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ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER by George on the Outer

3 posts in this topic

The old Mike Brady song had lyrics which spoke of the finals and the atmosphere in September.

Were the Demons playing in September?

Well, yes they were, but ... not in finals.

Rather, it was some meaningless game at the end of the home and away season in a dump of a place called Etihad Stadium in front of a meagre 8,974 people - in itself setting a new record for lowest crowd attendance at the venue.

At least in Melbourne's case, it finally put to bed yet another hoodoo in what has been a lacklustre year. After 22 consecutive losses the Demons finally beat someone at Etihad.

And in bringing up their 7th win for the 2015 season, they gave their long-suffering supporters some glimmer of hope for next year. Yes, it was against a team only two spots above it on the ladder, but one which had recorded eleven wins for the season.

It was a very different GWS side that fronted for the final game compared with the one that played in Canberra just a few months ago with the telling difference being the absence of Shane Mumford who simply brutalised Melbourne at Manuka Oval, and fed the small running Giants' players all day. Without him this time, Max Gawn had complete ascendency in the ruck with 55 hit outs! It was he who was able to provide the opportunity to the likes of Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Jack Viney both in the middle and around the ground.

While we should never underestimate the value of the big man in this role, it also showed how fragile Melbourne is in this area. Without a suitable back-up, Lynden Dunn was asked to ruck to give Max a break. It was fortunate that GWS also had no backup for Tom Downie, but the team desperately needs someone else for 2016 to step up to assist in this area.

With Vince, Jones and Viney all back to their best and Jesse Hogan monstering the young GWS backline the result should have been more of a landslide. Angus Brayshaw and James Harmes also showed the aggression and attack at man and ball necessary at AFL level plus the benefits of a weeks rest on their young bodies.

However, there were still too many appalling episodes of play, which the supporters would have been all too familiar with that let the opposition in for easy goals or free kicks that resulted in goals.

This writer has been banging on about them all season, and it is all too obvious to those who regularly attend the games, but there were players not playing today who were NOT missed in any way shape or form. Likewise, there were players on the field still, who do not play at the intensity and desperation and skill levels required at AFL level.

Once again the off-season should see anywhere between eight and twelve players leave the club either by delisting or trade-out. These players have had their opportunities and simply cant make it.
We do not need Hogan, Brayshaw and Viney types giving up, while these others coast along unscathed.

Down back, Tom McDonald did a sterling job on Jeremy Cameron holding him to only 2 majors, while Col Garland seemed to find some of his earlier form and confidence as his wing-man. Oscar M is finding his way and it gave us the opportunity to move Dunn up forward and into the ruck pinch-hitting.

Christian Salem was simply divine with his foot-skills and ability to read the play and the ball when in the air. How much better would we be as a team with just six others able to execute as well as he does?

The other good thing is, while it was only one win in a fairly miserable last month of football, we have seen Roos get games into the youngsters at no real cost. Harmes, O. Mac, Stretch, White, JKH, and ANB all were given games when perhaps they might not have otherwise been entitled to them.

But Roos was prepared to risk playing the youth instead of those sitting in the crowd or playing down the road for Casey. At least this group have shown more upside for the future and this has probably has sealed the fate of a few others.

Finally, after attending football for a seriously long time I am completely confounded as to what this group of GWS supporters could possibly have been thinking? They cant possibly be married. What woman would let her man out in public dressed like that?

In fact, what woman would let them dress like that ever?


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Melbourne 4.1.25 7.6.48 13.10.82 15.13.103

Greater Western Sydney
4.1.25 7.4.46 9.7.61 11.11.77

Goals

Melbourne
Hogan Newton 3 Garlett Harmes 2 Dunn Grimes Howe N Jones Kennedy-Harris

Greater Western Sydney Cameron Williams 2 Greene Palmer Smith Stewart Townsend Ward Whitfield

Best

Melbourne
N Jones Vince Viney Hogan Cross Garland McDonald Gawn Salem

Greater Western Sydney Ward Greene Smith Shaw Townsend

Changes

Melbourne
Nil

Greater Western Sydney Nil

Injuries

Melbourne
Cross (concussion)

Greater Western Sydney Nil

Substitutions

Melbourne
Alex Neal-Bullen replaced Mitch White in the final term

Greater Western Sydney Jake Barrett replaced Caleb Marchbank at half-time

Reports

Melbourne
Nil

Greater Western Sydney Nil

Umpires Foot Fisher Hay Wallace

Official crowd 8,974 at Etihad Stadium


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