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Found 16 results

  1. MATCH REPORT - Round 21

    SOMETHING IN THE AIR by George on the Outer Walking away from the MCG after a good win against a challenging St Kilda, there was a smell that Melbourne supporters have not experienced for over ten years. It is the smell of September; that smell of spring in the air as the days get longer and the promise of something better to come. But in recognition of the evenness of the competition there were so many times that the Demons needed to dig deep, and none more so than in the final quarter when the Saints had whittled away at an over seven goal lead, to get within four points. In the past, a Melbourne side would have folded. In the past a Melbourne side would not have won a game like this. In the past the Melbourne sides haven’t experienced that smell of September. And in that critical last quarter when it was all on the line, a few standout performances were in evidence. Jordan Lewis and a St. Kilda player had the free bouncing ball to go for in the St. Kilda forward line. No quarter asked and none given as Lewis never flinched and he caused the opportunity for the Saints to be killed. Mitch Hannan, outnumbered by the Saints defenders took two telling marks and then converted truly to put a dagger through the St. Kilda fans hearts and their finals hopes. Jake Melksham never looked for the easy option or any option as he saw the chance to put the game away beyond any doubt and nailed yet another long distance goal to see the Demons run out winners by 24 points. It was all so close, and could have just as easily gone the other way, but the older wiser heads prevailed, which justified the recruitment of Melksham, Lewis and Hannan to add that very valuable experience when it was all on the line. The Demons came right out of the blocks and in the first quarter played exactly as the coach wanted them to. Hard, aggressive and relentless they overwhelmed the Saints to lead by five goals at the first change, with James Harmes picking up three majors alone. It was helped by the Saints playing some appalling football and turning the ball over consistently, and by Jack Steven suffering a hit to the head early which saw him only touching the ball eight times in the first half, including a solitary kick. His return to form after the main break was one of the reasons for the Saints revival, along with a series of inexplicable decisions from the umpires especially Stephens who needs to work out how far 15 metres is and how a player's head sits on his shoulders. It was good to see the return of Angus Brayshaw, who after a long period of recovery from concussion injuries and an equally long time to get his confidence back to play AFL level football, and that he could rack up 26 disposals including 11 contested possessions in his first game back. It will be nice in the coming weeks to have a player of his quality in the side. Unfortunately, Max Gawn had a shocker of a day and was soundly beaten by Billy Longer both in the ruck and around the ground. Cam Pedersen in contrast was superb as fill in ruck, and in that last quarter when Max was forced from the ground with blood rule, Pedersen ensured the next two clearances went Melbourne’s way. Then he chipped in with two goals when he ventured forward. Leading into the finals he should have cemented that role in the side, because we have seen how no-one else seems to be able to do the job so well, as his 26 touches today showed. And with Pedersen holding down that role, it released Tom McDonald back to the defence, and he stood up strongly with brother Oscar just getting better and better as the season has worn on. The fact that the Saints two main forward targets in Bruce and Membrey could only score three goals between them was a good outcome for the day. In the past this pair have ripped us apart, so hopefully the injury to Oscar’s ribs that happened late in the game will not see him out of action for too long. The smell of September beckons with this win, but it cannot be squandered now by thinking Brisbane and Collingwood in coming weeks are certainties. Brisbane demolished Gold Coast in the second half of their game, after an even contest to half time. Collingwood would only relish the opportunity to deny the Demons a finals appearance if given the chance. The coach has sought to instil that winning character into the young side. The opportunities for finals action don’t come all that often. It is now that we need to flare the nostrils and drink in the sweet smell of what is on offer. P.S What a great initiative by the club to develop the Welcome Game. A crowd of 53K may not have improved the financial position all that much, as loads of free tickets were given away, but it gave the club the opportunity to showcase themselves, and with the extra numbers be able to impress sponsors and the AFL alike. How many times can we marvel at what Peter Jackson has done to turn the fortunes of this club around? Melbourne 6.3.39 9.6.60 10.9.69 14.12 96 St Kilda 1.1.7 4.4.28 8.11.59 10.12.72 Goals Melbourne Harmes 3 Hannan Melksham Pedersen 2 Garlett Gawn Neal-Bullen Tyson Viney St Kilda Dunstan Membrey Sinclair 2 Billings Bruce Webster Weller Best Melbourne Jones Pedersen Oliver Harmes Brayshaw Lewis St Kilda Steven Dunstan Billings Ross Steele Longer Carlisle Geary Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne O McDonald (ribs) St Kilda Stevens (concussion/ear) Billings (left eye) Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Stephen Chamberlain Ryan Official crowd 53,115 at the MCG
  2. Walking away from the MCG after a good win against a challenging St Kilda, there was a smell that Melbourne supporters have not experienced for over ten years. It is the smell of September; that smell of spring in the air as the days get longer and the promise of something better to come. But in recognition of the evenness of the competition there were so many times that the Demons needed to dig deep, and none more so than in the final quarter when the Saints had whittled away at an over seven goal lead, to get within four points. In the past, a Melbourne side would have folded. In the past a Melbourne side would not have won a game like this. In the past the Melbourne sides haven’t experienced that smell of September. And in that critical last quarter when it was all on the line, a few standout performances were in evidence. Jordan Lewis and a St. Kilda player had the free bouncing ball to go for in the St. Kilda forward line. No quarter asked and none given as Lewis never flinched and he caused the opportunity for the Saints to be killed. Mitch Hannan, outnumbered by the Saints defenders took two telling marks and then converted truly to put a dagger through the St. Kilda fans hearts and their finals hopes. Jake Melksham never looked for the easy option or any option as he saw the chance to put the game away beyond any doubt and nailed yet another long distance goal to see the Demons run out winners by 24 points. It was all so close, and could have just as easily gone the other way, but the older wiser heads prevailed, which justified the recruitment of Melksham, Lewis and Hannan to add that very valuable experience when it was all on the line. The Demons came right out of the blocks and in the first quarter played exactly as the coach wanted them to. Hard, aggressive and relentless they overwhelmed the Saints to lead by five goals at the first change, with James Harmes picking up three majors alone. It was helped by the Saints playing some appalling football and turning the ball over consistently, and by Jack Steven suffering a hit to the head early which saw him only touching the ball eight times in the first half, including a solitary kick. His return to form after the main break was one of the reasons for the Saints revival, along with a series of inexplicable decisions from the umpires especially Stephens who needs to work out how far 15 metres is and how a player's head sits on his shoulders. It was good to see the return of Angus Brayshaw, who after a long period of recovery from concussion injuries and an equally long time to get his confidence back to play AFL level football, and that he could rack up 26 disposals including 11 contested possessions in his first game back. It will be nice in the coming weeks to have a player of his quality in the side. Unfortunately, Max Gawn had a shocker of a day and was soundly beaten by Billy Longer both in the ruck and around the ground. Cam Pedersen in contrast was superb as fill in ruck, and in that last quarter when Max was forced from the ground with blood rule, Pedersen ensured the next two clearances went Melbourne’s way. Then he chipped in with two goals when he ventured forward. Leading into the finals he should have cemented that role in the side, because we have seen how no-one else seems to be able to do the job so well, as his 26 touches today showed. And with Pedersen holding down that role, it released Tom McDonald back to the defence, and he stood up strongly with brother Oscar just getting better and better as the season has worn on. The fact that the Saints two main forward targets in Bruce and Membrey could only score three goals between them was a good outcome for the day. In the past this pair have ripped us apart, so hopefully the injury to Oscar’s ribs that happened late in the game will not see him out of action for too long. The smell of September beckons with this win, but it cannot be squandered now by thinking Brisbane and Collingwood in coming weeks are certainties. Brisbane demolished Gold Coast in the second half of their game, after an even contest to half time. Collingwood would only relish the opportunity to deny the Demons a finals appearance if given the chance. The coach has sought to instil that winning character into the young side. The opportunities for finals action don’t come all that often. It is now that we need to flare the nostrils and drink in the sweet smell of what is on offer. P.S What a great initiative by the club to develop the Welcome Game. A crowd of 53K may not have improved the financial position all that much, as loads of free tickets were given away, but it gave the club the opportunity to showcase themselves, and with the extra numbers be able to impress sponsors and the AFL alike. How many times can we marvel at what Peter Jackson has done to turn the fortunes of this club around? Melbourne 6.3.39 9.6.60 10.9.69 14.12 96 St Kilda 1.1.7 4.4.28 8.11.59 10.12 72 Goals Melbourne Harmes 3 Hannan Melksham Pedersen 2 Garlett Gawn Neal-Bullen Tyson Viney St Kilda Dunstan Membrey Sinclair 2 Billings Bruce Webster Weller Best Melbourne Jones Pedersen Oliver Harmes Brayshaw Lewis St Kilda Steven Dunstan Billings Ross Steele Longer Carlisle Geary Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne O McDonald (ribs) St Kilda Stevens (concussion/ear) Billings (left eye) Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Stephen Chamberlain Ryan Official crowd 53,115 at the MCG
  3. GAMEDAY - Round 21

    Whatever happens today, I think it's fair comment that come the end of the game, Simon Goodwin can say, "I did it my way".
  4. GAMEDAY - Round 21

    Whatever happens today, I think it's fair comment that come the end of the game, Simon Goodwin can say, "I did it my way".
  5. MOJO LOST by Whispering Jack

    Has Melbourne peaked too early again this year? Last year, after displaying their best football for years with wins against Hawthorn by 29 points at the MCG in Round 20 and Port Adelaide by 40 points at the Adelaide Oval in Round 21, the Demons' form dropped away dramatically. With ten wins under their belt, they needed to win the remaining two matches of the season to have a chance of making the finals. The first of those games was against lowly Carlton which was on a long losing streak and they lost that and their finals aspirations, doing so without raising a whimper. That effort was followed up with a capitulation to Geelong at Simonds Stadium, the venue of one of the team's other more famous victories merely a season and a half earlier. The conventional wisdom that came from post-season reviews was that by the time of the game against Port Adelaide, the young side was starting to show signs of exhaustion after a long, hard, challenging season. They had a lead of 39 points at half time in the Adelaide Oval game but those who were close to the team said they could see by the way the opposition surged with little response in the third quarter that the Demons were about to hit the wall. Although I am not an insider and indeed have only watched the past two games on the screen, I sense deja vu when looking back at the past month. The Demons were sensational in the first half against Port Adelaide building a 44 point lead early in time on of the second quarter before holding on to win by a small margin. We were still congratulatory, confident, looking forward to the finals and eyeing the prospect of a top four placing. But while we never looked back to what had taken place some twelve months earlier when disaster struck after the team's previous win over Port Adelaide, the danger of a repeat of history was staring us right in the face. The young Melbourne team was unchanged from the week before as it traveled to Tasmania to take on North Melbourne which (like Carlton last year) was on a long losing streak and it proceeded to lose by four points after a listless final quarter performance. A week later, it proceeded to leak goals at the rate of knots in the opening quarter at Canberra against the Giants. The final losing margin of 35 points flattered the Demons. The signs are all there. The team is no longer winning at the stoppages and in the contests and this is happening despite the fact that it has Max Gawn back winning the ruck hit outs. The inside grunt is no longer as constant and opposition pressure is forcing that one handball too many, leading to errors. The outside run and spread that was evident earlier in the season is almost non-existent. The youngsters are tiring and the important players who suffered injuries six to eight weeks ago have returned without the same impact and explosive power that they displayed earlier in the year. The Demons badly need an injection of outside pace. Jayden Hunt who is one of the young guns whose form has dropped in recent weeks can't do it all by himself even if he regains his mojo. I'm looking for some inspiration from the selectors this week because the trend of the past month has to be reversed if the club's dream of a return to finals action is to be achieved in 2017. THE GAME Melbourne v St Kilda Sunday 13 August 2017 at the MCG at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 119 wins, St Kilda 91 wins, 1 drawn At MCG Melbourne 58 wins St. Kilda 35 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, St Kilda 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 1 win, Richardson 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, live at 1.00pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.65, St. Kilda to win - $2.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 18.12.120 defeated St. Kilda 13.12.90 in Round 1, 2017 at Etihad Stadium The Demons set the season for their season with a slow start before they got going in a second quarter goal spree that blew the Saints away. Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones and Jordan Lewis all finished with 30+ possession games in a promising start to 2017 THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB:Bernie Vince, Cameron Pedersen, Jayden Hunt C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Jordan Lewis HF: Christian Petracca, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham F: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen FOLL: Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney I/C:Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman EMG: Corey Maynard, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts IN: Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman OUT: Sam Frost (omitted), Corey Maynard (omitted), Christian Salem (omitted), Jack Watts (omitted) ST KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Nathan J. Brown, Dylan Roberton HB: Jack Newnes, Jake Carlisle, Jimmy Webster C: Shane Savage, Luke Dunstan, Jack Billings HF: Jack Steele, Josh Bruce, Maverick Weller F: Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey, Jack Sinclair FOLL: Billy Longer, Sebastian Ross, Jack Steven I/C (from): Blake Acres, Sam Gilbert, Koby Stevens, Brandon White EMG: Tom Hickey, Jack Lonie, Daniel McKenzie IN: Sam Gilbert OUT: Nick Riewoldt (concussion) The L's mount for the Demons as the W's begin to dry up. They were final four contenders in mid season, cocky and arrogant until those injuries took hold and then, against the Swans, the cracks began to appear. It's been a downhill slide ever since and, after four losses in the past six games, Melbourne finds itself on the brink of elimination from the finals race - defeat against the Saints will surely see it slide out of contention. The same applies to its opponent. Ironically, the last time Melbourne defeated St Kilda on the MCG, the teams were locked in a fight for their season's survival in the 2006 Elimination Final. However, that win heralded the end of an era and the club spiraled downward into the abyss. It's taken more than a decade and 2017 has been a year of hope and promise but the events of the last month or so has seen all that begin to unravel. The Demons are on their last chance to lift themselves back into the race. They have beaten all of the teams around them on the ladder including the Saints. They have a draw they sees them playing out the home and away series at the MCG against teams that are out of the top eight. The selectors have sent a strong message about what they require from the side by dropping out of form players. There are no excuses.
  6. MOJO LOST by Whispering Jack Has Melbourne peaked too early again this year? Last year, after displaying their best football for years with wins against Hawthorn by 29 points at the MCG in Round 20 and Port Adelaide by 40 points at the Adelaide Oval in Round 21, the Demons' form dropped away dramatically. With ten wins under their belt, they needed to win the remaining two matches of the season to have a chance of making the finals. The first of those games was against lowly Carlton which was on a long losing streak and they lost that and their finals aspirations, doing so without raising a whimper. That effort was followed up with a capitulation to Geelong at Simonds Stadium, the venue of one of the team's other more famous victories merely a season and a half earlier. The conventional wisdom that came from post-season reviews was that by the time of the game against Port Adelaide, the young side was starting to show signs of exhaustion after a long, hard, challenging season. They had a lead of 39 points at half time in the Adelaide Oval game but those who were close to the team said they could see by the way the opposition surged with little response in the third quarter that the Demons were about to hit the wall. Although I am not an insider and indeed have only watched the past two games on the screen, I sense deja vu when looking back at the past month. The Demons were sensational in the first half against Port Adelaide building a 44 point lead early in time on of the second quarter before holding on to win by a small margin. We were still congratulatory, confident, looking forward to the finals and eyeing the prospect of a top four placing. But while we never looked back to what had taken place some twelve months earlier when disaster struck after the team's previous win over Port Adelaide, the danger of a repeat of history was staring us right in the face. The young Melbourne team was unchanged from the week before as it traveled to Tasmania to take on North Melbourne which (like Carlton last year) was on a long losing streak and it proceeded to lose by four points after a listless final quarter performance. A week later, it proceeded to leak goals at the rate of knots in the opening quarter at Canberra against the Giants. The final losing margin of 35 points flattered the Demons. The signs are all there. The team is no longer winning at the stoppages and in the contests and this is happening despite the fact that it has Max Gawn back winning the ruck hit outs. The inside grunt is no longer as constant and opposition pressure is forcing that one handball too many, leading to errors. The outside run and spread that was evident earlier in the season is almost non-existent. The youngsters are tiring and the important players who suffered injuries six to eight weeks ago have returned without the same impact and explosive power that they displayed earlier in the year. The Demons badly need an injection of outside pace. Jayden Hunt who is one of the young guns whose form has dropped in recent weeks can't do it all by himself even if he regains his mojo. I'm looking for some inspiration from the selectors this week because the trend of the past month has to be reversed if the club's dream of a return to finals action is to be achieved in 2017. THE GAME Melbourne v St Kilda Sunday 13 August 2017 at the MCG at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 119 wins, St Kilda 91 wins, 1 drawn At MCG Melbourne 58 wins St. Kilda 35 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, St Kilda 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 1 win, Richardson 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, live at 1.00pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.65, St. Kilda to win - $2.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 18.12.120 defeated St. Kilda 13.12.90 in Round 1, 2017 at Etihad Stadium The Demons set the season for their season with a slow start before they got going in a second quarter goal spree that blew the Saints away. Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones and Jordan Lewis all finished with 30+ possession games in a promising start to 2017 THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB:Bernie Vince, Cameron Pedersen, Jayden Hunt C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Jordan Lewis HF: Christian Petracca, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham F: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen FOLL: Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney I/C:Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman EMG: Corey Maynard, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts IN: Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman OUT: Sam Frost (omitted), Corey Maynard (omitted), Christian Salem (omitted), Jack Watts (omitted) ST KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Nathan J. Brown, Dylan Roberton HB: Jack Newnes, Jake Carlisle, Jimmy Webster C: Shane Savage, Luke Dunstan, Jack Billings HF: Jack Steele, Josh Bruce, Maverick Weller F: Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey, Jack Sinclair FOLL: Billy Longer, Sebastian Ross, Jack Steven I/C (from): Blake Acres, Sam Gilbert, Koby Stevens, Brandon White EMG: Tom Hickey, Jack Lonie, Daniel McKenzie IN: Sam Gilbert OUT: Nick Riewoldt (concussion) The L's mount for the Demons as the W's begin to dry up. They were final four contenders in mid season, cocky and arrogant until those injuries took hold and then, against the Swans, the cracks began to appear. It's been a downhill slide ever since and, after four losses in the past six games, Melbourne finds itself on the brink of elimination from the finals race - defeat against the Saints will surely see it slide out of contention. The same applies to its opponent. Ironically, the last time Melbourne defeated St Kilda on the MCG, the teams were locked in a fight for their season's survival in the 2006 Elimination Final. However, that win heralded the end of an era and the club spiraled downward into the abyss. It's taken more than a decade and 2017 has been a year of hope and promise but the events of the last month or so has seen all that begin to unravel. The Demons are on their last chance to lift themselves back into the race. They have beaten all of the teams around them on the ladder including the Saints. They have a draw they sees them playing out the home and away series at the MCG against teams that are out of the top eight. The selectors have sent a strong message about what they require from the side by dropping out of form players. There are no excuses.
  7. Turn up to Etihad we were told. It’s our home away from home ... Our home away from home! And, yes the fans did exactly that ... 27K at a home game at Etihad. Unheard of. Buy your memberships. Let’s break the record ... 37,500 Members ... Unheard of. The players and coaches turning up to match the enthusiasm exhibited by the fans ... Unheard of. Once again the opportunity to truly cement the future of the club, in both the short and the long term was thrown away by a half interested team and a simply incompetent coaching group. The excuse of a six day break will be trotted out, tired players etc. But if that was the case, then the solitary change from the winning side of last week was simply inadequate. Eleven of players who took to the field had less than 15 touches for the game. If the management of the workloads of the playing group was truly being carried out, then the tired and lethargic performance against the Saints would simply not have happened. Worse was that the players in this group included Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett, Dean Kent, Heritier Lumumba, Neville Jetta and Sam Frost. These are not the young inclusions in the side but supposedly hardened experienced players. And we had a wealth of available inclusions to fill at least some of those spots. Then to cap it off the coaching group persisted with the simply ludicrous zone defence system. Riewoldt, Bruce and Membery had a field day with uncontested marks and more of the same inside our defensive 50m zone. To play a zone defence, you need players who can switch at the drop of a hat from one opponent to another. With legs which looked like lead weights we saw time and time again defenders simply not on their man or not getting to the contest. OK so it didn’t work, but when it isn’t working then you change something. Like going man-on-man. No that wasn’t done. So why not put an extra man in defence. No that wasn’t done either until the third quarter when St.Kilda piled on eight goals! And then it was poor Jayden Hunt who got dropped back instead of one of our talls. So we saw Reiwoldt marking against Jetta, Bruce over Hunt, Membery over no one at all! Inside their 50, not one St.Kilda mark for the whole game was contested! That single quarter simply blew the game away but the alarm bells should have been ringing long before that as the Saints had piled on six goals in the second as well with us persisting with the zone. There were a few shining lights for the Demons. Jesse Hogan overcame his yips from last week and nailed 7 goals. Without his efforts the result would have been horrible. Eight marks, five of which were contested gave the team a genuine target up forward. Big Max managed 38 hitouts but he too wasn’t able to reach the standards that he set last week. Hickey and the St.Kilda mids simply negated everything that he worked at achieving. Jack Viney continued his fine form with another 30 disposals and was abley assisted by Nathan Jones with 31. Trouble was the next best mids in Tyson and Vince could only manage numbers in the low 20’s. Once again the fans were cheated. Once again they put in, and saw hope and aspiration simply squandered with incompetence. It simply isn’t good enough and now any hope of exceeding the 40K target for membership has been lost. Do you think any self-respecting fan will turn up to watch the rematch against the Saints at Etihad in July? No, the chance has been blown, well and truly. Melbourne 5.3.33 8.3.51 11.5.71 15.6.96 St Kilda 3.4.22 9.9.63 17.11.113 20.15.135 Goals Melbourne Hogan 7 Frost Watts 2 Bugg Jones, Kent Tyson St Kilda Membrey 5 Bruce Riewoldt 3 Acres Sinclair 2 Armitage Dunstan Gresham Newnes Weller Best Melbourne Hogan, Viney, Jones, Vince St Kilda Riewoldt Acres Steven Membrey Sinclair Armitage Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne Harmes (corked thigh) Salem (concussion) St Kilda Ross (shoulder) Webster (thumb) Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Brown, Meredith, Findlay Official crowd 27,260 at Etihad Stadium
  8. MATCH REPORT - Round 6

    THE GREAT FAN FRAUD by George on the Outer Turn up to Etihad we were told. It’s our home away from home ... Our home away from home! And, yes the fans did exactly that ... 27K at a home game at Etihad. Unheard of. Buy your memberships. Let’s break the record ... 37,500 Members ... Unheard of. The players and coaches turning up to match the enthusiasm exhibited by the fans ... Unheard of. Once again the opportunity to truly cement the future of the club, in both the short and the long term was thrown away by a half interested team and a simply incompetent coaching group. The excuse of a six day break will be trotted out, tired players etc. But if that was the case, then the solitary change from the winning side of last week was simply inadequate. Eleven of players who took to the field had less than 15 touches for the game. If the management of the workloads of the playing group was truly being carried out, then the tired and lethargic performance against the Saints would simply not have happened. Worse was that the players in this group included Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett, Dean Kent, Heritier Lumumba, Neville Jetta and Sam Frost. These are not the young inclusions in the side but supposedly hardened experienced players. And we had a wealth of available inclusions to fill at least some of those spots. Then to cap it off the coaching group persisted with the simply ludicrous zone defence system. Riewoldt, Bruce and Membery had a field day with uncontested marks and more of the same inside our defensive 50m zone. To play a zone defence, you need players who can switch at the drop of a hat from one opponent to another. With legs which looked like lead weights we saw time and time again defenders simply not on their man or not getting to the contest. OK so it didn’t work, but when it isn’t working then you change something. Like going man-on-man. No that wasn’t done. So why not put an extra man in defence. No that wasn’t done either until the third quarter when St.Kilda piled on eight goals! And then it was poor Jayden Hunt who got dropped back instead of one of our talls. So we saw Reiwoldt marking against Jetta, Bruce over Hunt, Membery over no one at all! Inside their 50, not one St.Kilda mark for the whole game was contested! That single quarter simply blew the game away but the alarm bells should have been ringing long before that as the Saints had piled on six goals in the second as well with us persisting with the zone. There were a few shining lights for the Demons. Jesse Hogan overcame his yips from last week and nailed 7 goals. Without his efforts the result would have been horrible. Eight marks, five of which were contested gave the team a genuine target up forward. Big Max managed 38 hitouts but he too wasn’t able to reach the standards that he set last week. Hickey and the St.Kilda mids simply negated everything that he worked at achieving. Jack Viney continued his fine form with another 30 disposals and was abley assisted by Nathan Jones with 31. Trouble was the next best mids in Tyson and Vince could only manage numbers in the low 20’s. Once again the fans were cheated. Once again they put in, and saw hope and aspiration simply squandered with incompetence. It simply isn’t good enough and now any hope of exceeding the 40K target for membership has been lost. Do you think any self-respecting fan will turn up to watch the rematch against the Saints at Etihad in July? No, the chance has been blown, well and truly. Melbourne 5.3.33 8.3.51 11.5.71 15.6.96 St Kilda 3.4.22 9.9.63 17.11.113 20.15.135 Goals Melbourne Hogan 7 Frost Watts 2 Bugg Jones, Kent Tyson St Kilda Membrey 5 Bruce Riewoldt 3 Acres Sinclair 2 Armitage Dunstan Gresham Newnes Weller Best Melbourne Hogan, Viney, Jones, Vince St Kilda Riewoldt Acres Steven Membrey Sinclair Armitage Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne Harmes (corked thigh) Salem (concussion) St Kilda Ross (shoulder) Webster (thumb) Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Brown, Meredith, Findlay Official crowd 27,260 at Etihad Stadium
  9. GAMEDAY - Round 6

    They've been saying it's a mad, mad world for a long time but I wonder sometimes about what goes on in the mind of the person who prepares the AFL draw. Take today for instance. Melbourne fans are being implored to turn up for what is their team's home game against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in the Docklands which is the home ground of the Saints. Go figure? The main thing is that the Demons have shrugged off the old hoodoo which this ground once presented and they even beat the Saints there last month, albeit in a NAB Challenge match. So we're now aiming for a "threepeat" (I know some of you don't like the word but it's no more mister nice guy - remember) and may that trend continue so that we can acquaint ourselves with the idea of winning multiple games on end and not pray for just two in a row.
  10. Was tonights game (North v Doggies) a comedy of errors or what? I have never seen so many unforced turnovers in 1 game ever. They won't be up there for long bringing this rubbish time for us to swoop?
  11. Melbourne has not beaten St Kilda in an AFL premiership match since the 2006 Elimination Final when it recorded a three goal victory at the MCG. The only current player to take part in that game was current skipper Nathan Jones who was taking part in only his 7th AFL game. As was befitting of his young age and inexperience, Jones' role that nigh was modest - he picked up a mere nine touches of the footy. On Saturday, he will play his 207th game for the club and is expected to make a much bigger contribution and to play in a winning team against the Saints again. Lynden Dunn is the only other player still with the Demons who was on the club's list that year although he did not take part in the finals match. However, he was on hand in Round 10 of that season when the Demons also beat the Saints. Dunn and Jones are the only players to have played in a winning Melbourne team against St Kilda (I'm excluding NAB Challenge matches from the equation). There is a handful of others at the club who have played in winning teams against the Saints when they were at other clubs. Chris Dawes and Heritier Lumumba were in a premiership winning team at Collingwood that beat St Kilda in the 2010 Grand Final while another former Magpie Ben Kennedy later made his debut in a victory over the Saints. Jeff Garlett, Bernie Vince, Ben Newton and the club's new serial pest Tommy Bugg have all had the same winning experience before joining the Demons. Of course, Paul Roos who is winless against them in three starts as coach of the Dees, won many when he was at the helm of the Swans. However, the reality is that when the team runs out on Saturday afternoon there will not be a single player who can say he has previously played with a teammate wearing the red and blue in a winning team against the opposition. That reality is about to change with 100 minutes of football. The Melbourne we have witnessed over the past three matches of football and indeed over most of the month or so before that is the product of the new reality for the club - a young team that attacks and defends with flair and excitement, that takes risks, plays with aggression and intensity and is developing some quality and class. That could not be said of its performances over most of the past decade (and indeed, the Essendon game which surely now must be considered an aberration). The team is getting better in leaps and bounds and what's more - it has found some consistency in performance. That cannot be said of its opposition this week. The Saints are also on the rise and were impressive in consecutive games against Collingwood and Hawthorn but they came down to earth with a thud against the Giants last week. They won't be easy pickings at Etihad where they have constantly had "the wood" over Melbourne but the Demons overcame their hoodoo there last year, never mind in the practice match conditions of the NAB Challenge not all that long ago. On Saturday, they will give the Saints a taste of the new reality. THE GAME Melbourne v St Kilda at Etihad Stadium Saturday 30 April 2016 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 118 wins St Kilda 89 wins 1 drawn At Etihad Melbourne 3 wins St. Kilda 6 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins St. Kilda 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Richardson 3 wins MEDIA TV - RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.55 St. Kilda to win - $2.45 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 1211.83 defeated Melbourne 6.10.46 in Round 17, 2015 at the MCG A lot of questions were asked of the Demons after their pitiful effort in the last half against the Saints at the MCG in a game they were expected to win. Too many players simply didn't come out to play. Among the few who did were Jeremy Howe, Jack Viney and Daniel Cross and ironically two of that trio are no longer playing for the club. TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba, Christian Salem C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner HF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Cam Pedersen, Christian Petracca EMG: Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver IN: Christian Petracca OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted) NEW: Christian Petracca (20, Eastern Ranges) ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sean Dempster, Jimmy Webster HB: Shane Savage, Sam Fisher, Leigh Montagna C: Jack Billings, David Armitage, Jack Newnes HF: Maverick Weller, Nick Riewoldt, Jade Gresham F: Jack Sinclair, Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey FOLL: Tom Hickey, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven I/C: Blake Acres, Sam Gilbert, Minchington, Seb Ross EMG: Hugh Goddard, Billy Longer, Brodie Murdoch IN: Blake Acres, Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey OUT: Tom Lee (omitted), Jack Lonie (omitted), Paddy McCartin (managed)
  12. THE NEW REALITY by Whispering Jack Melbourne has not beaten St Kilda in an AFL premiership match since the 2006 Elimination Final when it recorded a three goal victory at the MCG. The only current player to take part in that game was current skipper Nathan Jones who was taking part in only his 7th AFL game. As was befitting of his young age and inexperience, Jones' role that nigh was modest - he picked up a mere nine touches of the footy. On Saturday, he will play his 207th game for the club and is expected to make a much bigger contribution and to play in a winning team against the Saints again. Lynden Dunn is the only other player still with the Demons who was on the club's list that year although he did not take part in the finals match. However, he was on hand in Round 10 of that season when the Demons also beat the Saints. Dunn and Jones are the only players to have played in a winning Melbourne team against St Kilda (I'm excluding NAB Challenge matches from the equation). There is a handful of others at the club who have played in winning teams against the Saints when they were at other clubs. Chris Dawes and Heritier Lumumba were in a premiership winning team at Collingwood that beat St Kilda in the 2010 Grand Final while another former Magpie Ben Kennedy later made his debut in a victory over the Saints. Jeff Garlett, Bernie Vince, Ben Newton and the club's new serial pest Tommy Bugg have all had the same winning experience before joining the Demons. Of course, Paul Roos who is winless against them in three starts as coach of the Dees, won many when he was at the helm of the Swans. However, the reality is that when the team runs out on Saturday afternoon there will not be a single player who can say he has previously played with a teammate wearing the red and blue in a winning team against the opposition. That reality is about to change with 100 minutes of football. The Melbourne we have witnessed over the past three matches of football and indeed over most of the month or so before that is the product of the new reality for the club - a young team that attacks and defends with flair and excitement, that takes risks, plays with aggression and intensity and is developing some quality and class. That could not be said of its performances over most of the past decade (and indeed, the Essendon game which surely now must be considered an aberration). The team is getting better in leaps and bounds and what's more - it has found some consistency in performance. That cannot be said of its opposition this week. The Saints are also on the rise and were impressive in consecutive games against Collingwood and Hawthorn but they came down to earth with a thud against the Giants last week. They won't be easy pickings at Etihad where they have constantly had "the wood" over Melbourne but the Demons overcame their hoodoo there last year, never mind in the practice match conditions of the NAB Challenge not all that long ago. On Saturday, they will give the Saints a taste of the new reality. THE GAME Melbourne v St Kilda at Etihad Stadium Saturday 30 April 2016 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 118 wins St Kilda 89 wins 1 drawn At Etihad Melbourne 3 wins St. Kilda 6 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins St. Kilda 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Richardson 3 wins MEDIA TV - RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.55 St. Kilda to win - $2.45 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 1211.83 defeated Melbourne 6.10.46 in Round 17, 2015 at the MCG A lot of questions were asked of the Demons after their pitiful effort in the last half against the Saints at the MCG in a game they were expected to win. Too many players simply didn't come out to play. Among the few who did were Jeremy Howe, Jack Viney and Daniel Cross and ironically two of that trio are no longer playing for the club. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba, Christian Salem C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner HF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Cam Pedersen, Christian Petracca EMG: Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver IN: Christian Petracca OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted) NEW: Christian Petracca (20, Eastern Ranges) ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sean Dempster, Jimmy Webster HB: Shane Savage, Sam Fisher, Leigh Montagna C: Jack Billings, David Armitage, Jack Newnes HF: Maverick Weller, Nick Riewoldt, Jade Gresham F: Jack Sinclair, Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey FOLL: Tom Hickey, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven I/C: Blake Acres, Sam Gilbert, Minchington, Seb Ross EMG: Hugh Goddard, Billy Longer, Brodie Murdoch IN: Blake Acres, Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey OUT: Tom Lee (omitted), Jack Lonie (omitted), Paddy McCartin (managed)
  13. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    Melbourne was expected to beat St Kilda in their return game at the MCG against the team that had stolen victory in the dying moments when they met a month or so earlier. The Demons failed miserably. MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Aaron vandenBerg, Chris Dawes, Angus Brayshaw F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jack Grimes, James Harmes, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Alex Neal-Bullen IN: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris (omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted) ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sam Gilbert, Sean Dempster HB: Shane Savage, Sam Fisher, Dylan Roberton C: Jack Newnes, David Armitage, Leigh Montagna HF: Luke Dunstan, Nick Riewoldt, Jack Sinclair F: Jack Lonie, Josh Bruce, Paddy McCartin FOLL: Billy Longer, Jack Steven, Maverick Weller I/C: Hugh Goddard, Adam Schneider. Eli Templeton, Jimmy Webster EMG: Tom Hickey, Tim Membrey, Farren Ray IN: Adam Schneider OUT: Farren Ray
  14. POST MATCH DISCUSSION

    That's three NAB Challenge Games down. What next?
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