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  1. The Melbourne side that turned up against Footscray at Etihad stadium was simply turned into dog food. by the Bulldogs as they cruised to a near 100 point victory. But dog food was what was served up to the Melbourne fans, yet again, as they witnessed the Bullies kick 8 goals in the first quarter to a miserable 2 points followed by 6 goals in the second, and then to finally concede 10 goals in the last quarter!! If it wasn't for Footscray having a little sleep in the 3rd quarter, a score line similar to the 186 game was threatening. It was bad enough that Melbourne had to bring in VFL standard players like Rohan Bail, Viv Michie and Matt Jones, who didn’t let the sceptics down as they dished up turnover after turnover to the opposition but they were ably assisted by Jack Watts and Jeremy Howe with their usual half-hearted efforts, giving the Bulldogs opportunities that should simply never have been open to them. If anyone thinks either player should be at the club next year, then take a quick look at the highlights reel, because neither will feature (again!). This is Watt’s 7thyear and Howe’s 5th. They wouldn’t be given the latitude and luxury at other clubs. It is about time that time was called. When you have a series of players who can’t play at AFL level and another couple who don’t want to play at that level, then the 100 point loss is inevitable. The recruiting team will have an easy job at the end of the year (yet again) ditching and trading out these types. The game played by Melbourne was simply disgraceful! The toughness, tenacity and skills displayed by the Women’s team before the main event was such a sharp contrast. All over the ground the girls were prepared to run and to put their bodies on the line when called upon. Likewise the Bulldogs men were simply prepared to run, run and then run some more. Time and time again they broke the lines with the Melbourne players barely getting a jog up behind them. They would have blown the game well away with these efforts alone, but with the clangers we gifted them ... it simply provided icing on the cake. Eleven of their players racked up 20 disposals or more. Our team could only muster five. But it was just as much about the type of disposals. Short dinky kicks or handpasses to put teammates under pressure shouldn’t count. Few were able to hold their heads up … Jesse Hogan fought and produced the results we have now come to expect from this talented 20 year old. He was even moved to the mid-field to provide some sort of impact, and he did exactly that. Pity we don’t have another 20 of him to put on the ground. Tom McDonald played everywhere as well, trying to produce something to spark the side. He played forward, back and pinch hit in the ruck when Max Gawn needed a rest. He certainly won a fair share of the ruck contests and probably wrote himself a future role over Chris Dawes who simply is incapable in rucking contests (the Bulldogs kicked four goals in the last quarter from clearances while he was rucking). Jack Viney was in everything again, but was operating almost as a lone hand in the middle. And he keeps fighting right up to the end. Angus Brayshaw is another tough and hard fighter, but he is tiring as can only be expected toward the end of his first year. Alex Neal-Bullen is showing something upon which we can build, and so is James Harmes as they pick up the pace of AFL. Yes, we were dog food today. Dog food for the Bulldogs and dog food in quality. Dog food was served up for the fans again ... what could possibly be in store for us next week against the lowly Blues? Melbourne 0.2.2 2.4.16 7.7.49 8.7.55 Western Bulldogs 8.3.51 14.5.89 14.7.91 24.9.153 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Garlett 2 Dawes Gawn Watts Western Bulldogs Stringer 4 Bontempelli Dickson Grant 3 Crameri Jong Redpath 2 Biggs Dahlhaus Hunter Macrae Wallis Best Melbourne McDonald Viney Hogan Gawn Western Bulldogs Dahlhaus, Wallis, Boyd, Grant, Stringer, Hunter, Macrae, Murphy Changes Melbourne Matt Jones replaced Christian Salem (ill) in the selected side Western Bulldogs Nil Injuries Melbourne Neville Jetta (neck) Western Bulldogs Nil Substitutes Melbourne Jack Grimes replaced Neville Jetta (neck) at half-time Western Bulldogs Caleb Daniel replaced Sam Darley at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Umpires Pannell, Mitchell, Wallace Official crowd 27,805 at Etihad Stadium
  2. As dawn brings the first rays of light, it's clear that we're in for one of the better days of a cold, harsh winter. A sunny day with light winds and a top of 17 degrees is expected - no better day to break your hoodoo in a stadium where they usually close the roof I'm feeling confident, anyway.
  3. HISTORY TALKS ... by The Oracle History says that Melbourne has no chance whatsoever of beating the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening. This is despite the fact that when the two clubs locked horns about 12 weeks ago, the Demons had an emphatic 39 point win. However, that result came at the end of the Doggies' three game losing streak - their lowest ebb for the year to date - and the landscape has changed dramatically since then. In fact, the Western Bulldogs have rewritten their history in that short space of time. Today it's unanimous among most pundits that the Dishlickers under Luke Beveridge are the feel good story of the season having recently pushed aside the Tigers from that mantle before sneaking ahead of the Swans to snatch a place in the top four. There's also the matter of the venue for this meeting. The Westen Bulldogs have a sensational record against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium with eight wins from nine games while the place is a "bogey" ground for the Demons whose only win over the Dogs there was in in round 19, 2007 - a game that marks the historic (or should I say prehistoric?) occasion of their last win at the Docklands. Since then, Melbourne has been involved in the AFL's biggest venue hoodoo losing 21 games in a row at Etihad. Their last trip there would still be causing them nightmares after conceding a hard fought lead in the last twenty seconds against St. Kilda to go down in embarrassing fashion by 2 points. What this means is that a Demon win will not only defy history; it will be a major upset and in order to achieve that, it will require a supreme effort from the team leaders and the younger brigade like Jesse Hogan, James Brayshaw and up and comers in Max Gawn and Jack Viney. And even then ... THE GAME Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 16 August 2015 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Western Bulldogs 74 wins Melbourne 85 wins 1 draw At Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 8 wins Melbourne 6 wins Last Five Meetings: Western Bulldogs 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches: Beveridge 0 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Fox Sports 3 @ 3.00pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Western Bulldogs $1.22 to win Melbourne $4.25 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Western Bulldogs 9.10.64 at the MCG in Round 8, 2015 After a slow start the Demons took control and made a statement to the rest of the football world that they wouldn't be pushed around any more. They led at every change to win by 39 points with key positions Jesse Hogan and Cam Pedersen kicking three goals each. TEAMS WESTERN BULLDOGS B: Dale Morris, Michael Talia, Matthew Boyd HB: Robert Murphy, Joel Hamling, Easton Wood C: Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Shane Biggs HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Tory Dickson, Stewart Crameri F: Lachie Hunter, Jack Redpath, Jake Stringer FOLL: Tom Campbell, Mitch Wallis, Liam Picken I/C: Caleb Daniel, Sam Darley, Jarrad Grant, Lin Jong EMG: Tom Boyd, Daniel Pearce, Josh Prudden IN: Robert Murphy OUT: Bailey Dale (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Angus Brayshaw, Heritier Lumumba HF: Matt Jones, Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Rohan Bail, James Harmes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Salem EMG: Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley, Billy Stretch IN: Rohan Bail OUT: Dom Tyson (hamstring) One of these sides is fighting for a top four spot while the other is firmly entrenched in the bottom six but their immediate fate and the outcome of this game might well be determined by a couple of key forwards who have taken their time to establish places in their respective teams and have had very different pathways into the AFL. Melbourne's Jesse Hogan was drafted by the Demons as a 17 year old from Western Australia in October 2012 when he was taken as a pre-listed selection in the AFL's mini draft. We had a glimpse of him in the 2013 NAB Cup but he could not play AFL for Melbourne in his first season and he spent the year playing with the Casey Scorpions where he won that club's best and fairest and kicked 39 goals in 15 games. A knee injury late against Bendigo late in the year put a premature end to his season (he missed the VFL finals) but worse was to come when he injured his back in a 2014 pre season game which ruled him out for all but one game with the Casey Scorpions. He finally made his AFL debut in this year's season opener on 4 April 2015 against the Gold Coast kicking two goals and taking seven marks. His goal tally is now up to 36; he leads the competition in contested marks and is favourite for the AFL Rising Star. He already has a bag of five goals against St. Kilda at Etihad and last week, he booted four goals and was his team's best in their defeat at the hands of North Melbourne. The Bulldogs' Jack Redpath (194cm, 104kg) from Kyneton was selected with pick 62 in the 2012 Rookie Draft. The tall forward was already 21 years of age when drafted and like Hogan made his preseason debut in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup. However, he spent two seasons in the VFL with Williamstown and then most of last year with Footscray before making his AFL debut in Round 16 of 2014. He was the Bulldogs' leading goal kicker in their VFL premiership team and is now beginning to establish himself at full forward ahead of high priced young recruit Tom Boyd from the Giants. His career games total is 10 and he has kicked a modest total of 12 goals but against Port Adelaide last week he kicked four goals. Although not directly opposed to each other, if one of these power forwards can fire and boot a bag of goals, his team's winning chances will soar. The same can be said of the ruck duels. The Demon midfield is improving steadily and the Doggies on ball division has also come on in leaps and bounds under the tutelage of coach Luke Beveridge. The ruck is where I expect Melbourne to press home the advantage of an in form 208cm Max Gawn who is one of the top four ruckmen in the competition in terms of hit outs and contested marks and who was an emergency when these teams last met. Newly re-signed on a three year contract, Gawn has been a revelation since he broke into the side in mid season after a heartbreaking run with injuries. He keeps getting better and if he's on song this week against the Western Bulldogs, we could see Melbourne rewrite some more of its history and break yet another hoodoo in 2015.
  4. History says that Melbourne has no chance whatsoever of beating the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening. This is despite the fact that when the two clubs locked horns about 12 weeks ago, the Demons had an emphatic 39 point win. However, that result came at the end of the Doggies' three game losing streak - their lowest ebb for the year to date - and the landscape has changed dramatically since then. In fact, the Western Bulldogs have rewritten their history in that short space of time. Today it's unanimous among most pundits that the Dishlickers under Luke Beveridge are the feel good story of the season having recently pushed aside the Tigers from that mantle before sneaking ahead of the Swans to snatch a place in the top four. There's also the matter of the venue for this meeting. The Westen Bulldogs have a sensational record against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium with eight wins from nine games while the place is a "bogey" ground for the Demons whose only win over the Dogs there was in in round 19, 2007 - a game that marks the historic (or should I say prehistoric?) occasion of their last win at the Docklands. Since then, Melbourne has been involved in the AFL's biggest venue hoodoo losing 21 games in a row at Etihad. Their last trip there would still be causing them nightmares after conceding a hard fought lead in the last twenty seconds against St. Kilda to go down in embarrassing fashion by 2 points. What this means is that a Demon win will not only defy history; it will be a major upset and in order to achieve that, it will require a supreme effort from the team leaders and the younger brigade like Jesse Hogan, James Brayshaw and up and comers in Max Gawn and Jack Viney. And even then ... THE GAME Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 16 August 2015 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Western Bulldogs 74 wins Melbourne 85 wins 1 draw At Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 8 wins Melbourne 6 wins Last Five Meetings: Western Bulldogs 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches: Beveridge 0 wins Roos 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Fox Sports 3 @ 3.00pm (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Western Bulldogs $1.22 to win Melbourne $4.25 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Western Bulldogs 9.10.64 at the MCG in Round 8, 2015 After a slow start the Demons took control and made a statement to the rest of the football world that they wouldn't be pushed around any more. They led at every change to win by 39 points with key positions Jesse Hogan and Cam Pedersen kicking three goals each. THE TEAMS WESTERN BULLDOGS B: Dale Morris, Michael Talia, Matthew Boyd HB: Robert Murphy, Joel Hamling, Easton Wood C: Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Shane Biggs HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Tory Dickson, Stewart Crameri F: Lachie Hunter, Jack Redpath, Jake Stringer FOLL: Tom Campbell, Mitch Wallis, Liam Picken I/C: Caleb Daniel, Sam Darley, Jarrad Grant, Lin Jong EMG: Tom Boyd, Daniel Pearce, Josh Prudden IN: Robert Murphy OUT: Bailey Dale (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe C: Jack Grimes, Angus Brayshaw, Heritier Lumumba HF: Matt Jones, Chris Dawes, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Rohan Bail, James Harmes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Salem EMG: Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley, Billy Stretch IN: Rohan Bail OUT: Dom Tyson (hamstring) One of these sides is fighting for a top four spot while the other is firmly entrenched in the bottom six but their immediate fate and the outcome of this game might well be determined by a couple of key forwards who have taken their time to establish places in their respective teams and have had very different pathways into the AFL. Melbourne's Jesse Hogan was drafted by the Demons as a 17 year old from Western Australia in October 2012 when he was taken as a pre-listed selection in the AFL's mini draft. We had a glimpse of him in the 2013 NAB Cup but he could not play AFL for Melbourne in his first season and he spent the year playing with the Casey Scorpions where he won that club's best and fairest and kicked 39 goals in 15 games. A knee injury late against Bendigo late in the year put a premature end to his season (he missed the VFL finals) but worse was to come when he injured his back in a 2014 pre season game which ruled him out for all but one game with the Casey Scorpions. He finally made his AFL debut in this year's season opener on 4 April 2015 against the Gold Coast kicking two goals and taking seven marks. His goal tally is now up to 36; he leads the competition in contested marks and is favourite for the AFL Rising Star. He already has a bag of five goals against St. Kilda at Etihad and last week, he booted four goals and was his team's best in their defeat at the hands of North Melbourne. The Bulldogs' Jack Redpath (194cm, 104kg) from Kyneton was selected with pick 62 in the 2012 Rookie Draft. The tall forward was already 21 years of age when drafted and like Hogan made his preseason debut in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup. However, he spent two seasons in the VFL with Williamstown and then most of last year with Footscray before making his AFL debut in Round 16 of 2014. He was the Bulldogs' leading goal kicker in their VFL premiership team and is now beginning to establish himself at full forward ahead of high priced young recruit Tom Boyd from the Giants. His career games total is 10 and he has kicked a modest total of 12 goals but against Port Adelaide last week he kicked four goals. Although not directly opposed to each other, if one of these power forwards can fire and boot a bag of goals, his team's winning chances will soar. The same can be said of the ruck duels. The Demon midfield is improving steadily and the Doggies on ball division has also come on in leaps and bounds under the tutelage of coach Luke Beveridge. The ruck is where I expect Melbourne to press home the advantage of an in form 208cm Max Gawn who is one of the top four ruckmen in the competition in terms of hit outs and contested marks and who was an emergency when these teams last met. Newly re-signed on a three year contract, Gawn has been a revelation since he broke into the side in mid season after a heartbreaking run with injuries. He keeps getting better and if he's on song this week against the Western Bulldogs, we could see Melbourne rewrite some more of its history and break yet another hoodoo in 2015.
  5. Given that the Doggies are now in the top four, this game stands as one of the club's most significant wins in recent times. Doing it again in the same season and at Etihad Stadium would really be something! MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Matt Jones HF: Angus Brayshaw, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Rohan Bail, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley, Jimmy Toumpas EMG: Max Gawn, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch IN: Jack Fitzpatrick, Jesse Hogan, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley, Jack Watts OUT: Chris Dawes (calf), Viv Michie, Christian Salem (hamstring), Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson (knee) WESTERN BULLDOGS B: Matthew Boyd, Jordan Roughead, Easton Wood HB: Robert Murphy, Fletcher Roberts, Jason Johannisen C: Tory Dickson, Liam Picken, Koby Stevens HF: Bailey Dale, Jake Stringer, Mitch Wallis F: Stewart Crameri, Tom Boyd, Luke Dahlhaus FOLL: Ayce Cordy, Lin Jong, Marcus Bontempelli I/C: Shane Biggs, Brett Goodes, Lachie Hunter, Michael Talia EMG: Jarrad Grant Nathan Hrovath Jack Macrae IN: Shane Biggs OUT: Mitch Honeychurch (general soreness) NEW: Shane Biggs
  6. GLUTIUS MAXIMUS BEATS CLASS EVERY TIME by George on the Outer It's an old saying about how ar.. beats class, and the final goal from Marcus Bontempelli to win the game for the Bulldogs was surely just that? Or was it? Sadly, while the shot may be a great contender for the Goal of the Year, there simply wasn't too much class to beat in the form of the Melbourne Demons. All around the ground there are players who are simply fillers, who wouldn't get a role at any other club. But there is little else to choose from, having witnessed a simply miserable effort at Casey yesterday. It is a real credit to Paul Roos that Melbourne is competitive. It is equally incredible that the side can be 37 points down and can manage to come back and actually take the lead by the final change and again in the final term. But there isn't any class in the form of a player or two who simply takes the game by the throat and wills the rest of the side across the line. Melbourne certainly had some seriously gutsy and committed efforts from the likes of Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince. A truly sharp contrast for their output and efforts to the insipid running shown by ... yes, the usual culprits. And sadly, they will get another go next week because there is no-one to replace them. The results will only change when those players can't get a run, because you simply lose out in those critical one-on-one contests when the game is in the balance. Mark Jamar dominated the ruck contests, and the Demons definitely had a real chance in the last quarter as Minson was tiring heavily, having had to shoulder most of the ruck responsibilities for the Dogs all afternoon. Max Gawn gave good back-up and showed he actually has a strong pair of hands and can mark and kick (unlike Jake Spencer). However, the Bulldogs had too much class in the mids and kept getting the contested ball out into space. And they were prepared to run, especially in the first half. Despite the fact that Melbourne the first goal of the match, the Western Bulldogs took control and scored seven unanswered goals to lead by 37 points at one stage. Cue the great comeback ... a lot of hard work and the game was evenly poised at 3/4 time. With it all on the line, the Demons simply fluffed it because there was no real class ... and not enough real talent. Neville Jetta put in a simply superb running lunge to spoil, then followed up and goaled after Minson mouthed off at the umpire. It was all there for the taking, but there were some passengers sitting back, enjoying the view. And they watched as Bontempelli curled an impossible kick from the pocket. Game over! Finally, can we have some sensible discussion as the season starts to near its end about where this great game of ours is going? Michael Malthouse voiced his opinion during the week saying that if he wasn't coaching, he wouldn't watch the game Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says he wouldn't watch footy if not coaching, Marc Murphy faces injury test before Collingwood game The umpiring or rather the lack of it has turned the game into a continuous rolling maul. Take a look at today's ruck hit out stats - Minson (WB) 34 Jamar (M) 43 Gawn (M) 23 with a couple of extras to Roberts (WB) and Pedersen (M). There were only 27 goals scored and yet we have over 100 hit outs! It's boring to watch! Call the free kicks when they happen, throw the ball up straight away, stop sheep herding hoping that the ball will come out and you don't have to make a decision. Decisions are what you are paid for. Make the game flow ... please! Melbourne 1.3.9 3.4.22 10.5.65 13.7.85 Western Bulldogs 4.1.25 7.4.46 10.4.64 14.7 .91 Goals Melbourne Jamar 3 Dawes Grimes 2 Gawn Jetta Pedersen Vince Viney Watts Western Bulldogs Stringer 4 Bontempelli Crameri 2 Boyd Dahlhaus Higgins Honeychurch Hunter Minson Best Melbourne Howe Jamar Watts Grimes Frawley Vince Western Bulldogs Boyd Stringer Bontempelli Murphy Wallis Stevens Changes Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Tutt replaced in selected side by Roberts Injuries Melbourne Terlich (shoulder) Western Bulldogs Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Umpires Chamberlain, Harris, Mollison Crowd 24,953 at Etihad Stadium
  7. It's an old saying about how ar.. beats class, and the final goal from Marcus Bontempelli to win the game for the Bulldogs was surely just that? Or was it? Sadly, while the shot may be a great contender for the Goal of the Year, there simply wasn't too much class to beat in the form of the Melbourne Demons. All around the ground there are players who are simply fillers, who wouldn't get a role at any other club. But there is little else to choose from, having witnessed a simply miserable effort at Casey yesterday. It is a real credit to Paul Roos that Melbourne is competitive. It is equally incredible that the side can be 37 points down and can manage to come back and actually take the lead by the final change and again in the final term. But there isn't any class in the form of a player or two who simply takes the game by the throat and wills the rest of the side across the line. Melbourne certainly had some seriously gutsy and committed efforts from the likes of Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince. A truly sharp contrast for their output and efforts to the insipid running shown by ... yes, the usual culprits. And sadly, they will get another go next week because there is no-one to replace them. The results will only change when those players can't get a run, because you simply lose out in those critical one-on-one contests when the game is in the balance. Mark Jamar dominated the ruck contests, and the Demons definitely had a real chance in the last quarter as Minson was tiring heavily, having had to shoulder most of the ruck responsibilities for the Dogs all afternoon. Max Gawn gave good back-up and showed he actually has a strong pair of hands and can mark and kick (unlike Jake Spencer). However, the Bulldogs had too much class in the mids and kept getting the contested ball out into space. And they were prepared to run, especially in the first half. Despite the fact that Melbourne the first goal of the match, the Western Bulldogs took control and scored seven unanswered goals to lead by 37 points at one stage. Cue the great comeback ... a lot of hard work and the game was evenly poised at 3/4 time. With it all on the line, the Demons simply fluffed it because there was no real class ... and not enough real talent. Neville Jetta put in a simply superb running lunge to spoil, then followed up and goaled after Minson mouthed off at the umpire. It was all there for the taking, but there were some passengers sitting back, enjoying the view. And they watched as Bontempelli curled an impossible kick from the pocket. Game over! Finally, can we have some sensible discussion as the season starts to near its end about where this great game of ours is going? Michael Malthouse voiced his opinion during the week saying that if he wasn't coaching, he wouldn't watch the game Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says he wouldn't watch footy if not coaching, Marc Murphy faces injury test before Collingwood game The umpiring or rather the lack of it has turned the game into a continuous rolling maul. Take a look at today's ruck hit out stats - Minson (WB) 34 Jamar (M) 43 Gawn (M) 23 with a couple of extras to Roberts (WB) and Pedersen (M). There were only 27 goals scored and yet we have over 100 hit outs! It's boring to watch! Call the free kicks when they happen, throw the ball up straight away, stop sheep herding hoping that the ball will come out and you don't have to make a decision. Decisions are what you are paid for. Make the game flow ... please! Melbourne 1.3.9 3.4.22 10.5.65 13.7.85 Western Bulldogs 4.1.25 7.4.46 10.4.64 14.7 .91 Goals Melbourne Jamar 3 Dawes Grimes 2 Gawn Jetta Pedersen Vince Viney Watts Western Bulldogs Stringer 4 Bontempelli Crameri 2 Boyd Dahlhaus Higgins Honeychurch Hunter Minson Best Melbourne Howe Jamar Watts Grimes Frawley Vince Western Bulldogs Boyd Stringer Bontempelli Murphy Wallis Stevens Changes Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Tutt replaced in selected side by Roberts Injuries Melbourne Terlich (shoulder) Western Bulldogs Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Umpires Chamberlain, Harris, Mollison Crowd 24,953 at Etihad Stadium
  8. Big day today starting with the Women's Game this morning. It really does seem like yesterday when we were robbed beaten by the Doggies.
  9. We asked you the supporters what you think about Sunday's game - Notorious Dee ~ This weekend will say a lot about where we're at. We were well beaten by the Kangas, have been lucky against some poor kicking teams and are really struggling going forward with poor decision making leading to painful turnovers. Based on the Demons I've been watching for the past seven years I give us no chance against the Dogs at Etihad. But...this is not the same team as recent years, the Dogs are coming back from a hiding in Perth, Cooney isn't playing....so I say another lazy 40 disposals to Bernard will see us carve out a very overdue win at our bogey stadium. Mike Nolan ~ The Dees will be out to extract revenge on the improving Bulldogs. The last time they met the Dees will have felt they let the game slip but this time Paul Roos and the boys will arrive not just playing to compete but playing to win. The improvement in both sides has been obvious and both sides will feel confident but I am extremely confident the boys will be in a great position to get over the line and take another step towards what looks a very bright future for this club. Tall Defence - This week the Demons and the Bulldogs go head to head in a match in which both clubs would fancy their chances. With both teams coming off disappointing performances on the weekend, Sunday presents itself as a chance to right the wrongs of the previous week. The Bulldogs took the chocolates in controversial circumstances when these two teams last met back in round 8 after Stewart Crameri was awarded a dubious free kick in the final minutes to put the Doggies two kicks clear of a wasteful Melbourne and eventually run out 16 point victors 15.9.99 to 12.11.83. This time the Bulldogs are likely to be effected by the loss of players due to both suspension and injuries in the likes of Giansiricusa, Griffen, Roughead and fitness clouds still over Boyd and Cooney possibly presenting Melbourne with their best chance yet of registering a victory at Etihad Stadium for the first time since May 2007 during the home and away season. Melbourne also will have some selection decisions to make during the week with Jordie McKenzie to miss due to suspension, Daniel Cross out with a broken leg and coach Paul Roos making comment of a few players starting to look tired. With the Bulldogs light on for key position players and the loss of some key midfielders, assuming Melbourne can get on top in the middle, this is a game Melbourne should win and win in as comfortable a manner that they are capable of mustering at this time of their development. Prediction: Melbourne by 33 points Leading goal kicker: Chris Dawes 4 BOG: Nathan Jones THE GAME Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 29 June 2014 at 1.10pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Western Bulldogs 73 wins Melbourne 84 wins 1 draw At Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 7 wins Melbourne 0 wins Last Five Years: Western Bulldogs 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches: McCartney 1 win Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel at 1:00pm AEST (live) Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Western Bulldogs $1.60 to win Melbourne $2.35 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Western Bulldogs 15.9.99 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 at MCG in Round 8, 2014 The Great Pretender ~ The teams last met in the second week of May and the Western Bulldogs ran out winners by 16 points in a game that could have gone either way after Melbourne led by 5 points at three quarter time. With 20 minutes gone in the last, Melbourne was pressing and looked a likely winner. How well we remember that run by Matt Jones that should have been a certain goal and the soft free to Stewart Crameri that resulted in a goal. These were the two momentum changers that turned the result against Melbourne. TEAMS WESTERN BULLDOGS B: Liam Picken, Mark Austin, Robert Murphy HB: Shaun Higgins, Dale Morris, Easton Wood C :Marcus Bontempelli, Matthew Boyd, Jack Macrae HF: Koby Stevens, Stewart Crameri, Sam Darley F: Luke Dahlhaus, Liam Jones, Mitch Honeychurch FOLL: Will Minson, Mitch Wallis, Tom Liberatore I/C: Nathan Hrovat, Lachie Hunter, Jake Stringer, Jason Tutt EMG: Tom Campbell, Jack Redpath, Fletcher Roberts IN: Sam Darley, Mitch Honeychurch, Lachie Hunter, Jake Stringer OUT: Daniel Giansiracusa (suspension), Jarrad Grant (virus), Ryan Griffen (back spasms), Jordan Roughead (shoulder) NEW: Sam Darley, Mitch Honeychurch MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Dean Terlich, Colin Garland, Jack Grimes C: Jack Watts, Jack Viney, Bernie Vince HF: Rohan Bail, Chris Dawes, Matt Jones F: Cameron Pedersen, James Frawley, Dean Kent FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones I/C: Dom Barry, Max Gawn, Daniel Nicholson, Christian Salem EMG: Alex Georgiou, Aidan Riley, Luke Tapscott IN: Dom Barry, Max Gawn, Daniel Nicholson, Dean Terlich OUT: Daniel Cross (leg), Tom McDonald (calf), Jordie McKenzie (suspension), Aidan Riley NEW Dom Barry The Great Pretender ~ The question is whether anything has changed six or seven weeks down the track and whether the different venue will have an impact on the teams? Both of them are experiencing the highs and lows of football. Both of them were unable to translate exciting victories a fortnight ago into back to back winning performances last weekend. In fact, they both disappointed and it was if they had played out their grand finals the week before. So now the time has come for action and Melbourne has a point to prove. It failed last week to beat the North Melbourne "hoodoo". It must now overcome the Etihad one which has lasted for seven years since it beat the Dogs there in 2007. It's time. Freddie Fuschia ~ There was a statistic discussed on one of the footy programmes earlier in the week which revealed how much space the clubs gained through the use of handball. Melbourne was in negative territory by a fair way. They showed a passage of play from last Sunday's game where we started with the ball just outside our goal square followed by a chain of handballs until we reached the stage where we were well outside the 50 metre line, the ball was smothered and turned into a Kangaroo attacking move. I think that if Harley Bennell was playing and had any one of about four or five possessions in that chain, he probably would have had a crack and goaled. It might be the Paul Roos hallmark to go defensive but perhaps we need to be a little bit more attacking when we play an opponent like the Bulldogs. With Cross injured and McKenzie suspended it will be interesting whether the coach will make the move to subtly change the emphasis from full on defence to a more attacking style of play. With the Bulldogs also victims of injury and suspension, I will step out on a limb and go for the Demons by 27 points.
  10. Seems like only yesterday - THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Dean Terlich HB: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Daniel Cross, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Rohan Bail, James Frawley, Jack Watts F: Jeremy Howe, Chris Dawes, Cam Pedersen FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Shannon Byrnes, Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem EMG: Mitch Clisby, Max Gawn, Aidan Riley IN: Colin Garland OUT: Alex Georgiou WESTERN BULLDOGS B: Liam Picken, Tom Williams, Easton Wood. HB: Shaun Higgins, Dale Morris, Robert Murphy. C: Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen, Jack Macrae. HF: Jake Stringer, Stewart Crameri, Tory Dickson. F: Luke Dahlhaus, Liam Jones, Daniel Giansiracusa. FOLL: Will Minson, Matthew Boyd, Tom Liberatore. I/C: Jason Tutt, Fletcher Roberts, Lachie Hunter, Jason Johannisen. EMG: Marcus Bontempelli, Brett Goodes, Michael Talia IN: Daniel Giansiracusa, Fletcher Roberts, Jason Tutt OUT: Marcus Bontempelli, Koby Stevens, Michael Talia
  11. SEPTEMBER ACTION ... OR ANOTHER SORRY EFFORT? by George on the Outer If you knew at the start of the season, that the Demons were bound for September action, then everyone would have been getting just a little excited. But when you then found out that: * we could only manage a lousy pair of wins for the season and * the September action involved playing the 4th worst team in the competition at 4.40 on a Sunday evening after every other game had finished, and * the off-field dramas continued to get even worse than 2012 then perhaps even more of us would have booked ski-holidays at the start of the year ( but the snow quality this year was about as good as the Demons!) Someone has got it in for us. Are we jinxed? Is the curse of the Red Fox real? It sure feels that way, but until players start performing and putting in the efforts that Norm Smith demanded from his protégés, then we will continue to put in sorry performances like the supporters witnessed again in the final match. Nine goals straight were recorded by the Dogs in the second quarter, and that was after we had scored the first. Familiar? We the fans have been watching that sort of performance all year. Players thinking that they have done enough in one quarter of football While some again might be excited by the fact that Jack Watts kicked four goals, it would really be something if he actually got the ball himself. He wont have Aaron Davey to drill it down his throat next year, and blind umpires wont hand out blatantly wrong free kicks to bolster his ego. Seven possessions for the day is simply not good enough! Col Sylvia has been promising to deliver and continuing to not do so, for ten seasons now. His lack of effort and willingness to do the team things was in sharp contrast to the gutsy performances from Luke Dalhouse, Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd, Robert Murphy and Daniel Cross. They just keep on giving and Col keeps on promising. And four of those five have been around just as long ! What a sorry state we will see ourselves without Davey next year. His exquisite skills with the ball over many years has been an absolute delight to the Demon fans. And in his final match he gave us plenty of glimpses of those highlights again. It is a true indictment on the rest of the team that the veteran was probably our B.O.G for the day. He gave his all during his career and didnt stop until he could do no more. We will miss him ... thanks for the memories Flash! For the Demon fans, the relief that Season 2013 is over was palpable. What a sad state of affairs, that this once great Club is glad to see the season over! Another re-build coming, with another 8-10 players to dropped from the list. The Demonland scribes can easily put together a list of players who wont be around next year, and the final number is probably closer to the double digit number. We simply have too many players who are not of AFL standard, and an equal number of lazy, contented spectators. The Bulldogs lack a lot of things in their side, but G & D isnt one of them. They have given their supporters some hope for 2014, especially with their performances in the latter half of the Season. The Melbourne supporters in contrast, have got nothing from the players and are pinning their hopes on a new coach, president, board, CEO ... But can any of them kick a football? Melbourne4.5.29 6.5.41 9.7.61 13.9.87 Western Bulldogs 4.3.27 13.6.84 14.8.92 16.11.107 Goals Melbourne Watts 4 Kent 2 Dunn Garland Howe M Jones N Jones Sellar Viney Western BulldogsDickson 3 Cooney Giansiracusa Hunter 2 Campbell Cross Grant Jones Liberatore Minson Wallis Best Melbourne Grimes Garland Trengove Viney Frawley M Jones Western Bulldogs Liberatore Boyd Cooney Murphy Minson Cross Dickson Injuries Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Changes Melbourne Chris Dawes (calf) replaced by James Sellar Western Bulldogs Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Umpires Hosking Armstrong Fisher Official Crowd 22,176 at Etihad Stadium Goodbye 2013 ... hello future
  12. If you knew at the start of the season, that the Demons were bound for September action, then everyone would have been getting just a little excited. But when you then found out that: * we could only manage a lousy pair of wins for the season and * the September action involved playing the 4th worst team in the competition at 4.40 on a Sunday evening after every other game had finished, and * the off-field dramas continued to get even worse than 2012 then perhaps even more of us would have booked ski-holidays at the start of the year ( but the snow quality this year was about as good as the Demons!) Someone has got it in for us. Are we jinxed? Is the curse of the Red Fox real? It sure feels that way, but until players start performing and putting in the efforts that Norm Smith demanded from his protégés, then we will continue to put in sorry performances like the supporters witnessed again in the final match. Nine goals straight were recorded by the Dogs in the second quarter, and that was after we had scored the first. Familiar? We the fans have been watching that sort of performance all year. Players thinking that they have done enough in one quarter of football While some again might be excited by the fact that Jack Watts kicked four goals, it would really be something if he actually got the ball himself. He wont have Aaron Davey to drill it down his throat next year, and blind umpires wont hand out blatantly wrong free kicks to bolster his ego. Seven possessions for the day is simply not good enough! Col Sylvia has been promising to deliver and continuing to not do so, for ten seasons now. His lack of effort and willingness to do the team things was in sharp contrast to the gutsy performances from Luke Dalhouse, Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd, Robert Murphy and Daniel Cross. They just keep on giving and Col keeps on promising. And four of those five have been around just as long ! What a sorry state we will see ourselves without Davey next year. His exquisite skills with the ball over many years has been an absolute delight to the Demon fans. And in his final match he gave us plenty of glimpses of those highlights again. It is a true indictment on the rest of the team that the veteran was probably our B.O.G for the day. He gave his all during his career and didnt stop until he could do no more. We will miss him ... thanks for the memories Flash! For the Demon fans, the relief that Season 2013 is over was palpable. What a sad state of affairs, that this once great Club is glad to see the season over! Another re-build coming, with another 8-10 players to dropped from the list. The Demonland scribes can easily put together a list of players who wont be around next year, and the final number is probably closer to the double digit number. We simply have too many players who are not of AFL standard, and an equal number of lazy, contented spectators. The Bulldogs lack a lot of things in their side, but G & D isnt one of them. They have given their supporters some hope for 2014, especially with their performances in the latter half of the Season. The Melbourne supporters in contrast, have got nothing from the players and are pinning their hopes on a new coach, president, board, CEO ... But can any of them kick a football? Melbourne4.5.29 6.5.41 9.7.61 13.9.87 Western Bulldogs 4.3.27 13.6.84 14.8.92 16.11.107 Goals Melbourne Watts 4 Kent 2 Dunn Garland Howe M Jones N Jones Sellar Viney Western BulldogsDickson 3 Cooney Giansiracusa Hunter 2 Campbell Cross Grant Jones Liberatore Minson Wallis Best Melbourne Grimes Garland Trengove Viney Frawley M Jones Western Bulldogs Liberatore Boyd Cooney Murphy Minson Cross Dickson Injuries Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Changes Melbourne Chris Dawes (calf) replaced by James Sellar Western Bulldogs Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Western Bulldogs Nil Umpires Hosking Armstrong Fisher Official Crowd 22,176 at Etihad Stadium Goodbye 2013 ... hello future
  13. Last time this year and the big question is whether the news of the possible appointment of Paul Roos will have an effect in the mindset of the players and turn what would otherwise be a non event into a game worth attending. Also - good luck to Flash on a great career somewhat diminished by injury in the latter years.
  14. THE BEST TO LAST by Whispering Jack Whoever it was at the AFL who decided to arrange the fixture in such a way that the last game of the home and away season would be a game between the AFLs 15th and 17th placed teams was most likely on the same gear that set Essendon up for a fall this week over the supplements scandal. This game should have been the jewel in the competitions crown a send-off to the season at twilight with darkening shadows suddenly illuminated by the switching on of lights and possibly a touch of fireworks. The game deserved a match up like Hawthorn v Sydney Swans or even the now dead rubber Essendon v Richmond. They should have left the best to last but instead theyre giving us a matchup between miserable Melbourne and its last victim, the Western Bulldogs. And we long suffering Demon fans who have been waiting for the season to end quickly since halfway through the second quarter of round two, are made to suffer longer even than the fans of the drug cheats. Beamer would call it karma. I call it ! Nine weeks ago, when the Dees headed them by more than seven goals at the midpoint of the final quarter at the MCG, you might have thought the Bulldogs' fans would be approaching this fixture with a similar mindset. Not so. The Doggies have gone through something of an epiphany since that night. First, there was the stirring run of seven unanswered goals that nearly snatched the points from Melbourne. Then they just fell in against GWS at Skoda and they followed that with admirable losses against the Bombers and the Hawks. They beat West Coast at home, troubled the Swans and knocked off Carlton and Adelaide before coming from way back at the Gabba to almost take the points against the in form Lions. Suddenly, the Bulldog coach Brendan McCartney is a genius and his team is a potential power house of the future. I don't know about that but what I do know is that the form lines of Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have diverged remarkably over the past two months as we've drifted aimlessly and without purpose towards the end of the line for 2013 and it doesn't bode well for its prospects of a win this week unless something dramatic occurs between now and the start of the game. THE GAME Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 1 September 2013 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Western Bulldogs 71 wins Melbourne 85 wins 1 draw At Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 6 wins Melbourne 6 wins Since 2000: Western Bulldogs 11 wins Melbourne 11 wins The Coaches: McCartney 0 wins Craig 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 4.30pm Radio - 3AW SEN ABC THE BETTING Western Bulldogs $1.08 to win Melbourne $8.00 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Western Bulldogs 15.10.100 at MCG in Round 14, 2013 The Demons controlled the game from early and led by 26 points at ½ time and 39 at ¾ time. Halfway through the final quarter the margin was up to 44 points at which time they put the cue in the rack allowing the fast-finishing Doggies to almost pull the game out of the fire. The talls in the Demon forward line had a night out with Watts (4), Dawes (3), Howe and Fitzpatrick (2 each) were among the goalkickers. TEAMS WESTERN BULLDOGS Backs Liam Picken Jordan Roughhead Dale Morris Half backs Robert Murphy Tom Young Daniel Cross Centreline Adam Cooney Tom Liberatore Matthew Boyd Half forwards Daniel Giansiracusa Tom Campbell Nathan Hrovat Forwards Luke Dahlhaus Tory Dickson Jarrad Grant Followers Will Minson Mitch Wallis Ryan Griffin Interchange Mark Austin Lachie Hunter Liam Jones Koby Stevens Emergencies Michael Talia Jason Tutt Easton Wood In Adam Cooney Liam Jones Out Dylan Addison Jason Tutt MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Grimes Tom McDonald Colin Garland Centreline Jack Viney Jack Trengove Jimmy Toumpas Half forwards Matt Jones Jack Watts Colin Sylvia Forwards Dean Kent Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Jake Spencer Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Max Gawn Jeremy Howe Neville Jetta Luke Tapscott Emergencies Rohan Bail James Sellar Rory Taggert In Max Gawn Neville Jetta Out Cameron Pedersen David Rodan (knee) TWO DAYS LATER ... The news that Melbourne could be close to securing a long-term deal with former Sydney premiership coach Paul Roos came like a bolt out of the blue as the final round of the season was about to begin. In quick time, the discussion about peptides, the WADA Code and Supreme Court writs was off the table and the focus turned to the real likelihood that the Demons had pulled off a major coup just when everyone was starting to believe the On the Couch co-host's 57 denials made so far this month about having any desire whatsoever to coach a team in the AFL next year. In one day, the Melbourne community went from contemplating the future under the tutelage of a steady, safe but somewhat boring Rodney Eade to discovering that the said Rocket had given the idea the rocket. Then we heard that another prospect for the coaching gig in Mark "Choco" Williams had been interviewed by the coaching selection panel and that the single word description of how Port Adelaide's premiership coach came across was "interesting". That's code for it didn't turn out as well as expected by one or both sides or "no dice". Then, just as we thought all was lost and were contemplating the appointment of some third or fourth choice stiff who would be greeted by irate fans threatening to burn down the northern stand, Roosy calmly and deliberately told a national television audience that he was a 50-50 chance of coaching the Demons next year. In football speak that's tantamount to him saying that he had already mapped out the preseason including trips to the Kokoda Track, Arizona and the South Pole, that the coach's desk was being prepared and polished and that the name P. Roos was already being stenciled on an office door at AAMI Park. The big question from the perspective of someone previewing the game against the Bulldogs is how will the players react to the news? In fact, its the only question to ask about this flakey group of players that has rarely risen above mediocrity over the six months of the current playing season. There's hardly a player in the team who will not be under the pump to perform knowing that they are playing for a place in the heart of the new coach if not for a position on next year's senior list and this is especially so in the case of out of contract players such as Colin Sylvia (also a free agent) and Jack Watts. Both have the opportunity to leave the club and sign on to play elsewhere in the pursuit of team success at other clubs - success that perhaps a week ago seemed so far out of sight for this club that it didn't matter. Suddenly, things have changed dramatically and this fixture against the Western Bulldogs takes on some significance for the future of the 22 players who will run out onto a ground where team success has been rare in the past six seasons. For the first time this year the light at the end of the tunnel is flickering at Melbourne and that's why I think they will walk off the ground having left the best for last. I'm tipping Melbourne to farewell the old and welcome in the new by winning this otherwise meaningless fixture by 4 points.
  15. Whoever it was at the AFL who decided to arrange the fixture in such a way that the last game of the home and away season would be a game between the AFLs 15th and 17th placed teams was most likely on the same gear that set Essendon up for a fall this week over the supplements scandal. This game should have been the jewel in the competitions crown a send-off to the season at twilight with darkening shadows suddenly illuminated by the switching on of lights and possibly a touch of fireworks. The game deserved a match up like Hawthorn v Sydney Swans or even the now dead rubber Essendon v Richmond. They should have left the best to last but instead theyre giving us a matchup between miserable Melbourne and its last victim, the Western Bulldogs. And we long suffering Demon fans who have been waiting for the season to end quickly since halfway through the second quarter of round two, are made to suffer longer even than the fans of the drug cheats. Beamer would call it karma. I call it ! Nine weeks ago, when the Dees headed them by more than seven goals at the midpoint of the final quarter at the MCG, you might have thought the Bulldogs' fans would be approaching this fixture with a similar mindset. Not so. The Doggies have gone through something of an epiphany since that night. First, there was the stirring run of seven unanswered goals that nearly snatched the points from Melbourne. Then they just fell in against GWS at Skoda and they followed that with admirable losses against the Bombers and the Hawks. They beat West Coast at home, troubled the Swans and knocked off Carlton and Adelaide before coming from way back at the Gabba to almost take the points against the in form Lions. Suddenly, the Bulldog coach Brendan McCartney is a genius and his team is a potential power house of the future. I don't know about that but what I do know is that the form lines of Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have diverged remarkably over the past two months as we've drifted aimlessly and without purpose towards the end of the line for 2013 and it doesn't bode well for its prospects of a win this week unless something dramatic occurs between now and the start of the game. THE GAME Western Bulldogs v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 1 September 2013 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall: Western Bulldogs 71 wins Melbourne 85 wins 1 draw At Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 6 wins Melbourne 6 wins Since 2000: Western Bulldogs 11 wins Melbourne 11 wins The Coaches: McCartney 0 wins Craig 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 4.30pm Radio - 3AW SEN ABC THE BETTING Western Bulldogs $1.08 to win Melbourne $8.00 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Western Bulldogs 15.10.100 at MCG in Round 14, 2013 The Demons controlled the game from early and led by 26 points at ½ time and 39 at ¾ time. Halfway through the final quarter the margin was up to 44 points at which time they put the cue in the rack allowing the fast-finishing Doggies to almost pull the game out of the fire. The talls in the Demon forward line had a night out with Watts (4), Dawes (3), Howe and Fitzpatrick (2 each) were among the goalkickers. TEAMS WESTERN BULLDOGS Backs Liam Picken Jordan Roughhead Dale Morris Half backs Robert Murphy Tom Young Daniel Cross Centreline Adam Cooney Tom Liberatore Matthew Boyd Half forwards Daniel Giansiracusa Tom Campbell Nathan Hrovat Forwards Luke Dahlhaus Tory Dickson Jarrad Grant Followers Will Minson Mitch Wallis Ryan Griffin Interchange (from) Mark Austin Lachie Hunter Liam Jones Koby Stevens Michael Talia Jason Tutt Easton Wood In Adam Cooney Nathan Hrovat Liam Jones Michael Talia Out Dylan Addison MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Grimes Tom McDonald Colin Garland Centreline Jack Viney Jack Trengove Jimmy Toumpas Half forwards Matt Jones Jack Watts Colin Sylvia Forwards Dean Kent Chris Dawes Aaron Davey Followers Jake Spencer Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Max Gawn Jeremy Howe Neville Jetta Luke Tapscott Emergencies Rohan Bail James Sellar Rory Taggert In Max Gawn Neville Jetta Out Cameron Pedersen David Rodan (knee) TWO DAYS LATER ... The news that Melbourne could be close to securing a long-term deal with former Sydney premiership coach Paul Roos came like a bolt out of the blue as the final round of the season was about to begin. In quick time, the discussion about peptides, the WADA Code and Supreme Court writs was off the table and the focus turned to the real likelihood that the Demons had pulled off a major coup just when everyone was starting to believe the On the Couch co-host's 57 denials made so far this month about having any desire whatsoever to coach a team in the AFL next year. In one day, the Melbourne community went from contemplating the future under the tutelage of a steady, safe but somewhat boring Rodney Eade to discovering that the said Rocket had given the idea the rocket. Then we heard that another prospect for the coaching gig in Mark "Choco" Williams had been interviewed by the coaching selection panel and that the single word description of how Port Adelaide's premiership coach came across was "interesting". That's code for it didn't turn out as well as expected by one or both sides or "no dice". Then, just as we thought all was lost and were contemplating the appointment of some third or fourth choice stiff who would be greeted by irate fans threatening to burn down the northern stand, Roosy calmly and deliberately told a national television audience that he was a 50-50 chance of coaching the Demons next year. In football speak that's tantamount to him saying that he had already mapped out the preseason including trips to the Kokoda Track, Arizona and the South Pole, that the coach's desk was being prepared and polished and that the name P. Roos was already being stenciled on an office door at AAMI Park. The big question from the perspective of someone previewing the game against the Bulldogs is how will the players react to the news? In fact, its the only question to ask about this flakey group of players that has rarely risen above mediocrity over the six months of the current playing season. There's hardly a player in the team who will not be under the pump to perform knowing that they are playing for a place in the heart of the new coach if not for a position on next year's senior list and this is especially so in the case of out of contract players such as Colin Sylvia (also a free agent) and Jack Watts. Both have the opportunity to leave the club and sign on to play elsewhere in the pursuit of team success at other clubs - success that perhaps a week ago seemed so far out of sight for this club that it didn't matter. Suddenly, things have changed dramatically and this fixture against the Western Bulldogs takes on some significance for the future of the 22 players who will run out onto a ground where team success has been rare in the past six seasons. For the first time this year the light at the end of the tunnel is flickering at Melbourne and that's why I think they will walk off the ground having left the best for last. I'm tipping Melbourne to farewell the old and welcome in the new by winning this otherwise meaningless fixture by 4 points.
  16. The last time Melbourne played against the Western Bulldogs (on 29 June) they toyed with them for 3½ before putting the brakes on and allowing the Dogs to come back and almost win. Since then the Dishlickers have come good while the Dees seem to have gone back into their shell. Can the team regain its confidence and get up to win? MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs Tom McDonald James Frawley Mitch Clisby Centreline Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Matt Jones Half forwards Aaron Davey Chris Dawes Sam Blease Forwards Jack Fitzpatrick Jack Watts David Rodan Followers Max Gawn Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Shannon Byrnes Jeremy Howe Dean Kent Daniel Nicholson Emergencies James Magner Cam Pedersen James Sellar In Max Gawn James Frawley Out Cam Pedersen Jake Spencer (suspended) WESTERN BULLDOGS Backs Jason Johannisen Jordan Roughead Nick Lower Half backs Clay Smith Michael Talia Dale Morris Centreline Jackson Macrae Adam Cooney Ryan Griffen Half forwards Robert Murphy Jake Stringer Hunter Forwards Tory Dickson Liam Jones Luke Dahlhaus Followers Will Minson Matthew Boyd Tom Liberatore Interchange Ayce Cordy Daniel Giansiracusa Nathan Hrovat Mitchell Wallis
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