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Found 22 results

  1. Who will win the Demonland Player of the Year? Your votes please ...
  2. MATHEMATICAL POSSIBILITY by Whispering Jack For well over a decade, Melbourne fans have been sitting back at various times during the football season (more often than not in the early parts), contemplating the AFL ladder and pondering on the mathematical possibilities available to their team of making the finals or winning the premiership. Rarely have they been equally or better placed than the others except when this particular event was taking place at the very beginning of the year or possibly after a the opening round of the season. This week, at long last, things are different. When Preliminary Finals week comes around, there are four teams left in the contest for the premiership flag. All four of them face a task which only one of them can successfully achieve and that is to win both remaining games. The mathematics are simple - each club has a 25% chance of making it to the Holy Grail. Nothing could be more simple than that, could it? Except that in Melbourne’s case, it has to win its first contest outside of its home territory. That being the case, while Richmond, Collingwood and West Coast players will be waking up in their own beds on the morning of their game (well, hopefully), the Melbourne team will be waking in some hotel room after having flown a distance of approximately 2,722.36 kilometres from their home town to play in front of a crowd made up of mainly rabidly hostile natives. The prospect would be a daunting one but for another interesting mathematical equation. In past years, an out-of-town trip to anywhere else in the country spelled doom and gloom for Melbourne and the loyal fans who traveled with the side. Interstate wins were as rare as hen’s teeth. In real terms, the mathematical possibility was as close to zero as you could possibly get. But not this team and not this year. The Demons have played seven home and away games - almost a third of the season - outside of their home State and won all but one of those contests (and you could mount a strong argument to say that even the Port Adelaide game was a victory of sorts in every aspect except on the Adelaide Oval scoreboard) which gives you a very healthy 85.7% win/loss ratio. In those games, it was Melbourne that dominated most of the statistical data such as clearances, contested football, inside 50 entries and shots at goal*. To emphasize the point, you only have to look back a little over a month to Round 22 when the Eagles and Demons clashed at Optus Stadium in which the visitors prevailed by 17 points to understand that the idea of traveling across the continent holds little fear for the Melbourne of 2018 which has an away record that is the envy of all others in the competition. Not even the Tigers who are everybody’s favourite at very strong mathematical odds to win this year’s flag, can boast a victory against this team at this venue this year. Indeed, they had to wait until Round 21 against the ailing Suns at Metricon Stadium to record their only interstate win of the season. The fight for the flag is an even money proposition and Melbourne’s mathematical odds are as good as those of anybody else left in the race. THE GAME West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium Saturday 22 September 2018 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 17 wins At Optus Stadium West Coast 0 wins Melbourne 1 win Past five meetings West Coast 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Footy Channel, Live at 2.30pm RADIO - Triple M SEN 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.12.108 defeated West Coast 14.7.91 in Round 22, 2018 at Optus Stadium The Eagles were reeling at the time, having recently lost Nick Naitanui and the Andrew Gaff incident was still very fresh in the mind. They were also without Josh Kennedy and their other tall marking forward, Jack Darling, was out off the game with concussion after only ten minutes. As a consequence of the Demons taking full advantage of the situation, they were four goals in front in the blink of an eye. With the home crowd behind it but not as much noise of affirmation as usual, West Coast gradually fought its way back into the contest and momentarily took the lead by a point in the final term before Melbourne showed its mettle and kicked the game’s last three goals. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Will Schofield HB: Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta 😄 Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey, Chris Masten HF: Mark LeCras, Jack Darling, Mark Hutchings F: Willie Rioli, Josh J. Kennedy, Jamie Cripps Foll: Scott Lycett, Elliot Yeo, Jack Redden I/C: Liam Duggan, Liam Ryan, Nathan Vardy, Daniel Venables Emg: Brayden Ainsworth, Brendon Ah Chee, Oscar Allen, Jackson Nelson In: Will Schofield Out: Brad Sheppard (hamstring) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd 😄 Mitch Hannan, Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw HF: Jake Melksham, Tom McDonald, James Harmes F: Aaron vandenBerg, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney I/C: Christian Petracca, Joel Smith, Charlie Spargo, Dom Tyson Emg: Bayley Fritsch, Jay Kennedy Harris, Jayden Hunt, Tim Smith In: Joel Smith Out: Bayley Fritsch (omitted) Melbourne dropped a bombshell at selection when it omitted first year player Bayley Fritsch who has surprised all and sundry with an excellent debut season in which he filled a number of roles for the team. One has to feel sorry for the kid but he will have lots of opportunities in the future and, of course, can’t be ruled out of a place if the Demons make it to this year’s Grand Final. However, the fact that the selectors have taken the ballsy option of making a decision that is considered controversial and risky is the very thing that sets the Melbourne of 2018 apart from the Melbourne of past days. These days, the Demons stand tall; they are prepared to take the game and any opponent on with their high risk, boisterous, crisis style of play. It’s a feature that was evident earlier in the season and has only solidified in later days. When they last traveled across the Nullarbor, they did so knowing that their place in the finals was not yet booked and that in order to make it, they needed to achieve something they hadn’t done all season - beat a top eight side. In the case of the Eagles that meant winning in unfamiliar territory in a noisy cauldron with 50,000 hostile fans willing them on to their doom. That they came out of the game with a stirring victory achieved after fighting back when the Eagles took the lead for the first time in the last ten minutes of the game and then have backed that effort up against top eight sides another three times speaks volumes. In physical and mental terms the achievements that have led them here is already far in excess of the mathematical distance of approximately 2,722.36 kilometres that the players have traveled to get to Saturday night’s game. In terms of development of the team over the past five years, its more akin to traveling in space at the speed of light and a foreign ground, the noise of affirmation, the return to the opposition of their twin towers are all powerless to stop this team’s forward surge. Melbourne by 27 points. * the Adelaide game was an exception by one inside 50 and a few shots at goal due to a late flurry in the wet but the Demons were the stronger side on the night.
  3. NO CONTEST by George On The Outer This was the first finals series in which the Melbourne Football Club has participated for a dozen years and its first Preliminary Final for 18. The club got here in 2018 because it built its reputation on contest, but in the end the game against West Coast was no contest as the Eagles ran out winners by over ten goals. The match itself was really over by quarter time, as the young Demons were simply swamped by a side that was bigger, stronger and ultimately had more intent on achieving its goal. The game, while disappointing from an outcome perspective, should motivate the Demons in the same way that the Round 22 match against Collingwood did last year. It was what finals football was all about and while they had performed admirably in winning their past 2 matches to progress to the Preliminary, this was when things got serious. Melbourne was exposed in the same way that Richmond was exposed on Friday night because, to get into the Big Dance, you cannot afford to come into any game half-hearted, injured or with stop gap players. Right from the start the Demons were in trouble, with errant handballs and players slipping constantly at critical moments. While West Coast scored four goals to zip in the first quarter, three of those came directly from Melbourne turnovers. Coupled with some undisciplined acts from Jordan Lewis, the momentum that a young team relied upon to forge forward was completely and utterly deflated. It didn’t get any better in the second quarter and by half time the Eagles held a ten goal lead, which was to be the final margin. The coach would have been fuming as he watched Melbourne revert to the old style of play of standing back and expecting others to do the work. I heard it mentioned that the Demons had only three tackles to ¼ time and a paltry 30 odd for the whole game - a poor result from a side that prides itself on contest. Statistics lovers would think Angus Brayshaw played a good game. But stumbles, fumbles and miskicks don’t get recorded. The stat which did get recorded was the eight clangers. The fact that he wasn’t on the ground for a majority of the third term indicates that something was wrong with him, and his grunt and surety was missed, despite the numbers. All around the ground, we were seeing structures which were not what had been seen in past weeks or months. Tom McDonald was playing back, Aaron vndenBerg almost full time in the middle, Joel Smith supposedly selected as a backman spent most of the game forward. When players are being thrown around like this, it can only mean that an attempt is being made to fill gaps. The result is the was little in the way of forward structure, but then the ball didn’t get down there until the second half of the game, and even then there was no genuine marking target. How we would have relished Jesse Hogan in front of goal - perhaps next year? The mids were simply destroyed, not from the clearances, but by the outside run which enabled them to deliver cleanly to their forwards in Darling, Kennedy, Cripps and LeCras. As mentioned last week, when we have Jones and Tyson on the wing, there is no run for us, but importantly, they cannot keep up with the opposition. Then with Alex Neal-Bullen able to just hit 50% disposal efficiency, it showed that even when we had the ball, we simply butchered it. The forwards had a shocker of a day as well. Without T McDonald there to provide a target for good parts of the game, the likes of Melksham, Hannan and Spargo rarely had a viable touch, with all of them barely into double figure disposals. Sam Weideman reverted to being unable to hold a mark this week, and Christian Petracca kept trying to give the ball off to others when inside 30m himself. His set shots were nothing to behold again. Plenty of work needs to be done for him in this area over summer. The backs were overwhelmed by the amount of ball coming in, but the lack of composure was telling, especially compared with their work-rate last week. Sadly, Oscar McDonald and Michael Hibberd failed to effect a single tackle, Sam Frost, Lewis and Christian Salem one each. Neville Jetta at least had three. The mids weren’t much better and their numbers were mostly twos and threes. Overall there were seven players who didn’t lay a single tackle in the game. Simply not good enough in any game, let alone a Preliminary Final. Can the Demons learn from this game? The coach has already indicated that contest is king and that is particularly the case in Finals, especially when you get to the pointy end. The fans can be proud and happy with the performance during the season, and have seen the results following years of promises and nothing to show but there has to be more. And there is much more improvement to come, simply because the majority of this group is still young. They came up against a side on its home turf which played in a Grand Final just three years ago, finished the home and away season in second spot and were handed (and took) the initiative in the first ten minutes of the game. They deserve to be Grand Finalists again this year, but we must learn to perform to the standard required to get to the final stage, that they displayed in this game ... an in particular, to always provide a contest. I just can’t wait for the cricket and tennis to be over ... Melbourne 0.3.3 0.6.6 5.9.39 7.13.55 West Coast Eagles 4.8.32 10.9.69 15.10.100 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Melksham 2 Hannan Harmes Oliver J Smith Weideman West Coast Eagles Kennedy 4 Cripps Darling LeCras 3, Hutchings Redden Rioli Ryan Venables Best Melbourne Harmes Oliver vandenBerg Petracca J Smith Viney West Coast Eagles Kennedy Redden Cripps Hurn McGovern Sheed LeCras Injuries Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Umpires Nicholls, Meredith, Chamberlain Official crowd 59,608 at Optus Stadium
  4. This was the first finals series the Melbourne Football Club has participated in a dozen years and its first Preliminary Final for 18. The club got here in 2018 because it built its reputation on contest, but in the end the game against West Coast was no contest as the Eagles ran out winners by over ten goals. The match itself was really over by quarter time, as the young Demons were simply swamped by a side that was bigger, stronger and ultimately had more intent on achieving its goal. The game, while disappointing from an outcome perspective, should motivate the Demons in the same way that the Round 22 match against Collingwood did last year. It was what finals football was all about and while they had performed admirably in winning their past 2 matches to progress to the Preliminary, this was when things got serious. Melbourne was exposed in the same way that Richmond was exposed on Friday night because, to get into the Big Dance, you cannot afford to come into any game half-hearted, injured or with stop gap players. Right from the start the Demons were in trouble, with errant handballs and players slipping constantly at critical moments. While West Coast scored four goals to zip in the first quarter, three of those came directly from Melbourne turnovers. Coupled with some undisciplined acts from Jordan Lewis, the momentum that a young team relied upon to forge forward was completely and utterly deflated. It didn’t get any better in the second quarter and by half time the Eagles held a ten goal lead, which was to be the final margin. The coach would have been fuming as he watched Melbourne revert to the old style of play of standing back and expecting others to do the work. I heard it mentioned that the Demons had only three tackles to ¼ time and a paltry 30 odd for the whole game - a poor result from a side that prides itself on contest. Statistics lovers would think Angus Brayshaw played a good game. But stumbles, fumbles and miskicks don’t get recorded. The stat which did get recorded was the eight clangers. The fact that he wasn’t on the ground for a majority of the third term indicates that something was wrong with him, and his grunt and surety was missed, despite the numbers. All around the ground, we were seeing structures which were not what had been seen in past weeks or months. Tom McDonald was playing back, Aaron vndenBerg almost full time in the middle, Joel Smith supposedly selected as a backman spent most of the game forward. When players are being thrown around like this, it can only mean that an attempt is being made to fill gaps. The result is the was little in the way of forward structure, but then the ball didn’t get down there until the second half of the game, and even then there was no genuine marking target. How we would have relished Jesse Hogan in front of goal - perhaps next year? The mids were simply destroyed, not from the clearances, but by the outside run which enabled them to deliver cleanly to their forwards in Darling, Kennedy, Cripps and LeCras. As mentioned last week, when we have Jones and Tyson on the wing, there is no run for us, but importantly, they cannot keep up with the opposition. Then with Alex Neal-Bullen able to just hit 50% disposal efficiency, it showed that even when we had the ball, we simply butchered it. The forwards had a shocker of a day as well. Without T McDonald there to provide a target for good parts of the game, the likes of Melksham, Hannan and Spargo rarely had a viable touch, with all of them barely into double figure disposals. Sam Weideman reverted to being unable to hold a mark this week, and Christian Petracca kept trying to give the ball off to others when inside 30m himself. His set shots were nothing to behold again. Plenty of work needs to be done for him in this area over summer. The backs were overwhelmed by the amount of ball coming in, but the lack of composure was telling, especially compared with their work-rate last week. Sadly, Oscar McDonald and Michael Hibberd failed to effect a single tackle, Sam Frost, Lewis and Christian Salem one each. Neville Jetta at least had three. The mids weren’t much better and their numbers were mostly twos and threes. Overall there were seven players who didn’t lay a single tackle in the game. Simply not good enough in any game, let alone a Preliminary Final. Can the Demons learn from this game? The coach has already indicated that contest is king and that is particularly the case in Finals, especially when you get to the pointy end. The fans can be proud and happy with the performance during the season, and have seen the results following years of promises and nothing to show but there has to be more. And there is much more improvement to come, simply because the majority of this group is still young. They came up against a side on its home turf which played in a Grand Final just three years ago, finished the home and away season in second spot and were handed (and took) the initiative in the first ten minutes of the game. They deserve to be Grand Finalists again this year, but we must learn to perform to the standard required to get to the final stage, that they displayed in this game ... an in particular, to always provide a contest. I just can’t wait for the cricket and tennis to be over ... Melbourne 0.3.3 0.6.6 5.9.39 7.13.55 West Coast Eagles 4.8.32 10.9.69 15.10.100 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Melksham 2 Hannan Harmes Oliver J Smith Weideman West Coast Eagles Kennedy 4 Cripps Darling LeCras 3, Hutchings Redden Rioli Ryan Venables Best Melbourne Harmes Oliver vandenBerg Petracca J Smith Viney West Coast Eagles Kennedy Redden Cripps Hurn McGovern Sheed LeCras Injuries Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Umpires Nicholls, Meredith, Chamberlain Official crowd 59,608 at Optus Stadium
  5. For well over a decade, Melbourne fans have been sitting back at various times during the football season (more often than not in the early parts), contemplating the AFL ladder and pondering on the mathematical possibilities available to their team of making the finals or winning the premiership. Rarely have they been equally or better placed than the others except when this particular event was taking place at the very beginning of the year or possibly after a the opening round of the season. This week, at long last, things are different. When Preliminary Finals week comes around, there are four teams left in the contest for the premiership flag. All four of them face a task which only one of them can successfully achieve and that is to win both remaining games. The mathematics are simple - each club has a 25% chance of making it to the Holy Grail. Nothing could be more simple than that, could it? Except that in Melbourne’s case, it has to win its first contest outside of its home territory. That being the case, while Richmond, Collingwood and West Coast players will be waking up in their own beds on the morning of their game (well, hopefully), the Melbourne team will be waking in some hotel room after having flown a distance of approximately 2,722.36 kilometres from their home town to play in front of a crowd made up of mainly rabidly hostile natives. The prospect would be a daunting one but for another interesting mathematical equation. In past years, an out-of-town trip to anywhere else in the country spelled doom and gloom for Melbourne and the loyal fans who traveled with the side. Interstate wins were as rare as hen’s teeth. In real terms, the mathematical possibility was as close to zero as you could possibly get. But not this team and not this year. The Demons have played seven home and away games - almost a third of the season - outside of their home State and won all but one of those contests (and you could mount a strong argument to say that even the Port Adelaide game was a victory of sorts in every aspect except on the Adelaide Oval scoreboard) which gives you a very healthy 85.7% win/loss ratio. In those games, it was Melbourne that dominated most of the statistical data such as clearances, contested football, inside 50 entries and shots at goal*. To emphasize the point, you only have to look back a little over a month to Round 22 when the Eagles and Demons clashed at Optus Stadium in which the visitors prevailed by 17 points to understand that the idea of traveling across the continent holds little fear for the Melbourne of 2018 which has an away record that is the envy of all others in the competition. Not even the Tigers who are everybody’s favourite at very strong mathematical odds to win this year’s flag, can boast a victory against this team at this venue this year. Indeed, they had to wait until Round 21 against the ailing Suns at Metricon Stadium to record their only interstate win of the season. The fight for the flag is an even money proposition and Melbourne’s mathematical odds are as good as those of anybody else left in the race. THE GAME West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium Saturday 22 September 2018 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 17 wins At Optus Stadium West Coast 0 wins Melbourne 1 win Past five meetings West Coast 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Footy Channel, Live at 2.30pm RADIO - Triple M SEN 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.12.108 defeated West Coast 14.7.91 in Round 22, 2018 at Optus Stadium The Eagles were reeling at the time, having recently lost Nick Naitanui and the Andrew Gaff incident was still very fresh in the mind. They were also without Josh Kennedy and their other tall marking forward, Jack Darling, was out off the game with concussion after only ten minutes. As a consequence of the Demons taking full advantage of the situation, they were four goals in front in the blink of an eye. With the home crowd behind it but not as much noise of affirmation as usual, West Coast gradually fought its way back into the contest and momentarily took the lead by a point in the final term before Melbourne showed its mettle and kicked the game’s last three goals. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Will Schofield HB: Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta 😄 Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey, Chris Masten HF: Mark LeCras, Jack Darling, Mark Hutchings F: Willie Rioli, Josh J. Kennedy, Jamie Cripps Foll: Scott Lycett, Elliot Yeo, Jack Redden I/C: Liam Duggan, Liam Ryan, Nathan Vardy, Daniel Venables Emg: Brayden Ainsworth, Brendon Ah Chee, Oscar Allen, Jackson Nelson In: Will Schofield Out: Brad Sheppard (hamstring) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd 😄 Mitch Hannan, Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw HF: Jake Melksham, Tom McDonald, James Harmes F: Aaron vandenBerg, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney I/C: Christian Petracca, Joel Smith, Charlie Spargo, Dom Tyson Emg: Bayley Fritsch, Jay Kennedy Harris, Jayden Hunt, Tim Smith In: Joel Smith Out: Bayley Fritsch (omitted) Melbourne dropped a bombshell at selection when it omitted first year player Bayley Fritsch who has surprised all and sundry with an excellent debut season in which he filled a number of roles for the team. One has to feel sorry for the kid but he will have lots of opportunities in the future and, of course, can’t be ruled out of a place if the Demons make it to this year’s Grand Final. However, the fact that the selectors have taken the ballsy option of making a decision that is considered controversial and risky is the very thing that sets the Melbourne of 2018 apart from the Melbourne of past days. These days, the Demons stand tall; they are prepared to take the game and any opponent on with their high risk, boisterous, crisis style of play. It’s a feature that was evident earlier in the season and has only solidified in later days. When they last traveled across the Nullarbor, they did so knowing that their place in the finals was not yet booked and that in order to make it, they needed to achieve something they hadn’t done all season - beat a top eight side. In the case of the Eagles that meant winning in unfamiliar territory in a noisy cauldron with 50,000 hostile fans willing them on to their doom. That they came out of the game with a stirring victory achieved after fighting back when the Eagles took the lead for the first time in the last ten minutes of the game and then have backed that effort up against top eight sides another three times speaks volumes. In physical and mental terms the achievements that have led them here is already far in excess of the mathematical distance of approximately 2,722.36 kilometres that the players have traveled to get to Saturday night’s game. In terms of development of the team over the past five years, its more akin to traveling in space at the speed of light and a foreign ground, the noise of affirmation, the return to the opposition of their twin towers are all powerless to stop this team’s forward surge. Melbourne by 27 points. * the Adelaide game was an exception by one inside 50 and a few shots at goal due to a late flurry in the wet but the Demons were the stronger side on the night.
  6. The changes made fired up the team. WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard HB: Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta C:Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Jamie Cripps HF: Mark Hutchings, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras F: Willie Rioli, Nathan Vardy, Brendon Ah Chee Foll: Scott Lycett, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey I/C: Liam Duggan, Liam Ryan, Dom Sheed, Daniel Venables Emg: Matthew Allen, Jackson Nelson, Francis Watson, Jake Waterman No change MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, James Harmes 😄 Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw HF: Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Aaron vandenBerg F: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Dom Tyson Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca I/C: Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham Emg: Jeff Garlett, Jay Kennedy Harris, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner In: Mitch Hannan, Michael Hibberd, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Sam Weideman Out: Jeff Garlett (omitted), Jesse Hogan (foot), Jayden Hunt (ankle), Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted)
  7. Demonland

    Match Report - Round 22

    THE MONKEY, THE MONGOOSE AND CHRISTMAS EVE by George on The Outer After 12 years the Demons have finally made it to September action again, by beating West Coast in Perth. At the same time, they removed the Media Monkey of “they haven’t beaten anyone in the eight” saga. Our own Ethan Tremblay has now had his childhood dreams restored and perhaps he will get his Mongoose still in this prediction ... For those who didn’t see the exchange it went something like this: Petraccattack: Tomorrow we beat the Eagles and book our first finals berth since 2006. It feels like Xmas Eve! 😎 Ethan Tremblay: It’s like that Xmas Eve when I was a kid and I was sure I was going to get a Mongoose BMX with pegs. Very exciting. Come Xmas Day I got some lime green BMX from Kmart I had to assemble myself. I put it together and ghosted it down Jells Road (Possibly the steepest hill in Melbourne?) Worst.Xmas. Ever. Petraccattack: Go to bed, sweet Ethan. Tomorrow you get the Mongoose you've always dreamed of. …………. While Demon supporters can now relax, once again their hearts were sorely tested in the course of the game and particularly in the final quarter, when West Coast nudged in front following a Mark LeCras goal at the 18 minute mark. Once again the Demon supporters could see “it” coming again - defeat at the final hurdle. But instead of conceding the match, the team dug even deeper. They went back to system and methodology and calmly sliced through the Eagles players slowly. Jake Melksham put one from the goal square, the result of hard work up the field but that still left the Demons five points up with a couple of minutes to play. Still further hard work and effort came from the likes of Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw, Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver to control the ball and bodies were thrown in at all costs, because the whole season was on the line. Finally that work resulted in a mark and set shot to Dean Kent who went back and slotted the major, something which others had not been able to do in a number of similar situations during the year. What was equally surprising was that Kent had barely been sighted in the previous three quarters, but bobbed up with seven touches in the critical last and sealed the game. Another Melksham goal in the dying seconds and Melbourne were finals bound. The game began with the pressure and intensity that could be expected of two teams that were in the top eight and it was the Demons who burst out of the blocks and found themselves three goals up before the Eagles had scored. Not unexpectedly, they came back and at quarter time Melbourne held a small term point lead. In reality that was the margin, or thereabouts for the next two quarters until WCE hit the front briefly in that final term. The addition of Melksham, Mitch Hannan and Michael Hibberd turned out to be the decisive factor in the win in comparison to last week. Melksham with four, Hannan with three and Hibberd a rock in defence were exactly what was needed to boost the side. Unfortunately, Hibberd had some kind of hamstring problem and his absence along with Max having a break in the final term was exactly when West Coast mounted itsw final charge. Order was restored when both returned to the field, and it can be hoped that Hibberd is OK for the future (with the ability to rest him for two weeks if in doubt, could be a necessity leading to finals). Special mention must also go to Sam Weideman, who came in as the replacement for Jesse Hogan, and put up his hand on multiple occasions with 5 marks including 4 contested, and tackling again at critical junctures in the game. He scored only a single major but he may well have made that leap of confidence at exactly the right time for himself and the team. The mids were magnificent putting their bodies on the line, none more so than the Captain. While his kicking was errant at time, he just willed his body to get the ball and did so 27 times. But even more telling was the performance of James Harmes, who has also become a highlight in the latter part of the season. He shut down Shuey comprehensively, and then got 28 touches of his own including 14 contested possessions. With him doing such a fantastic job, it has meant the Demons mids are now truly one of the best team in the competition. Did I mention a couple of others in Brayshaw and Oliver? Best to do so with Angus getting 28 touches 14 contested, while Oliver managed, by his standards, only 23, but also 14 contested. And we had best mention Max as well who doubled the Eagles rucks in hitouts, and chipped in with a massive 20 touches including 12 contested! Down back the usual team became a solid unit with the return of Hibberd. Jordan Lewis marshalled the troops magnificently with only his pace under question at times. Neville Jetta for all the small number of touches (10), had 4 contested. But each and every one of those 4 was probably a goal saver … and match saver, probably a season saver. He should be in the running for mark of the year as well. Not one of those high flying species, but when he was tied up by his opponent grappling him, then managed to spin around the back and haul in a one hander, again stopping a certain goal. One monkey off the back. Another of the tragic MFC records removed (12 years since finals appearance). Next one is a finals win. Get that monkey from the shoulders and we should all wait at the bottom of the Jells road Hill to see the now older Ethan come sailing down on his Mongoose! Melbourne 4.4.28 7.6.48 12.8.80 16.12.108 West Coast 3.0.18 5.4.34 11.6.72 14.7.91 Goals Melbourne Melksham 4 Hannan T McDonald 3 Brayshaw Jones Kent Harmes vandenBerg Weideman West Coast Rioli 4 Hutchings 2 Ah Chee Cripps LeCras Masten Sheed Vardy Venebles Yeo Best Melbourne Harmes Melksham Hannan Brayshaw Gawn Jones West Coast Rioli Redden Hutchings Sheed Masten Injuries Melbourne Nil West Coast Jack Darling (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Nil Umpires Stevic Hosking Schmitt Official crowd 55,824 at Optus Stadium
  8. After 12 years the Demons have finally made it to September action again, by beating West Coast in Perth. At the same time, they removed the Media Monkey of “they haven’t beaten anyone in the eight” saga. Our own Ethan Tremblay has now had his childhood dreams restored and perhaps he will get his Mongoose still in this prediction ... For those who didn’t see the exchange it went something like this: Petraccattack: Tomorrow we beat the Eagles and book our first finals berth since 2006. It feels like Xmas Eve! 😎 Ethan Tremblay: It’s like that Xmas Eve when I was a kid and I was sure I was going to get a Mongoose BMX with pegs. Very exciting. Come Xmas Day I got some lime green BMX from Kmart I had to assemble myself. I put it together and ghosted it down Jells Road (Possibly the steepest hill in Melbourne?) Worst.Xmas. Ever. Petraccattack: Go to bed, sweet Ethan. Tomorrow you get the Mongoose you've always dreamed of. …………. While Demon supporters can now relax, once again their hearts were sorely tested in the course of the game and particularly in the final quarter, when West Coast nudged in front following a Mark LeCras goal at the 18 minute mark. Once again the Demon supporters could see “it” coming again - defeat at the final hurdle. But instead of conceding the match, the team dug even deeper. They went back to system and methodology and calmly sliced through the Eagles players slowly. Jake Melksham put one from the goal square, the result of hard work up the field but that still left the Demons five points up with a couple of minutes to play. Still further hard work and effort came from the likes of Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw, Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver to control the ball and bodies were thrown in at all costs, because the whole season was on the line. Finally that work resulted in a mark and set shot to Dean Kent who went back and slotted the major, something which others had not been able to do in a number of similar situations during the year. What was equally surprising was that Kent had barely been sighted in the previous three quarters, but bobbed up with seven touches in the critical last and sealed the game. Another Melksham goal in the dying seconds and Melbourne were finals bound. The game began with the pressure and intensity that could be expected of two teams that were in the top eight and it was the Demons who burst out of the blocks and found themselves three goals up before the Eagles had scored. Not unexpectedly, they came back and at quarter time Melbourne held a small term point lead. In reality that was the margin, or thereabouts for the next two quarters until WCE hit the front briefly in that final term. The addition of Melksham, Mitch Hannan and Michael Hibberd turned out to be the decisive factor in the win in comparison to last week. Melksham with four, Hannan with three and Hibberd a rock in defence were exactly what was needed to boost the side. Unfortunately, Hibberd had some kind of hamstring problem and his absence along with Max having a break in the final term was exactly when West Coast mounted itsw final charge. Order was restored when both returned to the field, and it can be hoped that Hibberd is OK for the future (with the ability to rest him for two weeks if in doubt, could be a necessity leading to finals). Special mention must also go to Sam Weideman, who came in as the replacement for Jesse Hogan, and put up his hand on multiple occasions with 5 marks including 4 contested, and tackling again at critical junctures in the game. He scored only a single major but he may well have made that leap of confidence at exactly the right time for himself and the team. The mids were magnificent putting their bodies on the line, none more so than the Captain. While his kicking was errant at time, he just willed his body to get the ball and did so 27 times. But even more telling was the performance of James Harmes, who has also become a highlight in the latter part of the season. He shut down Shuey comprehensively, and then got 28 touches of his own including 14 contested possessions. With him doing such a fantastic job, it has meant the Demons mids are now truly one of the best team in the competition. Did I mention a couple of others in Brayshaw and Oliver? Best to do so with Angus getting 28 touches 14 contested, while Oliver managed, by his standards, only 23, but also 14 contested. And we had best mention Max as well who doubled the Eagles rucks in hitouts, and chipped in with a massive 20 touches including 12 contested! Down back the usual team became a solid unit with the return of Hibberd. Jordan Lewis marshalled the troops magnificently with only his pace under question at times. Neville Jetta for all the small number of touches (10), had 4 contested. But each and every one of those 4 was probably a goal saver … and match saver, probably a season saver. He should be in the running for mark of the year as well. Not one of those high flying species, but when he was tied up by his opponent grappling him, then managed to spin around the back and haul in a one hander, again stopping a certain goal. One monkey off the back. Another of the tragic MFC records removed (12 years since finals appearance). Next one is a finals win. Get that monkey from the shoulders and we should all wait at the bottom of the Jells road Hill to see the now older Ethan come sailing down on his Mongoose! Melbourne 4.4.28 7.6.48 12.8.80 16.12.108 West Coast 3.0.18 5.4.34 11.6.72 14.7.91 Goals Melbourne Melksham 4 Hannan T McDonald 3 Brayshaw Jones Kent Harmes vandenBerg Weideman West Coast Rioli 4 Hutchings 2 Ah Chee Cripps LeCras Masten Sheed Vardy Venebles Yeo Best Melbourne Harmes Melksham Hannan Brayshaw Gawn Jones West Coast Rioli Redden Hutchings Sheed Masten Injuries Melbourne Nil West Coast Jack Darling (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Nil Umpires Stevic Hosking Schmitt Official crowd 55,824 at Optus Stadium
  9. Demonland

    JESSE WHO? by The Oracle

    The news that Jesse Hogan is out of contention to play with the Demons until 2019 after suffering a foot injury during their nine-point loss to the Swans at the MCG last Sunday might have sent feelings of shock and aware through the community of Demon supporters but I’m not overly concerned about the fact that the club’s key forward will be sidelined for the rest of the season. The reason why is that Melbourne seems to produce its best wins without Hogan in the team. There were the big breakthrough wins over Geelong and Hawthorn in 2015 and 2016 respectively and last year, it overcame top eight clubs Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles, both times away from home. That is not to say that the team won’t feel the loss of its leading goal kicker of the season but the impact of his absence does not necessarily portend the doom and gloom that some of the pundits are predicting. Last week against the Sydney Swans, Hogan played with his injury for at least three quarters. As early as in the second quarter, he was visibly limping and in hindsight, the team performance might have benefited from him being declared injured and not to return to the playing field. Given that he was clearly unable to perform at his best, this might well have made the difference in a game where the Demons’ inability to find the goals played a significant role in their failure to bring home the four points. The fundamental fact remains that the club leads the competition in contested possessions and centre clearances which have contributed to it also leading the way in inside 50s, marks inside 50 and scoring. Melbourne has also performed better away from the MCG this year than it has done at home and, whilst it has its injury woes, so does West Coast which barely managed the win last week against a tiring Port Adelaide that finished the game off with barely a whimper. This game is evenly poised and the absence of a key forward on either side is not going to make the difference. THE GAME West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium Saturday 19 August 2018 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 16 wins At Domain Stadium West Coast 15 wins Melbourne 6 wins Past five meetings West Coast 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 3, Live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.9.99 defeated West Coast 14.12.96 in Round 14, 2017 at Domain Stadium In a tense, close game Melbourne looked gone midway through the last quarter but it launched a successful come back and capped it off with an unlikely victory thanks to Tom McDonald’s goal square gymnastics. His five-goals for the night helped break a nine-game losing streak against the Eagles. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard HB: Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta C:Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Jamie Cripps HF: Mark Hutchings, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras F: Willie Rioli, Nathan Vardy, Brendon Ah Chee Foll: Scott Lycett, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey I/C: Liam Duggan, Liam Ryan, Dom Sheed, Daniel Venables Emg: Matthew Allen, Jackson Nelson, Francis Watson, Jake Waterman No change MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, James Harmes 😄 Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw HF: Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Aaron vandenBerg F: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Dom Tyson Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca I/C: Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham Emg: Jeff Garlett, Jay Kennedy Harris, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner In: Mitch Hannan, Michael Hibberd, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Sam Weideman Out: Jeff Garlett (omitted), Jesse Hogan (foot), Jayden Hunt (ankle), Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted) The moment of truth is about to arrive for the Melbourne Football Club. There has been a cloud hanging over the heads of its players and coaching group for almost twelve months since its last gasp elimination from last year’s AFL finals series after it capitulated meekly to Collingwood in the first quarter of the last round of the season. Ironically, it was the West Coast Eagles that “stole” Melbourne’s place in the finals with their 29-point win over Adelaide in Perth delivering them a narrow lead on percentage over the Demons. This week’s game will be played on a different arena in the same city but for fans of the club it looks as yet another installment in their recurring nightmare. The Eagles would appear to have the upper hand given that they have home ground advantage and the statistical abnormality of the “noise of affirmation” from the umpires which demonstrates that they have what amounts to a one player advantage whenever they play in their state. Against that is the fact that they are missing some of their top line stars in Nic Naitanui, Josh Kennedy and Andrew Gaff. Some say that those players make up three of their best five players - I maintain they’re actually three of their best three (their best four if you count the noise of affirmation as a player). Many commentators say that the fact that they are still second on the AFL ladder proves that the Eagles have the resilience and the ability to defy the odds. The argument goes on to describe as a case in point, the way the Eagles produced a monumental win at their last start against the Power when Jeremy McGovern scored after the final siren to put his side ahead for the first time. My take on that game is that it was always there to be won against a hobbled opposition that ran out of steam because of injury and an inability to rest and rotate players in the final term. It could be said that the Demons messed up a similar opportunity against the Swans last week but for their wastefulness, but they also had their problems with injury - Jesse Hogan was limping around as early as the second quarter, Jayden Hunt went off with an ankle and Angus Brayshaw and Neville Jetta missed valuable time getting treatment for ailments during the game, the latter who was dominant in the first quarter with 10 possessions, was off in that patch when the Swans booted about four goals and retook the momentum of the game in the second quarter. The Demons also have three of their top five players out this week as well with the the absence of Jack Viney, Jake Lever and Hogan. So who really does have the upper hand? I think it’s Melbourne which still has the best ruckman, the stronger midfield as proven by its record over the year at clearances, and the recast side particularly with the return of Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham to add to the team’s solidity, puts it ahead of the Eagles who will sorely miss their trio of outs far more than the Demons will miss theirs. Their good record in the absence of Hogan is what swings the ultimate result for me. Melbourne by 7 points.
  10. No longer can Demon fans keep a lid on it after a dramatic dying seconds of the game win against West Coast in W.A. After four consecutive wins, the lid is has well and truly blown off as a result of one of the gutsiest performances seen by this club in decades. No Watts, no Jones, no Hogan a ruckman back after 10 weeks away, on-field injuries to Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Christian Salem and Jack Viney with Jayden Hunt barely able to run, a hostile biased crowd and a six day break. It all mattered nothing as the Demons pulled a victory out of the fires of adversity. Let’s not sugar coat the win. But for some seriously heroic efforts in the final few minutes of the game, Melbourne did not play convincingly. The previous week against the Bulldogs was convincing, but even with the rightful excuse of multiple injured players, the output was well below standard for a lot of players. If Tom McDonald had not screwed through an impossible kick while being tackled, we would be regretting another honourable loss. Still those heroic efforts in the dying minutes were unparalleled. Cam Pedersen with a telling pack mark to bring them back into contention from 16 points down with only seven minutes to go. Clayton Oliver with 30 seconds to extract a ball under impossible numbers so freeing Hibberd who kicked to the top of the square. Jayden Hunt to contest and keep the ball alive, before Tom McDonald put the ball through. Then, as evidence of the change of culture at Melbourne, and the leadership being shown, there were no celebrations until the final siren sounded. McDonald pushed away congratulating players, telling them to get back and defend those final 20 odd seconds of play. A sharp contrast to games in the past that have been lost through ill-discipline. Throughout the game the team was always within striking distance, and the margin never got beyond three goals. Each team was relentless and each forward success was met by an equal response within minutes. There were over ten lead changes indicating the evenness of the match. However, from the Melbourne perspective the team was really kept in the game by the efforts of Jack Viney with 26 contested possessions including a jaw dropping ten in the first quarter. Then after suffering a shoulder injury he returned to the field to lead the team when most needed. There should be no doubt that his promotion to co-captain has been the correct choice, and puts the club in good stead for the future. Clayton Oliver with 28 touches in the middle was also telling. It’s not that he gets the touches, it is that he shouldn’t be entitled to get them, under normal circumstances. And he has the vision to then deliver to free players. Cam Pedersen and Tommy Mac were the other four quarter contributors, both who stood up in that final stanza, but theyalso holding the fort in the absence of a forward target or filling in for ruck duties. Tom’s 5 goal haul was impressive, especially when backmen are not known to transition to forward roles all that spectacularly. The win has cemented the Demons in the top eight, possibly two games clear. This three game stretch was critical to the future of the club's 2017 season, because of the successive six day breaks with travel. To have won two of those games already has probably exceeded realistic expectations but another challenge awaits with Sydney at the MCG off another six day break. It is no secret that their season depends upon continuing to win after such a disastrous start, but they showed again this week that they are vulnerable to the type of pressure game that Melbourne brings. It’s just a case of whether the Demons will have the players and the legs able to do it again, as injuries and fatigue start to take their toll. But this is a team now filled with belief that anything is possible. It is a team that simply doesn’t give in, no matter what the odds. Simon Goodwin and Paul Roos before him, have been cooking something very special. As their recipe is now bubbling over to the delight of the fans, it seems there can be no lid strong enough to hold back the expectations of years of hope. Melbourne 3.1.19 6.6.42 10.8.68 15.9.99 West Coast 2.5.17 5.7.37 11.10.76 14.12.96 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 5 Neal-Bullen 2 Bugg Hannan Harmes, Melksham Pedersen Petracca Stretch Viney West Coast Petrie 4 McGovern 3 Hill Hutchings 2 Gaff Karpany Sheed Best Melbourne Viney T McDonald Tyson Lewis Gawn Pedersen Oliver West Coast Petrie McGovern Mitchell Jetta Sheed Duggan Vardy Changes Melbourne Nil West Coast Nil Injuries Melbourne Garlett (hamstring) Salem (hamstring) Viney (shoulder) West Coast Hurn (chest) Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Will Schofield for striking Clayton Oliver at half time Umpires Mitchell, Rosebury, Stephens Official crowd 36,622 at Domain Stadium
  11. deanox

    GAMEDAY - Round 14

    What do we think? I picked us. I'm a bit nervous but less so than other weeks. No idea why. Is it the narrow subiaco that I think suits our game plan? Is it our 100% interstate record? Regardless its hard to believe we are actually a chance, especially without Watts and Jones. Maybe I'm delusional?
  12. HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEMS by Whispering Jack The two sides facing off against each other this Saturday night in the west have a number of things in common if their most recent games are any guide. In Round 13, they both beat highly fancied opposition teams using relentless pressure applied throughout their respective contests. Their players swarmed around opponents and worked together, corralling them and tackling strongly to force submission. At the end of their games, the West Coast Eagles were back on the winning list with a victory over third placed Geelong while Melbourne had thrashed the reigning premier. This week the teams, which each hold 7:5 win-loss records, meet at Domain Stadium in a vital clash. The winner will be within close range of a coveted top four placing and possibly even inside that group, depending on other results. The importance of the game will therefore add to the pressure cooker atmosphere for both sides. The home team is the starting favourite. Not many can remember the last time that Melbourne won a game on this side of the continent and most of its recent visits have been unmitigated disasters. The record shows that it has lost 16 consecutive games in Perth with the last victory recorded there in 2004. The Demons are coming off the second of three successive six-day breaks and have lost one of their skippers, the seemingly invincible Nathan Jones, whose presence in the team contributes greatly to the enormous grunt that has caused observers to describe them as one of the toughest sides in the competition. The odds seem to be stacked against the visitors. On the other hand, last week's breakthrough game against the Bulldogs was something else. It indicated that this Melbourne team is different to everything we've come to expect from the red and blue over the past decade. We've expected losses at Etihad, we've expected defeats after strong performances like the one it produced on the Queens Birthday and we've expected the team to come home from Perth empty-handed for so long that we can't comprehend any other result. However, the Eagles' dominance at Domain Stadium can no longer be taken as a given. Certainly, they beat the Cats there at their last encounter but their form before that was shaky. They lost there to a badly depleted GWS, just scraped home against the out-of-form Western Bulldogs and in between, crashed away from home to Essendon and Gold Coast. The Demons' last two visits to Perth have been interesting. They did everything but win their Round 18 encounter in slippery conditions against an accurate West Coast that had the rub of the green with some very fortunate umpiring decisions in the close final quarter. They traveled there again in the pre-season and were highly competitive in their JLT game but sagged in the heat at the end of the game. But the team is building and recently has made a practice out of breaking hoodoos. This week, they will be up for yet another challenge made more difficult by the added obstacle of the six day break and the necessity of making changes to the way the team lines up on a ground way different in dimension to that of Etihad and with a more hostile crowd egging on their home town heroes. The pressure will be high. THE GAME West Coast v Melbourne at Domain Stadium, Saturday 24 June, 2017 at 7.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 15 wins At Domain Stadium West Coast 15 wins Melbourne 5 wins Past five meetings West Coast 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, Channel 7 live at 7.30pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING West Coast to win - $1.42 Melbourne to win - $2.90 THE LAST TIME THEY MET West Coast 10.6.66 defeated Melbourne 8.12.60 Round 18, 2016 at Domain Stadium West Coast survived a major scare from an inaccurate Melbourne in the game played in slippery conditions at Domain Stadium. The Demons led by six points at three-quarter time but the Eagles booted two unanswered goals in the final term to run out winners by a single goal. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Eric Mackenzie, Will Schofield HB: Thomas Cole, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard C: Andrew Gaff, Matt Priddis, Elliot Yeo HF: Lewis Jetta, Jack Darling, Dom Sheed F: Liam Duggan, Jeremy McGovern, Drew Petrie FOLL: Nathan Vardy, Sam Mitchell, Luke Shuey I/C: Jamie Cripps, Josh Hill, Mark Hutchings, Malcolm Karpany EMG: Chris Masten, Jack Redden, Sharrod Wellingham IN: Josh Hill, Malcolm Karpany OUT: Mark LeCras (hip), Jackson Nelson (hamstring) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Michael Hibberd HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Jake Melksham, Clayton Oliver, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Cam Pedersen, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, Mitch Hannan FOLL: Max Gawn, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Tomas Bugg, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman IN: Max Gawn, Billy Stretch OUT: Nathan Jones (quadriceps), Jack Watts (hamstring) You have to go back all the way to 2006 when Melbourne had a better win-loss ratio at the equivalent stage of the season and even then it was only marginally better at 8:4. The Demons were the best performed Victorian team in the competition at the end of that year but it wasn't enough to see them in a preliminary final. They have reached this stage thanks to a rare vein of consistent form - at least for an AFL team 2017 style. With three consecutive wins another on Saturday night in Perth against the West Coast Eagles would just about earn them the title of "the real deal". The stumbling block, aside from the necessity of interstate travel six days after their last game against the Bulldogs, is the loss of two vital in-form players in skipper Nathan Jones and Jack Watts who has produced some stellar performances up forward with the occasional pinch hit in the ruck in the absence of All Australian ruckman Max Gawn who returns this week after almost three month's absence. But the Demons have no cause for complaint with respect to injuries because West Coast has been hit equally hard by injury and some poor form from key players has added to the Eagles' plight. Nick Naitanui has yet to recover from his ACL injury while his back up, Scott Lycet, dislocated a shoulder earlier this year in his comeback game from a knee injury and is struggling in the WAFL. Forwards Josh Kennedy and Mark Le Cras, who always manage to get among the goals against Melbourne, are also both out injured. Compounding the injury woes is the fact that the form of Chris Masten, Jack Redden and Sharrod Wellingham has been poor so that they are struggling to get back in the team. Notwithstanding, the Eagles were good enough to dispose of the Cats on their home turf so they can't be taken lightly. Melbourne's fast flowing style and it's pressure game was impressive last week but it must now repeat the dose on the longer ground in Perth. If it can navigate its way around that arena and come up with another major scalp, it will emerge with the world at its feet. I think this Demon team can do that and revive those heady days of 2006. Melbourne by 10 points.
  13. The two sides facing off against each other this Saturday night in the west have a number of things in common if their most recent games are any guide. In Round 13, they both beat highly fancied opposition teams using relentless pressure applied throughout their respective contests. Their players swarmed around opponents and worked together, corralling them and tackling strongly to force submission. At the end of their games, the West Coast Eagles were back on the winning list with a victory over third placed Geelong while Melbourne had thrashed the reigning premier. This week the teams, which each hold 7:5 win-loss records, meet at Domain Stadium in a vital clash. The winner will be within close range of a coveted top four placing and possibly even inside that group, depending on other results. The importance of the game will therefore add to the pressure cooker atmosphere for both sides. The home team is the starting favourite. Not many can remember the last time that Melbourne won a game on this side of the continent and most of its recent visits have been unmitigated disasters. The record shows that it has lost 16 consecutive games in Perth with the last victory recorded there in 2004. The Demons are coming off the second of three successive six-day breaks and have lost one of their skippers, the seemingly invincible Nathan Jones, whose presence in the team contributes greatly to the enormous grunt that has caused observers to describe them as one of the toughest sides in the competition. The odds seem to be stacked against the visitors. On the other hand, last week's breakthrough game against the Bulldogs was something else. It indicated that this Melbourne team is different to everything we've come to expect from the red and blue over the past decade. We've expected losses at Etihad, we've expected defeats after strong performances like the one it produced on the Queens Birthday and we've expected the team to come home from Perth empty-handed for so long that we can't comprehend any other result. However, the Eagles' dominance at Domain Stadium can no longer be taken as a given. Certainly, they beat the Cats there at their last encounter but their form before that was shaky. They lost there to a badly depleted GWS, just scraped home against the out-of-form Western Bulldogs and in between, crashed away from home to Essendon and Gold Coast. The Demons' last two visits to Perth have been interesting. They did everything but win their Round 18 encounter in slippery conditions against an accurate West Coast that had the rub of the green with some very fortunate umpiring decisions in the close final quarter. They traveled there again in the pre-season and were highly competitive in their JLT game but sagged in the heat at the end of the game. But the team is building and recently has made a practice out of breaking hoodoos. This week, they will be up for yet another challenge made more difficult by the added obstacle of the six day break and the necessity of making changes to the way the team lines up on a ground way different in dimension to that of Etihad and with a more hostile crowd egging on their home town heroes. The pressure will be high. THE GAME West Coast v Melbourne at Domain Stadium, Saturday 24 June, 2017 at 7.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 15 wins At Domain Stadium West Coast 15 wins Melbourne 5 wins Past five meetings West Coast 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel, Channel 7 live at 7.30pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING West Coast to win - $1.42 Melbourne to win - $2.90 THE LAST TIME THEY MET West Coast 10.6.66 defeated Melbourne 8.12.60 Round 18, 2016 at Domain Stadium West Coast survived a major scare from an inaccurate Melbourne in the game played in slippery conditions at Domain Stadium. The Demons led by six points at three-quarter time but the Eagles booted two unanswered goals in the final term to run out winners by a single goal. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES B: Shannon Hurn, Eric Mackenzie, Will Schofield HB: Thomas Cole, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard C: Andrew Gaff, Matt Priddis, Elliot Yeo HF: Lewis Jetta, Jack Darling, Dom Sheed F: Liam Duggan, Jeremy McGovern, Drew Petrie FOLL: Nathan Vardy, Sam Mitchell, Luke Shuey I/C: Jamie Cripps, Josh Hill, Mark Hutchings, Malcolm Karpany EMG: Chris Masten, Jack Redden, Sharrod Wellingham IN: Josh Hill, Malcolm Karpany OUT: Mark LeCras (hip), Jackson Nelson (hamstring) MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Michael Hibberd HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Jake Melksham, Clayton Oliver, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Cam Pedersen, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, Mitch Hannan FOLL: Max Gawn, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Tomas Bugg, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman IN: Max Gawn, Billy Stretch OUT: Nathan Jones (quadriceps), Jack Watts (hamstring) You have to go back all the way to 2006 when Melbourne had a better win-loss ratio at the equivalent stage of the season and even then it was only marginally better at 8:4. The Demons were the best performed Victorian team in the competition at the end of that year but it wasn't enough to see them in a preliminary final. They have reached this stage thanks to a rare vein of consistent form - at least for an AFL team 2017 style. With three consecutive wins another on Saturday night in Perth against the West Coast Eagles would just about earn them the title of "the real deal". The stumbling block, aside from the necessity of interstate travel six days after their last game against the Bulldogs, is the loss of two vital in-form players in skipper Nathan Jones and Jack Watts who has produced some stellar performances up forward with the occasional pinch hit in the ruck in the absence of All Australian ruckman Max Gawn who returns this week after almost three month's absence. But the Demons have no cause for complaint with respect to injuries because West Coast has been hit equally hard by injury and some poor form from key players has added to the Eagles' plight. Nick Naitanui has yet to recover from his ACL injury while his back up, Scott Lycet, dislocated a shoulder earlier this year in his comeback game from a knee injury and is struggling in the WAFL. Forwards Josh Kennedy and Mark Le Cras, who always manage to get among the goals against Melbourne, are also both out injured. Compounding the injury woes is the fact that the form of Chris Masten, Jack Redden and Sharrod Wellingham has been poor so that they are struggling to get back in the team. Notwithstanding, the Eagles were good enough to dispose of the Cats on their home turf so they can't be taken lightly. Melbourne's fast flowing style and it's pressure game was impressive last week but it must now repeat the dose on the longer ground in Perth. If it can navigate its way around that arena and come up with another major scalp, it will emerge with the world at its feet. I think this Demon team can do that and revive those heady days of 2006. Melbourne by 10 points.
  14. Please cast your votes after the final siren ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  15. Demonland

    MATCH REPORT - Round 18

    HOW THE WEST WAS ALMOST WON by George on the Outer In the old Cowboy and Indian movies of the Wild West, the good guys usually won (well ... except for George Armstrong Custer). When the Demons went west to meet the Eagles at their home ground, they had reason to think they were on the side of the good. True. the baddies had beaten them every single time they met since just after the turn of the century in 2002 but it was time for good to prevail. However, like the 7th Cavalry, Melbourne found a way to lose again although, fortunately, unlike the outcome at Little Bighorn, it wasn’t a massacre. A solitary goal between the two sides was the difference at the final bell, and Melbourne surely had its chances. The team could not score a single major in the final term, but also managed a paltry one goal five behinds from set shots in the third. Without scoreboard pressure in a game where both sides struggle to kick 10 goals in a game, that alone was a reason for defeat. Some blame must also be sheeted home to the appalling umpiring that has been so prevalent at West Coast games. The home-crowd bias was demonstrated to the AFL at the end of last season, and yet they still roster Western Australian umpires to these games. Too often, the umpires respond to crowd decisions, when they obviously cannot see what has happened in tight situations. The decision to award a deliberate out of bounds against Dom Tyson in the final quarter was disgraceful. It wasn't Tyson who hit the ball out but rather, it was his opponent and yet the umpire fell for the crowd noise and despite him being behind both players and not able to see who hit it, he made the call. Two years ago, Demon fans were pleading for a side that was competitive. There is absolutely no doubt that we now have that. That we could take the match up to a top 4 side at their home ground interstate is a credit to the work of the coaching and administration staff at the Club. We just don’t have the skills, leadership or coolness of head to get us across the line when needed. It has happened a couple of times this season, and that is mighty frustrating for the fans. However, when we get those older heads, those cool heads and the skills ingrained the results will change. Hawthorn has managed 5 or 6 wins by less than a goal this season and without them, the Hawks would be sharing a position on the ladder similar to ours. In the game we had 64 critical errors. West Coast 47. The difference of 17 became the difference between winning and losing. Sadly, some of our leaders didn’t crown themselves with glory when they made simply stupid decisions at the wrong time. Maybe their actions are unable to be changed (old dogs, new tricks?) and we must look to the youth to show the decision making that is needed. Max Gawn was jumped into, blocked, scragged, held on to for the majority of the game. Yet he still fought through all these trials to give us a fighting chance when needed. Christian Petracca played his best game ever, and took on the opponents with vigour and also was willing to accept the responsibility when needed inside the forward fifty. He goaled when others choose to give that responsibility to others. He kept possession rather than dish off to others in no better position and in a panic. Jayden Hunt gives us the drive out of the backline, so desperately needed in years past. Jack Viney never, ever gives up the fight. These are the players who WILL get us over the line in coming seasons. Other results over the weekend have shown little difference between those teams who will play finals and those whose season is already over. Carlton also lost by a solitary goal against Sydney and St.Kilda won against a wounded Bulldog side. These results, including ours gives hope for next year. The players surely have learnt the difference between winning close games and not. We rue the games thrown away during the season, that are the difference between finals and not. Sitting Bull might have won the Battle at Little Big Horn, but the win wasn’t to be a victory. West Coast came away with 4 Premiership points from the game, but it did little for them and their standing leading to the finals. For the Melbourne side, a massacre in the West was a real possibility given past experience. It didn’t happen. Next time the West WILL be won, and just like the movies, next time it WILL be the good-guys. Melbourne 2.2.14 5.4.34 8.10.58 8.12.60 West Coast Eagles 2.1.13 5.2.32 8.4.52 10.6.66 Goals Melbourne Garlett 3 Dawes 2 M Jones Kent Petracca West Coast Eagles Kennedy 3 Cripps Darling Duggan Gaff Hill Lycett Priddis Best Melbourne N Jones Tyson Viney Garlett Kent Gawn West Coast Eagles Priddis Shuey Gaff Kennedy Hurn Lycett Changes Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Injuries Melbourne Neville Jetta (knee) West Coast Eagles Nil Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Umpires Foot, Farmer, Hosking Official crowd 33,908 at the Domain Stadium
  16. In the old Cowboy and Indian movies of the Wild West, the good guys usually won (well ... except for George Armstrong Custer). When the Demons went west to meet the Eagles at their home ground, they had reason to think they were on the side of the good. True. the baddies had beaten them every single time they met since just after the turn of the century in 2002 but it was time for good to prevail. However, like the 7th Cavalry, Melbourne found a way to lose again although, fortunately, unlike the outcome at Little Bighorn, it wasn’t a massacre. A solitary goal between the two sides was the difference at the final bell, and Melbourne surely had its chances. The team could not score a single major in the final term, but also managed a paltry one goal five behinds from set shots in the third. Without scoreboard pressure in a game where both sides struggle to kick 10 goals in a game, that alone was a reason for defeat. Some blame must also be sheeted home to the appalling umpiring that has been so prevalent at West Coast games. The home-crowd bias was demonstrated to the AFL at the end of last season, and yet they still roster Western Australian umpires to these games. Too often, the umpires respond to crowd decisions, when they obviously cannot see what has happened in tight situations. The decision to award a deliberate out of bounds against Dom Tyson in the final quarter was disgraceful. It wasn't Tyson who hit the ball out but rather, it was his opponent and yet the umpire fell for the crowd noise and despite him being behind both players and not able to see who hit it, he made the call. Two years ago, Demon fans were pleading for a side that was competitive. There is absolutely no doubt that we now have that. That we could take the match up to a top 4 side at their home ground interstate is a credit to the work of the coaching and administration staff at the Club. We just don’t have the skills, leadership or coolness of head to get us across the line when needed. It has happened a couple of times this season, and that is mighty frustrating for the fans. However, when we get those older heads, those cool heads and the skills ingrained the results will change. Hawthorn has managed 5 or 6 wins by less than a goal this season and without them, the Hawks would be sharing a position on the ladder similar to ours. In the game we had 64 critical errors. West Coast 47. The difference of 17 became the difference between winning and losing. Sadly, some of our leaders didn’t crown themselves with glory when they made simply stupid decisions at the wrong time. Maybe their actions are unable to be changed (old dogs, new tricks?) and we must look to the youth to show the decision making that is needed. Max Gawn was jumped into, blocked, scragged, held on to for the majority of the game. Yet he still fought through all these trials to give us a fighting chance when needed. Christian Petracca played his best game ever, and took on the opponents with vigour and also was willing to accept the responsibility when needed inside the forward fifty. He goaled when others choose to give that responsibility to others. He kept possession rather than dish off to others in no better position and in a panic. Jayden Hunt gives us the drive out of the backline, so desperately needed in years past. Jack Viney never, ever gives up the fight. These are the players who WILL get us over the line in coming seasons. Other results over the weekend have shown little difference between those teams who will play finals and those whose season is already over. Carlton also lost by a solitary goal against Sydney and St.Kilda won against a wounded Bulldog side. These results, including ours gives hope for next year. The players surely have learnt the difference between winning close games and not. We rue the games thrown away during the season, that are the difference between finals and not. Sitting Bull might have won the Battle at Little Big Horn, but the win wasn’t to be a victory. West Coast came away with 4 Premiership points from the game, but it did little for them and their standing leading to the finals. For the Melbourne side, a massacre in the West was a real possibility given past experience. It didn’t happen. Next time the West WILL be won, and just like the movies, next time it WILL be the good-guys. Melbourne 2.2.14 5.4.34 8.10.58 8.12.60 West Coast Eagles 2.1.13 5.2.32 8.4.52 10.6.66 Goals Melbourne Garlett 3 Dawes 2 M Jones Kent Petracca West Coast Eagles Kennedy 3 Cripps Darling Duggan Gaff Hill Lycett Priddis Best Melbourne N Jones Tyson Viney Garlett Kent Gawn West Coast Eagles Priddis Shuey Gaff Kennedy Hurn Lycett Changes Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Injuries Melbourne Neville Jetta (knee) West Coast Eagles Nil Reports Melbourne Nil West Coast Eagles Nil Umpires Foot, Farmer, Hosking Official crowd 33,908 at the Domain Stadium
  17. Whispering_Jack

    GAMEDAY - Round 18

    So we've reached that part of the season when nothing much hangs on the result for us and we're playing interstate against a team that we haven't beaten at their ground since just after the turn of the century. We could still show some character and grit and go for the big upset ... couldn't we?
  18. Demonland

    WHO ARE WE?

    WHO ARE WE? by Whispering Jack A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Melbourne's NAB Cup win over Collingwood when we were all so excited about the direction the club was taking under new coach Mark Neeld. It might have been a Mickey Mouse NAB Cup game in which both teams were missing regular key players, but there were definite signs that the hard work of summer was about to pay some dividends. It's hard to believe that only one month has elapsed since that time of unbridled optimism for the immediate future of the Melbourne Football Club. Since then the club has lurched from one disaster after another starting with the Liam Jurrah crisis and reaching a crescendo with a disastrous situation created by Jason Mifsud, an AFL official talking out of school to media person Grant Thomas who promptly published untrue allegations against Demon coach Mark Neeld. What should be a major crisis for the AFL and it's leadership has been turned into an opportunity for diverse groups and individuals to dump on one of its clubs. In the interim, Melbourne has barely raised a whimper on the field copping a couple of NAB Cup wallopings and a humiliating 41 point drubbing at home against the Brisbane Lions who finished in 15th place last year. Moreover, the club has been subjected to a blaze of criticism from good judges of football and from the bad. David King claims that "Melbourne has been masquerading as a football club for years". Robert Shaw says "Jack Watts was hijacked by the Melbourne Football Club at 17 years of age ... straight into an institution." Others accuse the playing group of being mentally and physically fragile, lacking in talent and demonstrating a shortage of the pride, passion and interest necessary to achieve success. Some of the criticism is justified but some of it is muddled and without any depth of thought or insight. The usual response when a team gets a lashing from the press is to return fire and prove the pundits wrong. Melbourne's problem is that it faces a the difficult task of rejuvenation in what has become it's "house of hell" - Paterson's Stadium - a cursed place where not a single current Melbourne player has seen victory. It last won there in Round 19, 2002. A few years before that, the Demons did manage to produce a shock victory over the Eagles in Perth with an undermanned and depleted side. That was in round 14, 1998 when Melbourne 14.12.96 defeated West Coast 11.13.79 in Robbo's break out game. It would be an understatement to say that the club needs a repeat of the heroics the team produced on that day. Demon coach Mark Neeld has ridden the waves of last week's disasters with class. He was impressive in handling the after match presser last Saturday and has been strong on the Mifsud issue correctly shunning the advice of AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou to take legal action over Thomas' comments. Neeld is resolute. He isn't interested in pursuing personal vendettas or engaging in witch hunts over who leaked the story to the AFL official who passed on the malicious gossip to someone who wasn't too particular about fact checking, a practice employed by most reputable journalists before going to print. He knows he has to keep focussed on the main purpose of his job and that is to develop his list, to win games and ultimately, premierships. The greatest coach in the club's history was brought down in the midst of preoccupation with a defamation action, a situation from which it has never fully recovered. The team Neeld takes across the Nullarbor must not be distracted by the off field events. The players need to show that they're prepared to have a dip as they did a month ago against one of the competition's flag favourites. Their performance this week against the Eagles could well define the direction they will take in the coming months and years. It will prove who we are as a club. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American author and poet) THE GAME West Coast Eagles v Melbourne at Paterson's Stadium - Saturday 7 April 2012 at 4:40pm (AEST). HEAD TO HEAD Overall West Coast 27 wins Melbourne 15 wins At Patersons Stadium West Coast 13 wins Melbourne 5 wins Since 2000 West Coast 11 wins Melbourne 7 wins The Coaches Worsfold 0 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA Fox Footy Channel live at 4.30 pm (Victoria) RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING West Coast to win $1.06 Melbourne to win $9.00 LAST TIME THEY MET West Coast 16.14.110 defeated Melbourne 9.8.62 at Etihad Stadium Round 21, 2011 The Demons were two weeks into the post Dean Bailey era and after a competitive first twenty minutes or so, managed to sink into the standard insipid fare they produced at the time. Jeremy Howe was a stand out and Sam Blease showed some flashes but for the most part it was dross. THE TEAMS WEST COAST EAGLES Backs Beau Waters Darren Glass Will Schofield Half backs Adam Selwood Eric Mackenzie Shannon Hurn Centreline Andrew Gaff Matthew Priddis Matthew Rosa Half forwards Ashton Hams Quinten Lynch Jack Darling Forwards Josh Hill Josh Kennedy Chris Masten Followers Dean Cox Luke Shuey Daniel Kerr Interchange Andrew Embley Nic Naitanui Scott Selwood Ashley Smith Emergencies Sam Butler Patrick McGinnity Gerrick Weedon No change. MELBOURNE Backs Clint Bartram James Frawley Joel Macdonald Half backs Colin Garland Jared Rivers Jamie Bennell Centreline Nathan Jones Jack Grimes Jack Watts Half forwards Jeremy Howe James Sellar Ricky Petterd Forwards Brad Green Mitchell Clark Lynden Dunn Followers Mark Jamar James Magner Jack Trengove Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Stefan Martin Jordie McKenzie Emergencies Aaron Davey Tom McDonald Josh Tynan In Jamie Bennell Lynden Dunn Ricky Petterd James Sellar Out Sam Blease Aaron Davey Brent Moloney (injured) Josh Tynan New James Sellar (Adelaide) Umpires L Farmer M Leppard G Fila RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 & 35 "Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good They’ll stone ya just a-like they said they would They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to go home Then they’ll stone ya when you’re there all alone But I would not feel so all alone Everybody must get stoned" - by Bob Dylan I couldn't help thinking about this Dylan song every time I picked up a newspaper or switched on the radio or television set this week. And just so you don't get any wrong impressions, the writer has said of his work that the reference to stoning was in the biblical sense. It seems no matter what happens, whether the truth is told about us or not, whether we do the honourable thing or not, we're going to get "stoned" and the critics are out there like vultures circling their prey particularly because we're vulnerable at the moment. And perhaps it's because of that vulnerability that the West Coast Eagles are treating this game with a touch of caution. They happen to be almost the flavour of the month after coming into last season as the previous year's wooden spooner, rising to preliminary finalists and opening last week with a big away from home win against the Bulldogs (who should prepare themselves for a stoning if they fail in Adelaide on Saturday). The Eagles don't have an A class midfield like the other premiership contenders but it's handy and has some emerging young contenders like Shuey, Gaff and Masten to go with experienced hands in Priddis, Kerr, Scott Selwood and Rosa. The Eagles also have what many would call the competition's predominant ruck division in Cox and Naitanui. The comparison with Melbourne couldn't be starker if you go on last week's form where it got nothing from its ruck division or from its onballers at the stoppages. When you then consider that the Demons couldn't better the Eagles at home two years ago when they were wooden spooners, it suggests we're in for another one-sided contest again this weekend. While the indications are that the team hasn't bottomed out after the disruptions of the past month and the process of adjusting to a new style of play, there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon. The two young co-captains are in the starting midfield. Jack Grimes had about four minutes there in last year's Adelaide game before he was injured. There are many who believe he has the capacity to add some flair to the Demon on ball division. Likewise, Trengove who had an interrupted pre season and showed some early good signs last week is ready to take another step forward in the midfield. Nathan Jones is progressing well in his second year in a leadership role and James Magner was a revelation in his debut last week. With players like these stepping up to the plate, there is no reason why club could not improve quickly around the stoppages and reverse the disasters of the last half of last week's game. It's a tough ask especially with Melbourne winning only 4 of its past 28 games on the road (and half of them were on neutral territory). On the other hand, the Demons have a strong defence when it gets its act together and it’s been augmented this week by the size of James Sellar. Similarly, the attack now has a tall key in Mitch Clark who took a while to get going last week. This week Ricky Petterd and Lynden Dunn come in to assist him and we’re all waiting for Jack Watts and Jeremy Howe to take the extra step forward. I keep coming back to that 1998 game when the Demons won against all odds in the west. I think of how competent and composed the current squad looked against Collingwood a month ago and how the team dominated possession in the latter half of last week’s first term but failed to score goals to match their ascendency. These are all long shots but if they click, the score will be a lot closer than many of the experts who are stoning us right now would have us all think. West Coast by 16 points.
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