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Demonland

THEY STOPPED RUNNING by JVM

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Demonland    5,041

How is it possible for a team to dominate the first quarter and a half of football in every facet of the game and to lead by four goals and yet, to lose by ten?

That scenario is becoming something of a habit with Melbourne this year after the team meekly surrendered a big lead in Canberra against the GWS Giants and then repeated the dose at the weekend against an out-of-form Port Adelaide in Alice Springs.

The Power were teetering on the brink after abysmal efforts against Brisbane and Richmond and when Jeff Garlett slotted home two majors to give the hosts the comfort of a four goal lead, they were staring down at the precipice.

It would be easy to say that what happened next was a surrender by the Demons because that is what appeared to be the case. There was a period of ten minutes when they maintained their lead and neither side scored but then, inexplicably, they just stopped.

They stopped running.

Where the Demons had previously been running, chasing, tackling and placing enormous pressure on their opponents, they gave them latitude and space. Port Adelaide suddenly were in control and they piled on goal after goal a little over ten minutes to take a 14 point lead into the rooms at half time.

In that short space of time, Port scored 6.1.37 to zip, winning the contested possessions 22 to six and uncontested possessions 18 to one while the Demons were reduced to being spectators with the coaching bench seemingly powerless to stop the rot as they had been in Canberra and even in a practice match in Ballarat against the Bulldogs earlier this year.

The Demons put up some resistance early in the third and even fought back with a goal to narrow the margin to eight points but when the Power applied the blowtorch again, the Dees were shot. The end result was an embarrassing ten goal defeat in front of small crowd in the middle of the continent.

So was it surrender, the heat, lack of mature bodies after a six day break, poor coaching, but team selection or poor preparation?

There's no simple answer but it reflects poorly on the team when it's best players in such a rout are in the first senior year of their careers. Kudos to Angus Brayshaw and Jesse Hogan who stood up all day but where were the rest of you?

Melbourne 3.2.20 6.2.38 7.3.45 8.6.54

Port Adelaide 1.2.8 8.4.52 12.6.78 18.7.115

Goals

Melbourne Garlett Hogan 2 Fitzpatrick M Jones Lumumba Spencer

Port Adelaide Schulz 4 Monfries 3 Westhoff Wingard 2 Amon Ebert R Gray Hartlett Krakouer Stewart White

Best

Melbourne Brayshaw Hogan

Port Adelaide Ebert Boak R Gray Wines Schulz Wingard Hartlett

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Port Adelaide Nil

Injuries

Melbourne Nil

Port Adelaide Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Port Adelaide Nil

Substitutions

Melbourne Jack Viney replaced Neville Jetta in the third quarter

Port Adelaide Nathan Krakouer replaced Karl Amon in the fourth quarter

Umpires Bannister Ryan Pannell

Official crowd 4,866 at TIO Traeger Park Oval, Alice Springs

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