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SENIOR MOMENTS by George on the Outer

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For the second week in a row, the Demons weren’t beaten by the opposition: they gave the game away and now sit at 2-2 for the 2017 season.  Last week it was inaccurate kicking, this week simply a complete lack of football nous.  These are the scenario’s that require leadership and calmness under pressure, but when called upon, Melbourne's senior players were the culprits rather than what could be expected from a young developing side.
Bernie Vince in the last three minutes was a serial offender.  Dinky kicks that didn’t manage to hit targets, uncontrolled Hail Mary bombs into the forward line when a cool head was required, standing too far from an opponent and then defending grass out the back when the game required all hands on deck at the ball.  
These can be expected from a rookie, not someone of his experience.  The real danger for him is that with the return of Hibbert and Lewis, two dependable characters under pressure, that he will be exited from the senior side.
The Melbourne fans have every right to feel aggrieved after a last quarter comeback finally saw them in front.  That they should have never been behind in the first place is a serious question to be asked of the coaching and selection panel.  A half-time lead of 21 points was turned into a 22 point deficit at 3/4 time as the Demons failed to score a major for that period.  That the Dockers had scored 5 of their 6 goals to half-time from Melbourne turnovers, meant something needed to be changed. 
Melbourne were simply too cute and overusing the ball, particularly in the middle.  Possessions are hard to get in that space yet we continue to favour a handball over a kick.  Despite 28 touches Dom Tyson was simply ineffective with those possessions.  He fails to scan the field when he has the ball in his hands as he always turns in the one direction.  Does he not think the opposition know that?  With 28 touches, more than three clearances and seven contested possessions is necessary, yet this is all he gave. 
Contrast that with Clarrie Oliver who with 26 touches had 10 clearances and 17 contested possessions.  Not bad for a 19 year old. 
Jake Spencer performed admirably in the absence of Max Gawn. Taking on the biggest ruckman in the league he held his own and kicked a couple of goals to boot.  We weren’t missing anything in the ruck contests, and if he keeps this up, he may find a more permanent role upon Gawn's return.
Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca tried their hearts out, turning the game back into a contest, and then eventually getting the Demons nose in front.  It was these young players who hadn’t given up and Petracca with a couple of bombs showed others what responsibility really is in these situations.
Up forward Jack Watts was a solitary standout target, although Jeff Garlett played his role to perfection crumbing, leading and harassing to finish with three goals of his own.  Sadly, once again Sam Weideman was way, way out of his depth, and ran around in pointless circles for most of the match.  A bandage on his knee appeared at half- time, so combined with only 5 touches for the match, he will surely be confined to Casey or the rehab group next week.
While the official reports listed no injuries, Nathan Jones took a heavy head knock and his 18 touches was well below his par.  Jack Viney is likewise well down from his best with 16 touches, and isn’t spending as much time in the middle as could be expected.  There must be a reason which, we the fans are not told about.
They say that good teams win games like this, so on that basis Melbourne aren’t good enough.  Our wins have hardly been convincing as well, and we could have easily been 0-4.  Yet we will be middle of the pack at the end of this round, with the task of wanting to be really serious or just giving it away.
 It is true that in previous years, a Melbourne side would have not got themselves back into the game from that ¾ time position, so they are doing something right. 
Trouble is that they are doing too much wrong, and off-setting all the fine work being done by our young players.  
The Demons certainly don’t need any more "senior" moments in coming weeks.

Melbourne 2.5.17 9.7.61 9.10.64 15.14.104

Fremantle 3.2.20 6.4.40 13.8.86 16.10.106


Melbourne Garlett 3 Harmes Petracca Spencer Watts 2 Kent Neal-Bullen Salem Viney

Fremantle Neale 4 Mundy 3 McCarthy 2 Balic Crozier Fyfe Grey S Hill Kersten Walters


Melbourne Oliver Petracca Garlett Watts Hunt Spencer

Fremantle Mundy Sandilands Fyfe Weller Neale S Hill


Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Nil


Melbourne Nil

Fremantle S Hill (corked thigh) Langdon (migraine)


Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Nil

Umpires Stevic Harris Mitchell 

Official crowd 27829 at the MCG

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