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WE'LL GET THEM NEXT TIME by Whispering Jack

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WE'LL GET THEM NEXT TIME by Whispering Jack

I was one of those who held high hopes for a Melbourne win over Collingwood because I believed the Demons are emerging and, as such is due to take further steps forward against a team I was not convinced about: one that had beaten only teams in the bottom half of the competition. A win would have broken the club's eight year losing streak against the Magpies and whilst, the Pies prevailed in the end and every defeat hurts, I believe that the team has their measure and will get them next time which happens to be in the return game in Round 18, so barring a major run with injuries, pencil in the date Saturday 1 August, 2015.

My hopes for a win were shattered for a number of reasons but the main ones were the performance of inaugural Neale Daniher Trophy winner (and a worthy one at that) of Travis Cloke who has hitherto struggled for accuracy in front of goal this season but against Melbourne, goaled with every one of his seven shots at the big sticks. He monstered Tom McDonald in the early play and continued to be a major danger up forward for Collingwood. A few weeks ago, I heard his coach Nathan Buckley whining about how little protection Cloke gets from the umpires but on Queens Birthday, they treated him like a king. Players were being pulled off the ball in ruck and marking contests all around the ground but it didnt seem to worry the umpires until the ball got into the vicinity of Cloke who was leaning back on Lynden Dunn and suddenly, it was time for the whistle to blow.

The other area where Melbourne lapsed badly was in the turnover count. According to the statisticians, Collingwood scored 84 points from Melbourne turnovers while the Dees scored 23 from Pies turnovers a differential of 61 points in a four goal-game. Thats disappointing in anyones language but turnovers happen, its part of the time and young teams have to learn to deal with the pressure of a match. In many aspects, it was a case of Melbourne taking the game on and playing high risk football rather than the dreary pedestrian stuff we saw last year when the team kicked only three goals for the game and if youre doing that, then mistakes will happen and, as time goes on, a developing team will reduce the turnovers as it matures. But you really cant take the brain fades that result in opposition goals. Lynden Dunns short kick in and Jack Fitzpatricks tunnel ball throw were two examples that are true coach killers and are simply unacceptable (as were a couple of umpiring brain fades but you cant do much about that other than your coach risking a fine and publicly stating something to the effect that he wishes Jesse Hogan got the same protection from the umpires as does Cloke).

There was also a lot made of the fact that Collingwoods Adam Oxley was allowed to roam the back half unattended and Melbourne seemed to constantly kick in his direction where the numbers dictated that he was going to win the ball more often than not. I simply didnt get that Paul Roos was unable to change things with the simple move necessary to cover that situation but I for one, got sick of seeing number 43 mark it on his own time and again. It was almost as if our one avenue to goal was through Oxley and if you are going to have a go at a player for tunnel balling the pill through goals and giving away six points, then the coach who allows an unattended opposition player to save several times more through his inaction has a lot to answer for (as do I for ending a sentence with a preposition).

The pity of the defeat was that it overshadowed and possibly hid the fact that the Melbourne midfield showed definite signs of emerging out of the third world that it has inhabited for those eight or so years of darkness and it started with the ruckwork of Max Gawn who, unlike others tried in this department over those years, is actually good at the craft of giving his on ballers first use and as a result Bernie Vince, Nathan Jones and Jack Viney won the day over a very accomplished AFL midfield led by some handy types in Pendlebury, Swan and Sidebottom for starters. Melbourne lost a bit after half time with the injury and subbing off of Aaron vandenBerg and the discomfort of Viney with a corked calf (and lets hope thats all was) and probably tired in this division in the final quarter. But the main thing was that because they were getting drive from the midfield and were prepared to run and move the ball with a little more speed than normal, they were able to come back a few times when we thought they were gone. And they will only get better next week with the inclusion of Dom Tyson and possibly the debut of young ball magnet Alex Neal-Bullen who has been tearing it up at Casey.

Speaking of tearing, the team missed Christian Salem who did the other hamstring at training on Saturday and continues to miss the pace of Dean Kent or the other hyphen JKH. Collingwood had close to its best team on the park and got through the game unscathed. Everything went its way but that doesn't happen every week.

We'll get them next time.

Melbourne 3.1.19 9.1.55 13.4.82 13.7.85

Collingwood 7.1.43 11.3.69 15.4.94 17.8.110


Melbourne Howe 3 Garlett N Jones Vince 2 Brayshaw

Collingwood Cloke 7 Blair Elliott 3 Broomhead Fasolo Seedsman Swan


Melbourne Jones Vince Brayshaw Viney Cross Jetta

Collingwood Cloke Oxley Pendlebury Swan Elliott Blair Williams


Melbourne Nil

Collingwood Nil


Melbourne Viney (corked calf) vandenBerg (leg)

Collingwood Nil


Melbourne Matt Jones replaced Aaron vandenBerg (leg) at half-time

Collingwood Ben Kennedy replaced Paul Seedsman in the third quarter



Collingwood Nil

Umpires Stevic Kamolins Pannell

Official Crowd 66,120 at the MCG

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