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Found 12 results

  1. 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
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Please cast your votes after the final siren ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  8. 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?
  9. 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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