEZE by George on the Outer Melbourne (the city) turned on its best winter weather for the match against Port Adelaide but it was the Power who were frozen out of the game by the relentless Demons. Any concern about negatives that might be attributed to teams returning from a hot and steamy Darwin trip were well and truly dispelled with both participants in that match, Adelaide and Melbourne, putting on emphatic performances and wins in the following week. It's now clear that Melbourne's sad history of past losses after these games is simply because as a side the Demons were not up to standard. But not so this time. Playing against a top four side, the Demons came out of the blocks hard to hold a four goal lead at quarter time and they maintained that advantage right until the final siren. They also held Port goalless until well into the second quarter, which was remarkable given Port had a percentage well above 130 - an indication of its high scoring capability. With the return of the mid-fielders in Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the whole Demon structure became balanced again. Jack Watts up forward and Christian Salem down back further bolstered the strength of the side and while Watts didn’t have any genuine effect on the game and Tyson tired heavily in the second half after 21 touches in the first, they were all better for the run. We can hope for the same as Gawn and Hogan weren’t up to match speed last week, but they were deciding factors in that frantic first quarter and a half. Clarrie finally had some help, and so racked up another 30 touches as his assistants in Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan and Viney made life for the Power mids very difficult. They simply can’t match up everyone with the talent the Dees now have across the lines, and none more so than down back where Jayden Hunt cut Port to ribbons with his dash and 26 touches while Michael Hibberd got leather poisoning with 36 of his own. How impressive was the backline with Oscar McDonald an absolute rock who rarely makes a mistake these days. Similarly with Sam Frost who displays great dash and with the ever reliable Neville Jetta mopping up anything loose down back. Who would have thought at the start of the season that they could afford not to be playing Tom McDonald in defence? However, with the current crew in defence it is hard to imagine that setup again as we head towards finals. It was good to see the return of Jack Trengove and while he contributed and held his place he still has a way to go. His 16 touches were similar to others in the side who would be competing for those type of spots. With that first game for the season under his belt, he now needs to cement a spot with a step up, as the return of Nathan Jones and perhaps Angus Brayshaw will put pressure on the selectors. The Demons took a nearly five goal lead into the final change, and Port responded with two goals in the first six minutes. In the past this would have seen the flood-gates open as Melbourne had put undue pressure upon itself. But this is a different side that is now developing the maturity to know how to win ugly. They froze the game and for the next ten minutes we saw a rolling maul around the ground with Port unable to get free to continue that scoreboard pressure. Melbourne then grasped the opportunity and Melksham and Petracca took a couple of telling marks and converted to put the game beyond doubt. After the warmth of Darwin, Melbourne now faces further freezing conditions as Hobart and an icy blast coming from Antarctica beckons next week. Then to top it off, we head to Canberra where a lovely minus 7 greeted the day this morning. This is a new and different team of the Demons and until Hell freezes over they will just keep attacking, competing and playing a hot brand of football, no matter what the conditions. Like the Power today, it is the opposition who find themselves out in the cold. Melbourne 4.4.28 8.8.56 11.8.74 13.10.88 Port Adelaide 0.3.3 3.6.24 6.10.46 9.11.65 Goals Melbourne Hogan Melksham 3 Garlett Petracca 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald Port Adelaide Boak 4 Westhoff 2 Dixon Wingard Trengove Best Melbourne Hibberd Tyson Hogan Hunt Gawn Viney Jetta Port Adelaide R Gray Boak Ebert Powell-Pepper Wines S Gray Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right ankle) Port Adelaide Broadbent (leg) Wingard (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Nicholls, Meredith Attendance 27,068 at the MCG
  3. Dear me ... Why do they keep doing that to us? From a 44 point lead to almost a heart stopper ...
  4. Your votes please people 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  5. GAMEDAY - Round 18

    It's here and I'm excited about this game and our inclusions. I haven't been to the G in about 5 years to watch a game so I'm looking forward to seeing the boys live with my kids and hoping we play a hard contested game and come out on top. Firstly I'm off to a pre match function where Bernie (slugger) Vince will be in attendance. Should be interesting. Hope he doesn't hit me! One final thing GO DEES.
  6. LONG TIME COMING by The Oracle

    LONG TIME COMING by The Oracle It's been a long time since Melbourne played a game against Port Adelaide at the MCG but it was one that fans of both teams should remember well. The game was the opening match of 2013 and it was Ken Hinkley's first as coach of a club that had been pushed from pillar to post and had suffered some massive defeats in the previous season. They had recruited well picking up the likes of Angus Monfries from Essendon and a strong youngster in Ollie Wines from the Murray Bushrangers and their team was fit, healthy and ready for the fray. The Demons, not so. They had sent a very inexperienced side to play a near full strength Port in a NAB Cup game in Renmark a month earlier and surprisingly beat them by 2 points but we know full well the folly of relying on the results of these practice matches. Mark Neeld, the coach, was buoyed by the result but it was accepted that it was meaningless as a guide to what might happen during the season. By the time of the opening round, the Demons produced a better line up but there were plenty of cracks in their make up, much of them due to internal issues relating to attitude and division in the ranks concerning their coach who would in any event, fail to last out the season. The result was decisive. Port Adelaide 19.19.133 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54. Hinkley's team did not look back from there. They made the finals and finished a couple of kicks away from playing in a grand final. Neeld's team never recovered and it's been a long hard grind to the present time for the club, first under Paul Roos and now Simon Goodwin, to reach the point where it is today - at the crossroads and needing to beat Port Adelaide in its next game at the MCG to keep its foothold in the race for the top eight. The opposition also needs to win in order to hold its place in the top four, making for an intriguing tussle between two teams with finals aspirations. The make up of the Melbourne side has changed dramatically since the season opener of 2013. Ironically, the only member of that team to represent it last Saturday night in Darwin was Cam Pedersen who had crossed from North Melbourne at the end of the previous season but had a debut to forget with the Demons. Other current day players who played that day - co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney (another debutant in 2013) and Jack Watts and Col Garland are all injured but the first three are chances to return this week. In light of the fact that some key players are slated for a return to the side, I will wait upon team selection before I reach any conclusion as to the result. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 22 July, 2017 at 2.10pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins, Port Adelaide 19 wins At the MCG Melbourne 7 wins, Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, Port Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Hinkley 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.25, Port Adelaide to win - $1.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.16.94 defeated Port Adelaide 8.6.54 Round 21, 2016 at Adelaide Oval The Demons were on a high having beaten the Hawks a week earlier and they continued on with another exciting and groundbreaking victory - their first over the Power at Adelaide Oval. Max Gawn dominated the ruck duels and Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince starred. It was to be Melbourne's last win for the season as the young team was fast running out of steam as the season was coming to a close. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Jayden Hunt C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Jake Melksham I/C: Mitch Hannan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem, Jack Trengove EMG: Cameron Pedersen Joel Smith, Billy Stretch IN: Christian Salem, Jack Trengove, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Jack Watts OUT: Kent (shoulder), Pedersen (omitted), Joel Smith (omitted), Bernie Vince (suspended), Josh Wagner (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Logan Austin HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett C: Brad Ebert, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec HF: Sam Gray, Jackson Trengove, Sam Powell-Pepper F: Chad Wingard, Charlie Dixon, Justin Westhoff FOLL: Paddy Ryder, Robbie Gray, Travis Boak I/C: Joe Atley, Dan Houston, Jarman Impey, Matthew White EMG: Karl Amon Jasper Pittard, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent OUT: Jasper Pittard The return of co-skippers Jack Viney and a number of others gives Melbourne an "A team" look after it lost two of the past three matches with a patched up side that was also limited by the fact that it was carrying players like Max Gawn, Jesse Hogan and Joel Smith who had come back to football after extra long stints on the sidelines. Viney's return to lead the Demons less than three weeks after undergoing foot surgery to release his plantar fascia is the stuff of Superman and should be an inspiration to the rest of the team. Viney is of course, the icing on the cake with Christian Salem, Dom Tyson and Jack Watts all coming back as well as Jack Trengove finally getting his reward for so much perseverance in coming back from his horrible foot injury and then having to languish in the VFL for a year. The renewed opportunity for the former skipper, the return of those players to bolster the midfield and Watts to attack convergence with the day on which the club acknowledges the Wurundjeri people and honours their heritage and lands by wearing its Indigenous jumper on the MCG for the first time. They don't really need the extra boost but Neville Jetta, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris should be inspired. The pressure will also be off young guns Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver with the return of so much midfield class. Port Adelaide are winning games and find themselves in the top four. Last week they beat North Melbourne by 70 points but there's something about them that's not quite right. They can't beat top eight teams so if the Demons want to prove their credentials, this is the time. Melbourne by 37 points.
  7. LONG TIME COMING by The Oracle It's been a long time since Melbourne played a game against Port Adelaide at the MCG but it was one that fans of both teams should remember well. The game was the opening match of 2013 and it was Ken Hinkley's first as coach of a club that had been pushed from pillar to post and had suffered some massive defeats in the previous season. They had recruited well picking up the likes of Angus Monfries from Essendon and a strong youngster in Ollie Wines from the Murray Bushrangers and their team was fit, healthy and ready for the fray. The Demons, not so. They had sent a very inexperienced side to play a near full strength Port in a NAB Cup game in Renmark a month earlier and surprisingly beat them by 2 points but we know full well the folly of relying on the results of these practice matches. Mark Neeld, the coach, was buoyed by the result but it was accepted that it was meaningless as a guide to what might happen during the season. By the time of the opening round, the Demons produced a better line up but there were plenty of cracks in their make up, much of them due to internal issues relating to attitude and division in the ranks concerning their coach who would in any event, fail to last out the season. The result was decisive. Port Adelaide 19.19.133 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54. Hinkley's team did not look back from there. They made the finals and finished a couple of kicks away from playing in a grand final. Neeld's team never recovered and it's been a long hard grind to the present time for the club, first under Paul Roos and now Simon Goodwin, to reach the point where it is today - at the crossroads and needing to beat Port Adelaide in its next game at the MCG to keep its foothold in the race for the top eight. The opposition also needs to win in order to hold its place in the top four, making for an intriguing tussle between two teams with finals aspirations. The make up of the Melbourne side has changed dramatically since the season opener of 2013. Ironically, the only member of that team to represent it last Saturday night in Darwin was Cam Pedersen who had crossed from North Melbourne at the end of the previous season but had a debut to forget with the Demons. Other current day players who played that day - co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney (another debutant in 2013) and Jack Watts and Col Garland are all injured but the first three are chances to return this week. In light of the fact that some key players are slated for a return to the side, I will wait upon team selection before I reach any conclusion as to the result. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 22 July, 2017 at 2.10pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins, Port Adelaide 19 wins At the MCG Melbourne 7 wins, Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, Port Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Hinkley 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.25, Port Adelaide to win - $1.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.16.94 defeated Port Adelaide 8.6.54 Round 21, 2016 at Adelaide Oval The Demons were on a high having beaten the Hawks a week earlier and they continued on with another exciting and groundbreaking victory - their first over the Power at Adelaide Oval. Max Gawn dominated the ruck duels and Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince starred. It was to be Melbourne's last win for the season as the young team was fast running out of steam as the season was coming to a close. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Jayden Hunt C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Jake Melksham I/C: Mitch Hannan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem, Jack Trengove EMG: Cameron Pedersen Joel Smith, Billy Stretch IN: Christian Salem, Jack Trengove, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Jack Watts OUT: Kent (shoulder), Pedersen (omitted), Joel Smith (omitted), Bernie Vince (suspended), Josh Wagner (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Logan Austin HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett C: Brad Ebert, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec HF: Sam Gray, Jackson Trengove, Sam Powell-Pepper F: Chad Wingard, Charlie Dixon, Justin Westhoff FOLL: Paddy Ryder, Robbie Gray, Travis Boak I/C: Joe Atley, Dan Houston, Jarman Impey, Matthew White EMG: Karl Amon Jasper Pittard, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent OUT: Jasper Pittard The return of co-skippers Jack Viney and a number of others gives Melbourne an "A team" look after it lost two of the past three matches with a patched up side that was also limited by the fact that it was carrying players like Max Gawn, Jesse Hogan and Joel Smith who had come back to football after extra long stints on the sidelines. Viney's return to lead the Demons less than three weeks after undergoing foot surgery to release his plantar fascia is the stuff of Superman and should be an inspiration to the rest of the team. Viney is of course, the icing on the cake with Christian Salem, Dom Tyson and Jack Watts all coming back as well as Jack Trengove finally getting his reward for so much perseverance in coming back from his horrible foot injury and then having to languish in the VFL for a year. The renewed opportunity for the former skipper, the return of those players to bolster the midfield and Watts to attack convergence with the day on which the club acknowledges the Wurundjeri people and honours their heritage and lands by wearing its Indigenous jumper on the MCG for the first time. They don't really need the extra boost but Neville Jetta, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris should be inspired. The pressure will also be off young guns Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver with the return of so much midfield class. Port Adelaide are winning games and find themselves in the top four. Last week they beat North Melbourne by 70 points but there's something about them that's not quite right. They can't beat top eight teams so if the Demons want to prove their credentials, this is the time. Melbourne by 37 points.
  8. MATCH REPORT - Round 10

    TRAEGER TRAGEDY by George on the Outer Another venture into the Red Centre for the Demons, and another defeat. Just when the opportunity was there to put some space between themselves and their nearest opponent on the ladder it was once again tragically squandered. The equation was simple ... beat Port Adelaide and you set yourselves up for a promising second half of the season ... lose the game and it all looks rather tragic. Apart from the financial bonus of playing in the Northern Territory, it has been a disappointing destination for the Demons for some years now. We simply are unable to put in a creditable performance at either the Alice Springs or Darwin venues. Melbourne was never in the game, despite a slender lead at quarter time, as it was never able to contain the likes of Boak, Wingard, R Gray, Hartlett and Westhoff. Then their new arrival Charlie Dixon turned on a blinder and produced 5 goals to continuously beat down the chances that the Demons struggled to achieve. Worst of all was the simply porous defensive structures that we have employed since the St. Kilda game. There were at least 7 goals from this match that came from a free Port player either running into an open goal or marking uncontested 20 or 30 metres out. And each and every time it was a player running in behind the defenders without a Melbourne player in sight. The structure isn’t working, and we cannot keep hoping to win shootouts against the better sides. Our mids refuse to get back to assist, and the wingers don’t help out either. Thank goodness for Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner who continue to show promise and a hardness that is required to play at AFL level. Oscar Mac has now had his chance and is simply out of his depth at the moment. There were plenty of other non-shows again this week. Ben Kennedy could only produce 7 disposals for the match and Jeff Garlett didn’t produce anything other than a single goal, until the coach threw him into the middle to force him do something. Even then he only touched the ball nine times for the whole game. And it was in the middle where once again we were soundly beaten. Nathan Jones produced yet another sterling performance, but Jack Viney has dropped off from his best and Dom Tyson was also not as effective as he was before last week's illness. Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts did the best they could, given the lack of opportunity and some simply poor delivery into the forward line. Whhen hitting a target was critical, we simply couldn’t do it. And that was the nature of the game. It was a tragedy at Traeger Park. Tragically, Port was the better side and tragically, after traveling to the Red Centre, Melbourne comes up against Hawthorn next week. Well may we hope that the outcome is not as tragic against them as it has been in recent years. Melbourne 2.7.19 4.9.33 9.12.66 10.16.76 Port Adelaide 2.4.16 8.6.54 12.11.83 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Gawn Watts 2 Garlett Kent Neal-Bullen Port Adelaide Dixon 5 Impey Wingard Young 2 Boak Byrne-Jones R Gray Hartlett Howard Krakouer Neade Best Melbourne Gawn Jones Watts Hogan Wagner T McDonald Port Adelaide Wingard R Gray Ebert Dixon Westhoff Boak Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Broadbent (gastro) replaced by S Gray Injuries Melbourne Garland (cheekbone) Port Adelaide Hombsch (hamstring) P Stewart (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Hay Findlay Mollison Official crowd 5,146 at Traeger Park
  9. Another venture into the Red Centre for the Demons, and another defeat. Just when the opportunity was there to put some space between themselves and their nearest opponent on the ladder it was once again tragically squandered. The equation was simple ... beat Port Adelaide and you set yourselves up for a promising second half of the season ... lose the game and it all looks rather tragic. Apart from the financial bonus of playing in the Northern Territory, it has been a disappointing destination for the Demons for some years now. We simply are unable to put in a creditable performance at either the Alice Springs or Darwin venues. Melbourne was never in the game, despite a slender lead at quarter time, as it was never able to contain the likes of Boak, Wingard, R Gray, Hartlett and Westhoff. Then their new arrival Charlie Dixon turned on a blinder and produced 5 goals to continuously beat down the chances that the Demons struggled to achieve. Worst of all was the simply porous defensive structures that we have employed since the St. Kilda game. There were at least 7 goals from this match that came from a free Port player either running into an open goal or marking uncontested 20 or 30 metres out. And each and every time it was a player running in behind the defenders without a Melbourne player in sight. The structure isn’t working, and we cannot keep hoping to win shootouts against the better sides. Our mids refuse to get back to assist, and the wingers don’t help out either. Thank goodness for Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner who continue to show promise and a hardness that is required to play at AFL level. Oscar Mac has now had his chance and is simply out of his depth at the moment. There were plenty of other non-shows again this week. Ben Kennedy could only produce 7 disposals for the match and Jeff Garlett didn’t produce anything other than a single goal, until the coach threw him into the middle to force him do something. Even then he only touched the ball nine times for the whole game. And it was in the middle where once again we were soundly beaten. Nathan Jones produced yet another sterling performance, but Jack Viney has dropped off from his best and Dom Tyson was also not as effective as he was before last week's illness. Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts did the best they could, given the lack of opportunity and some simply poor delivery into the forward line. Whhen hitting a target was critical, we simply couldn’t do it. And that was the nature of the game. It was a tragedy at Traeger Park. Tragically, Port was the better side and tragically, after traveling to the Red Centre, Melbourne comes up against Hawthorn next week. Well may we hope that the outcome is not as tragic against them as it has been in recent years. Melbourne 2.7.19 4.9.33 9.12.66 10.16.76 Port Adelaide 2.4.16 8.6.54 12.11.83 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Gawn Watts 2 Garlett Kent Neal-Bullen Port Adelaide Dixon 5 Impey Wingard Young 2 Boak Byrne-Jones R Gray Hartlett Howard Krakouer Neade Best Melbourne Gawn Jones Watts Hogan Wagner T McDonald Port Adelaide Wingard R Gray Ebert Dixon Westhoff Boak Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Broadbent (gastro) replaced by S Gray Injuries Melbourne Garland (cheekbone) Port Adelaide Hombsch (hamstring) P Stewart (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Hay Findlay Mollison Official crowd 5,146 at Traeger Park
  10. Vote now 6,5,4,3,2,1 If applicable, specify your McDonald.
  11. GAMEDAY - Round 10

    Hard to believe that we're already at Round 10 and it's even harder to believe that the Demons are putting such a young team onto the field each week and yet still remain in finals contention. The table below from what I believe was last week's round shows how young the team. With Nev Jetta and Dom Tyson coming into the team today, the average age might be slightly higher but it's good knowing that we have plenty of youth to come in and supplement the team - Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem for starters. That's all good but our opponents have on average about three years in age and far more than double the numbers played over us. Can youth triumph over experience today?
  12. DEFYING HISTORY by Whispering Jack I was surprised to read that Melbourne started the week as a firm favourite to beat Port Adelaide in this Saturday's indigenous round game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs. The Demons might have a slight edge on Port in terms of recent form but both clubs are close in ladder terms and are equally motivated to win in order to stay in touch with the top eight. While the Demons are nominally the home team, the visiting side is domiciled closer to its own home base, therefore having less travel to get to the venue and it also has history on its side. The Power have won at both of their meetings at this ground and beaten the Demons on all three occasions since Paul Roos became coach at Melbourne. In addition, despite its last start win at the MCG against the Brisbane Lions, the "home" team has such an abysmal record when starting as favourite that it cannot be said with confidence that it is a sure thing to beat a team containing the likes of Robbie Gray, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard and Ollie Wines. I heard somewhere that the latter player apparently originally wanted to be drafted to Melbourne to join his mate Jack Viney so every time he plays against them, he likes to really turn it on. The ruck battles will be interesting with the Demons holding the edge through 208cm Max Gawn who should be too good for the Port ruckmen although some are calling for the overworked Gawn to be rested in the light of the fact that Port have been relying on an undersized Jackson Trengove in that department. In recent weeks, Max has been pushed from pillar to post and double teamed in an attempt to rough him up. Last week, the umpires didn't seem to notice and the opposition will continue to try as long as they can get away with the tactic. Gawn doesn't need a rest - he needs assistance. The big man has been a vital cog in the team's resurgence and leaving him out of a game that's important as this one should not even be considered. Port Adelaide also goes into the game with the edge in experience which can be a double edged sword when both teams are traveling away from the comfort of their own home. It's always good to have cool, seasoned heads but the young Melbourne team these days (nine of its players last week had not played more than 20 AFL games) is so compelling and so full of enthusiasm when it gets going. Of course, that doesn't always help but I'm tipping Melbourne to defy history and win its first game ever at Traeger Park. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 28 May, 2015 at 1.10pm (AEST) at TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 18 wins At TIO Traeger Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 2.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.70 Port Adelaide to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 18.7.115 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54 Round 9 at TIO Traeger Park Melbourne started like a house on fire and held a four goal lead at one stage during the second quarter. At that point however, the house burned down. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tomas Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Colin Garland C: Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Chris Dawes, Jack Grimes, Viv Michie IN: Neville Jetta, Dom Tyson OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Clayton Oliver (quad) PORT ADELAIDE B: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Jasper Pittard HB: Nathan Krakouer, Cam O'Shea, Matthew Broadbent C: Jared Polec, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert HF: Jake Neade, Justin Westhoff, Hamish Hartlett F: Aaron Young, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard FOLL: Jackson Trengove, Travis Boak, Robbie Gray I/C: Karl Amon, Dougal Howard, Jarman Impey, Paul Stewart EMG: Brendon Ah Chee, Logan Austin, Sam Gray IN: Dougal Howard OUT: Tom Jonas (suspended)
  13. I was surprised to read that Melbourne started the week as a firm favourite to beat Port Adelaide in this Saturday's indigenous round game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs. The Demons might have a slight edge on Port in terms of recent form but both clubs are close in ladder terms and are equally motivated to win in order to stay in touch with the top eight. While the Demons are nominally the home team, the visiting side is domiciled closer to its own home base, therefore having less travel to get to the venue and it also has history on its side. The Power have won at both of their meetings at this ground and beaten the Demons on all three occasions since Paul Roos became coach at Melbourne. In addition, despite its last start win at the MCG against the Brisbane Lions, the "home" team has such an abysmal record when starting as favourite that it cannot be said with confidence that it is a sure thing to beat a team containing the likes of Robbie Gray, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard and Ollie Wines. I heard somewhere that the latter player apparently originally wanted to be drafted to Melbourne to join his mate Jack Viney so every time he plays against them, he likes to really turn it on. The ruck battles will be interesting with the Demons holding the edge through 208cm Max Gawn who should be too good for the Port ruckmen although some are calling for the overworked Gawn to be rested in the light of the fact that Port have been relying on an undersized Jackson Trengove in that department. In recent weeks, Max has been pushed from pillar to post and double teamed in an attempt to rough him up. Last week, the umpires didn't seem to notice and the opposition will continue to try as long as they can get away with the tactic. Gawn doesn't need a rest - he needs assistance. The big man has been a vital cog in the team's resurgence and leaving him out of a game that's important as this one should not even be considered. Port Adelaide also goes into the game with the edge in experience which can be a double edged sword when both teams are traveling away from the comfort of their own home. It's always good to have cool, seasoned heads but the young Melbourne team these days (nine of its players last week had not played more than 20 AFL games) is so compelling and so full of enthusiasm when it gets going. Of course, that doesn't always help but I'm tipping Melbourne to defy history and win its first game ever at Traeger Park. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 28 May, 2015 at 1.10pm (AEST) at TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 18 wins At TIO Traeger Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 2.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.70 Port Adelaide to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 18.7.115 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54 Round 9 at TIO Traeger Park Melbourne started like a house on fire and held a four goal lead at one stage during the second quarter. At that point however, the house burned down. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tomas Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Colin Garland C: Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Chris Dawes, Jack Grimes, Viv Michie IN: Neville Jetta, Dom Tyson OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Clayton Oliver (quad) PORT ADELAIDE B: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Jasper Pittard HB: Nathan Krakouer, Cam O'Shea, Matthew Broadbent C: Jared Polec, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert HF: Jake Neade, Justin Westhoff, Hamish Hartlett F: Aaron Young, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard FOLL: Jackson Trengove, Travis Boak, Robbie Gray I/C: Karl Amon, Dougal Howard, Jarman Impey, Paul Stewart EMG: Brendon Ah Chee, Logan Austin, Sam Gray IN: Dougal Howard OUT: Tom Jonas (suspended)
  14. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    The stuff of which nightmares are made for Demon fans. This "home" game was played in Alice Springs which is a lot closer to Adelaide than Melbourne. The Demons were seemingly in control for most of the first half. They led by a couple of goals at quarter time, kicked away to lead by four midway through the second and then fell into the abyss. Port kicked six in a row before half time and won the game by 61 points. The Dees were woeful. MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired)
  15. THEY STOPPED RUNNING by JVM

    How is it possible for a team to dominate the first quarter and a half of football in every facet of the game and to lead by four goals and yet, to lose by ten? That scenario is becoming something of a habit with Melbourne this year after the team meekly surrendered a big lead in Canberra against the GWS Giants and then repeated the dose at the weekend against an out-of-form Port Adelaide in Alice Springs. The Power were teetering on the brink after abysmal efforts against Brisbane and Richmond and when Jeff Garlett slotted home two majors to give the hosts the comfort of a four goal lead, they were staring down at the precipice. It would be easy to say that what happened next was a surrender by the Demons because that is what appeared to be the case. There was a period of ten minutes when they maintained their lead and neither side scored but then, inexplicably, they just stopped. They stopped running. Where the Demons had previously been running, chasing, tackling and placing enormous pressure on their opponents, they gave them latitude and space. Port Adelaide suddenly were in control and they piled on goal after goal a little over ten minutes to take a 14 point lead into the rooms at half time. In that short space of time, Port scored 6.1.37 to zip, winning the contested possessions 22 to six and uncontested possessions 18 to one while the Demons were reduced to being spectators with the coaching bench seemingly powerless to stop the rot as they had been in Canberra and even in a practice match in Ballarat against the Bulldogs earlier this year. The Demons put up some resistance early in the third and even fought back with a goal to narrow the margin to eight points but when the Power applied the blowtorch again, the Dees were shot. The end result was an embarrassing ten goal defeat in front of small crowd in the middle of the continent. So was it surrender, the heat, lack of mature bodies after a six day break, poor coaching, but team selection or poor preparation? There's no simple answer but it reflects poorly on the team when it's best players in such a rout are in the first senior year of their careers. Kudos to Angus Brayshaw and Jesse Hogan who stood up all day but where were the rest of you? Melbourne 3.2.20 6.2.38 7.3.45 8.6.54 Port Adelaide 1.2.8 8.4.52 12.6.78 18.7.115 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 2 Fitzpatrick M Jones Lumumba Spencer Port Adelaide Schulz 4 Monfries 3 Westhoff Wingard 2 Amon Ebert R Gray Hartlett Krakouer Stewart White Best Melbourne Brayshaw Hogan Port Adelaide Ebert Boak R Gray Wines Schulz Wingard Hartlett Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Substitutions Melbourne Jack Viney replaced Neville Jetta in the third quarter Port Adelaide Nathan Krakouer replaced Karl Amon in the fourth quarter Umpires Bannister Ryan Pannell Official crowd 4,866 at TIO Traeger Park Oval, Alice Springs
  16. Your votes after the final siren sounds please (remember there are two Jones')
  17. GAME DAY at Alice Springs - Round 9

    This game might suit Jesse Hogan if we can get the ball inside our 50 enough times, more fast paced and he might find himself 1 on 1 on more occasions than other weeks, we can only hope so.
  18. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by The Oracle The AFL's Indigenous Round takes the Demons right into the heart of the country - to Alice Springs where almost to the day, twelve months ago they fought tooth and nail again a top four aspirant in Port Adelaide but ultimately fell agonisingly short. In that game, the Power were off to a flyer and led 4.2.26 to 0.0.0 by the mid point of the opening quarter but the young Demons fought back to hold a narrow lead with 15 minutes left in the game after Christian Salem goaled. It was Port, on its way to a Preliminary Final appearance, that held sway with the last three goals and again, two months later in the return game at Adelaide Oval, they kicked the final goal two minutes before the end to stave off another Melbourne comeback and win by the narrow margin of three points. It was not that the win meant all that much to the Demons in the grand scheme of things in season 2014 but the heart of the matter was that it was one of a handful occasions in recent years when a truly big scalp was there for the taking and the opportunity to take it was missed. And if the club is to truly raise itself up from the group of also rans of the competition and into its middle tier from which it can launch future campaigns into finals class, it has to take scalps like that of Port Adelaide which right now, has about it an air of vulnerability. And that is at the heart of the matter this week. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 30 May, 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 17 wins At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne wins Port Adelaide wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.30 Port Adelaide to win - $1.32 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 10.12.72 defeated Melbourne 10.9.69 Round 18 at the Adelaide Oval Port Adelaide was going through a bit of a slump but seemed in control for most of the first half until a rear guard action led by Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones in the midfield saw Melbourne hit the front in an exciting final quarter. The Demons had their chances but a late rally for a goal to Jay Schulz saw the Power hold on to the final siren. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired) IT FIGURES by Sam the Stats Man When the Demons jubilantly took the honours and caused a minor upset in the first round of the season against the Gold Coast Suns, they had almost a full list of players fit and available for action. Jack Trengove was the only player with senior AFL experience on the injured list. The two others - Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca are kids with their careers ahead of them. Progressively, from that day onward, the injuries began to kick in (as they do at most clubs) leading the club to a position where a lack of player depth was exposed in successive weeks in games against the leading teams in the competition. It all started when one of the stars of the Gold Coast win, Jack Viney who subdued an injured Garry Ablett Junior, broke his leg and a swag of others from that opening game win are missing - most of them with injuries extending beyond a couple of weeks. Here's hoping for a better run from here on in but from a statistical point of view, the run of injuries has certainly not helped the club's quest to rise from the depths of the AFL ladder. On a more positive note, the contributions of the new faces at the club have been significant to this point in time, a testament to the excellent recruiting at the club since the advent of Paul Roos as coach. BAIL, Rohan MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 3 games 3 goals - on the outer until the last couple of games coming in to fill the need for a little speed. BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 8 games, 2 goals - exciting debut season from this highly rated youngster. CROSS, Daniel MFC 8 games, 0 goals - continues to inspire and lead the team. DAWES, Chris MFC 5 games, 3 goals - hampered by a calf injury and yet to hit his straps. DUNN, Lynden MFC 8 games, 0 goals - solid as a leader in the back line. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 0 goals - impressed in his new role in defence in his first game of the season last week. FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace suffered an injury in round three that will keep him out for some time yet. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable in defence. GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 8 games, 16 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking. GAWN, Max CSFC 6 games 8 goals - showing some form at Casey but hasn't been able to break into the AFL team this year. GRIMES, Jack MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games 1 goal - struggled early but back in the team and starting to show form. HARMES, James ® CSFC 6 games, 5 goals - promising rookie developing nicely as a utility player with the Scorpions. HOGAN, Jesse MFC 7 games, 14 goals - the talk of the town as the next big thing in power forwards. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 1 goal - has been somewhat subdued in defence but showed some spark up forward in his last game. HUNT, Jayden CSFCDL 3 games, 0 goals - on the comeback trail in the Casey development side after a long term injury. JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - lion hearted early but has seemingly fallen out of favour lately and suffered a head knock in his last game at Casey. JETTA, Neville MFC 4 games, 0 goals - the Demons are taking great care with Jetta after a few bouts of concussion. JONES, Matthew MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 4 games, 1 goal - just broke back into the team and did well in curtailing the Bulldogs' skipper in the last game before being subbed off with concussion. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 games, 4 goals - has had one or two quiet ones but overall continues to set the example of courage through great leadership. KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 5 games, 1 goal - showed promise as a crumbing forward before his injury. KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - was stepping up into a regular forward role before he tore a hamstring in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers. KING, Max ® CSFCDL 5 games,14 goals - the big man is waiting in line in the Casey development team where he is regularly kicking goals. LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 8 games, 1 goal - showing great passion and leadership and you get the feeling that he's due for a big game at any time. McDONALD, Oscar ® CSFC 4 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 2 games, 0 goals - following in his older brother's footsteps, Oscar is learning the ropes at Casey. McDONALD, Tom MFC 8 games, 1 goal - raised his game to a new level and regarded a real chance for All Australian honours if he can keep up his current form. McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal looks like keeping him out in the cold despite some good form in the VFL. MICHIE, Viv MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - one of a number of midfielders working hard to establish a place in the side. NEAL-BULLEN, Alex CSFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor in development phase who is impressing with the Casey seniors. NEWTON, Ben MFC 7 games, 7 goals - one of the Demons' impressive midfield imports. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - has come back with a vengeance in his last two games as a forward/ruckman. PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster. RILEY, Aidan MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 2 goals - spent most of the season so far in the VFL but impressed when he came on as a sub in his last game. SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - there were no second year blues for the youngster who was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out until the middle of next month. SPENCER, Jake MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 percent goals - grabbed his opportunity after some good form in the ruck at VFL level. STRETCH, Billy MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 2 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season. TERLICH, Dean CSFC 6 games, 1 goal - an injury interrupted pre season meant a late start and he has yet to break into AFL ranks this year. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 1 goal - starting to show some signs as to why he was so sought after in his draft year. TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out indefinitely. TYSON, Dom MFC 7 games, 2 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and is currently out with a knee injury. VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 8 games, 3 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder. VINCE, Bernie MFC 7 games 3 goals - warming up in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason. VINEY, Jack MFC 2 games, 0 goals - it took a break in his foot to stop this young hard nut. WATTS, Jack MFC 7 games, 4 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - continues to be an enigma with fluctuating form lines. WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot. ONE MORE WEEK by The Oracle Driving home from last week's win over the Bulldogs, I was listening to the Port Adelaide v Richmond game and simply couldn't believe the pain that Port were suffering as they struggled to get among the goals against the Tigers. What the hell was happening with them? Was this the same team that monstered Hawthorn in the first half of their game a month earlier? I have absolutely no answer but I hope their current poor form persists for one more week and they allow Melbourne for the first time in four years to go back to back in the heart of the country.
  19. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by The Oracle The AFL's Indigenous Round takes the Demons right into the heart of the country - to Alice Springs where almost to the day, twelve months ago they fought tooth and nail again a top four aspirant in Port Adelaide but ultimately fell agonisingly short. In that game, the Power were off to a flyer and led 4.2.26 to 0.0.0 by the mid point of the opening quarter but the young Demons fought back to hold a narrow lead with 15 minutes left in the game after Christian Salem goaled. It was Port, on its way to a Preliminary Final appearance, that held sway with the last three goals and again, two months later in the return game at Adelaide Oval, they kicked the final goal two minutes before the end to stave off another Melbourne comeback and win by the narrow margin of three points. It was not that the win meant all that much to the Demons in the grand scheme of things in season 2014 but the heart of the matter was that it was one of a handful occasions in recent years when a truly big scalp was there for the taking and the opportunity to take it was missed. And if the club is to truly raise itself up from the group of also rans of the competition and into its middle tier from which it can launch future campaigns into finals class, it has to take scalps like that of Port Adelaide which right now, has about it an air of vulnerability. And that is at the heart of the matter this week. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 30 May, 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 17 wins At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne wins Port Adelaide wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.30 Port Adelaide to win - $1.32 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 10.12.72 defeated Melbourne 10.9.69 Round 18 at the Adelaide Oval Port Adelaide was going through a bit of a slump but seemed in control for most of the first half until a rear guard action led by Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones in the midfield saw Melbourne hit the front in an exciting final quarter. The Demons had their chances but a late rally for a goal to Jay Schulz saw the Power hold on to the final siren. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired) IT FIGURES by Sam the Stats Man When the Demons jubilantly took the honours and caused a minor upset in the first round of the season against the Gold Coast Suns, they had almost a full list of players fit and available for action. Jack Trengove was the only player with senior AFL experience on the injured list. The two others - Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca are kids with their careers ahead of them. Progressively, from that day onward, the injuries began to kick in (as they do at most clubs) leading the club to a position where a lack of player depth was exposed in successive weeks in games against the leading teams in the competition. It all started when one of the stars of the Gold Coast win, Jack Viney who subdued an injured Garry Ablett Junior, broke his leg and a swag of others from that opening game win are missing - most of them with injuries extending beyond a couple of weeks. Here's hoping for a better run from here on in but from a statistical point of view, the run of injuries has certainly not helped the club's quest to rise from the depths of the AFL ladder. On a more positive note, the contributions of the new faces at the club have been significant to this point in time, a testament to the excellent recruiting at the club since the advent of Paul Roos as coach. BAIL, Rohan MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 3 games 3 goals - on the outer until the last couple of games coming in to fill the need for a little speed. BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 8 games, 2 goals - exciting debut season from this highly rated youngster. CROSS, Daniel MFC 8 games, 0 goals - continues to inspire and lead the team. DAWES, Chris MFC 5 games, 3 goals - hampered by a calf injury and yet to hit his straps. DUNN, Lynden MFC 8 games, 0 goals - solid as a leader in the back line. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 0 goals - impressed in his new role in defence in his first game of the season last week. FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace suffered an injury in round three that will keep him out for some time yet. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable in defence. GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 8 games, 16 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking. GAWN, Max CSFC 6 games 8 goals - showing some form at Casey but hasn't been able to break into the AFL team this year. GRIMES, Jack MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games 1 goal - struggled early but back in the team and starting to show form. HARMES, James ® CSFC 6 games, 5 goals - promising rookie developing nicely as a utility player with the Scorpions. HOGAN, Jesse MFC 7 games, 14 goals - the talk of the town as the next big thing in power forwards. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 1 goal - has been somewhat subdued in defence but showed some spark up forward in his last game. HUNT, Jayden CSFCDL 3 games, 0 goals - on the comeback trail in the Casey development side after a long term injury. JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - lion hearted early but has seemingly fallen out of favour lately and suffered a head knock in his last game at Casey. JETTA, Neville MFC 4 games, 0 goals - the Demons are taking great care with Jetta after a few bouts of concussion. JONES, Matthew MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 4 games, 1 goal - just broke back into the team and did well in curtailing the Bulldogs' skipper in the last game before being subbed off with concussion. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 games, 4 goals - has had one or two quiet ones but overall continues to set the example of courage through great leadership. KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 5 games, 1 goal - showed promise as a crumbing forward before his injury. KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - was stepping up into a regular forward role before he tore a hamstring in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers. KING, Max ® CSFCDL 5 games,14 goals - the big man is waiting in line in the Casey development team where he is regularly kicking goals. LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 8 games, 1 goal - showing great passion and leadership and you get the feeling that he's due for a big game at any time. McDONALD, Oscar ® CSFC 4 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 2 games, 0 goals - following in his older brother's footsteps, Oscar is learning the ropes at Casey. McDONALD, Tom MFC 8 games, 1 goal - raised his game to a new level and regarded a real chance for All Australian honours if he can keep up his current form. McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal looks like keeping him out in the cold despite some good form in the VFL. MICHIE, Viv MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - one of a number of midfielders working hard to establish a place in the side. NEAL-BULLEN, Alex CSFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor in development phase who is impressing with the Casey seniors. NEWTON, Ben MFC 7 games, 7 goals - one of the Demons' impressive midfield imports. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - has come back with a vengeance in his last two games as a forward/ruckman. PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster. RILEY, Aidan MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 2 goals - spent most of the season so far in the VFL but impressed when he came on as a sub in his last game. SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - there were no second year blues for the youngster who was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out until the middle of next month. SPENCER, Jake MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 percent goals - grabbed his opportunity after some good form in the ruck at VFL level. STRETCH, Billy MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 2 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season. TERLICH, Dean CSFC 6 games, 1 goal - an injury interrupted pre season meant a late start and he has yet to break into AFL ranks this year. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 1 goal - starting to show some signs as to why he was so sought after in his draft year. TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out indefinitely. TYSON, Dom MFC 7 games, 2 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and is currently out with a knee injury. VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 8 games, 3 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder. VINCE, Bernie MFC 7 games 3 goals - warming up in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason. VINEY, Jack MFC 2 games, 0 goals - it took a break in his foot to stop this young hard nut. WATTS, Jack MFC 7 games, 4 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - continues to be an enigma with fluctuating form lines. WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot. ONE MORE WEEK by The Oracle Driving home from last week's win over the Bulldogs, I was listening to the Port Adelaide v Richmond game and simply couldn't believe the pain that Port were suffering as they struggled to get among the goals against the Tigers. What the hell was happening with them? Was this the same team that monstered Hawthorn in the first half of their game a month earlier? I have absolutely no answer but I hope their current poor form persists for one more week and they allow Melbourne for the first time in four years to go back to back in the heart of the country.
  20. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    Melbourne came close to causing an upset at both meetings last year after giving Port a start. Now's the time ... THE TEAMS PORT ADELAIDE B: Cam O'Shea, Jack Hombsch, Dom Cassisi. HB: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Jared Polec, Travis Boak, Kane Cornes HF: Paul Stewart, Justin Westhoff, Matt White F: Robbie Gray, Jay Schulz, Chad Wingard FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert I/C: Hamish Hartlett, Jarman Impey, Benjamin Newton, Aaron Young EMG: Thomas Logan, Sam Gray, John Butcher IN: John Butcher, Dom Cassisi, Benjamin Newton, Paul Stewart OUT: Sam Gray, Thomas Logan, Kane Mitchell (all omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, James Frawley, Lynden Dunn HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Bernie Vince, Jordie McKenzie HF: Jack Viney, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Rohan Bail, Chris Dawes, Aidan Riley FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dean Kent, Sam Blease, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Luke Tapscott EMG: Viv Michie, Max Gawn, Dean Terlich IN: Sam Blease, Jay Kennedy-Harris OUT: Matt Jones, Dean Terlich
  21. The first ever game for Premiership points in Alice Springs, a magnificent ground and day, the Demons leading the top placed side in the competition half way through the finals quarter ... yes it was all set for a true fairy-tale ending. But it was not to be. Having run Port into the ground physically, and stuck their noses in front only a few Demons knew what to do next. Unfortunately, it wasnt the ones who had the ball within their grasp, or the where with all to follow the coaches instructions to the letter. To see all the good work squandered by a few was dis-heartening to say the least. Unforced turnovers, kick-outs to no-one but the opposition, lame handballs into the air instead of directly to a team-mate, they all resulted in opposition goals in those final 10 minutes. These players were in the same situation as Alice was when faced with the same dilemma: "Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat. 'I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.'" Paul Roos has shown a team how to be successful. Roos has shown them which fork in the road to take, but they choose to follow their own path! Disciplined adherence to instructions saw us frustrate the opposition, and keep possession. A four goal start to Port didnt help the situation, although, once again, by doing what they have been trained to do, they eventually clawed their way back into the game. But in the end football is a very simple game. You beat your opponent and you have done your bit. If more of the team do the same you win simple! However, we still see players who think they have done enough, and go into coast mode. Watts with 15 possessions to half-time could only manage 6 in the second half. Bail was destructive at the start, and unsighted thereafter. Compare that with the 30 possessions to Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones, who were ably backed up again by Cross, Jones M and Viney. They were all going strong in the final quarter when it was needed, but doing it all alone. Roos would have been disappointed because when he coached Sydney they were renowned for not giving up final quarter leads. They killed the game, and their opponents scoring opportunities, because they followed his instructions. Most supporters would be happy to have only lost by 20 points to this side. Last year's team would have given up a 10 goal+ victory to the opposition after being behind by 4 goals. Resilience has been learnt and method has been learnt. But a loss is a loss. Worse when it is simply "another game we should have won". Finally, for those that may criticize the club for playing this game in the NT, the financial return will be far greater than anything possible at home, and it truly was a picture book profile for the game of AFL. The team and some players would be well advised to remember the line from the Queen of Hearts: "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that." Without that approach there will never be the fairytale ending ... Melbourne 2.2.14 7.4.46 10.5.65 11.9.75 Port Adelaide 5.4.34 8.4.52 10.9.69 14.11.95 Goals Melbourne Bail Frawley Pedersen Salem Tyson 2 Gawn Port Adelaide Gray Schulz Westhoff 2 Boak Brad Ebert Mitchell Neade Polec White Wines Young Best Melbourne Tyson M Jones N Jones Vince Howe Dunn McDonald Port Adelaide Broadbent Boak Cornes Wines Mitchell Hombsch Injuries Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Wingard (concussion) Changes Melbourne Aidan Riley by Jimmy Toumpas Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Schmitt Dalgleish Foot Crowd 5,655 at TIO Traeger Park
  22. NO WONDERLAND IN ALICE by George on the Outer The first ever game for Premiership points in Alice Springs, a magnificent ground and day, the Demons leading the top placed side in the competition half way through the finals quarter ... yes it was all set for a true fairy-tale ending. But it was not to be. Having run Port into the ground physically, and stuck their noses in front only a few Demons knew what to do next. Unfortunately, it wasnt the ones who had the ball within their grasp, or the where with all to follow the coaches instructions to the letter. To see all the good work squandered by a few was dis-heartening to say the least. Unforced turnovers, kick-outs to no-one but the opposition, lame handballs into the air instead of directly to a team-mate, they all resulted in opposition goals in those final 10 minutes. These players were in the same situation as Alice was when faced with the same dilemma: "Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat. 'I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.'" Paul Roos has shown a team how to be successful. Roos has shown them which fork in the road to take, but they choose to follow their own path! Disciplined adherence to instructions saw us frustrate the opposition, and keep possession. A four goal start to Port didnt help the situation, although, once again, by doing what they have been trained to do, they eventually clawed their way back into the game. But in the end football is a very simple game. You beat your opponent and you have done your bit. If more of the team do the same you win simple! However, we still see players who think they have done enough, and go into coast mode. Watts with 15 possessions to half-time could only manage 6 in the second half. Bail was destructive at the start, and unsighted thereafter. Compare that with the 30 possessions to Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones, who were ably backed up again by Cross, Jones M and Viney. They were all going strong in the final quarter when it was needed, but doing it all alone. Roos would have been disappointed because when he coached Sydney they were renowned for not giving up final quarter leads. They killed the game, and their opponents scoring opportunities, because they followed his instructions. Most supporters would be happy to have only lost by 20 points to this side. Last year's team would have given up a 10 goal+ victory to the opposition after being behind by 4 goals. Resilience has been learnt and method has been learnt. But a loss is a loss. Worse when it is simply "another game we should have won". Finally, for those that may criticize the club for playing this game in the NT, the financial return will be far greater than anything possible at home, and it truly was a picture book profile for the game of AFL. The team and some players would be well advised to remember the line from the Queen of Hearts: "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that." Without that approach there will never be the fairytale ending ... Melbourne 2.2.14 7.4.46 10.5.65 11.9.75 Port Adelaide 5.4.34 8.4.52 10.9.69 14.11.95 Goals Melbourne Bail Frawley Pedersen Salem Tyson 2 Gawn Port Adelaide Gray Schulz Westhoff 2 Boak Brad Ebert Mitchell Neade Polec White Wines Young Best Melbourne Tyson M Jones N Jones Vince Howe Dunn McDonald Port Adelaide Broadbent Boak Cornes Wines Mitchell Hombsch Injuries Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Wingard (concussion) Changes Melbourne Aidan Riley by Jimmy Toumpas Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Schmitt Dalgleish Foot Crowd 5,655 at TIO Traeger Park
  23. 6, 5 ... all the way to ... 1 And don't forget the Jones rule
  24. GAME DAY - Round 11

    We can beat this mob way from the MCG and Adelaide Oval. Last time we did that was in a NAB Cup game in near desert conditions at Renmark and the boys did the job. Any reason we can't repeat that in Alice Springs?
  25. JUGGERNAUT by Whispering Jack The Port Adelaide juggernaut which has cut a swathe through some of the AFL's leading lights in recent weeks takes on a different direction this Saturday. Their last three outings at Adelaide Oval have produced wins against quality opposition in the form of Geelong, Fremantle and Hawthorn (somewhere in between there was also a routine away victory over GWS Giants), but this week the Power head into uncharted territory in the centre of the country to take on a rested Melbourne team in Alice Springs. Ken Hinkley and his men will need to remind themselves that whilst they are taking on opposition that is nowhere near the quality of those his side has beaten of late, this is not the same Melbourne that it faced and gave a spanking to when they last met on the day he officially took the reins at his club a season and a half ago. Paul Roos has installed more than just a sense of belief into this outfit and, if you look at its season to date, there seems to be a definite pattern emerging. In the first three games, there was still some hesitancy among many of the team to fall into line with the new regime and players lapsed back into some of their past habits. Lacking the best of their tall forwards and ruckmen, the team performance was only marginally better than in its past couple of seasons with the result that it sat at the foot of the table with a 0 - 3 record and, thanks to a massive capitulation at the hands of the Eagles, a percentage in the 50s. Although it was early days, many were suggesting that the club would struggle to win a game. The coach was able to see the positives of these early games and when the team beat Carlton in Round 4, they had the support of most of the football world. It was a sympathy vote for the downtrodden but most had little belief that they could sustain winning form for very long. They did make a fairly good fist of things in the next couple of rounds against the Suns and the Swans at the MCG, both definite top four contenders. The infusion of tall, strong players - first Chris Dawes as a key forward, then Mark Jamar in the ruck - saw to it that the Demons were now becoming more than just competitive for long periods of time. The second group of three matches matches to date yielded a 1 - 2 record and the team was off the bottom. The trip to Adelaide saw an inspired Melbourne produce one of its best halves of football in years in the first, topped off with a gritty, determined battle to hold on and win its first game after a dozen barren years in that city. They were unlucky to lose an arm wrestle against the Bulldogs a week later but followed it up by winning a scrap of a game against Richmond. That made it 2 - 1 in the last group of three games and for a brief period the team found itself out of the bottom four. The scalps to date include two of last year's finallists and a team that was strongly touted to be there in September after also making top four in 2012. There should be no illusions for the Demons about the road ahead or the fact that they are about to face some tough challenges in the coming month but, for the first time in years, a clash against a top-of-the-table adversary doesn't fill me with as much apprehension as it would have done in the very recent past. Nor does the memory and the pain of Round 1, 2013. And that feeling is based on more than the mere fact that the team suddenly has belief in itself ... THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 1.40pm at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 15 wins At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 0 wins Past five years Melbourne 3 wins Port Adelaide 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $8.00 Port Adelaide to win - $1.08 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 19.19.133 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54 Round 1, 2013 at the MCG The Demons were hit with a sledgehammer on its home turf in the opening round. They were woeful with only a single goal after the main break, the only bright lights being the tireless work of Nathan Jones and the debut of Jack Viney. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Dean Terlich HB: Neville Jetta, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Daniel Cross, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Rohan Bail, James Frawley, Jack Watts F: Cameron Pedersen, Max Gawn, Jeremy Howe FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Jordie McKenzie, Daniel Nicholson, Jimmy Toumpas IN: James Frawley, Neville Jetta OUT: Chris Dawes (suspended), Jimmy Toumpas (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: J Hombsch, A Carlile, J Impey HB: M Broadbent, J Trengove, J Pittard C: J Polec, T Boak, K Cornes HF: A Moore, J Westhoff, M White F: R Gray, J Schulz, C Wingard FOLL: M Lobbe, O Wines, B Ebert I/C: K Mitchell, J Neade, P Stewart, A.Young EMG: K Amon, S Gray, B Newton IN: P Stewart, A Moore, J Neade OUT: D Cassisi, A Monfries, H Hartlett A TOWN LIKE ALICE The location of this fixture, the first match in VFL-AFL history to be played for premiership points in Alice Springs, is at the heart of the AFL's Indigenous Round. Both clubs are well represented by indigenous players and the game also recognises the MFC's initiative in entering its partnership with the Northern Territory during the time when Jimmy Stynes led the club. Without wishing to dwell too much on the lamented Liam Jurrah as he languishes in prison (and rightly so because of his guilt for a serious offence) the circumstances, the place and the recent timing of racial taunts against Adam Goodes and Neville Jetta all highlight the fact that so much more work needs to be done in relation to the issues that divide this nation's community of peoples and in particular, problems in remote Aboriginal communities like Jurrah's home of Yuendumu which is down the road (give or take a few hundred kilometres) from where this game will be played. Melbourne welcomes back James Frawley who has some big shoes to fill in the form of those that belong to Chris Dawes who symbolised the team's revival his great physical presence earlier in the season. It's a big task but Paul Roos has faith in him as the primary forward target this week. "Dawesy has been in good form and we're going to miss him, there's no question, but certainly having Frawley come back you almost get a like-for-like [replacement]. They're different types but they're going to play similar positions," Roos said on during the week. Neville Jetta replaces Jimmy Toumpas (omitted) and will be relied upon to stop one of a few important opposition goal sneaks. Port Adelaide didn't get to the top of the table without reason and, as Roos pointed out, the "strength of Port is their evenness ... they don't have too many weaknesses." He will need to be able to identify and exploit any weaknesses this team might have if the Demons can proceed on their slow march forward. Port has lost Cassisi, Monfries and Hartlett but although this will help the Melbourne cause, it remains the outsiders to win. However, I expect that it's going to be another tight affair and, in those circumstances, anything can happen.
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