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EARNING AND LEARNING by George on the Outer

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Despite the fact that the Brisbane Lions are on the bottom rung of the AFL ladder, they made Melbourne earn its win at the MCG on Sunday.  The younger Demons also learned that wins are not a given; you must work and continue to work even when the team is five goals up in the final quarter.

This is precisely the type of lesson this team needs in the lead up to September action for possibly the first time in over ten years. The Lions were able to bring the game back to within a couple of kicks with about ten minutes to play, but Melbourne rallied, especially through Cam Pedersen and Angus Brayshaw when the game was all on the line.

Pedersen repaid the faith that the club had in him after it re-signed him again for next year, and his rucking, marking and willingness to push himself to the limit when required saw him finish the day with three goals, including the one which finally put paid to the Brisbane revival.

Angus Brayshaw showed maturity far beyond his years when he provided an option for Mitch Hannan in the dying seconds, ran the clock down further, and then finally slotted the goal to ensure the Demons ran out 13 point winners. 

Melbourne started badly, with an attitude that the fans had seen all too often when playing against a lowly ranked side. Zorko, Beams and Rockliff ran riot in the middle and it wasn’t until Jake Melksham was assigned the task of curtailing Zorko, that the Demons started to get some value from the middle.  

In the middle, the side truly missed the inside work of Jack Viney, and Nathan Jones became the sole “get it” man.  Dom Tyson was in sorry form again, and if he continues to give the ball to the opposition by hand, he won’t be playing finals, especially when both Viney and Corey Maynard are there knocking at the door.  Fortunately, swinging Petracca and Melksham into the middle stopped the rot and both Jones and Oliver were able to produce some influence.  

Up forward, Jesse Hogan had a fine day out with 6 goals which should give him a lot of confidence after his season from Hell.  While he provides that target that the team so desperately needs, he also distracts the opposition defencewhich can leave Pedersen and Garlett unmarked as was witnessed on a number of occasions.  If he can refine his leads, he will become something truly special. 

The backs did well when called upon, but most of the Brisbane scores came from swift ball movement, and precise kicking.  Combined with the lack of run and pressure on the ball carrier they went coast to coast on numerous occasions, and had multiple goals from the goal square without a Melbourne player in sight. 

Where to now? A place in the finals is relatively certain, bar a substantial loss to Collingwood, and an equally substantial win by the West Coast Eagles against Adelaide.  But with that game being played after our match next week, it is important not to give them the incentive to win and make finals.  

Our future is well and truly in our own hands. We hope the lessons from this week have been learned in order that we can say that our spot in the finals has indeed been earned.

Melbourne

3.3.21 6.6.42 11.8.74 16.8.104

Brisbane Lions 2.3.15 6.3.39 9.5.59 14.7.91

Goals  

Melbourne Hogan 6 Pedersen 3 Garlett 2 Brayshaw Harmes Melksham Petracca Vince

 Brisbane Lions D Beams 3 Rockliff 2 Alltvv ison Barrett Bastinac Close Gardiner Hipwood McCluggage Walker Zorko

Best

Melbourne Hogan Pedersen Petracca Jones Oliver Hibberd Melksham

Brisbane Lions Lions D Beams Zorko Bastinac Taylor Rockliff Witherden

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Lions Nil

Injuries 

Melbourne Nil 

Brisbane Lions C Beams (head) D Beams (head)

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Lions Nil

Umpires Rosebury, Gavine, Mollison

Official crowd 30,422 at the MCG

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