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Found 32 results

  1. DEMON BATTLES by George on the Outer While there really should never be any comparisons between what happens in a football match and what soldiers have to endure in battle, the Melbourne team at the end of their ANZAC Day eve match against the Tigers looked very much like they had just been through the wars. Before the half-time break, the Demons had lost their replacement ruck in Jake Spencer to a shoulder injury, forward Tim Smith to a rib injury and then had Christian Petracca and co-captain Jack Viney sidelined for long periods with what were reported as knee complaints. Yet despite these setbacks, Melbourne outplayed Richmond in all facets of the game to lead by 20 points at ¾ time. With only two bench rotations but effectively none because Petracca and Viney had to be parked away from the action, it was inevitable that the Demons would eventually run out of steam. They held on until the last few minutes but were exhausted and fell by 13 points. Many would only look at the scoreline and the final quarter capitulation to criticise the Demons. After all, they had only two (both of them points) of the last 15 scoring shots. However, when you have to conscript Jack Watts yet again, to ruck for virtually the whole game, this instantly leaves you with one less capable player in the forward line but with Tim Smith also gone, Jesse Hogan playing his first game in three weeks was left as the solitary forward target. And the coach probably would have like to put him in the middle, as he has done before, to get his hands on the ball, but that would have left him with absolutely nothing up front. Small wonder the Demons could only manage 4 goals after ½ time and none in the final term. Without the opportunity for reasonable interchange rotations, the mids just stopped being able to get to contests or cover the Richmond on-ball team in the latter stages of the match. There were numerous occasions in that critical last quarter when the ball just popped outside to see the likes of Cotchin and Martin alone and with free movement. It hadn’t happened previously. but the Demon legs were just shot. While the battle was lost there were plenty of small victories. Clayton Oliver was magnificent again with 32 touches, and we need to keep reminding ourselves that he is only 19 and has played less than 20 games. Jayden Hunt set the ground alight multiple times, and is also brave beyond his slightly built frame. Michael Hibberd was a rock in defence, and with a left foot that is like a missile when used. In this, his first game for the Demons he racked up 27 touches and will provide that long term stability down back that has been missing for too long. The loss puts Melbourne in a difficult position now. The season is in dire risk of slipping away. The injuries to the two ruckmen in Gawn and Spencer are devastating, not only because of the lack of drive that comes from the middle, but the imbalance that it causes across the rest of the side. The ANZACS faced such horrors, bloodshed and conditions that were indescribable to those that weren’t there. It is for their heroism and sacrifice in battle that we remember them on this day. We have lost this battle, another that was within the grasp of victory. How the team can regroup to face up again next week, and whether they can make a stand to keep the ultimate objectives in focus remains to be seen. The new coach is facing conditions that he probably never expected. Can he marshall his troops? Can he find the troops to fill the gaps now appearing in his list? Can he find a way where there may not be one that is obvious? The Demons are now, without a doubt a competitive unit. That is what we fans have longed for. What is needed in the coming weeks are positive results, when the resources are at their lowest. Losing battles happens, we cannot lose the war. Melbourne 3.4.22 7.6.48 11.7.73 11.9.75 Richmond 3.1.19 6.6.42 7.11.53 12.16.88 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Garlett 2, Hibberd, Hunt T McDonald, Petracca, Salem Watts Richmond Riewoldt 6 Butler Caddy Castagna, Grigg Martin Rioli Best Richmond Riewoldt Nankervis Martin Houli Grigg Caddy Cotchin Melbourne Oliver Hibberd Hunt Watts Jones Frost Petracca Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Injuries Melbourne Petracca (left knee) Spencer (right shoulder/right knee) T Smith (ribs) Viney (right knee) Richmond Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires Donlon Fisher Stevic Official crowd 85,657 at the MCG
  2. Cast those votes please folks ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  3. While there really should never be any comparisons between what happens in a football match and what soldiers have to endure in battle, the Melbourne team at the end of their ANZAC Day eve match against the Tigers looked very much like they had just been through the wars. Before the half-time break, the Demons had lost their replacement ruck in Jake Spencer to a shoulder injury, forward Tim Smith to a rib injury and then had Christian Petracca and co-captain Jack Viney sidelined for long periods with what were reported as knee complaints. Yet despite these setbacks, Melbourne outplayed Richmond in all facets of the game to lead by 20 points at ¾ time. With only two bench rotations but effectively none because Petracca and Viney had to be parked away from the action, it was inevitable that the Demons would eventually run out of steam. They held on until the last few minutes but were exhausted and fell by 13 points. Many would only look at the scoreline and the final quarter capitulation to criticise the Demons. After all, they had only two (both of them points) of the last 15 scoring shots. However, when you have to conscript Jack Watts yet again, to ruck for virtually the whole game, this instantly leaves you with one less capable player in the forward line but with Tim Smith also gone, Jesse Hogan playing his first game in three weeks was left as the solitary forward target. And the coach probably would have like to put him in the middle, as he has done before, to get his hands on the ball, but that would have left him with absolutely nothing up front. Small wonder the Demons could only manage 4 goals after ½ time and none in the final term. Without the opportunity for reasonable interchange rotations, the mids just stopped being able to get to contests or cover the Richmond on-ball team in the latter stages of the match. There were numerous occasions in that critical last quarter when the ball just popped outside to see the likes of Cotchin and Martin alone and with free movement. It hadn’t happened previously. but the Demon legs were just shot. While the battle was lost there were plenty of small victories. Clayton Oliver was magnificent again with 32 touches, and we need to keep reminding ourselves that he is only 19 and has played less than 20 games. Jayden Hunt set the ground alight multiple times, and is also brave beyond his slightly built frame. Michael Hibberd was a rock in defence, and with a left foot that is like a missile when used. In this, his first game for the Demons he racked up 27 touches and will provide that long term stability down back that has been missing for too long. The loss puts Melbourne in a difficult position now. The season is in dire risk of slipping away. The injuries to the two ruckmen in Gawn and Spencer are devastating, not only because of the lack of drive that comes from the middle, but the imbalance that it causes across the rest of the side. The ANZACS faced such horrors, bloodshed and conditions that were indescribable to those that weren’t there. It is for their heroism and sacrifice in battle that we remember them on this day. We have lost this battle, another that was within the grasp of victory. How the team can regroup to face up again next week, and whether they can make a stand to keep the ultimate objectives in focus remains to be seen. The new coach is facing conditions that he probably never expected. Can he marshall his troops? Can he find the troops to fill the gaps now appearing in his list? Can he find a way where there may not be one that is obvious? The Demons are now, without a doubt a competitive unit. That is what we fans have longed for. What is needed in the coming weeks are positive results, when the resources are at their lowest. Losing battles happens, we cannot lose the war. Melbourne 3.4.22 7.6.48 11.7.73 11.9.75 Richmond 3.1.19 6.6.42 7.11.53 12.16.88 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Garlett 2, Hibberd, Hunt T McDonald, Petracca, Salem Watts Richmond Riewoldt 6 Butler Caddy Castagna, Grigg Martin Rioli Best Richmond Riewoldt Nankervis Martin Houli Grigg Caddy Cotchin Melbourne Oliver Hibberd Hunt Watts Jones Frost Petracca Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Injuries Melbourne Petracca (left knee) Spencer (right shoulder/right knee) T Smith (ribs) Viney (right knee) Richmond Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires Donlon Fisher Stevic Official crowd 85,657 at the MCG
  4. ANZAC EVE - THE SPIRIT by The Oracle The nine day break between Melbourne's unexpected loss at the hands of the Fremantle Dockers and this week's ANZAC Eve blockbuster against Richmond couldn't have come at a better time. The result of last week's game raised a number of questions about the team's ability to withstand the sort of pressure it can expect from the stronger clubs in the competition and, make no mistake about it, the Tigers have proven so far this year to be considered just that - a strong club. They have taken on and beaten every foe they've faced to date, their stars are playing at the top of their game and they're brimful of confidence. One can only hope that the extra day or two between games is used to reflect on this and to learn the lessons of a game in which Melbourne played like millionaires and threw away the four points on offer as if they weren't worth a single cent. You can hardly say the Demons deserve to be over-confident despite what some might describe as gallant performances with a number of key players missing through suspension and injuries. They have failed this year to produce consistent form throughout games, often inexplicably wavering between brilliance to sheer incompetence seemingly at the drop of a hat. The Melbourne that stormed to a 27 point lead late in the second quarter last week could barely be recognised as the same team that conceded goal after goal and barely troubled the scorers in the third. Then, after making a brilliant run to hit the lead late in the game, those final two and a half error-riddled minutes were just awful. The Demons have had the wood on the Tigers since the ANZAC Eve game became a fixture on the AFL's calendar but this time, they go into the game as the underdogs and rightly so. One hopes that they can summon up some true grit and ANZAC spirit because a loss will send their 2017 hopes spiralling. I think they can do it, and once the teams are selected, I will come back and tell you how and why. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Monday 24 April 2017 at 7.25pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 75 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 63 wins Drawn 1 Past five meetings Richmond 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Channel 7 live at 7.25pm Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond to win - $1.71 Melbourne to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 20.9.129 defeated Richmond 14.12.96 in Round 5, 2016 at the MCG The Demons led from the start and were clearly the superior team on a stellar night for the club. Leaving aside the Hawthorn victory later in the season, many believed this to be the club's finest performance for the year. Max Gawn starred with 47 hit outs and seven marks while Jack Viney was brilliant with 37 touches and some heroics in the last quarter. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes HB: Reece Conca, Bachar Houli, Brandon. Ellis C: Kamdyn McIntosh, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin HF: Dustin Martin, Daniel Rioli, Jason Castagna F: Jack Riewoldt, Todd Elton, Daniel Butler FOLL: Toby Nankervis, Shaun Grigg, Josh Caddy I/C: Kane Lambert, Olen Markov, Conor Menadue, Jayden Short EMG: Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles, Jacob Townsend IN: Oleg Markov OUT: Nick Vlastuin (concussion) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Billy Stretch, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Alex Neal-Bullen F: James Harmes, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Jake Spencer, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver I/C: I/C: Michael Hibberd, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith, Dom Tyson EMG: Tom Bugg, Mitch Hannan, Oscar McDonald IN: Michael Hibberd, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith OUT: Tom Bugg, Dean Kent, Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman CROSSROADS The 2017 season is one month old and the Demons are already at the crossroads. After the opening round promise shown by their big victory over the Saints at Etihad Stadium, they seem to have moved from one accident to another. It all started in that game when Bernie Vince incurred the wrath of the MRP thus missing the round two match where the team managed to get of gaol with the four points over the lowly Blues but lost two more key players through suspension. Against the Cats, it was poor kicking and another accident that will eventually cause the club the loss of All Australian ruckman Max Gawn. All of these individual accidents conspired to cause an all mighty smash at the hands of Fremantle at home by two points a week ago when a lack of concentration and fumbling under pressure caused their second successive defeat. Meanwhile, the normally accident prone Tigers have navigated their start to the season without a hitch, beating all and sundry thanks to an outstanding month from Dustin Martin, their team leadership and their star recruits. Everything has gone right for them from the very beginning and they sit comfortably in the top four, undefeated and with a percentage of 141.5%. The cynics would ask, "but who have they played?", to which I would answer that they have beaten teams better than Fremantle who Melbourne were guilty of succumbing to on the back of a single quarter in which the Dockers booted 7.4.46 to 0.3.3. That is the gist of the problem. Without those three key players and a few subordinates, Melbourne simply has demonstrated an inability to string together four quarters of football and worse still, its poor quarters are simply woeful. To turn that around, the Demons need their leaders to stand up and be counted which is something we have yet to see from the club's leadership which has been stung by a drop off of form, injuries and suspension. Nathan Jones has been a great leader for the club and I will give him credit for trying last week and the fact that he suffered from a bad knock. I'm not sure whether others noticed but in those crucial moments late in the game last week, he came off the ground, a clear sign that all was not well with him. Jack Viney is miles off the player who won last year's club championship. So it's the leadership to who Melbourne will be looking to turn things around in this crossroads game - and to "Smokin" Jesse Hogan - who also owes his club and teammates a major debt after missing those last two matches. We've already seen some major turnarounds in the past few weeks. It's time for the Demons to do it this week and to make a positive move that will lead them away from those dangerous crossroads where accidents happen. Melbourne by 20 points.
  5. Whispering_Jack

    GAME DAY - Round 5, 2017

    Almost forgot but it is a work day after all.
  6. ANZAC EVE - THE SPIRIT by The Oracle The nine day break between Melbourne's unexpected loss at the hands of the Fremantle Dockers and this week's ANZAC Eve blockbuster against Richmond couldn't have come at a better time. The result of last week's game raised a number of questions about the team's ability to withstand the sort of pressure it can expect from the stronger clubs in the competition and, make no mistake about it, the Tigers have proven so far this year to be considered just that - a strong club. They have taken on and beaten every foe they've faced to date, their stars are playing at the top of their game and they're brimful of confidence. One can only hope that the extra day or two between games is used to reflect on this and to learn the lessons of a game in which Melbourne played like millionaires and threw away the four points on offer as if they weren't worth a single cent. You can hardly say the Demons deserve to be over-confident despite what some might describe as gallant performances with a number of key players missing through suspension and injuries. They have failed this year to produce consistent form throughout games, often inexplicably wavering between brilliance to sheer incompetence seemingly at the drop of a hat. The Melbourne that stormed to a 27 point lead late in the second quarter last week could barely be recognised as the same team that conceded goal after goal and barely troubled the scorers in the third. Then, after making a brilliant run to hit the lead late in the game, those final two and a half error-riddled minutes were just awful. The Demons have had the wood on the Tigers since the ANZAC Eve game became a fixture on the AFL's calendar but this time, they go into the game as the underdogs and rightly so. One hopes that they can summon up some true grit and ANZAC spirit because a loss will send their 2017 hopes spiralling. I think they can do it, and once the teams are selected, I will come back and tell you how and why. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Monday 24 April 2017 at 7.25pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 75 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 63 wins Drawn 1 Past five meetings Richmond 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Channel 7 live at 7.25pm Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond to win - $1.71 Melbourne to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 20.9.129 defeated Richmond 14.12.96 in Round 5, 2016 at the MCG The Demons led from the start and were clearly the superior team on a stellar night for the club. Leaving aside the Hawthorn victory later in the season, many believed this to be the club's finest performance for the year. Max Gawn starred with 47 hit outs and seven marks while Jack Viney was brilliant with 37 touches and some heroics in the last quarter. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes HB: Reece Conca, Bachar Houli, Brandon. Ellis C: Kamdyn McIntosh, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin HF: Dustin Martin, Daniel Rioli, Jason Castagna F: Jack Riewoldt, Todd Elton, Daniel Butler FOLL: Toby Nankervis, Shaun Grigg, Josh Caddy I/C: Kane Lambert, Olen Markov, Conor Menadue, Jayden Short EMG: Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles, Jacob Townsend IN: Oleg Markov OUT: Nick Vlastuin (concussion) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Billy Stretch, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Alex Neal-Bullen F: James Harmes, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Jake Spencer, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver I/C: I/C: Michael Hibberd, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith, Dom Tyson EMG: Tom Bugg, Mitch Hannan, Oscar McDonald IN: Michael Hibberd, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith OUT: Tom Bugg, Dean Kent, Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman CROSSROADS The 2017 season is one month old and the Demons are already at the crossroads. After the opening round promise shown by their big victory over the Saints at Etihad Stadium, they seem to have moved from one accident to another. It all started in that game when Bernie Vince incurred the wrath of the MRP thus missing the round two match where the team managed to get of gaol with the four points over the lowly Blues but lost two more key players through suspension. Against the Cats, it was poor kicking and another accident that will eventually cause the club the loss of All Australian ruckman Max Gawn. All of these individual accidents conspired to cause an all mighty smash at the hands of Fremantle at home by two points a week ago when a lack of concentration and fumbling under pressure caused their second successive defeat. Meanwhile, the normally accident prone Tigers have navigated their start to the season without a hitch, beating all and sundry thanks to an outstanding month from Dustin Martin, their team leadership and their star recruits. Everything has gone right for them from the very beginning and they sit comfortably in the top four, undefeated and with a percentage of 141.5%. The cynics would ask, "but who have they played?", to which I would answer that they have beaten teams better than Fremantle who Melbourne were guilty of succumbing to on the back of a single quarter in which the Dockers booted 7.4.46 to 0.3.3. That is the gist of the problem. Without those three key players and a few subordinates, Melbourne simply has demonstrated an inability to string together four quarters of football and worse still, its poor quarters are simply woeful. To turn that around, the Demons need their leaders to stand up and be counted which is something we have yet to see from the club's leadership which has been stung by a drop off of form, injuries and suspension. Nathan Jones has been a great leader for the club and I will give him credit for trying last week and the fact that he suffered from a bad knock. I'm not sure whether others noticed but in those crucial moments late in the game last week, he came off the ground, a clear sign that all was not well with him. Jack Viney is miles off the player who won last year's club championship. So it's the leadership to who Melbourne will be looking to turn things around in this crossroads game - and to "Smokin" Jesse Hogan - who also owes his club and teammates a major debt after missing those last two matches. We've already seen some major turnarounds in the past few weeks. It's time for the Demons to do it this week and to make a positive move that will lead them away from those dangerous crossroads where accidents happen. Melbourne by 20 points.
  7. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    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, James Harmes F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jeff Garlett, Jayden Hunt, Ben Kennedy, Cameron Pedersen EMG: Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen Christian Petracca IN: Jeff Garlett, Bernie Vince OUT: Matt Jones (soreness) Clayton Oliver (rested) RICHMOND B: David Astbury, Alex Rance, Brett Deledio HB: Corey Ellis, Bachar Houli, Kamdyn McIntosh C: Brandon Ellis, Shaun Grigg, Daniel Rioli HF: Kane Lambert, Dustin Martin, Ty Vickery F: Jack Riewoldt, Sam Lloyd, Connor Menadue FOLL: Ivan Maric, Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin I/C: Jake Batchelor, Troy Chaplin, Anthony Miles, Steven Morris EMG: Taylor Hunt, Ben Lennon, Jacob Townsend IN: Jake Batchelor, Brett Deledio, Ivan Maric, Anthony Miles, Steven Morris OUT: Shaun Hampson (leg), Taylor Hunt (omitted), Ben Lennon (omitted), Andrew Moore (omitted), Nick Vlastuin (leg)
  8. Put your votes in after the final siren sounds. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Thanks
  9. RESURRECTION by Whispering Jack Albert Einstein once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This is in many ways the story of the Melbourne Football Club which has lurched from failure to failure in the quest to resurrect itself over the past decade. Last night we saw a touch of sanity return to herald the dawn of a new era as almost every cog in the Paul Roos machine worked bravely to undermine Richmond's hopes and to inspire an upset 32-point victory on the hallowed turf of the MCG as the football world honoured bravery in a different time and a different part of the world. To be clear, the Demons won this game because, on a night that required a hard, tough, relentless brand of football they were harder, tougher and more relentless than the Tigers. They bored in for the ball, they tackled and hustled and wanted to win more than the enemy and when the rain came in the third quarter, they redoubled their efforts under the leadership and the example of their hard nosed captain. Nathan Jones is not your handsome and elegant leader in the mould of his counterpart but as usual, he was both fearless and fearsome and he broke the spirit of the Tigers crashing through packs with team lifting efforts such as his inspirational goal at the nineteen minute mark of the third quarter which snuffed out the opposition resistance for the night. There was no repetition of the past when he was often forced to do it all on his own. Last night Jones was not alone - he had an entire battalion fighting with him tooth and nail. Many of his foot soldiers were new to the campaign at the club, introduced in the short space of time that Roos has been at the helm. The 58,175 people at the MCG were awed by the performance of a player in only his fourth AFL game who is surely the most exciting young key forward in the game. From his first contest in early proceedings, Jesse Hogan brushed aside a seasoned opponent in Alex Rance and strode with confidence on the stage bustling and crashing through packs and putting the fear of god through the minds of anyone in his vicinity who wore the yellow and black. He capped off the game with a big contested pack mark in the last quarter, following it up with a straight shot from the boundary and the celebrations were on for young and old. Other youngsters making their marks in the early days of their careers are Christian Salem and Angus Brayshaw while another fourth gamer in mature recruit Aaron vandenBerg tackled and harassed the Tigers in the best game of his short career. Viv Michie also had a stunning breakout game after coming on midway through the second term and picking up 19 touches and Ben Newton made a solid if not spectacular contribution. Everywhere you looked, there were new age Demons introduced under the Roos regime causing havoc. Bernie Vince took a second scalp in successive weeks, Dom Tyson linked up beautifully, Daniel Cross put in his usual workmanlike effort, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris were crumbing and running all over the forward fifty and beyond and Heritier Lumumba was sheer excitement wherever he roamed the ground. A couple of big men in Mark Jamar and Chris Dawes were also very handy on the night and of course, when you keep your opposition down to just six goals (and that was just about unthinkable two years ago) then kudos must go to your defence. Tom McDonald did the job on Jack Riewoldt and he had great support from Col Garland, Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Salem and, until enervated by his suspected hamstring injury, Nev Jetta, another player whose career has been revived in the past year or so. So the resurrection continues in much the same way as it does in nations after wars end, slowly and stolidly until the work is completed and one day you suddenly wake up fully restored. Melbourne 4.2.26 6.5.41 10.9.69 12.11.83 Richmond3.5.23 5.9.39 6.13.49 6.15.51 Goals Melbourne Dawes Garlett Hogan 2 Brayshaw N Jones Kennedy-Harris vandenBerg Vince Watts Richmond Edwards 2 Arnot Gordon Griffiths Hunt Best Melbourne N Jones Hogan Vandenberg T McDonald Vince Tyson Richmond Edwards Miles Ellis Maric Cotchin Vlastuin Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Injuries Melbourne Jetta (concussion) Kent (hamstring) Richmond Drummond (knee) Griffiths (calf) Substitutions Melbourne Viv Michie replaced Dean Kent in the second quarter Richmond Matt McDonough replaced Nathan Drummond in the second quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires Scott Jeffery Luke Farmer David Harris Official crowd 58,175 at the MCG Demons defeat Tigers in the wet FOOTNOTE: I have no inclination to comment on the standard of officiating but think it would be remiss to omit this photograph of the little fella that sat quietly behind me for much of the game and then escorted the umpires home after it was all over.
  10. Demonland

    RESURRECTION by Whispering Jack

    Albert Einstein once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This is in many ways the story of the Melbourne Football Club which has lurched from failure to failure in the quest to resurrect itself over the past decade. Last night we saw a touch of sanity return to herald the dawn of a new era as almost every cog in the Paul Roos machine worked bravely to undermine Richmond's hopes and to inspire an upset 32-point victory on the hallowed turf of the MCG as the football world honoured bravery in a different time and a different part of the world. To be clear, the Demons won this game because, on a night that required a hard, tough, relentless brand of football they were harder, tougher and more relentless than the Tigers. They bored in for the ball, they tackled and hustled and wanted to win more than the enemy and when the rain came in the third quarter, they redoubled their efforts under the leadership and the example of their hard nosed captain. Nathan Jones is not your handsome and elegant leader in the mould of his counterpart but as usual, he was both fearless and fearsome and he broke the spirit of the Tigers crashing through packs with team lifting efforts such as his inspirational goal at the nineteen minute mark of the third quarter which snuffed out the opposition resistance for the night. There was no repetition of the past when he was often forced to do it all on his own. Last night Jones was not alone - he had an entire battalion fighting with him tooth and nail. Many of his foot soldiers were new to the campaign at the club, introduced in the short space of time that Roos has been at the helm. The 58,175 people at the MCG were awed by the performance of a player in only his fourth AFL game who is surely the most exciting young key forward in the game. From his first contest in early proceedings, Jesse Hogan brushed aside a seasoned opponent in Alex Rance and strode with confidence on the stage bustling and crashing through packs and putting the fear of god through the minds of anyone in his vicinity who wore the yellow and black. He capped off the game with a big contested pack mark in the last quarter, following it up with a straight shot from the boundary and the celebrations were on for young and old. Other youngsters making their marks in the early days of their careers are Christian Salem and Angus Brayshaw while another fourth gamer in mature recruit Aaron vandenBerg tackled and harassed the Tigers in the best game of his short career. Viv Michie also had a stunning breakout game after coming on midway through the second term and picking up 19 touches and Ben Newton made a solid if not spectacular contribution. Everywhere you looked, there were new age Demons introduced under the Roos regime causing havoc. Bernie Vince took a second scalp in successive weeks, Dom Tyson linked up beautifully, Daniel Cross put in his usual workmanlike effort, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris were crumbing and running all over the forward fifty and beyond and Heritier Lumumba was sheer excitement wherever he roamed the ground. A couple of big men in Mark Jamar and Chris Dawes were also very handy on the night and of course, when you keep your opposition down to just six goals (and that was just about unthinkable two years ago) then kudos must go to your defence. Tom McDonald did the job on Jack Riewoldt and he had great support from Col Garland, Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Salem and, until enervated by his suspected hamstring injury, Nev Jetta, another player whose career has been revived in the past year or so. So the resurrection continues in much the same way as it does in nations after wars end, slowly and stolidly until the work is completed and one day you suddenly wake up fully restored. Melbourne 4.2.26 6.5.41 10.9.69 12.11.83 Richmond 3.5.23 5.9.39 6.13.49 6.15.51 Goals Melbourne Dawes Garlett Hogan 2 Brayshaw N Jones Kennedy-Harris vandenBerg Vince Watts Richmond Edwards 2 Arnot Gordon Griffiths Hunt Best Melbourne N Jones Hogan Vandenberg T McDonald Vince Tyson Richmond Edwards Miles Ellis Maric Cotchin Vlastuin Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Injuries Melbourne Jetta (concussion) Kent (hamstring) Richmond Drummond (knee) Griffiths (calf) Substitutions Melbourne Viv Michie replaced Dean Kent in the second quarter Richmond Matt McDonough replaced Nathan Drummond in the second quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires Scott Jeffery Luke Farmer David Harris Official crowd 58,175 at the MCG Demons defeat Tigers in the wet FOOTNOTE: I have no inclination to comment on the standard of officiating but think it would be remiss to omit this photograph of the little fella that sat quietly behind me for much of the game and then escorted the umpires home after it was all over.
  11. GHOSTS OF THE PAST by The Oracle Melbourne and Richmond are seeking to take ownership of the Anzac Day eve time slot but the clubs that had arguably the two longest football dynasties of the post war years each have a lot of work to do if they want their meetings to attain blockbuster status. The Tigers at least have been visible on the Friday night stage from time to time but for the Demons, it's almost two years since they graced an AFL venue on a Friday night. The reason the AFL gives for this apparent aberration is Melbourne's poor form but that excuse doesn't really hold because Carlton is a regular feature on the Friday night scene despite recent inferior form to that of Richmond and barely superior to Melbourne. Still, the fact remains that the Demons and the Tigers are burdened by their own ghosts of the past. They meet at the MCG on Friday night with long histories of modest achievement over the past thirty years. It's a long time since either won a finals match and while the Tigers have made it to the top eight twice in a row, they have not been particularly impressive in reaching that status. So far this year, neither team has set the world on fire with all their victories recorded against others who are currently winless. On paper, the Tigers look the winners. They demolished a rudderless Brisbane team that gave up without a yelp (and certainly not a roar) and they have the midfield weapons that could overpower the Demons in a similar fashion to how the Giants and the Crows have managed to fight back against them after poor starts in the past two games. Melbourne simply cannot afford to lose this game and Friday night will therefore be a true test of this team. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Friday 24 April 2015 at 7.50pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 73 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 61 wins Drawn 1 Past five meetings Richmond 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 and Fox Footy Channel at 7.30pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond to win - $1.30 Melbourne to win - $3.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 14.7.91 defeated Richmond 9.20.74 Round 9, 2014 at the MCG Nathan Jones and Jack Watts were the heroes for Melbourne and while it was lucky to strike an inaccurate Richmond on this occasion, the team took advantage of its good fortune and powered home to a well fought win. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: David Astbury, Jake Batchelor, Alex Rance HB: Bachar Houli, Nick Vlastuin, Nathan Drummond C: Brandon Ellis, Trent Cotchin, Kamdyn McIntosh HF: Steven Morris, Shane Edwards, Anthony Miles F: Jack Riewoldt, Ben Griffiths, Sam Lloyd FOLL: Ivan Maric, Dustin Martin, Taylor Hunt I/C: Matt Arnot, Nathan Gordon, Shaun Grigg, Matt McDonough EMG: Todd Elton, Ben Lennon, Ty Vickery IN: Matt Arnot, Nathan Drummond, Matt McDonough OUT: Chris Knights (hamstring), Troy Chaplin (calf), Chris Newman (back) NEW: Nathan Drummond MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Daniel Cross, Nathan Jones, Heritier Lumumba HF: Ben Newton, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Viv Michie, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jack Grimes, Cameron Pedersen, Jimmy Toumpas IN: Viv Michie OUT: Sam Frost (injured) Almost every preview of every game played at this level starts with the adage about the result being determined by the outcome of the midfield contests and for years it has been said that Melbourne is in the third world when it comes to its on ball division. A large measure of this is due to to its monumental recruiting and player development failures over the past decade and this was clearly recognised Paul Roos when he assumed the coaching reins. It shouldn't be underestimated that almost the totality of the club's recruiting since the end of the 2013 season has been aimed at improving the club's midfield stocks and a look at the side for the vital round four match bears this out. Moreover, it's clearly evident that over the past 25 matches, Melbourne's output in terms of winning contested possessions has Melbourne improved dramatically and, in this game - the club's first on a Friday night under Roos - provides it with the opportunity to show the football world in its main showcase time slot that it has the team to provide a contest not only in the midfield but all over the ground. The key contest will no doubt be the one between the two skippers. Hard nosed Nathan Jones hasn't been at his dominant best yet this season and he faces a big challenge against the talented and skillful Trent Cotchin but in a sign of the times, Jones no longer has to be THE dominant on baller because he has so much more support in this area and all over the ground than he did, say two years ago. He now has Bernie Vince and Dom Tyson. He has the enigmatic Heritier Lumumba, the young Angus Brayshaw, the canny Daniel Cross and the unknown warriors Ben Newton and Aaron vandenBerg all floating around to provide support and variety. The ruck duels should also be pivotal with Mark Jamar and Ivan Maric in good form. Whichever of these two gets on top and wins possession around the ground will go a long way to determining the dominance of his team's midfield. The contest between Tom McDonald and Jack Riewoldt should also be worth watching as well as the battle in Melbourne's forward line where Jesse Hogan is quickly catching the eye for his tireless running and strength in the marking contests. If he and Jeff Garlett can capitalise on the improvement in supply to the forward line and find their targets going goal wards, the Demons could win their first Friday night game in several years and start their movement out of the ghostly time slots they usually occupy on most weekends during the football season. Melbourne by 15 points
  12. Lucifer's Hero

    GAME DAY - Anzac Eve Game vs Tigers

    Not sure which thread to put this so mods please merge somewhere if you wish. Thought it was worth highlighting the significance of this game for us. Story in todays's HS http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/ron-barassi-to-light-flame-at-mcg-before-richmond-melbourne-anzac-day-eve-clash/story-fni5f22o-1227312458012?from=herald%20sun_rss Just reading this was spine tingling: "The eternal flame at the Shrine of Remembrance will be used to light a torch which will be ridden to the stadium by the Creswick Light Horse Troop. After a lap of the ground, the torch will be handed to Barassi who will light a cauldron on an MCG stage to burn for the duration of the match...The Friday night crowd will become a part of the pre-match ceremony with 50,000 finger lights to be distributed and held aloft in silence, in memory of those who served Australia in armed conflict. Players from both sides will line up near the flame alongside returned service men and women for the playing of the Last Post and National Anthem." It seems such a dignified way to honour the occasion without the commercialism that often accompanies the ANZAC Day game. MFC/RFC hope the ANZAC Eve game will become an annual tradition for both teams. It has the support of the RSL and the Shrine of Remembrance. All it needs is for the fans to turn up! Hope to drag a few extra Dee fans there this week. Oh, and our membership card shows entry is free for all members. Footnote: a few months ago there had been talk of a Checker Hughes cup/medallion because of his history at both clubs. Didn't see anything about that so idea may have been shelved. Like that. Keeps the event purely about honouring the ANZAC's without shining glory on a player or team. And what a great photo in the article. Notice how quickly that photo found its way into my profile
  13. Melbourne and Richmond are seeking to take ownership of the Anzac Day eve time slot but the clubs that had arguably the two longest football dynasties of the post war years each have a lot of work to do if they want their meetings to attain blockbuster status. The Tigers at least have been visible on the Friday night stage from time to time but for the Demons, it's almost two years since they graced an AFL venue on a Friday night. The reason the AFL gives for this apparent aberration is Melbourne's poor form but that excuse doesn't really hold because Carlton is a regular feature on the Friday night scene despite recent inferior form to that of Richmond and barely superior to Melbourne. Still, the fact remains that the Demons and the Tigers are burdened by their own ghosts of the past. They meet at the MCG on Friday night with long histories of modest achievement over the past thirty years. It's a long time since either won a finals match and while the Tigers have made it to the top eight twice in a row, they have not been particularly impressive in reaching that status. So far this year, neither team has set the world on fire with all their victories recorded against others who are currently winless. On paper, the Tigers look the winners. They demolished a rudderless Brisbane team that gave up without a yelp (and certainly not a roar) and they have the midfield weapons that could overpower the Demons in a similar fashion to how the Giants and the Crows have managed to fight back against them after poor starts in the past two games. Melbourne simply cannot afford to lose this game and Friday night will therefore be a true test of this team. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Friday 24 April 2015 at 7.50pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 73 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 61 wins Drawn 1 Past five meetings Richmond 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 and Fox Footy Channel at 7.30pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond to win - $1.30 Melbourne to win - $3.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 14.7.91 defeated Richmond 9.20.74 Round 9, 2014 at the MCG Nathan Jones and Jack Watts were the heroes for Melbourne and while it was lucky to strike an inaccurate Richmond on this occasion, the team took advantage of its good fortune and powered home to a well fought win. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: David Astbury, Jake Batchelor, Alex Rance HB: Bachar Houli, Nick Vlastuin, Nathan Drummond C: Brandon Ellis, Trent Cotchin, Kamdyn McIntosh HF: Steven Morris, Shane Edwards, Anthony Miles F: Jack Riewoldt, Ben Griffiths, Sam Lloyd FOLL: Ivan Maric, Dustin Martin, Taylor Hunt I/C: Matt Arnot, Nathan Gordon, Shaun Grigg, Matt McDonough EMG: Todd Elton, Ben Lennon, Ty Vickery IN: Matt Arnot, Nathan Drummond, Matt McDonough OUT: Chris Knights (hamstring), Troy Chaplin (calf), Chris Newman (back) NEW: Nathan Drummond MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Daniel Cross, Nathan Jones, Heritier Lumumba HF: Ben Newton, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Viv Michie, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jack Grimes, Cameron Pedersen, Jimmy Toumpas IN: Viv Michie OUT: Sam Frost (injured) Almost every preview of every game played at this level starts with the adage about the result being determined by the outcome of the midfield contests and for years it has been said that Melbourne is in the third world when it comes to its on ball division. A large measure of this is due to to its monumental recruiting and player development failures over the past decade and this was clearly recognised Paul Roos when he assumed the coaching reins. It shouldn't be underestimated that almost the totality of the club's recruiting since the end of the 2013 season has been aimed at improving the club's midfield stocks and a look at the side for the vital round four match bears this out. Moreover, it's clearly evident that over the past 25 matches, Melbourne's output in terms of winning contested possessions has Melbourne improved dramatically and, in this game - the club's first on a Friday night under Roos - provides it with the opportunity to show the football world in its main showcase time slot that it has the team to provide a contest not only in the midfield but all over the ground. The key contest will no doubt be the one between the two skippers. Hard nosed Nathan Jones hasn't been at his dominant best yet this season and he faces a big challenge against the talented and skillful Trent Cotchin but in a sign of the times, Jones no longer has to be THE dominant on baller because he has so much more support in this area and all over the ground than he did, say two years ago. He now has Bernie Vince and Dom Tyson. He has the enigmatic Heritier Lumumba, the young Angus Brayshaw, the canny Daniel Cross and the unknown warriors Ben Newton and Aaron vandenBerg all floating around to provide support and variety. The ruck duels should also be pivotal with Mark Jamar and Ivan Maric in good form. Whichever of these two gets on top and wins possession around the ground will go a long way to determining the dominance of his team's midfield. The contest between Tom McDonald and Jack Riewoldt should also be worth watching as well as the battle in Melbourne's forward line where Jesse Hogan is quickly catching the eye for his tireless running and strength in the marking contests. If he and Jeff Garlett can capitalise on the improvement in supply to the forward line and find their targets going goal wards, the Demons could win their first Friday night game in several years and start their movement out of the ghostly time slots they usually occupy on most weekends during the football season. Melbourne by 15 points
  14. Demonland

    LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was one of the most satisfying wins in recent times because the team played good footy for most of the game. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: Troy Chaplin, David Astbury, Alex Rance HB: Bachar Houli, Ben Lennon, Steven Morris C: Shaun Grigg, Daniel Jackson, Reece Conca HF: Dustin Martin, Ben Griffiths, Brett Deledio F: Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Ty Vickery FOLL: Shaun Hampson, Brandon Ellis, Trent Cotchin I/C: Nathan Foley, Sam Lloyd, Matt McDonough, Nick Vlastuin EMG: Jake Batchelor, Nathan Gordon, Ricky Petterd IN: Nathan Foley, Ben Griffiths, Ben Lennon OUT: Aaron Edwards (omitted), Nathan Gordon (omitted), Chris Newman (calf) NEW: Ben Lennon (Northern Knights) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Dean Terlich, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Jack Watts, Max Gawn, Jeremy Howe F: Cam Pedersen, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Alex Georgiou, Jordie McKenzie, Jimmy Toumpas IN: Max Gawn, Aidan Riley OUT: Shannon Byrnes (foot), James Frawley (hamstring)
  15. 98.6 by Whispering Jack 98.6. That number isn't a reference to one's normal body temperature but to a percentage. It's a figure I made up because I can't be sure of the precise amount but it refers to what I assess is the percentage of match time that Melbourne seemed "up and about" last Saturday night against the Western Bulldogs whereas, in order to win, it required the full 100%. We'll debate that dubious free kick to the Bulldogs' Stewart Crameri that put them in front five minutes from the end but from that point on Melbourne fell suddenly into the old pattern where lapses of concentration and effort both in defence and in attack put paid to its winning chances. The heart was in the mouth as Matt Jones ran down the heart of the MCG only to falter with that kick for goal that would have restored the lead and given the team an enormous confidence boost so late in the game. It's worth pointing out that, at this stage of the season, Melbourne leads the competition in one statistic - it allows its opposition to score a goal from just 20% of inside 50s. Bearing that in mind, immediately after the Matt Jones behind, the Bulldogs were allowed to go effortlessly coast to coast against a defence that held so tight for most of the evening bringing back memories of recent calamities and, in no time at all, it was game, set and match. And that's what the game is about when you reach the point where you're doing better in percentage terms than the freezing point figure of 32 where Melbourne has been in terms of effort and ability for most of the last decade. These days, you must be running at your best every week; you need to produce 100% which is where Melbourne needs to be throughout this week's game against Richmond. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Saturday 17 May, 2014 at 1.40pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 72 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 60 wins Drawn 1 Past five years Richmond 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel 1:30pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond - $1.05 Melbourne to win - $5.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Richmond 15.16.106 defeated Melbourne 11.6.72 Round 8, 2013 at the MCG The Demons made a good fist of things for more than half a game before ultimately falling away to lose by 34 points. Aaron Davey was Melbourne's best. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: Troy Chaplin, David Astbury, Alex Rance HB: Bachar Houli, Ben Lennon, Steven Morris C: Shaun Grigg, Daniel Jackson, Reece Conca HF: Dustin Martin, Ben Griffiths, Brett Deledio F: Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Ty Vickery FOLL: Shaun Hampson, Brandon Ellis, Trent Cotchin I/C: Nathan Foley, Sam Lloyd, Matt McDonough, Nick Vlastuin EMG: Jake Batchelor, Nathan Gordon, Ricky Petterd IN: Nathan Foley, Ben Griffiths, Ben Lennon OUT: Aaron Edwards (omitted), Nathan Gordon (omitted), Chris Newman (calf) NEW: Ben Lennon (Northern Knights) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Dean Terlich, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Jack Watts, Max Gawn, Jeremy Howe F: Cam Pedersen, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Alex Georgiou, Jordie McKenzie, Jimmy Toumpas IN: Max Gawn, Aidan Riley OUT: Shannon Byrnes (foot), James Frawley (hamstring) TOM HAFEY The match has fittingly been designated as the tribute game to Tom Hafey who lost his battle with cancer earlier in the week. Before Hafey arrived on the scene to coach Richmond, the Tigers were a battling club regularly occupying a place at the foot of the VFL ladder. In those days, fifty years ago, our own Norm Smith was the leading coach in the sport with six premierships under his belt in the decade to 1964. Smith's mantle as the doyen of coaches was taken by Hafey who led the Tigers to the first of his four flags in 1967 and who then went on to reinvigorate the Collingwood Football Club. He was a model citizen who set an example of fitness and demanded high standards of behaviour that ushered in the professional era of our sport. May his soul rest in peace. NO QUESTION There's no question that the Tigers are the big disappointment of the competition to date. Having finally made it to the finals in 2013 only to be unceremoniously dumped out by "stand in" finallists Carlton, it was said that Richmond was approaching this season with a single-minded determination to not only atone for that embarrassing elimination final loss at the hands of their traditional rivals but also to go at least one or two steps beyond their final outcome for last season. They started the new year disastrously on the Gold Coast, extracted revenge against the Blues and scraped in against lowly Brisbane but were also spanked by Collingwood and Hawthorn before producing some gallantry in going down narrowly to Geelong at their last start. Defeat at the hands of Melbourne, their NAB Cup conqueror in February, could spell the end to their hopes and have their legion of fans up in arms and ready to consign their membership tickets to the microwave again. It was Melbourne's new look midfield that took Richmond by surprise when they met earlier in the year at that pre season game at Etihad Stadium. If the Tigers can't beat the Demons handsomely in this important sector then they simply can't win because Melbourne has a slight but discernable advantage over its opponent nearly everywhere else on the the field.
  16. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 9

    Sorry I can't be with you folks but I'm sailing off the coast of Baja California in a southerly direction to Cabo San Lucas and its Friday afternoon here so I can safely tip the Swans to win the Friday night AFL game. Hope the Dees win too and that Maxy does well!!!
  17. Demonland

    98.6 by Whispering Jack

    98.6. That number isn't a reference to one's normal body temperature but to a percentage. It's a figure I made up because I can't be sure of the precise amount but it refers to what I assess is the percentage of match time that Melbourne seemed "up and about" last Saturday night against the Western Bulldogs whereas, in order to win, it required the full 100%. We'll debate that dubious free kick to the Bulldogs' Stewart Crameri that put them in front five minutes from the end but from that point on Melbourne fell suddenly into the old pattern where lapses of concentration and effort both in defence and in attack put paid to its winning chances. The heart was in the mouth as Matt Jones ran down the heart of the MCG only to falter with that kick for goal that would have restored the lead and given the team an enormous confidence boost so late in the game. It's worth pointing out that, at this stage of the season, Melbourne leads the competition in one statistic - it allows its opposition to score a goal from just 20% of inside 50s. Bearing that in mind, immediately after the Matt Jones behind, the Bulldogs were allowed to go effortlessly coast to coast against a defence that held so tight for most of the evening bringing back memories of recent calamities and, in no time at all, it was game, set and match. And that's what the game is about when you reach the point where you're doing better in percentage terms than the freezing point figure of 32 where Melbourne has been in terms of effort and ability for most of the last decade. These days, you must be running at your best every week; you need to produce 100% which is where Melbourne needs to be throughout this week's game against Richmond. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne on Saturday 17 May, 2014 at 1.40pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 72 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 60 wins Drawn 1 Past five years Richmond 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel 1:30pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Richmond - $1.05 Melbourne to win - $5.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Richmond 15.16.106 defeated Melbourne 11.6.72 Round 8, 2013 at the MCG The Demons made a good fist of things for more than half a game before ultimately falling away to lose by 34 points. Aaron Davey was Melbourne's best. THE TEAMS RICHMOND B: Troy Chaplin, David Astbury, Alex Rance HB: Bachar Houli, Ben Lennon, Steven Morris C: Shaun Grigg, Daniel Jackson, Reece Conca HF: Dustin Martin, Ben Griffiths, Brett Deledio F: Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Ty Vickery FOLL: Shaun Hampson, Brandon Ellis, Trent Cotchin I/C: Nathan Foley, Sam Lloyd, Matt McDonough, Nick Vlastuin EMG: Jake Batchelor, Nathan Gordon, Ricky Petterd IN: Nathan Foley, Ben Griffiths, Ben Lennon OUT: Aaron Edwards (omitted), Nathan Gordon (omitted), Chris Newman (calf) NEW: Ben Lennon (Northern Knights) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland HB: Dean Terlich, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Jack Watts, Max Gawn, Jeremy Howe F: Cam Pedersen, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Aidan Riley, Christian Salem EMG: Alex Georgiou, Jordie McKenzie, Jimmy Toumpas IN: Max Gawn, Aidan Riley OUT: Shannon Byrnes (foot), James Frawley (hamstring) TOM HAFEY The match has fittingly been designated as the tribute game to Tom Hafey who lost his battle with cancer earlier in the week. Before Hafey arrived on the scene to coach Richmond, the Tigers were a battling club regularly occupying a place at the foot of the VFL ladder. In those days, fifty years ago, our own Norm Smith was the leading coach in the sport with six premierships under his belt in the decade to 1964. Smith's mantle as the doyen of coaches was taken by Hafey who led the Tigers to the first of his four flags in 1967 and who then went on to reinvigorate the Collingwood Football Club. He was a model citizen who set an example of fitness and demanded high standards of behaviour that ushered in the professional era of our sport. May his soul rest in peace. NO QUESTION There's no question that the Tigers are the big disappointment of the competition to date. Having finally made it to the finals in 2013 only to be unceremoniously dumped out by "stand in" finallists Carlton, it was said that Richmond was approaching this season with a single-minded determination to not only atone for that embarrassing elimination final loss at the hands of their traditional rivals but also to go at least one or two steps beyond their final outcome for last season. They started the new year disastrously on the Gold Coast, extracted revenge against the Blues and scraped in against lowly Brisbane but were also spanked by Collingwood and Hawthorn before producing some gallantry in going down narrowly to Geelong at their last start. Defeat at the hands of Melbourne, their NAB Cup conqueror in February, could spell the end to their hopes and have their legion of fans up in arms and ready to consign their membership tickets to the microwave again. It was Melbourne's new look midfield that took Richmond by surprise when they met earlier in the year at that pre season game at Etihad Stadium. If the Tigers can't beat the Demons handsomely in this important sector then they simply can't win because Melbourne has a slight but discernable advantage over its opponent nearly everywhere else on the the field.
  18. ONE SMALL STEP FOR 2014 & ONE GIANT LEAP FOR DEMONKIND
  19. The coach called for a competitive effort this week, which is rather strange given that the MFC team is supposed to be composed of professional football players. The groans from the supporters echoed throughout the suburbs again, as we could have expected a similar performance to that which we endured against GWS. Yes, we were competitive against the Tigers ... the perennial 9th place finishers but we still lost by over 5 goals and if they had any semblance of skill, their 15.16 in front of goal could easily have yet another 10 goal plus hiding. It is a sad indictment that Aaron Davey was the stand-out player for the side. His ball delivery and vision was simply sublime and he topped it with 3 goals and 20 odd disposals. He is probably playing his last season, yet no-one else seems to have the ability to try to impose themselves on a game. There were others who try valiantly Jones N & M, Garland, Terlich, Magner, and even Mark Jamar who provided us with some real ruck competitiveness. (may we never see Jake Spencer trotted out again). James Frawley did his usual assassination job on Riewoldt. But the backs were constantly under pressure as we could only manage 100 less disposals, 80 less kicks, 20 less inside 50s and 30 less handballs. We simply dont have sufficient players prepared to put all the time. And this was against the forever middle of the road team in Richmond. This wasnt some powerhouse club. We will really see how competitive we are in the next 3 weeks, when we have to play Fremantle, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Experience?... baloney! Players get experience because they are good enough to play multiple games of football; duds dont! And we continue to fill the side with duds. In 2 years we still wont be experienced, because those filler players will have gone. to be replaced by either draftees or more filler players. The coach has got to stop the experience mantra. What we need is a proper attitude to be shown to really make us competitive. The coach can only work with the cattle at his disposal, and try to improve and enforce a competitive approach. Giving games to fillers to give them experience is self defeating. As R. Barassi said give me possessions, and Ill shut up! In the meantime all we can do is chase Tiger tail this week, and next week it will be a similar story and the same the weeks after. The supporters are getting all the experience they need..and its not good! Melbourne 3.0.18 7.2.44 10.4.64 11.6.72 Richmond 2.4.16 7.9.51 12.14.86 15.16.106 Goals Melbourne Davey 3 Dawes Dunn 2 Bail Evans Howe Nicholson Richmond Martin Riewoldt 3 King 2 Chaplin Deledio Ellis Morris Nahas, Vlastuin White Best Melbourne Davey N Jones Magner, Terlich M Jones Garland Richmond Ellis Vlastuin S Edwards Deledio Grigg Houli Injuries Melbourne Toumpas (ankle) Richmond Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires McBurney Hosking Foot Official crowd 39,148 at the MCG
  20. Demonland

    CHASING TIGER TAIL

    CHASING TIGER TAIL by George on the Outer The coach called for a competitive effort this week, which is rather strange given that the MFC team is supposed to be composed of professional football players. The groans from the supporters echoed throughout the suburbs again, as we could have expected a similar performance to that which we endured against GWS. Yes, we were competitive against the Tigers ... the perennial 9th place finishers but we still lost by over 5 goals and if they had any semblance of skill, their 15.16 in front of goal could easily have yet another 10 goal plus hiding. It is a sad indictment that Aaron Davey was the stand-out player for the side. His ball delivery and vision was simply sublime and he topped it with 3 goals and 20 odd disposals. He is probably playing his last season, yet no-one else seems to have the ability to try to impose themselves on a game. There were others who try valiantly Jones N & M, Garland, Terlich, Magner, and even Mark Jamar who provided us with some real ruck competitiveness. (may we never see Jake Spencer trotted out again). James Frawley did his usual assassination job on Riewoldt. But the backs were constantly under pressure as we could only manage 100 less disposals, 80 less kicks, 20 less inside 50s and 30 less handballs. We simply dont have sufficient players prepared to put all the time. And this was against the forever middle of the road team in Richmond. This wasnt some powerhouse club. We will really see how competitive we are in the next 3 weeks, when we have to play Fremantle, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Experience?... baloney! Players get experience because they are good enough to play multiple games of football; duds dont! And we continue to fill the side with duds. In 2 years we still wont be experienced, because those filler players will have gone. to be replaced by either draftees or more filler players. The coach has got to stop the experience mantra. What we need is a proper attitude to be shown to really make us competitive. The coach can only work with the cattle at his disposal, and try to improve and enforce a competitive approach. Giving games to fillers to give them experience is self defeating. As R. Barassi said give me possessions, and Ill shut up! In the meantime all we can do is chase Tiger tail this week, and next week it will be a similar story and the same the weeks after. The supporters are getting all the experience they need..and its not good! Melbourne 3.0.18 7.2.44 10.4.64 11.6.72 Richmond 2.4.16 7.9.51 12.14.86 15.16.106 Goals Melbourne Davey 3 Dawes Dunn 2 Bail Evans Howe Nicholson Richmond Martin Riewoldt 3 King 2 Chaplin Deledio Ellis Morris Nahas, Vlastuin White Best Melbourne Davey N Jones Magner, Terlich M Jones Garland Richmond Ellis Vlastuin S Edwards Deledio Grigg Houli Injuries Melbourne Toumpas (ankle) Richmond Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires McBurney Hosking Foot Official crowd 39,148 at the MCG
  21. Despite the poor finish, we had some players out there this week ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  22. Moonshadow

    GAME DAY - Round 8

    Give us 4 competitive quarters please Dees.
  23. THE PEOPLE SPEAK - THE TIGERS GAME by the Demonland Crew Yes, it was less than two years ago that Melbourne comfortably accounted for Richmond on the MCG after a slow start in the first of their two clashes for the year. The Demons were eyeing a place in the top 8 while the Tigers were struggling. They meet in far different circumstances on Sunday afternoon. Pantaloons - It will no doubt be referenced more than once in the lead-up to Sunday's Richmond-Melbourne clash at the MCG that not so long ago these two teams, after years of rebuilding, were supposedly heading in the right direction. Sadly, while Richmond continues its climb with speed and excitement of watching real-time photosynthesis, Melbourne continues to stoop to new lows, plummeting to one of the worst performances in club history against the Gold Coast on Sunday. Yet, this in itself is not the main story this week. No, the real tale lies in Melbourne supporters losing an old friend this weekend. For the last 30 years, and throughout much of the game's history, there has been a familiar refrain to comfort Melbourne supporters in times of trouble - "At least we're not Richmond". Richmond, like the ugly best friend, has dutifully played the role of Paul Pfeiffer to many a club's Kevin Arnold over the past three decades of laughable ineptitude. Of course, when a club spends its time playing home games in the carpark of your own team's ground until 1965, it firmly sets the tone for a relationship of pity and mockery. However, with the Tigers at 4-3 and enjoying a period of relative glory, the days of condescendingly patting Richmond supporters on the head at your office/other place of work when the topic of football comes up will officially be put to rest. You see, Melbourne currently owns the second-longest finals drought in the AFL, in front of only, you guessed it, Richmond. For every time Melbourne embarrassed itself at the draft or trade table, Richmond would up the ante by calling out the names of Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls or Anthony Banik early on draft night, or by swinging pick 19 (Callan Ward) to the Bulldogs for Jordan McMahon. Yes, Richmond have always been our friends, always happy to take some of the spotlight off our inadequacies with their own blend of farce. When Melbourne required a step ladder to mount, Richmond always came to the party. There was 1993, when in an otherwise poor year for Melbourne, the Demons slapped Richmond by a combined 214 points in their two meetings. The following year, the Demons were only too happy to kick 27.5 in the final round in Sydney to secure a finals spot at the expense of Richmond. Four years later, with the Tigers needing a Round 22 win to make the finals, Melbourne horse-whipped them en route to a top-4 finish. Even in recent years, Melbourne has trolled the Tigers by 'losing' the services of the likes of Miller, Maric and Petterd to the yellow and black. Alas, the days of Melbourne lampooning about and expecting our derelict, body-odour suffering carpark-dwellers to out-stink us are coming to a close. Due in part to serious errors from the Tigers at the drafting table which has led to them miraculously not botching every pick conceivable, Richmond has assembled a modest yet mildly promising list, and has a coach the players seem to listen to. Instead of turning around with the comfort of feeling the presence of another more useless than itself, Melbourne now stands alone as the guardians of ineptitude. Richmond, for all the boganic mystique about the place, is attempting to join the cool kids group, while Melbourne sits alone, picking its nose in the corner of the yard. When the two sides take the field on Sunday, there will be no shiver of excitement as the crepe paper of the banner is destroyed. No hope of a dramatic upset. Many of the players have made perfectly clear they have no interest in doing anything but barf on the Melbourne guernsey, made patently obvious on Sunday when, despite having half the amount of ball as the Suns for much of the contest, also astonishingly had half the amount of tackles. Matchups in this one are largely irrelevant, as all Richmond will do is leave one or two players to sit on Nathan Jones every time he goes remotely near the ball, leaving nobody else to stop the likes of Martin and co from pumping the ball inside 50 all day in a blitz equal parts frenetic and depressing. Meanwhile, Melbourne players will appear confused and disinterested while leaving time for the odd chain of possession ending in the most horrific forward 50 entry ever witnessed. We lose a friend on Sunday. A friend we thought would always stand beside us and make us appear to look acceptable in comparison. A friend who grew tired of swilling about in the mud and filth for decades on end and decided to move on to better things. No, we aren't Richmond. But today, there are worse things than Richmond. So the Demons are faltering and find themselves in a dark place. But does anyone out there think they can win? Demon WA - It was only a couple of years ago when the Richmond V Melbourne game was a highlight of the season for me. The teams were matched evenly around the ground and the Frawley V JR8 battle at one end and up and coming mids like Martin and Trengove would do battle in the middle. Watts played arguably his best game of AFL a couple of years ago as a key forward against Richmond, and game where Ricky Petterd, at that stage a beacon of hope for the demons faithful, set a record for most tackles laid inside the attacking 50. Fast forward a couple of years and the differences in form and confidence could not be greater between the two teams. Hardwick identified weaknesses in his list and has strengthened it to a point where they seem to have no gaping holes. The Demons have sacked one coach and are delaying the inevitable in sending Neeld down a similar path (in my opinion). Despite numerous opportunities to draft top line talent to the club, the Demons midfield is devoid of class and talent. This is exacerbated through the loss of Grimes and Trengove to injury and Sylvia (who generally has his best game for the year against Richmond) through suspension. Meanwhile the Class and Polish of the Richmond midfield is perhaps as good as any team in the competition, with the likes of Cotchin, Delideo, Martin, Foley and the evergreen Tuck. They say that games are won and lost in the midfield and this will unfortunately be the case again this week. Richmond by 48 points Hardtack - In what should be (not saying it WILL be) a war of attrition (pride is on its last legs), we should see Dunn go onto Martin and Jetta return to go onto Jake King. In the ensuing softening up period, both Martin and King are reported for elbows to the head and groin areas of their respective opponents and so are nullified by the weight of concern over whether they will be available to play in the following week's must win game against Essendon - that's my dream start. The in-form VC "Judy"Garland will take on "Moaning" Jack Reiwoldt, Frawley on McGuane and because of his height, the only real match-up for Oren Stephenson can be Sellar. For the remaining defenders, Nicholson is the only one with enough pace to stay with Nahas and Terlich will need to contain Knights. I will be rather surprised (disappointed) if Magner is not promoted off the rookie list, and if he is, he should replace either McKenzie or Bail (maybe Bail?). Blease will maybe get a recall in Sylvia's absence and I hope they somehow find a way to slot the Fitz into the line-up... although, Casey having not played last weekend won't have helped his chances. If any of Jones to the power of two, Evans or Magner can get first hands on the ball by roving well to the ruck work of Ivan Maric, we should be a reasonable chance down forward... providing the incoming kicks aren't bombed over the head of Dawes as was the case on Sunday. Maybe Tapscott will move back to the centre in place of Bail or menthoids man McKenzie so that the Fitz can come into the forwards to add a bit of height and, hopefully, goal kicking ability. Depending on whether these guys can show a little pride in themselves and their supporters, this game could either blow out very badly or be decided by just a few goals (4 - 6) ... still can't see us prevailing, but can only hope for four contested quarters where we don't see them standing around flat footed while their opponents run into space at will. Unfortunately, the above are among the more optimistic views we've been getting. Others are tipping hidings in excess of 100 points. THE GAME Richmond v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday 19 May 2013 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Richmond 102 wins 2 draws Melbourne 79 wins At MCG Richmond 67 wins 1 draw Melbourne 60 wins Since 2000 Richmond 13 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Hardwick 2 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Channel 7 Fox Sports 3 (live) RADIO - 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Richmond $1.01 to win Melbourne $17.00 to win (in other words, the Dees are wasting their time turning up) THE LAST TIME THEY MET Richmond 13.23.101 defeated Melbourne 11.12.78 at the MCG, Round 15, 2012 As usual an opposition midfield ripped the Demons apart from go to whoa. The only thing was that the Tigers couldn't kick goals if their lives depended on it and as a result, the winning margin was kept to under four goals. Stef Martin was Melbourne's only multiple goal kicker with two goals and to nobody's surprise Nathan Jones was his team's best. THE TEAMS RICHMOND Backs Steven Morris Alex Rance Troy Chaplin Half backs Chris Newman Brandon Ellis Bachar Houli Centreline Shaun Grigg Trent Cotchin Daniel Jackson Half forwards Brett Deledio Shane Edwards Jake King Forwards Luke McGuane Jack Riewoldt Dustin Martin Followers Orren Stephenson Nathan Foley Nick Vlastuin Interchange Jake Batchelor Robin Nahas Tyrone Vickery Matthew White Emergencies Matthew Arnot Matthew Dea Aaron Edwards In Trent Cotchin Tyrone Vickery Matthew White Out Chris Knights (knee) Ivan Maric (ankle) Shane Tuck (shoulder) MELBOURNE Backs Neville Jetta James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Dan Nicholson James Sellar Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Michael Evans Half forwards Luke Tapscott LyndenDunn Jeremy Howe Followers Max Gawn Chris Dawes Jimmy Toumpas Followers Mark Jamar Matt Jones Nathan Jones Interchange Rohan Bail Aaron Davey James Magner James Strauss Emergencies Troy Davis Dean Kent Jake Spencer In Mark Jamar Neville Jetta James Magner Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Out Shannon Byrnes (wrist) Dean Kent Jake Spencer Colin Sylvia (suspension) Jack Viney (toe) The aftermath of the Gold Coast Suns defeat saw much soul searching and the blame for the situation was being apportioned in a number of areas while new CEO Peter Jackson was talking of the need for change to be implemented. One of the more obvious changes discussed in situations such as these was the position of the coach. Surely, he has lost the players when they produce insipid performances as those reflected in the Suns' game with its pathetic tackle count. Players such as Colin Garland and newcomer Chris Dawes rallied to Mark Neeld's defence this week but some questioned their motives in doing so claiming their efforts were "spin". Demonlander pm24 came to their defence. It is genuinely insulting for you to fail to give any of the the players any respect, and not even acknowledge that they may be being truthful. I find it absolutely disgusting that many on here continue just abuse, abuse and abuse, without giving the players any respect as people. It is the same reason I will NEVER abuse our own players or opposition players, even if I have a dislike for them. For people to come out and openly suggest that first Garland, then Dawes are just flat out misrepresenting things just to toe the "club line" gives them no respect as people. And in my opinion, those who are suggesting such things, should also be given no respect. Paying a membership, and supporting a club does not given anyone a right to abuse and disrespect a person expressing their opinion. All members, and even the players are hurting because of the performances. There may be some players hurting less than others, but to suggest that players aren't hurting again is disrespectful to the playing group as people. Those who keep suggesting that the players are just spinning c*$p and just making excuses, I ask this question...if they didn't believe in what they were saying why would would they make such statements? Again, I'm guessing the responses would be along the lines of....to protect their own skins, etc etc etc But what would compel someone to come out and mislead the membership when they don't have to. They could sit back and say nothing. To me the players are coming out and standing up for what is happening at the club because they believe in it. I have found that people are more likely to stand up and defend something when they believe in it, as opposed to when they don't. Why are so many on here so quick to acknowledge the way the club has stuffed up in the past, yet not patient enough for all of that poor work to be fixed. I believe this club has been in a poor state for over a decade, and I think it is unrealistic, bordering on lunacy to believe that it can be turned around in 18 months. Many have suggested that a coach like Paul Roos could fix things, to which I have suggested that Sydney were in a similar position to us in the early 90's when Barassi was brought in to fix things, then Eade took over, and led the club for 7 years (including finals appearances) before Roos took over. Sydney took about 4-5 years to dig themselves out of where they were in the early 90's and return to playing finals football. Why should we expect any different? Look at the history of other clubs who have been in similar positions to where we are at. I think you will struggle to find examples of where a club has returned to being competitive and successful within 18 months. But back to my main point. It is simply disgusting for so many on here to simply abuse and disrespect the players and those in the club that are genuinely trying to move this club to where it needs to be. People want the club to show integrity......so how do they want that to be represented? To me, integrity means being consistent in your words and actions, yet people are getting sick of hearing the same old message of "it's going to take time, but we're on the right path". Since Neeld took over, I have seen more consistent messages coming out of the club regarding where it is at then I have for any time in the last decade. The actions or results have not been there and there has been little evidence that the players are performing at the level intended or expected, but does that mean that the players lack integrity, or that the club lacks integrity? The club has always said it is going to take time. It is taking time. They have clearly explained that their are standards the players are expected to meet. The players may not be consistently meeting those standards at the moment, but how many 20 - 25 year olds are always consistent in their behaviours. There are reasons that those clubs near the top of the ladder are where they are, they have a more mature and experienced group of players. Some people are being blinded by anger, and frustration when looking at the club. Take a step back, take a rational look at the playing list (which isn't great at the moment), and think, when compared to other lists, where should this club be sitting on the ladder? The club is sitting in 17th place and there doesn't seem to be much room for respite on the basis of current form and with crucial players including team leaders on the injured list. One thing is very clear. A repeat of last week or of the Essendon game earlier this season will be intolerable.
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