Talk about typical Melbourne. Only Melbourne turns what should have been a 6 or 7 goal (minimum) victory into a loss.
Our kicking in front of goal was pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.
I can't recall Petracca ever snapping a goal or kicking a goal around his body. He missed an absolute soda in the third to go with his under 12 miss in the first 5 minutes of the game. Great that he's getting it, but by missing shots, he's undermining all our hard work. Practice your set-shot kicking.
Tom McDonald needs to do the same. His snap from the pocket was not AFL standard.
Baker was okay in his debut, but struggled with the pace at times. But he's a better option than Stretch IMO. It's an indictment on our outside mid stocks that he's still getting a game. I don't want to be mean to Billy, because he seems like a real trier and I don't think the yo-yoing selection he's faced in the last 2-3 seasons has helped his development, but we can surely see he's not going to make it now.
And I'd love to be able to see what everyone sees in Fritsch, but I'm sorry, his lone asset of skill now alludes him too. Turnover merchant.
As for our leadership, it'd be easy to say that we have a lack of it, but I don't think it's as simple as that. Gawn was for the most part brilliant tonight and Viney tried hard, but needs to play to his limitations more often. But I want to point out something Jones did tonight that for mine, turned the momentum of the game.
It's nearing the end of the third quarter. We've dominated most of the game and are 19 points up. We fail to capitalise on a forward foray and it pings up the other end and there's a stoppage. Our almost 300 game co-captain stands Shuey at the stoppage in our defensive 50. The ball is about to be bounced and Shuey jogs to the other side of the contest. Jones fails to see this and is caught ball-watching. West Coast win it, Shuey is standing by himself as Jones is still ball-watching, and Shuey kicks a relatively easy goal from a defensive stoppage. A goal we should never concede. If it were a first or second year player, you might be able to cop it, but there are not many players with Jones' experience that would switch off like that or lack the game sense in that moment like he did.
This closed the gap to 13 points and the Eagles propelled forward again and managed to get another shot on the siren that Sheed missed. It's embarrassing to call Jones a champion of our club. He's no Flower. He's no Lyon. He's no Neitz. He's no Schwarz. Leadership-wise, James McDonald was a mile ahead of him. Nathan has been a loyal servant who we could say wore the jumper with care in very dark times for us. Constantly putting him up on a pedestal is lovely, but it's sentimental for sentimentality's sake.
On the positive side, our ball movement at times mirrored 2018 and we played with dare and a dash. It was terrific to see. Particularly, in the first three quarters.
We also set up defensively really well and we stopped West Coast from switching the ball too easily.
I thought Petty was quite impressive in 1v1s, despite occasionally getting caught in transition.
Salem was again a stand out. His tackling was a real feature.
I'm liking what Hunt is bringing to our forward half, but he, like the rest of the forwards, needs to continue to work on his goal-kicking from set shots. That said, he's been pretty good from set shots this year.
Harmes has become a proper mid. He's on the cusp of A grade now IMO. He's almost as important to stoppage wins as Oliver. But WTF has happened to Brayshaw?!
Anyway, that was the inevitable nail in the coffin for our 2019 season. You watch us win 7 or 8 games now (GWS, Freo, Lions, Carlton, Dogs, St Kilda, Sydney and North) and finish 12th or so and miss out on a top 5 draft pick that we could really do with to strengthen our forwardline or midfield.