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Demonland

A MURDER OF CROWS by George on the Outer

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The collective noun for a flock of Crows is a “murder” (please don't ask me why) and MURDER was exactly what the Demons did to the top-of-the-ladder Adelaide Crows by playing the type of emphatic and decisive football that coach Simon Goodwin has been talking about since his inauguration.  

The “type of football we want to play … our brand …”  

Well it all came together on a near balmy Adelaide night as Melbourne ran out 41 point victors to send a deathly silence around the Adelaide Oval among the 47k+ people who attended the game. The poor locals were witnessing murder committed right in front of their eyes as a relentless, aggressive and committed Demons put their beloved Crows to the sword.

Murder happened, but it was the team of assassins that kept killing any hope or resurgence that the Crows may have mounted. 

None more so than 200 gamer Bernie Vince who was assigned a tagging role on the dangerous Rory Sloane who probably heads the voting to date in the Brownlow. Our man Vince held him to a miserable three possessions to ¾ time!  For the final quarter he was taken from the middle of the ground and relegated to half back, where he managed to pick up a further 8 touches, but only because Bernie was no longer tagging him. Meanwhile, Vince accidentally took out one of the umpires for good measure but hopefully nothing should come of that.

In the middle, Clayton Oliver was intimidating and causing mayhem with the remainder of the Adelaide midfield racking up another 30 possession game. Critically he kicked a goal from an impossible angle in the pocket when the Crows were within a goal. Another dagger to the heart, as Melbourne then piled on nine unanswered goals from late in the second quarter to the end of the third.

But they didn’t stop there with a five goal final quarter effort including two early in the term to put the game beyond any doubt.  

Yet this was the Adelaide side that came into the game with only a solitary defeat for the season.  The Adelaide side that had two tall rucks in Jacobs and Jenkins (with another in Lynch if needed ) against Melbourne’s Cam Pedersen standing at a mere 193cm. Jacobs managed 74 hit outs yet Pedersen nullified his direction and forced him to drop the ball close to his feet where the Demon mids feasted. The result - Melbourne won the clearances both in the middle and around the ground.

Pedersen topped off his gargantuan effort with three goals of his own and he had some willing helpers in Tom McDonald and Jack Watts when he needed a rest. They caused enough trouble on their own as Tom moved forward and finished with two goals, showing his strength in marking and contesting by beating his opponents comprehensively when challenged. 

It was a day on which coaching was truly a stand out for Melbourne. The Vince tag was critical and it denied the Crows much drive. Atkins as another mid was left unmarked for the whole night.  The coaches had obviously determined that he was not as much of a threat and it was preferable to have that additional Melbourne player around the contest. No ruck, no full-forward for the game, and yet this was probably a game performance equal to and probably better than the win against Hawthorn last year.  In Simon Goodwin, it looks like we have a “good-un”

Tom up forward, Oscar left down back to take on Jenkins was another piece of brilliance as he simply ran off him and spoiled, Jenkins having really “soft” hands in marking contests.  When that wasn’t happening Frost and Hibberd, in particular, had a dream run and we are now seeing the same insights that Goodwin had when he convinced Hibberd to leave the Bombers. Twenty-eight touches to ¾ time and 34 for the game from half-back was incredible.  But it is his reliable left foot that hits targets 50+ metres away and in tight situations that simply changes the momentum of the game. 

Then the backs have Salem and Jetta to clean up any scraps. Jetta assigned Betts for the night gave him a miserly nine touches. Not too many others can claim a record like that. Salem with 31 touches deep in defence was another stalwart and also with a lethal foot and surety of hand never wastes a disposal.  

Have I mentioned Jack Viney? Well, he was back to his best with 31 touches including 15 contested, and when you check that Oliver had 15 contested, as well as Petracca with 15 of his own, then Jones with 11, it is easy to understand the absolute dominance that Melbourne had around the ball.  

This all combined to turn Adelaide Oval into a crime scene and come the end of the gamea message had been sent to the rest of the competition. If Melbourne sustains the same level of intensity and game style in coming games, in the absence of its AA ruckman and one of the best up and coming forwards, then more murders might occur in the future including a long-awaited Kangaroo cull next week.

Melbourne 2.2.14 5.3.33 12.5.77 17.5.107

Adelaide 1.4.10 6.7.43 7.8.50 9.12.66

 Goals 

Melbourne Pedersen 3 Bugg Garlett Jones Kent T McDonald 2 Hannan Oliver Petracca Viney

Adelaide Betts Jenkins Walker 2 Atkins Laird Smith

Best 

Melbourne Oliver Viney Hibberd Jones Salem Lewis. 

Adelaide Jacobs Laird Smith M Crouch B Crouch Atkins

Changes

Melbourne Jesse Hogan (illness) replaced by Sam Weideman 

Adelaide Nil

Injuries 

Melbourne Jayden Hunt (concussion)

Adelaide Nil

 Reports  

Melbourne Nil

Adelaide Nil 

Umpires Kamolins, Fleer (replaced in second quarter by Hundertmark), Ryan. Hundertmark then left the ground in the final quarter, leaving only two umpires ... this should be tried more often!

 Official crowd 47,882 at Adelaide Oval

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