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Demonland

WELCOME BACK MFCSS by George on the Outer

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Yes folks, it’s back ... the ever present syndrome that afflicts supporters of the Melbourne Football Club. Playing in a game against St Kilda which had managed a mere two wins to date this season, with other results falling to its advantage and the chance to lock in a final eight position by a clear game and percentage, the Demons stuffed it again!  
 
Are we to see a repeat of last year, when we fell at the final hurdle? For those who suffer from the MFCSS, it is sure looking that way.
 
Despite a three goal lead early in the first quarter, the Saints were allowed to haul it back almost never headed for the remainder of the game.  How did that happen when ruckman Max Gawn had an incredible 39 hitouts, 25 disposals including 13 contested possessions and seven contested marks?
 
Perhaps because Max was operating mostly on his own, while just too many others barely offered a whimper during the 100 minutes of the game.
 
Mitch Hannan wrote himself a ticket to Casey with a lowly 4 disposal game, Dom Tyson a meagre 3 touches to half time, ANB an ineffective 14 touches with a solitary tackle, Sam Wiedeman with only 7 touches and tellingly not a single mark.  
 
But the side was poorly coached as well.  Some of the failures during the game included no wingman for at least a 15 minute period, Gresham unmanned on the wing and half back.  Until the last 10 minutes of the game, when we went man-on-man and kicked 4 goals, we persisted with the set up that hadn’t worked.  
 
Leaving Carlisle unchecked in the backline was a bonus to the Saints, and even better when we continued to bomb the ball long inside 50, with our forwards set far too much up the ground, instead of where the contest lay.
 
Not all lay with the coaches, as we simply had too many plodders out on the field.  Goodwin alluded to it in his presser, saying we lacked defensive pressure, but that wasn’t the backs, it was up the ground, where we saw the Saints free running with too many slow Melbourne players in their wake.  It was an exact repeat of the Collingwood game, and fortunately St.Kilda lacked the abilities of the Pies or the result would have been similar.
 
The backs were under enormous pressure given that 29 scoring opportunities came down their way.  Harrison Petty was overwhelmed and probably wasn’t ready for the AFL level contests, but you have to start somewhere.  O Mac had a handful with McCartin who got the benefit of numerous free kicks from the umpires.  If anyone doubted the value of Lever, now missing, it was in evidence on this occasion, when he would have been able to get to contests and help out.  
 
Sadly Neville Jetta appeared to be still suffering the effects of the battering he took last week, and wasn’t up to his normal reliable self.
 
Up forward Bayley Fritsch continued to show his value, snagging 4 goals from limited opportunities.  Tom McDonals was down on form, but could be forgiven since he could barely get up a trop during the week.  Hogan showed some signs, with 3 goals but Weidemann had little to no effect.  
 
Did I mention the umpiring?  Well after last week's debacle, surely it couldn’t get worse?
 
Wrong again!  
 
Seven goals from free kicks for the Saints, including 4 from 50m penalties saw the umpires cover themselves in glory again.  Don’t let it ever be heard that they cannot influence a game, especially when the final result is a mere two points.  
 
In the middle Brayshaw and Viney were fantastic, but were they used correctly? Viney sent to tag Jack Steven meant one of our best contested ball magnets didn’t have much effect in the first half.  Once released from that role he almost single-handedly lifted the side to victory.  
 
Brayshaw despite 27 touches only spent 2/3 of the game time on the ground. What gives?  Was he injured?  It didn't look like it given his intensity. Jones played off the wing and still managed 27 touches as well, but once again, was this the best use of him?  He certainly doesn’t have that outside run, but he certainly has inside grunt.
 
A respectable 38K crowd turned up as part of the Welcome Game, but were many of those converted by the spectacle that Melbourne produced ... again!  Probably not.  
 
The side now sits barely in the eight, on equal points to 4 other sides, with Adelaide sniffing at the edge.  It would indeed be a welcome game if the side can produce the same effort all over the ground as we know is possible in Darwin next week ... or the MFCSS will just get worse ... again!
 
Melbourne 4.2.26 9.3.57 11.6.72 18.9.117

St Kilda 4.3.27 11.6.72 14.10.94 18.11.119

Goals
 
Melbourne Fritsch 4 Harmes Hogan 3, Brayshaw 2 Lewis T McDonald Melksham Neal-Bullen Petracca Tyson
 
St Kilda Gresham Membrey 4 McCartin 2 Armitage Battle Billings Clark Newnes Savage Steele Steven
 
Best
 
Melbourne Gawn Brayshaw Harmes Viney
 
St Kilda Carlisle Billings Gresham Sinclair Steele Steven Armitage
 
Injuries 
 
Melbourne  Nil
 
St Kilda Brown (hamstring)
 
Reports Nil
 
Umpires Deboy, Gavine, Pannell
 
Official crowd 38,910 at the MCG

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