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3 minutes ago, jnrmac said:

Rubbish. Our ability to get the ball fwd was good but our efficiency inside was terrible. You can't have a crap shoot and hope to win, You have to stop oppositions scoring. They controlled the footy for a large part of the game.

Yes jnr, that is what I said.  Our ability in terms of disposals to inside 50 ratio was very good, it was how we used it going forward that hurt and needs fixing.  Had we used it better then we kick a winning score.   We had 358 disposals for over 50 inside 50 entries.  That's terrific.  But what we did with it was not.

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4 minutes ago, jnrmac said:

Geelong were effectively down 2 men for a lot of the game and you are feeling for our players being a bit weary??

 

Who said anything about feeling for them?

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2 hours ago, ProDee said:

Posters question Goodwin, who just coached a side with a game-plan that yielded 23 more inside 50s than the opposition, which nearly always results in a win. 

Never change, Demonland. 

He should be questioned after that game. Player selection was questionable. I presume its his game plan that has his players overuse the handball in tight, bomb it long into 50 (hence so many inside 50's that were quickly and easily rebounded) and allows 2 opposition players 39 disposals. I'm not convinced I'd use the word astute just yet

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2 hours ago, ProDee said:

Posters question Goodwin, who just coached a side with a game-plan that yielded 23 more inside 50s than the opposition, which nearly always results in a win

Never change, Demonland. 

That might be so, but not only did it not result in a win today, it regularly did not result in wins last year, either.

It's been a big problem of ours for 12 months now. 

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Posted (edited)

I went to the game. My summary... it was ours to lose! Great contest... so much better to watch than several other round 1 games. All of the critics here need to take a breath and think what they would be writing if Max kicked the goal. I didn't see a Demon player who didn't contribute in some way. There has been so much stupid stuff written here that I don't have time to make the corrections. Our 2018 campaign is off to a healthy start with a lot to look forward to. Fritsch proved he is more than a goalsneak... Lever had the same sort of influence that gained him a reputation at Adelaide...Max, Ollie & Trac were superb. Bernie showed why he is a favoured son on many occasions... none better than when he rode the bump that left a Cat sprawled in his wake... Hogan was creative and hit the scoreboard in his normal manner. Harmes, Hunt and Hannon lifted in the second half to bring us back into contention. Wagner is all bustle and bash... what he lacks in finesse and finish is made up for in fearless attack on opposition bodies. ANB continues to bob op with deft touches... Jones got us going in the first quarter (those that thought he was ordinary need to watch the replay)... Pederson continues to be a wonderful contributor who is now showing that he is a cool head in a crisis (that kick to Max instead of shooting for goal was centimetre perfect!... Mind you, I have seen Pedo score from that position). Neville was playing hurt and may miss next week. I would expect Brayshaw and Tyson to come in to contention... but I certainly wouldn't be making more than one or two changes. Congratulations to the coaching panel for preparing such a fit and motivated team for the beginning of 2018.

Edited by waynewussell
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8 minutes ago, waynewussell said:

I went to the game. My summary... it was ours to lose! Great contest... so much better to watch than several other round 1 games. All of the critics here need to take a breath and think what they would be writing if Max kicked the goal. I didn't see a Demon player who didn't contribute in some way. There has been so much stupid stuff written here that I don't have time to make the corrections. Our 2018 campaign is off to a healthy start with a lot to look forward to. Fritsch proved he is more than a goalsneak... Lever had the same sort of influence that gained him a reputation at Adelaide...Max, Ollie & Trac were superb. Bernie showed why he is a favoured son on many occasions... none better than when he rode the bump that left a Cat sprawled in his wake... Hogan was creative and hit the scoreboard in his normal manner. Harmes, Hunt and Hannon lifted in the second half to bring us back into contention. Wagner is all bustle and bash... what he lacks in finesse and finish is made up for in fearless attack on opposition bodies. ANB continues to bob op with deft touches... Jones got us going in the first quarter (those that thought he was ordinary need to watch the replay)... Pederson continues to be a wonderful contributor who is now showing that he is a cool head in a crisis (that kick to Max instead of shooting for goal was centimetre perfect!... Mind you, I have seen Pedo score from that position). Neville was playing hurt and may miss next week. I would expect Brayshaw and Tyson to come in to contention... but I certainly wouldn't be making more than one or two changes. Congratulations to the coaching panel for preparing such a fit and motivated team for the beginning of 2018.

Your optimism is admirable

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3 hours ago, Jaded said:

I thought Oscar was good considering their forward dominance. Hawkins with 1 goals, I’ll take that! 

The defensive setup was garbage until the last. Why was Melksham there instead of forward where he excels? Why was Wagner selected? 

Lever had an absolute stinker of a game and he would want to improve quick smart. If he can’t play on a man he’s a dime a dozen loose defender.

Our midfield was good but the forward 50 entires were awful and we played Garlett Hannan and Frisch in the same team, which is a big no from me. 

 

Oscar was good. Hawkins managed a point. He didn't kick a goal.

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21 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

That might be so, but not only did it not result in a win today, it regularly did not result in wins last year, either.

How may times did we win the inside 50 count in 2017 by 23 (or close to it) and lose ?

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3 hours ago, Nasher said:

Thought it was a gripping and entertaining game of footy. Props to the usual bunch of drawing long bows from short sample sizes - no, we don't yet know if we are "same old Melbourne". Besides, I thought we showed spirit after half time to get back in the game and nearly clinch it.

Also an honourable mention to the usual "this is going to be a blowout" crew at half time in the match day thread. You guys seriously crack me up. You know who you are.

The Lewis 50 was a disgraceful example of leadership. However I thought his assistance in the back half of the ground was significant in our second half improvement. I don't know how to weigh the two factors off against each other.

The Gawn miss was a huge letdown, but the call above to drop him for it currently leads the race for the most absurd post in this thread. That would clearly be harmful to the team as he was on top all day, and there's no punitive/education benefit either: I suspect he may already realise he might have been better off kicking the goal and doesn't need to be dropped to get the point. Nobody misses on purpose.

Wagner has copped some criticism but I thought he lifted significantly in the second half. His pressure was first rate.

Petracca is going to be a star and Oliver already is.

Overall, very disappointed to have lost, but it hasn't done much to dent my optimism for this season.

 

It was as you say, mate, a disgraceful piece of undisciplined play from a bloke who has been brought to the club for the sole purpose of providing leadership. 

Whatever he did in the second half, he should have been doing anyway. It's a big black mark against his name for me and as soon as I'm back at my computer, he's out of A F's favourite players.

His suspension against Carlton last year and his 50 this year. Let's just say that he owes us.

3 hours ago, 3Dee said:

100% DANGER GAME

 

Lewis corralled the guy, wasn't holding the man.

Most of the guys who stunk in the first half came good in the second. 

Expect more from Hogan.

Maynard 7 tackles, but at what cost?

Even with Lever we still seem to be unable to handle key forwards.

 

... still coming to grips with Jetta losing a 1 on 1.

What are you talking about? Which key forward mauled us today?

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8 minutes ago, A F said:

Oscar was good. Hawkins managed a point. He didn't kick a goal.

He was, wasn't we. Which makes jnrmac's assertion that he was 'terrible' quite strange. But not surprising given it hard to see with those confirmation bias goggles on.

Lever had a stinker. Just imagine jnrmac's assessment if tmac's younger brother had played half as badly

 

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Gawn didn't lose us the game,Lewis's shocking 50m penalty did.

 

Dan Menzel missed a goal from a lot closer than Gawn.

 

Didn't deserve to win,move on.

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13 minutes ago, ProDee said:

How may times did we win the inside 50 count in 2017 by 23 (or close to it) and lose ?

We lost 10 times last year.

We won the inside 50 count in 6 of those. Of those, 4 times it was very close and twice we won by 11 (against Geelong and North).

But 23 times is a smashing and clearly a statistical outlier. We lost today because we let them score too easily when they went forward (especially early) and we struggled to carry the ball from the midfield to give our forwards clean looks. But I also think our game style will see us win a lot of inside 50 counts.

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4 minutes ago, Jack7 said:

Gawn didn't lose us the game,Lewis's shocking 50m penalty did.

 

Dan Menzel missed a goal from a lot closer than Gawn.

 

Didn't deserve to win,move on.

Lewis didn't lose us the game either. Have a look at all players disposal into our forward half. Pathetic. Need to remember that Cats had fewer rotations and we dominated most of 2nd half and should have won by 5 goals plus but school boy errors and disposal let us down. 

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3 hours ago, A F said:

We really lacked synergy today, which is kind of mindboggling, given our performances in the JLT.

We had no forward structure, our forwards were absolutely disgraceful as a group and their inability to lock the ball inside 50 and lay tackles in the area was one of the key reasons we lost the game.

How many times did we allow them to chip the short one from the goal square, only to be followed up by another uncontested short chip again? Hate to say it, because he's a fat, arrogant FIGJAM of a muppet, but Chris Scott and his team throughly outcoached our coaching team.

The first time I counted a tackle laid inside 50 was late in the third quarter. We may have had one before that, but I don't remember it. Melksham laid 0 tackles. Hannan laid 1 tackle. Hogan laid 1 tackle. Neal-Bullen laid 2 tackles. Garlett laid 2 tackles. Not bloody good enough.

I can't remember the last time Hibberd and Jetta had such terrible games. Particularly, Nev. He was beaten in every contest. Hibberd's last quarter and a bit was handy, but he was far too quiet for the rest of the game. Lever also didn't wrap himself in glory either. He did a couple of nice things, but was caught out and seemed to lack synergy with his co-defenders.

Maynard was horrible. He is not a footballer I'm afraid. Nice experiment, but he doesn't have the tools. He laid the second most tackles on the ground, but his decision making and kicking isn't up to AFL standard.

Harmes played exactly how he has in regular home and away season games for the entirety of his career. Looks like a footballer until he kicks it. His decision making was a staggering at times.

Wagner's kicking was not good. In fact, it wasn't AFL standard at times, but he wasn't our worst defender and with the lack of midfield pressure coming from our mids at times, our defenders were under the pump in quarters 2 and 3.

We still give up goals too easily from too few inside 50s. It's partly our game style, aggressive as it is, that means if teams get 'out the back', they score, but I also think we need to do a lot better in our one-on-one contests in the back half.

Today, Geelong's handball game absolutely tore us to shreds and coupled with our inability to tackle, meant that they made us look second-rate at times. You've got to remember that this is a team that had Selwood, Ablett, a limp Hawkins, an injured Harry Taylor and a cameo game from Menzel. That's pretty much it. They're so one dimensional and yet we still couldn't come away with the bikkies. They were down a man for 3.5 quarters. This loss was embarrassing.

I thought our performance on Etihad against them last year was far superior to today's showing. We really didn't look like it from quarter time onwards. The umpires did everything they could to get us over the line in the last quarter and we still fumbled the prize. Petracca missed a pretty basic snap shot for an AFL player. Gawn missed twice (once from the goal square and again 20 metres out on the siren). We kicked 1.7 in the last. Not good enough.

I'm not one to buy into MFCSS, but I walked away from today saying typical [censored] Melbourne, we seem to not know how to win. Is it part of our culture? Who the [censored] knows, but zen A F was given a real test today. We were just terrible and didn't play as a team.

Accurate summary. ^^^^

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3 hours ago, A F said:

We really lacked synergy today, which is kind of mindboggling, given our performances in the JLT.

We had no forward structure, our forwards were absolutely disgraceful as a group and their inability to lock the ball inside 50 and lay tackles in the area was one of the key reasons we lost the game.

How many times did we allow them to chip the short one from the goal square, only to be followed up by another uncontested short chip again? Hate to say it, because he's a fat, arrogant FIGJAM of a muppet, but Chris Scott and his team throughly outcoached our coaching team.

The first time I counted a tackle laid inside 50 was late in the third quarter. We may have had one before that, but I don't remember it. Melksham laid 0 tackles. Hannan laid 1 tackle. Hogan laid 1 tackle. Neal-Bullen laid 2 tackles. Garlett laid 2 tackles. Not bloody good enough.

I can't remember the last time Hibberd and Jetta had such terrible games. Particularly, Nev. He was beaten in every contest. Hibberd's last quarter and a bit was handy, but he was far too quiet for the rest of the game. Lever also didn't wrap himself in glory either. He did a couple of nice things, but was caught out and seemed to lack synergy with his co-defenders.

Maynard was horrible. He is not a footballer I'm afraid. Nice experiment, but he doesn't have the tools. He laid the second most tackles on the ground, but his decision making and kicking isn't up to AFL standard.

Harmes played exactly how he has in regular home and away season games for the entirety of his career. Looks like a footballer until he kicks it. His decision making was a staggering at times.

Wagner's kicking was not good. In fact, it wasn't AFL standard at times, but he wasn't our worst defender and with the lack of midfield pressure coming from our mids at times, our defenders were under the pump in quarters 2 and 3.

We still give up goals too easily from too few inside 50s. It's partly our game style, aggressive as it is, that means if teams get 'out the back', they score, but I also think we need to do a lot better in our one-on-one contests in the back half.

Today, Geelong's handball game absolutely tore us to shreds and coupled with our inability to tackle, meant that they made us look second-rate at times. You've got to remember that this is a team that had Selwood, Ablett, a limp Hawkins, an injured Harry Taylor and a cameo game from Menzel. That's pretty much it. They're so one dimensional and yet we still couldn't come away with the bikkies. They were down a man for 3.5 quarters. This loss was embarrassing.

I thought our performance on Etihad against them last year was far superior to today's showing. We really didn't look like it from quarter time onwards. The umpires did everything they could to get us over the line in the last quarter and we still fumbled the prize. Petracca missed a pretty basic snap shot for an AFL player. Gawn missed twice (once from the goal square and again 20 metres out on the siren). We kicked 1.7 in the last. Not good enough.

I'm not one to buy into MFCSS, but I walked away from today saying typical [censored] Melbourne, we seem to not know how to win. Is it part of our culture? Who the [censored] knows, but zen A F was given a real test today. We were just terrible and didn't play as a team.

Richmond didn't know how to win until mid way through last year and then it clicked. This wasn't like our losses to Hawks and Freo last year, Geelong are a bloody handy team and will be there at the pointy end again.

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3 hours ago, Deespicable said:

What a game - great to see we finally can play against a genuinely big opponent on a big stage with so much at stake for both sides and not be found wanting - we will be competitive with all the top sides based on that.

Ultimately we were smashed in the air - our outlet long kick down the line was picked off with ease by the Cats. They also were way smarter using the short kick out of defence than we were, particularly in the second term when it all came unstuck for a while.

Quite a few players down, although first game of the season, things don't always go right. But what I loved was that we had two of the best midfielders of the past decade - Selwood and Ablett - trying their darndest and having to work for almost every kick.

By contrast our two elite players of the future - Oliver and Trac - showed how good they are going to be with some amazing clearance work and plenty of almost results. The biggest worries to me, were our lack of marking power, our inability to invoke the switch of play for much of the game, our poor delivery forward to targets who invariably played behind looking for the cheap one over the back and our failure to stop Geelong's link play and lack of pace down back for their forays forward.

But the Cats were up for it, it was Selwood's 250th and Ablett's return game after all.

Sorry, but when you let the opposition's two best mids gather 39 touches each, you're not making them "work for almost every kick". I lost count of how many cheapies Ablett got out the back or how many times Selwood was in space by himself or practically unmarked at a stoppage.

It was inexcusable this loss. They were down a man (their only decent defender) from the midway mark of the first quarter. When teams are down a man, they invariably lose. The fact that Geelong didn't, tells me that we didn't work hard enough.

I think we'll make finals and we'll win 13-15 games, but this wss one game we should definitely have won. Not good enough. And there's no need to excuse our performance. Call it what it was - pathetic.

In a frustratingly positive respect, it means we've got a lot of improvement left in us.

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Much of the comment is hysterical.

We lost because of 20 pathetic minutes, not individual players.

1st quarter - excellent

2nd qtr - 1st 10 mins - good

2nd qtr - last 20 min - pathetic (go home stuff)

3rd & 4th qtr - good

Not going to beat many teams unless good (or better) for whole game.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Axis of Bob said:

We lost 10 times last year.

We won the inside 50 count in 6 of those. Of those, 4 times it was very close and twice we won by 11 (against Geelong and North).

But 23 times is a smashing and clearly a statistical outlier. We lost today because we let them score too easily when they went forward (especially early) and we struggled to carry the ball from the midfield to give our forwards clean looks. But I also think our game style will see us win a lot of inside 50 counts.

As I suspected, not near 23.

I posted earlier that our connection from the midfield to the forward line was poor.  Lots to work on and most teams will learn a lot from round one.

Edited by ProDee

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ProDee said:

As I suspected, not near 23.

I posted earlier that our connection from the midfield to the forward line was poor.  Lots to work on and most teams will learn a lot from round one.

Agreed.

Melksham and Petracca did it when we played well last year, but we need to find players who can do it consistently. I suspect that was the thinking behind drafting Spargo and Fritsch last year.

Edited by Axis of Bob
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3 hours ago, Robot Devil said:

And at half time at the ground they showed an Ablett highlights package on the big screen.  

It was our home game! What the eff is that about?!?

They didn't even show the two occasions that he got pinged for holding the ball. 

Yeah, my old man and I were talking about that. Can you imagine down at the Cattery, their ground playing a little package on Oliver or Petracca? Never in a million years. What an absolute joke.

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2 hours ago, billyblanks29 said:

We had 23 more inside 50s than them. We just need to score. We need 2 X permanent talls down there like Hogan and T Mac or The Weed. One tall simply isn't enough threat.

Disagree. Ball use going inside 50 was a massive problem today. 

Richmond showed last year what you can do with one KPF and a group of small and a medium forwards that put on pressure. Our forwardline provided the antithesis of this today. 

Pedersen was run off all day. It'll be interesting to see how Tommy Mac goes in the defensive pressure stakes.

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1 hour ago, Jaded said:

By the way, I mustn’t have been the only one who saw Oliver at the 3/4 break on all four sticking his fingers down his throat and doing 3 massive projectile vomits. Pleasant stuff!

I thought Oliver looked a little pale today.

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4 hours ago, Rusty Nails said:

Watts wouldn't have missed a set shot for the winner today if he had had the chance.  What price for accuracy in today's game!??

He never would've had the ball in the first place

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2 hours ago, titan_uranus said:

I find myself agreeing with almost all of this, until the final sentence.

If this had just been a close game between two good sides, with one just edging the other out, then I would be totally fine with it. Gawn's miss is understandable (albeit not good enough), he was exhausted. 

But that's not what happened.

We had two big flaws in 2017 that we all wanted to see addressed in the off-season. The first was the negative ratio we had in converting inside 50s compared to our opponents (i.e. our opponents score more frequently from their inside 50s than we do from ours). The second was our standard switch-off moments.

It took two quarters of 2018 for both to re-surface. We lost the second quarter by 31 points, and at half time we had scored 13 times from 30 inside 50s, but Geelong had generated 20 scores from 24 inside 50s.

What did we do in the off-season to prevent this from occurring, and whatever it was, why did it fail so quickly into the season?

Lever and Jetta had bad matches but the reason why Geelong was scoring so easily was not our defensive unit. It was our forward line and midfield which failed, repeatedly, to apply any pressure on Geelong. They had no problems with their kick-ins, they had loose men all over the place, and we didn't tackle anywhere near enough inside 50.

How is this a problem in Round 1? 

Why did we play Hannan, Fritsch and Harmes, all of whom played the same sort of role and none of whom played four quarters? Why did we play Maynard, who is absolutely nowhere near AFL standard and, to my eye, does not bring a single skill/trait to the table (he's slow, he can't kick, he doesn't read the play, and his only job was to stop Selwood and Ablett and he failed at that).

There are positives to take from the game - Petracca, Oliver and Gawn all played well, Lewis (despite his horrendous 50-metre penalty) made a huge difference across half back in the second half, Fritsch showed he has what it takes, and we didn't let a key forward ragdoll us for once.

It's only one game, so the sample size is admittedly insignificant at this point. But when the same problems which haunted us in 2017 and stopped us from making finals resurface two quarters into the new season, the optimism takes a battering.

Great post. Agree with pretty much all of it.

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