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Found 20 results

  1. This was St Kilda's "away" game at home and they took advantage of a defence that leaked like a sieve and in particular, let Nick Riewoldt run around the ground wherever he pleased. Jesse Hogan bagged seven goals, causing the media to go into a frenzy about just when his management was going to announce he was heading off to Fremantle. MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg HB: Lynden Dunn, Heritier Lumumba, Christian Salem C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Josh Wagner HF: Jack Watts, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett F: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Cam Pedersen, Christian Petracca EMG: Colin Garland, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver IN: Christian Petracca OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted) NEW: Christian Petracca (20, Eastern Ranges) ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sean Dempster, Jimmy Webster HB: Shane Savage, Sam Fisher, Leigh Montagna C: Jack Billings, David Armitage, Jack Newnes HF: Maverick Weller, Nick Riewoldt, Jade Gresham F: Jack Sinclair, Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey FOLL: Tom Hickey, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven I/C: Blake Acres, Sam Gilbert, Minchington, Seb Ross EMG: Hugh Goddard, Billy Longer, Brodie Murdoch IN: Blake Acres, Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey OUT: Tom Lee (omitted), Jack Lonie (omitted), Paddy McCartin (managed)
  2. 42 AND THE ULTIMATE QUESTION by George on the Outer "42 ... the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything." - Douglas Adams. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It took the supercomputer, Deep Thought, 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. And 42 seconds was how long remained on the clock when Melbourne finally hit the front in the final quarter against the Saints. It seems that the slow thinking Melbourne contingent ... from the coaches box, to the runner, to the senior players, to the most junior of players think that they also have 7 1/2 million years to work out how to shut down the game at that point. Every single player should have been in the back half at the final bounce. Every single player should have attacked the ball to kill the game. The result: a Jack Steven possession, long kick to the forward line, where Montagna crumbed after starting in the centre himself. Not one Melbourne player ran with him! After that goal, not a single St.Kilda players remained in their forward half for the final bounce. What a contrast, and exactly what the Melbourne players should have done 20 seconds earlier! Ball killedgame over. It was a fitting end to a game that Melbourne should have taken by the throat multiple times but like last week against the Pies, the ineptitude and costly turnovers kept the oppositions score ticking over nicely. Coupled with that was the unwillingness of multiple players to make a contest when needed. With two relatively new additions to the team in Billy Stretch and Alex Neal-Bullen, it should be expected that others take up the role of providing them with the necessary leadership. But that is coming from the likes of Jack Viney, Jesse Hogan and Angus Brayshaw, who once again put in sterling performances. Not so Jeremy Howe who is fast writing himself a ticket to elsewhere, and would remain in the side only because there are no options pressing at Casey. Jeff Garlett needs to produce more than three disposals in a game, while Heritier Lumumba and Cam Pedersen put in absolute shockers as well. In the ruck Max Gawn all but cemented his position as number 1 ruck for the future, as he fed the mids with plenty of opportunities both in the middle and around the ground. If only we could only get a decent pre-season into him, he would be our answer for next year. Where would Melbourne have been without Bernie Vince and Daniel Cross who picked up 38 and 29 disposals respectively which meant they had more touches than any Saints player? Unfortunately, these figures also show how the standard drops away so quickly from there. Nathan Jones put in his usual efforts trying to create something, but is obviously still carrying an injury as he spent a good portion of the second quarter on the bench, and then slotted onto the half forward flank instead of his usual mid only role. How we could have used his grunt in the middle with those 42 seconds to go? This was a game which summed up the Melbourne Football club in this game: Unwilling to do the necessary work when required, to seal an already won game. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Slow thinking, dumb thinking. Laziness and an unwillingness to take responsibility yourself. Failing to follow instructions. Not giving the fans anything to be hopeful for. Ron Barassi had a saying if it is to beit is up to me! It should be written on the inside of every Melbourne player's locker. The answer doesnt lie with anyone else. The answer is not 42. Melbourne 3.4.22 8.6.54 11.9.75 12.11.83 St. Kilda 3.5.23 9.6.60 11.9.75 12.13.85 Goals Melbourne Hogan 5 Toumpas 2 Brayshaw Garlett Howe McDonald Viney St. Kilda Riewoldt 4 Lonie 2 Bruce Membrey Minchington Montagna Ross Steven Best Melbourne Hogan Viney Toumpas Dunn N Jones Vince Cross St. Kilda Montagna Riewoldt Newnes Changes Melbourne Nil St. Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne Cam Pedersen (hand) St. Kilda Nil Substitutions Melbourne Cam Pedersen (hand) replaced by Viv Michie in the third quarter St. Kilda Luke Delaney replaced by Blake Acres in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil St. Kilda Nil Umpires Chamberlain, Kamolins, Wallace Official crowd 25,217 at Etihad Stadium
  3. SO by The Oracle So apart from Aaron vandenBerg who was subbed off after a hamstring injury in the first half last week's game and Jack Viney who copped a corked calf around the same time, Col Garland broke his hand in the first quarter and before that, Christian Salem injured his previously "good" hamstring on Saturday morning at training. It hasn't really been a good week ... So that doesn't really inspire one to confidently look forward to the next set of two matches facing the Melbourne Football Club against clubs that (whilst admittedly both are outside the top eight) are holding a long string of consecutive wins against it and at venues where Demon victories have been as scarce as hen's teeth. That's not really such a good thing in the scheme of things ... So take this week's game against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium - a venue where Melbourne's losing run stretched to twenty by the end of last year. The Saints haven't been much chop lately but they somehow grow legs when they play the Demons and they have only one senior list player on their injury list. That doesn't really auger well for this week ... So the Demons aren't the highest scoring team in the competition and in fact, they only surpassed the struggling Gold Coast Suns who have an even longer injury list in points scored for the season by a mere four points. That doesn't really suggest that we can expect enough scoring to beat even the Saints ... So the Melbourne selection panel has gone young this week selecting hard nosed debutant Alex Neal-Bullen along with his mate from Glenelg Billy Stretch while the Saints have added Sam Gilbert and lost their best young player Jack Billings. They have that vital edge in experience ... So why am I so supremely confident about Melbourne's ability to win this week? THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 14 June, 2015 at 4:40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 87 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At Etihad St. Kilda 5 wins Melbourne 3 wins Past five meetings St. Kilda 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Richardson 1 win Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel at 4.30pm (live) RADIO - LiveTriple M 3AW SEN ABC THE BETTING St. Kilda to win - $1.80 Melbourne to win - $2.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 10.8.68 defeated Melbourne 6.15.51 in Round 1, 2014 at Etihad Stadium Melbourne started favourite to beat the Saints despite a big injury list which limited its ruck and key position stocks but after early goals to Jimmy Toumpas and Dean Terlich things went awry. Tom McDonald was injured after blanketing Nick Riewoldt and Jack Fitzpatrick had to be subbed off due to concussion. To compound matters the team kicked ten consecutive behinds before half time and Riewoldt ended up best on the ground in the Saints' 17 point win. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sean Dempster, Sam Gilbert HB: Jack Newnes, Luke Delaney, Jimmy Webster C: Leigh Montagna, David Armitage, Blake Acres HF: Sebastian Ross, Nick Riewoldt, Darren Minchington F: Tim Membrey, Josh Bruce, Jack Lonie FOLL: Billy Longer, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven I/C: Farren Ray, Dylan Roberton, Shane Savage, Maverick Weller EMG: Hugh Goddard Daniel McKenzie, Cameron Shenton IN: Luke Dunstan, Sam Gilbert, Tim Membrey, Darren Minchington, Maverick Weller OUT: Jack Billings (shin soreness), Tom Hickey (omitted), Adam Schneider (omitted), Cameron Shenton (omitted), Jack Sinclair (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Jimmy Toumpas, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Jack Watts, Cam Pedersen, Jack Viney F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Aidan Riley, Billy Stretch EMG: Jack Fitzpatrick, Jake Spencer, Dean Terlich IN: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson OUT: Jack Fitzpatrick (omitted), Colin Garland (hand), Matt Jones (omitted), Ben Newton (omitted), Aaron vandenBerg (hamstring) NEW: Alex Neal-Bullen (Glenelg) There comes a time for everything and Melbourne's appalling record both at Etihad Stadium and against St. Kilda must come to an end sooner or later and now is the time. The club's last win at this stadium dates back to a Saturday night late in 2007 when the coach was Mark Riley. Remember him? Riley was appointed the caretaker coach of Melbourne when Neale Daniher resigned in the middle of the 2007 season. He coached the club on nine occasions as the year unfolded although two of those wins were rather dubious given they were against Carlton at the MCG during the Blues' grand slam of tanking list management. Riley then moved to Carlton as an assistant to prepare the way for Brock McLean's arrival a couple of years later. Riley's other win as an AFL coach was the team's game at the Docklands against the Western Bulldogs - an easy victory which cost it a priority draft pick that year so even when the Dees win over there, they really lose. Melbourne last won a match against St. Kilda in the 2006 Elimination Final when McLean played a blinder at night on the MCG. It was the club's last winning final and is the marker for the beginning of the end of a relatively successful period in its recent history. Daniher was still the coach in those days but a procession of other coaches in the interim have seen the Saints win their last ten games on end against the Demons. You need to go back all the way to 2002 to find a successful Melbourne result against St. Kilda at Etihad Stadium. That's almost ancient history in footballing terms! Of course, for much of this period the Saints were in the ascendancy and it's only been in the last two or three years that they have headed southward ladder wise. The Dees have only been in contention against them once or twice in recent times. They started favourites to win their season opener last year but fluffed it when injury and poor kicking for goal conspired to leave them three goals adrift. Now the times are changing. I liked the way Max Gawn improved in the ruck as the game progressed on Queens Birthday. His deft ruck work in combination with his midfielders saw a major improvement in that division but the pressure exerted by Collingwood caused turnovers and was far too strong in the end. I don't believe that the Saints will be able to exert the same level of pressure this week and I doubt it possible that one team of 22 players can produce enough moments of brain fades as to allow for more of the same two weeks in a row. So, I'm tipping Melbourne to win by 15 points and bring the roof and the hoodoo down at Etihad.
  4. It was a long time ago - round 1 last year and they got us with a team that was short for rucks and KPP's. Riewoldt starred after TMac went off. ST. KILDA B: Sean Dempster, Luke Delaney, James Gwilt HB: Nathan Wright, Dylan Roberton, Jimmy Webster C: Jack Newnes, Luke Dunstan, Farren Ray HF: Clint Jones, Nick Riewoldt, Josh Saunders F: Rhys Stanley, Beau Maister, Eli Templeton FOLL: Tom Hickey, David Armitage, Shane Savage I/C: Jack Billings, Thomas Curren, Jarryn Geary, Sam Gilbert EMG: Trent Dennis-Lane Tom Lee Sebastian Ross NEW: Jack Billings (Oakleigh Chargers), Luke Delaney (North Melbourne), Luke Dunstan (Woodville-West Torrens), Shane Savage (Hawthorn), Eli Templeton (Burnie Dockers) MELBOURNE B: Dean Terlich, James Frawley, Jack Grimes HB: Lynden Dunn, Tom McDonald, Bernie Vince C: Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Watts, Dom Tyson HF: Rohan Bail, Jack Fitzpatrick, Daniel Cross F: Shannon Byrnes, Cam Pedersen, Jeremy Howe FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Jack Trengove I/C: Viv Michie, Matt Jones, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Alex Georgiou EMG: Daniel Nicholson, Sam Blease, Michael Evans NEW: Daniel Cross (Western Bulldogs), Alex Georgiou (Norwood), Jay Kennedy-Harris (Oakleigh Chargers), Viv Michie (Fremantle), Dom Tyson (Greater Western Sydney), Bernie Vince (Adelaide)
  5. So apart from Aaron vandenBerg who was subbed off after a hamstring injury in the first half last week's game and Jack Viney who copped a corked calf around the same time, Col Garland broke his hand in the first quarter and before that, Christian Salem injured his previously "good" hamstring on Saturday morning at training. It hasn't really been a good week ... So that doesn't really inspire one to confidently look forward to the next set of two matches facing the Melbourne Football Club against clubs that (whilst admittedly both are outside the top eight) are holding a long string of consecutive wins against it and at venues where Demon victories have been as scarce as hen's teeth. That's not really such a good thing in the scheme of things ... So take this week's game against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium - a venue where Melbourne's losing run stretched to twenty by the end of last year. The Saints haven't been much chop lately but they somehow grow legs when they play the Demons and they have only one senior list player on their injury list. That doesn't really auger well for this week ... So the Demons aren't the highest scoring team in the competition and in fact, they only surpassed the struggling Gold Coast Suns who have an even longer injury list in points scored for the season by a mere four points. That doesn't really suggest that we can expect enough scoring to beat even the Saints ... So the Melbourne selection panel has gone young this week selecting hard nosed debutant Alex Neal-Bullen along with his mate from Glenelg Billy Stretch while the Saints have added Sam Gilbert and lost their best young player Jack Billings. They have that vital edge in experience ... So why am I so supremely confident about Melbourne's ability to win this week? THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium Sunday 14 June, 2015 at 4:40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 87 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At Etihad St. Kilda 5 wins Melbourne 3 wins Past five meetings St. Kilda 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Richardson 1 win Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel at 4.30pm (live) RADIO - LiveTriple M 3AW SEN ABC THE BETTING St. Kilda to win - $1.80 Melbourne to win - $2.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 10.8.68 defeated Melbourne 6.15.51 in Round 1, 2014 at Etihad Stadium Melbourne started favourite to beat the Saints despite a big injury list which limited its ruck and key position stocks but after early goals to Jimmy Toumpas and Dean Terlich things went awry. Tom McDonald was injured after blanketing Nick Riewoldt and Jack Fitzpatrick had to be subbed off due to concussion. To compound matters the team kicked ten consecutive behinds before half time and Riewoldt ended up best on the ground in the Saints' 17 point win. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA B: Jarryn Geary, Sean Dempster, Sam Gilbert HB: Jack Newnes, Luke Delaney, Jimmy Webster C: Leigh Montagna, David Armitage, Blake Acres HF: Sebastian Ross, Nick Riewoldt, Darren Minchington F: Tim Membrey, Josh Bruce, Jack Lonie FOLL: Billy Longer, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven I/C: Farren Ray, Dylan Roberton, Shane Savage, Maverick Weller EMG: Hugh Goddard Daniel McKenzie, Cameron Shenton IN: Luke Dunstan, Sam Gilbert, Tim Membrey, Darren Minchington, Maverick Weller OUT: Jack Billings (shin soreness), Tom Hickey (omitted), Adam Schneider (omitted), Cameron Shenton (omitted), Jack Sinclair (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Jimmy Toumpas, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba HF: Jack Watts, Cam Pedersen, Jack Viney F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Aidan Riley, Billy Stretch EMG: Jack Fitzpatrick, Jake Spencer, Dean Terlich IN: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson OUT: Jack Fitzpatrick (omitted), Colin Garland (hand), Matt Jones (omitted), Ben Newton (omitted), Aaron vandenBerg (hamstring) NEW: Alex Neal-Bullen (Glenelg) There comes a time for everything and Melbourne's appalling record both at Etihad Stadium and against St. Kilda must come to an end sooner or later and now is the time. The club's last win at this stadium dates back to a Saturday night late in 2007 when the coach was Mark Riley. Remember him? Riley was appointed the caretaker coach of Melbourne when Neale Daniher resigned in the middle of the 2007 season. He coached the club on nine occasions as the year unfolded although two of those wins were rather dubious given they were against Carlton at the MCG during the Blues' grand slam of tanking list management. Riley then moved to Carlton as an assistant to prepare the way for Brock McLean's arrival a couple of years later. Riley's other win as an AFL coach was the team's game at the Docklands against the Western Bulldogs - an easy victory which cost it a priority draft pick that year so even when the Dees win over there, they really lose. Melbourne last won a match against St. Kilda in the 2006 Elimination Final when McLean played a blinder at night on the MCG. It was the club's last winning final and is the marker for the beginning of the end of a relatively successful period in its recent history. Daniher was still the coach in those days but a procession of other coaches in the interim have seen the Saints win their last ten games on end against the Demons. You need to go back all the way to 2002 to find a successful Melbourne result against St. Kilda at Etihad Stadium. That's almost ancient history in footballing terms! Of course, for much of this period the Saints were in the ascendancy and it's only been in the last two or three years that they have headed southward ladder wise. The Dees have only been in contention against them once or twice in recent times. They started favourites to win their season opener last year but fluffed it when injury and poor kicking for goal conspired to leave them three goals adrift. Now the times are changing. I liked the way Max Gawn improved in the ruck as the game progressed on Queens Birthday. His deft ruck work in combination with his midfielders saw a major improvement in that division but the pressure exerted by Collingwood caused turnovers and was far too strong in the end. I don't believe that the Saints will be able to exert the same level of pressure this week and I doubt it possible that one team of 22 players can produce enough moments of brain fades as to allow for more of the same two weeks in a row. So, I'm tipping Melbourne to win by 15 points and bring the roof and the hoodoo down at Etihad.
  6. Who were those fat, bald blokes running around at half-time? What were they playing? The rules seemed to be if you cant kick it directly to one of your team-mates, then the opposition gets the ball. Well those same fat, bald blokes might just as well been playing in the main game, because the same theme was being followed. The clangers that were happening as both teams turned the ball over, and finally the winner of the game was the one who simply capitalized on the errors of the other. So it was the Saints who ran out winners, despite the Demons having just about more of every possible statistical measure ... more kicks, handballs, possessions, inside 50s etc. Now for a team that struggled to even get the ball inside 50 last season, this was a major step up, and to have a mid-field who can get the ball, there should be some sort of positives to draw from the game. But when opportunities are squandered and simply bald, fat bloke type kicking efforts see the ball whisked down the other end for yet another score, the bell will surely toll for some in the coming weeks! Sadly the early loss of Fitzpatrick, a calf injury to McDonald (and you have to wonder why on earth he was left on Riewoldt for another quarter and a bit when he obviously couldnt run) left the Demons without key forwards and backs. But then the Demons were already without key forwards and backs before the game had even started, so sadly we will see the same clanger kings getting another game next week, simply because there will be no-one else! While not a great fan of Jake Spencer, he certainly held his own against a rookie ruckman at the Saints, and managed to nullify the opposition both in the middle of the ground and around it. Surprisingly he had the endurance to remain in the battle wherever that was happening, and this was also a dramatic step-up from last season, when he would have been struggling for air, especially without any real assistance for the game. Tellingly, St.Kilda blew the game open with 3 goals in the 3rd quarter in the space of 5 minutes and even more tellingly, Jake was off the ground during that time taking a well earned 5 minute break. His replacement might as well have stayed in the forward line for all the value he provided. Like last season the Demon fans turned out, and by any measure outnumbered the Saints supporters at their home game. Well poor Peter Jackson wont be getting too many of those lost supporters to sign up when the same sort of trash is dished up by the same old sinners as they did last year. Yet again, a winnable position was thrown away. And against a team that was simply decimated with 7 players missing from their line-up last year. There was no hope to be gained from the game. This is a team that simply doesnt know how to win any more. The Bell tolls for some in the side, but even after one game the Bell tolls for the MFC as well. Another soul destroying outcome, and the prospect of meeting a full strength WCE next week ... rather than re-gaining lost members, there might be more joining them! Melbourne 2.2.14 2.10.22 4.11.35 6.15.51 St Kilda 1.3.9 4.5.29 8.6.54 10.8.68 Goals Melbourne Byrnes 2 Terlich Toumpas Tyson Vince St Kilda Riewoldt 3 Stanley 2 Armitage Geary Gwilt Saunders Templeton Best Melbourne N Jones Vince Spencer Watts Tyson Dunn St. Kilda Riewoldt Jones Ray Hickey Dunstan Curran Saunders Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne Fitzpatrick (concussion) McDonald (corked thigh) St Kilda Jimmy Webster (groin) Substitutions Melbourne Jay Kennedy-Harris replaced Jack Fitzpatrick in the second quarter St Kilda Jack Billings replaced Jimmy Webster at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Scott Jeffery Chris Kamolins Heath Ryan Attendance 31,657 at Etihad Stadium.
  7. THE BELL TOLLS by George on the Outer Who were those fat, bald blokes running around at half-time? What were they playing? The rules seemed to be if you cant kick it directly to one of your team-mates, then the opposition gets the ball. Well those same fat, bald blokes might just as well been playing in the main game, because the same theme was being followed. The clangers that were happening as both teams turned the ball over, and finally the winner of the game was the one who simply capitalized on the errors of the other. So it was the Saints who ran out winners, despite the Demons having just about more of every possible statistical measure ... more kicks, handballs, possessions, inside 50s etc. Now for a team that struggled to even get the ball inside 50 last season, this was a major step up, and to have a mid-field who can get the ball, there should be some sort of positives to draw from the game. But when opportunities are squandered and simply bald, fat bloke type kicking efforts see the ball whisked down the other end for yet another score, the bell will surely toll for some in the coming weeks! Sadly the early loss of Fitzpatrick, a calf injury to McDonald (and you have to wonder why on earth he was left on Riewoldt for another quarter and a bit when he obviously couldnt run) left the Demons without key forwards and backs. But then the Demons were already without key forwards and backs before the game had even started, so sadly we will see the same clanger kings getting another game next week, simply because there will be no-one else! While not a great fan of Jake Spencer, he certainly held his own against a rookie ruckman at the Saints, and managed to nullify the opposition both in the middle of the ground and around it. Surprisingly he had the endurance to remain in the battle wherever that was happening, and this was also a dramatic step-up from last season, when he would have been struggling for air, especially without any real assistance for the game. Tellingly, St.Kilda blew the game open with 3 goals in the 3rd quarter in the space of 5 minutes and even more tellingly, Jake was off the ground during that time taking a well earned 5 minute break. His replacement might as well have stayed in the forward line for all the value he provided. Like last season the Demon fans turned out, and by any measure outnumbered the Saints supporters at their home game. Well poor Peter Jackson wont be getting too many of those lost supporters to sign up when the same sort of trash is dished up by the same old sinners as they did last year. Yet again, a winnable position was thrown away. And against a team that was simply decimated with 7 players missing from their line-up last year. There was no hope to be gained from the game. This is a team that simply doesnt know how to win any more. The Bell tolls for some in the side, but even after one game the Bell tolls for the MFC as well. Another soul destroying outcome, and the prospect of meeting a full strength WCE next week ... rather than re-gaining lost members, there might be more joining them! Melbourne 2.2.14 2.10.22 4.11.35 6.15.51 St Kilda 1.3.9 4.5.29 8.6.54 10.8.68 Goals Melbourne Byrnes 2 Terlich Toumpas Tyson Vince St Kilda Riewoldt 3 Stanley 2 Armitage Geary Gwilt Saunders Templeton Best Melbourne N Jones Vince Spencer Watts Tyson Dunn St. Kilda Riewoldt Jones Ray Hickey Dunstan Curran Saunders Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Injuries Melbourne Fitzpatrick (concussion) McDonald (corked thigh) St Kilda Jimmy Webster (groin) Substitutions Melbourne Jay Kennedy-Harris replaced Jack Fitzpatrick in the second quarter St Kilda Jack Billings replaced Jimmy Webster at three-quarter time Reports Melbourne Nil St Kilda Nil Umpires Scott Jeffery Chris Kamolins Heath Ryan Attendance 31,657 at Etihad Stadium.
  8. Cast your minds back to the last time the teams met on 22 June last year when the Saints started overwhelming favourite at $1.13 to and vindicated that status. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA Backs Rhys Stanley James Gwilt Dylan Roberton Half backs Jarryn Geary Sam Fisher Jack Newnes Centreline David Armitage Sean Dempster Terry Milera Half forwards Nick Dal Santo Justin Koschitzke Clint Jones Forwards Trent Dennis-Lane Nick Riewoldt Jack Steven Followers Ben McEvoy Leigh Montagna Farren Ray Interchange Sam Dunell Seb Ross Tom Simpkin Jimmy Webster Emergencies Brodie Murdoch Ahmed Saad Arryn Siposs MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs Tom McDonald Cam Pedersen Mitch Clisby Centreline Jeremy Howe Jack Trengove Matt Jones Half forwards Aaron Davey Chris Dawes Sam Blease Forwards Shannon Byrnes Colin Sylvia David Rodan Followers Jake Spencer Jack Watts Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Dean Kent Daniel Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Emergencies Max Gawn James Magner James Sellar
  9. A CHILL WIND IN DEMON HELL by George on the Outer The perseverance of football fans in Melbourne was tested to the limits again by the AFL when they scheduled a 4:40 game on a Saturday night in the depths of winter. They might complain about the lack of fans attending MFC matches, yet the same number (28K) turned up as against ladder leaders Hawthorn a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps they should look a little more closer to home as to why numbers are down, or do they have the same diabolical plan as they have perpetrated against Melbourne in store in the coming years for St. Kilda fans? The game itself wasnt much of a spectacle, and with 27 errors to EACH team at ¾ time, this was a fair indication of the quality of player capabilities of both sides. More importantly, neither side seemed capable of capitalizing on those errors to create a decisive advantage. Imagine such consequences if the opponent was Hawthorn, Sydney or Geelong? If it were not for a simply appalling opening by Melbourne, the game would have been far more of a contest, as once again, the players failed to concentrate on the simplest of things and show some genuine commitment until it was all too late. Once that happened the heads dropped and with the exception of Nathan Jones, Tom McDonald and Col Garland, going through the motions was the order of play. A new coach usually foreshadows some sort of revival, and for a time there was evidence of the old Adelaide defensive style being implemented courtesy of Neil Craig. That probably wasnt a bad thing as Melbourne were 42 points down in the first half and heading for another 15 goal shellacking. So if there was something to be gleaned from the game, perhaps this was it. Fans would have been pleased with the performance of Sylvia in the first half, but only saw a return to the half-hearted efforts in the second. Was Shannon Byrnes on the ground at all? He must not have been, given his contribution. Did Jeremy Howe trouble the doorman with his pass this week? Again nothing seen to have any effect for the team or on the game? Dan Nicholson continued his appalling lack of ability with another fluffed chance running into an open goal, bringing his season total to 1 goal 10 behinds from this precise scenario. And can we please have Jake Spencer left at Casey? One single kick for the game and more hit-outs delivered directly to opposition mids than his own is not what a ruckman is meant to do. It was only when McEvoy was subbed off at half time, that he was sighted. The team didnt score a goal in the first half while he rucked, while at least Fitzpatrick was able to direct the ball more to advantage in the limited time he was given. Until we get 18 players on the field who are 100% committed 100% of the time, we will never achieve the style and capabilities of teams like Hawthorn or Geelong. Each and every contest should be critical, but as mentioned previously, Garland, McDonald and Jones are the only ones who demonstrate this. Unfortunately Chris Dawes wasnt able to join this group after being felled behind play in the 3rd quarter, with a St. Kilda player due to front the MRP as a certainty. You can go into a game carrying a couple of players, but we already have first gamers like Clisby ( fine effort for a first up game ) alongside a bevy of first season rookies. When supposedly experienced players shirk their responsibilities we are left with probably a dozen putting in the required effort. Small wonder the results are what they are ... If nothing, this game proved that it wasnt Mark Neeld who was the problem. It is simply the cattle on the paddock. The end of season clean out that he promised is going to happen regardless, and probably with similar numbers to last year. Those who think they can top up their superannuation like others have done in the past at the MFC will be sadly misled. It was a chill wind blowing through the MCG on a wintery Melbourne night, but it will be an even colder wind for those sinners who keep creating a Demon Hell for their long suffering fans in the outer ... Melbourne 3.0.18 5.4.34 7.5.47 10.9.69 St. Kilda 7.2.44 10.3.63 15.6.96 16.8.104 Goals Melbourne Howe Watts 2 Blease Byrne Dawes Fitzpatrick Jones Kent St Kilda Riewoldt 3 Koschitzke Ray 2 Armitage Dempster Dennis-Lane Geary Jones Milera Montagna, Ross, Stanley Best Melbourne Garland McDonald Sylvia Terlich Clisby Jones. St Kilda Montagna Ray Steven Riewoldt Dal Santo Roberton Injuries Melbourne Nil St Kilda McEvoy (concussion) Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Sam Fisher replaced by Brodie Murdoch Reports Melbourne Jake Spencer for rough conduct against Ben McEvoy (second quarter) St Kilda Nil Umpires Dalgleish McInerney Ryan Crowd 28,751 at MCG.
  10. It was a misty night in early September, 2006 when Melbourne last beat St. Kilda before 67,528 people who came to the MCG for an elimination final. The rain began to fall as half time began and those hearts that beat true for the Demons were downcast as their team, in arrears by 20 points (it could have been worse had they not scored the last goal of the second quarter), trudged slowly into the rooms. It would take a champion effort to turn things around. The effort came in the form of a sensational last half by the team led by youngster Brock McLean (in his 46th AFL game) who played the game of his short football lifetime up to that point. The deficit was reduced to nine points by the final change and a devastating last term saw Melbourne home by three goals. They lost ruckman Mark Jamar with a broken foot and Matthew Whelan to a shoulder injury and lost the Semi Final in Perth the following week but still finished in a higher position in 2006 than any of the other Victorian clubs. Since then the teams have met eight times and the result has always been the same - comprehensive victories for the Saints (the best effort was an 18 point margin last year) before ever dwindling numbers and an ever increasingly gloomy outlook for both clubs; in Melbourne's case it has touched on despair. It is not for the first or even the second time since that finals encounter - but the third - that Melbourne has found it necessary to play out a season with a caretaker coach. It is the fourth occasion in that time that the team has reached the halfway mark of the season with but a single victory to its name. Most at the club have had enough of this but the question still hangs in the air. Is there anything that can be done to turn things around? THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at MCG Saturday 22nd June, 2013 at 4:40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 85 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At MCG St. Kilda 33 wins Melbourne 58 wins Since 2000 St. Kilda 10 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Watters 0 wins Craig 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel Live at 4.30pm RADIO ABC K Rock THE BETTING St. Kilda to win $1.13 Melbourne to win $6.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 16.11.107 defeated Melbourne 12.10.82, Round 20, 2012 at the MCG Sam Blease had a stand out game with five goals and helped the Demons come from a long way behind to give the Saints a minor scare before emerging winners by 25 points. There was some doubt earlier in the week as to whether Saints' small forward Stephen Milne would play because of alleged homophobic comments towards Heritier O'Brien of Collingwood. He made it and played but he's not so lucky this time around. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA Backs Rhys Stanley James Gwilt Dylan Roberton Half backs Jarryn Geary Sam Fisher Jack Newnes Centreline David Armitage Sean Dempster Terry Milera Half forwards Nick Dal Santo Justin Koschitzke Clint Jones Forwards Trent Dennis-Lane Nick Riewoldt Jack Steven Followers Ben McEvoy Leigh Montagna Farren Ray Interchange Sam Dunell Seb Ross Tom Simpkin Jimmy Webster Emergencies Brodie Murdoch Ahmed Saad Arryn Siposs In Sam Fisher Justin Koschitzke Terry Milera Tom Simpkin Out Beau Maister (hamstring) Stephen Milne Ahmed Saad Josh Saunders MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs Tom McDonald Cam Pedersen Mitch Clisby Centreline Jeremy Howe Jack Trengove Matt Jones Half forwards Aaron Davey Chris Dawes Sam Blease Forwards Shannon Byrnes Colin Sylvia David Rodan Followers Jake Spencer Jack Watts Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Dean Kent Daniel Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Emergencies Max Gawn James Magner James Sellar In Shannon Byrnes Mitch Clisby Dan Nicholson Jake Spencer Out Michael Evans (foot) Mark Jamar (toe) Jordie McKenzie (elbow) Luke Tapscott New Mitch Clisby (23, North Adelaide) TWILIGHT ZONE There's a game this Saturday scheduled to take place in a time nestled between day and night usually reserved for fixtures that aren't quite right. Like most matches between 16 and 17th placed teams it deserves its placement outside the normal hours for the game and indeed, until the events of last week, it would have attracted minor interest from those outside the group of avid fans of the respective clubs. The strange case of Stephen Milne and the charges of rape from nine years ago and the equally strange (on a different plane) case of Mark Neeld's dismissal have combined to ensure that there will be a substantial amount of public interest in this game. After all, the media ghouls have been feasting on the two stories for the entire week. The back story from the Milne affair is the alleged player revolt at St. Kilda in support of their teammate and the question marks against the entire culture of a club whose history of extracurricular party boy activities precedes it and has become the stuff of legend. How will they respond this week? There are a myriad of questions about Melbourne in the wake of Neeld's departure, mine being about the confidence of the playing group and whether the changes that are taking place both on and off the field under a quasi AFL regime will have a positive effect to their mindset. Do the players trust the people in charge? Selecting the winner remains easy on paper. You only have to look at each team's most recent performance. The Saints were genuinely unlucky not to bring home the four points against the Eagles in a pressure cooker game while the Demons could only maintain one quarter of pressure before the Magpies swamped them. While St. Kilda is missing personnel who have hurt Melbourne in the past - Hayes, Milne (always seems to kick the opening goal in these games), Meister etc. - the missing Demons are so important in terms of the strength and team depth that are so crucial in young, inexperienced sides. Ultimately, the difference between the two might be determined at the top of the class in terms of the two Saints celebrating their 250th games for they personify two of the main ingredients that the Demons lack. Nick Riewodlt is a true champion of the game, a key position player with a great engine and plenty of courage and Nick dal Santo is a clever and classy midfielder. Both can turn the course of games but their team won't need to change anything this week. I expect them to be far too strong. St. Kilda by 37 points.
  11. The perseverance of football fans in Melbourne was tested to the limits again by the AFL when they scheduled a 4:40 game on a Saturday night in the depths of winter. They might complain about the lack of fans attending MFC matches, yet the same number (28K) turned up as against ladder leaders Hawthorn a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps they should look a little more closer to home as to why numbers are down, or do they have the same diabolical plan as they have perpetrated against Melbourne in store in the coming years for St. Kilda fans? The game itself wasnt much of a spectacle, and with 27 errors to EACH team at ¾ time, this was a fair indication of the quality of player capabilities of both sides. More importantly, neither side seemed capable of capitalizing on those errors to create a decisive advantage. Imagine such consequences if the opponent was Hawthorn, Sydney or Geelong? If it were not for a simply appalling opening by Melbourne, the game would have been far more of a contest, as once again, the players failed to concentrate on the simplest of things and show some genuine commitment until it was all too late. Once that happened the heads dropped and with the exception of Nathan Jones, Tom McDonald and Col Garland, going through the motions was the order of play. A new coach usually foreshadows some sort of revival, and for a time there was evidence of the old Adelaide defensive style being implemented courtesy of Neil Craig. That probably wasnt a bad thing as Melbourne were 42 points down in the first half and heading for another 15 goal shellacking. So if there was something to be gleaned from the game, perhaps this was it. Fans would have been pleased with the performance of Sylvia in the first half, but only saw a return to the half-hearted efforts in the second. Was Shannon Byrnes on the ground at all? He must not have been, given his contribution. Did Jeremy Howe trouble the doorman with his pass this week? Again nothing seen to have any effect for the team or on the game? Dan Nicholson continued his appalling lack of ability with another fluffed chance running into an open goal, bringing his season total to 1 goal 10 behinds from this precise scenario. And can we please have Jake Spencer left at Casey? One single kick for the game and more hit-outs delivered directly to opposition mids than his own is not what a ruckman is meant to do. It was only when McEvoy was subbed off at half time, that he was sighted. The team didnt score a goal in the first half while he rucked, while at least Fitzpatrick was able to direct the ball more to advantage in the limited time he was given. Until we get 18 players on the field who are 100% committed 100% of the time, we will never achieve the style and capabilities of teams like Hawthorn or Geelong. Each and every contest should be critical, but as mentioned previously, Garland, McDonald and Jones are the only ones who demonstrate this. Unfortunately Chris Dawes wasnt able to join this group after being felled behind play in the 3rd quarter, with a St. Kilda player due to front the MRP as a certainty. You can go into a game carrying a couple of players, but we already have first gamers like Clisby ( fine effort for a first up game ) alongside a bevy of first season rookies. When supposedly experienced players shirk their responsibilities we are left with probably a dozen putting in the required effort. Small wonder the results are what they are ... If nothing, this game proved that it wasnt Mark Neeld who was the problem. It is simply the cattle on the paddock. The end of season clean out that he promised is going to happen regardless, and probably with similar numbers to last year. Those who think they can top up their superannuation like others have done in the past at the MFC will be sadly misled. It was a chill wind blowing through the MCG on a wintery Melbourne night, but it will be an even colder wind for those sinners who keep creating a Demon Hell for their long suffering fans in the outer ... Melbourne 3.0.18 5.4.34 7.5.47 10.9.69 St. Kilda 7.2.44 10.3.63 15.6.96 16.8.104 Goals Melbourne Howe Watts 2 Blease Byrne Dawes Fitzpatrick Jones Kent St Kilda Riewoldt 3 Koschitzke Ray 2 Armitage Dempster Dennis-Lane Geary Jones Milera Montagna, Ross, Stanley Best Melbourne Garland McDonald Sylvia Terlich Clisby Jones. St Kilda Montagna Ray Steven Riewoldt Dal Santo Roberton Injuries Melbourne Nil St Kilda McEvoy (concussion) Changes Melbourne Nil St Kilda Sam Fisher replaced by Brodie Murdoch Reports Melbourne Jake Spencer for rough conduct against Ben McEvoy (second quarter) St Kilda Nil Umpires Dalgleish McInerney Ryan Crowd 28,751 at MCG.
  12. THE TURN by Whispering Jack It was a misty night in early September, 2006 when Melbourne last beat St. Kilda before 67,528 people who came to the MCG for an elimination final. The rain began to fall as half time began and those hearts that beat true for the Demons were downcast as their team, in arrears by 20 points (it could have been worse had they not scored the last goal of the second quarter), trudged slowly into the rooms. It would take a champion effort to turn things around. The effort came in the form of a sensational last half by the team led by youngster Brock McLean (in his 46th AFL game) who played the game of his short football lifetime up to that point. The deficit was reduced to nine points by the final change and a devastating last term saw Melbourne home by three goals. They lost ruckman Mark Jamar with a broken foot and Matthew Whelan to a shoulder injury and lost the Semi Final in Perth the following week but still finished in a higher position in 2006 than any of the other Victorian clubs. Since then the teams have met eight times and the result has always been the same - comprehensive victories for the Saints (the best effort was an 18 point margin last year) before ever dwindling numbers and an ever increasingly gloomy outlook for both clubs; in Melbourne's case it has touched on despair. It is not for the first or even the second time since that finals encounter - but the third - that Melbourne has found it necessary to play out a season with a caretaker coach. It is the fourth occasion in that time that the team has reached the halfway mark of the season with but a single victory to its name. Most at the club have had enough of this but the question still hangs in the air. Is there anything that can be done to turn things around? THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at MCG Saturday 22nd June, 2013 at 4:40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 85 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At MCG St. Kilda 33 wins Melbourne 58 wins Since 2000 St. Kilda 10 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Watters 0 wins Craig 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel Live at 4.30pm RADIO ABC K Rock THE BETTING St. Kilda to win $1.13 Melbourne to win $6.00 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 16.11.107 defeated Melbourne 12.10.82, Round 20, 2012 at the MCG Sam Blease had a stand out game with five goals and helped the Demons come from a long way behind to give the Saints a minor scare before emerging winners by 25 points. There was some doubt earlier in the week as to whether Saints' small forward Stephen Milne would play because of alleged homophobic comments towards Heritier O'Brien of Collingwood. He made it and played but he's not so lucky this time around. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA Backs Rhys Stanley James Gwilt Dylan Roberton Half backs Jarryn Geary Sam Fisher Jack Newnes Centreline David Armitage Sean Dempster Terry Milera Half forwards Nick Dal Santo Justin Koschitzke Clint Jones Forwards Trent Dennis-Lane Nick Riewoldt Jack Steven Followers Ben McEvoy Leigh Montagna Farren Ray Interchange Sam Dunell Seb Ross Tom Simpkin Jimmy Webster Emergencies Brodie Murdoch Ahmed Saad Arryn Siposs In Sam Fisher Justin Koschitzke Terry Milera Tom Simpkin Out Beau Maister (hamstring) Stephen Milne Ahmed Saad Josh Saunders MELBOURNE Backs Lynden Dunn Colin Garland Dean Terlich Half backs Tom McDonald Cam Pedersen Mitch Clisby Centreline Jeremy Howe Jack Trengove Matt Jones Half forwards Aaron Davey Chris Dawes Sam Blease Forwards Shannon Byrnes Colin Sylvia David Rodan Followers Jake Spencer Jack Watts Nathan Jones Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Dean Kent Daniel Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Emergencies Max Gawn James Magner James Sellar In Shannon Byrnes Mitch Clisby Dan Nicholson Jake Spencer Out Michael Evans (foot) Mark Jamar (toe) Jordie McKenzie (elbow) Luke Tapscott New Mitch Clisby (23, North Adelaide) TWILIGHT ZONE There's a game this Saturday scheduled to take place in a time nestled between day and night usually reserved for fixtures that aren't quite right. Like most matches between 16 and 17th placed teams it deserves its placement outside the normal hours for the game and indeed, until the events of last week, it would have attracted minor interest from those outside the group of avid fans of the respective clubs. The strange case of Stephen Milne and the charges of rape from nine years ago and the equally strange (on a different plane) case of Mark Neeld's dismissal have combined to ensure that there will be a substantial amount of public interest in this game. After all, the media ghouls have been feasting on the two stories for the entire week. The back story from the Milne affair is the alleged player revolt at St. Kilda in support of their teammate and the question marks against the entire culture of a club whose history of extracurricular party boy activities precedes it and has become the stuff of legend. How will they respond this week? There are a myriad of questions about Melbourne in the wake of Neeld's departure, mine being about the confidence of the playing group and whether the changes that are taking place both on and off the field under a quasi AFL regime will have a positive effect to their mindset. Do the players trust the people in charge? Selecting the winner remains easy on paper. You only have to look at each team's most recent performance. The Saints were genuinely unlucky not to bring home the four points against the Eagles in a pressure cooker game while the Demons could only maintain one quarter of pressure before the Magpies swamped them. While St. Kilda is missing personnel who have hurt Melbourne in the past - Hayes, Milne (always seems to kick the opening goal in these games), Meister etc. - the missing Demons are so important in terms of the strength and team depth that are so crucial in young, inexperienced sides. Ultimately, the difference between the two might be determined at the top of the class in terms of the two Saints celebrating their 250th games for they personify two of the main ingredients that the Demons lack. Nick Riewodlt is a true champion of the game, a key position player with a great engine and plenty of courage and Nick dal Santo is a clever and classy midfielder. Both can turn the course of games but their team won't need to change anything this week. I expect them to be far too strong. St. Kilda by 37 points.
  13. Beamer was in the middle on Lenny Hayes who took his pants down. The beginning of the end? Karma??? ST. KILDA Backs Jarryn Geary James Gwilt Tom Simpkin Half backs Sean Dempster Sam Fisher Sam Gilbert Centreline Farren Ray Lenny Hayes Brendon Goddard Half forwards Ahmed Saad Nick Riewoldt Nick Dal Santo Forwards Stephen Milne Justin Koschitzke Sam Dunell Followers Ben McEvoy David Armitage Leigh Montagna Interchange Jason Gram Clinton Jones Jack Steven Beau Wilkes Emergencies Jamie Cripps Tom Ledger Dean Polo In Beau Wilkes Out Dean Polo MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald Half backs Lynden Dunn Matthew Bate Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Brent Moloney Sam Blease Half forwards Neville Jetta Jared Rivers Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Colin Sylvia Followers Jake Spencer Jack Grimes Nathan Jones Interchange Jordie McKenzie James Magner James Strauss Luke Tapscott Emergencies Michael Evans Jack Fitzpatrick Jordan Gysberts In Matthew Bate Neville Jetta Jordie McKenzie Out James Frawley (quad) Jordan Gysberts Cale Morton (shoulder)
  14. CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT by Whispering Jack The point has been made on more than one occasion during the past week of the importance of experience in achieving ultimate success in our game. It's a point usually made by coaches of young struggling teams and was the theme this week of discussion by both the Western Bulldog's coach Brendan McCartney and Melbourne's Mark Neeld who explained immediately after his side's 25-point loss to the Saints that they "had (an average of) 117 games per player on the field and we had 60 and that's what happens." It also happens that teams with superior experience often have a strong edge in class and an ability to exploit their opponent's weaknesses and this is what happened in the game. At the start, the Saints attacked the ball with ferocity and were able to put sufficient pressure on the Demons to run away to a four goal lead by mid quarter. Melbourne had worked hard and contested well but was forced into error, usually involving little more than a few centimetres between a perfectly executed piece of play and a turnover and opposition goal. Then, the game changed with the departure of Nick Riewoldt with a knee injury. Over the course of the next half a game, the Demons worked their way back but they lacked the experienced game turner who could sway the game in their favour totally. And so, they battled their way through the remainder of the first term, throughout the second and for almost ten minutes into the third, they held sway but all of the momentum was insufficient to push them into the lead. When they kicked their second goal after six minutes into the third half, they were within sniffing distance – a mere four points down. It was at this point that the game changed again and St. Kilda retook the initiative, thanks to the class of their experienced players in dal Santo, Hayes, Fisher and Montagna who led the way to blast out eight unanswered goals in a half hour stretch that put the game well and truly beyond doubt. Beau Wilkes kicked five goals and was good but it was the team leaders who were so decisive in turning things around. To their credit, the Demons toiled away to peg the Saints' lead back to 25 points which was about the same place where they were at the fourteen minute mark of the first term when Riewoldt had hobbled off the ground. The teams even finished with the same number of inside 50's as well as tackles. Melbourne led the contested possessions and the efficiency count. The numbers suggest that the team is starting to make some progress after a poor start to the season. When you consider that the Saints were just two points or a single umpiring decision away from beating Collingwood a week earlier, the signs are good. Sitting in the stands when the score was St. Kilda 5.6.36 to Melbourne's 4.8.32 I wondered what might have been if it had its full back (James Frawley), full forward (Mitch Clark), two first dibs ruckmen (Mark Jamar and Stephan Martin), the versatile Jack Watts and the livewire Liam Jurrah fit and available for the game (not to mention half a dozen others who would be vying for contention if not for their injuries). But that's conjecture for another time. In this game Sammy Blease came of age and justified his first round draft selection for the first time. Not only for his five goals (which could easily have been six or seven) but for the defensive aspect of his play and the fact that he played out a full game. Melbourne's much maligned midfield also showed signs that it was coming out of its almost moribund state. Nathan Jones has been good all year and if he continues to improve at this rate, will come close to nudging elite status. The two skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove continued to show that they can take further strides forward in the future. Who know? One day people might speak of their appointment as joint captains at such a young age as an inspired move. There were a few highlights from other young players in Jeremy Howe, Luke Tapscott, James Strauss and, although Tom McDonald had a torrid day down back, he also demonstrated that he can step up in the future to a much higher level. If anything, the Demons were let down by their experienced players. A few of them are nearing the end but Joel Macdonald and Jared Rivers were fantastic and, on their form, one wonders why on earth there are any reservations about signing them on to new contracts immediately. Melbourne 0.3.3 2.7.19 4.9.33 12.10.82 St. Kilda 4.2.26 5.5.35 12.11.83 16.11.107 Best Melbourne Blease 5 Sellar 2 Dunn Green Howe Jetta Sylvia St. Kilda Wilkes 5 Cripps Koschitzke Milne Saad 2 Goddard Riewoldt Steven Best Melbourne Blease Jones Grimes Rivers MacDonald Trengove St. Kilda Wilkes Dal Santo Armitage Dempster Geary Hayes Injuries Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nick Riewoldt (knee) Changes Melbourne James Frawley (quad) replaced by Matthew Bate St. Kilda Farren Ray (back) and Clint Jones replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nil. Umpires Stewart Hosking Kamolins Official crowd 23,464 at MCG If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health. Opening night now a sellout!
  15. CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT by Whispering Jack The point has been made on more than one occasion during the past week of the importance of experience in achieving ultimate success in our game. It's a point usually made by coaches of young struggling teams and was the theme this week of discussion by both the Western Bulldog's coach Brendan McCartney and Melbourne's Mark Neeld who explained immediately after his side's 25-point loss to the Saints that they "had (an average of) 117 games per player on the field and we had 60 and that's what happens." It also happens that teams with superior experience often have a strong edge in class and an ability to exploit their opponent's weaknesses and this is what happened in the game. At the start, the Saints attacked the ball with ferocity and were able to put sufficient pressure on the Demons to run away to a four goal lead by mid quarter. Melbourne had worked hard and contested well but was forced into error, usually involving little more than a few centimetres between a perfectly executed piece of play and a turnover and opposition goal. Then, the game changed with the departure of Nick Riewoldt with a knee injury. Over the course of the next half a game, the Demons worked their way back but they lacked the experienced game turner who could sway the game in their favour totally. And so, they battled their way through the remainder of the first term, throughout the second and for almost ten minutes into the third, they held sway but all of the momentum was insufficient to push them into the lead. When they kicked their second goal after six minutes into the third half, they were within sniffing distance – a mere four points down. It was at this point that the game changed again and St. Kilda retook the initiative, thanks to the class of their experienced players in dal Santo, Hayes, Fisher and Montagna who led the way to blast out eight unanswered goals in a half hour stretch that put the game well and truly beyond doubt. Beau Wilkes kicked five goals and was good but it was the team leaders who were so decisive in turning things around. To their credit, the Demons toiled away to peg the Saints' lead back to 25 points which was about the same place where they were at the fourteen minute mark of the first term when Riewoldt had hobbled off the ground. The teams even finished with the same number of inside 50's as well as tackles. Melbourne led the contested possessions and the efficiency count. The numbers suggest that the team is starting to make some progress after a poor start to the season. When you consider that the Saints were just two points or a single umpiring decision away from beating Collingwood a week earlier, the signs are good. Sitting in the stands when the score was St. Kilda 5.6.36 to Melbourne's 4.8.32 I wondered what might have been if it had its full back (James Frawley), full forward (Mitch Clark), two first dibs ruckmen (Mark Jamar and Stephan Martin), the versatile Jack Watts and the livewire Liam Jurrah fit and available for the game (not to mention half a dozen others who would be vying for contention if not for their injuries). But that's conjecture for another time. In this game Sammy Blease came of age and justified his first round draft selection for the first time. Not only for his five goals (which could easily have been six or seven) but for the defensive aspect of his play and the fact that he played out a full game. Melbourne's much maligned midfield also showed signs that it was coming out of its almost moribund state. Nathan Jones has been good all year and if he continues to improve at this rate, will come close to nudging elite status. The two skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove continued to show that they can take further strides forward in the future. Who know? One day people might speak of their appointment as joint captains at such a young age as an inspired move. There were a few highlights from other young players in Jeremy Howe, Luke Tapscott, James Strauss and, although Tom McDonald had a torrid day down back, he also demonstrated that he can step up in the future to a much higher level. If anything, the Demons were let down by their experienced players. A few of them are nearing the end but Joel Macdonald and Jared Rivers were fantastic and, on their form, one wonders why on earth there are any reservations about signing them on to new contracts immediately. Melbourne 0.3.3 2.7.19 4.9.33 12.10.82 St. Kilda 4.2.26 5.5.35 12.11.83 16.11.107 Best Melbourne Blease 5 Sellar 2 Dunn Green Howe Jetta Sylvia St. Kilda Wilkes 5 Cripps Koschitzke Milne Saad 2 Goddard Riewoldt Steven Best Melbourne Blease Jones Grimes Rivers MacDonald Trengove St. Kilda Wilkes Dal Santo Armitage Dempster Geary Hayes Injuries Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nick Riewoldt (knee) Changes Melbourne James Frawley (quad) replaced by Matthew Bate St. Kilda Farren Ray (back) and Clint Jones replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nil. Umpires Stewart Hosking Kamolins Official crowd 23,464 at MCG If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health. Opening night now a sellout!
  16. A BIG LAUGH by The Oracle This season has produced very little for Melbourne supporters to smile about as the club has been hit by disasters off the field and pushed from pillar to post on it. The calamities that have affected the Demons have certainly been well documented and little of it has been funny. This is why I was somewhat puzzled to see the three talking heads on On The Couch giggling away with amusement after showing a film clip of Melbourne Chairman that selectively focussed on part of the comments he made to members at a lunch before last week's game against the Gold Coast Suns concerning the tanking controversy initiated by an interview on the programme with former player Brock McLean. Of course, they would not be laughing if they had to respond to the substantive matters McLardy discussed and about which On The Couch omitted to mention; namely the issues surrounding list management that are a fundamental to our game and which affect most clubs from time to time. And we all know that Melbourne has not been alone here although the panel was apparently collectively inflicted by amnesia about how McLean's current club rorted the system so that they forgot to ask him why, if he held such high principles, did he move on to the Blues of all clubs after leaving the Demons? What McLardy said was reported in the Melbourne Age in rebuttal of claims that McLean had declared on the programme that Melbourne deliberately lost games to gain valuable draft picks (actually McLean described what happened as not tanking but "experimenting" but the facts should never get in the way of a good story) – Demons re-sign key players, Schwab:- I understand how three people with a megaphone and an agenda can misrepresent the club's position and ignore the thrust of what McLardy said but it wasn't funny and it reflected poorly on the presenters of On The Couch. As the great Groucho Marx would say: "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." I reckon Groucho must have been thinking about the three clowns on On The Couch. Unfortunately for them, Melbourne produced some winning form last weekend against the Gold Coast Suns. Sure, it wasn't a flashy or convincing win but the margin was 42 points. One might think a win of that size would mean the club could avoid criticism from the usual suspects but a few decided the loss was shameful; the winning margin should have been double that and Melbourne's effort is therefore deemed a failure and indicative of a poor culture. Never mind that the Suns' recent form hasn't been all that bad. On 8 July, they lost to Geelong by 14 points, a week later they beat Richmond by 2 points and after that lost to the Lions by 11 points. Their only recent thumping was at the hands of ladder leader Sydney. The media circus continues with another one-sided stab against Melbourne in today's Age concerning the retirement of Brad Green who has been a great servant of the club and yesterday announced he was leaving at the end of the season. The press conference was conducted with great professionalism and in the style of the club champion the 251 gamer conducted himself throughout his illustrious career. In the circumstances, it was disappointing for the Age to immediately jump in and focus on the whether Melbourne had been disloyal to Green suggesting it should have kept him on irrespective form or the player's drive to continue on further. It will be a matter of much amusement to see whether such an approach will be taken in the case of other impending retirements at clubs like the Western Bulldogs in the weeks to come. To the media gurus who think they know everything, I say you're not funny but you certainly are a joke. Thanks for giving me a big laugh! And now, it's on to the MCG and the Saints who are starting at the ridiculous odds of $1.06 to win. That's funny too. THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at MCG Saturday 11 August, 2012 at 1:45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 84 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At MCG St. Kilda 32 wins Melbourne 58 wins Since 2000 St. Kilda 9 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Watters 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm Channel 7 (delayed at 3.00pm) RADIO 3AW Triple M THE BETTING St. Kilda to win $1.06 Melbourne to win $9.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 12.12.84 defeated Melbourne 10.6.66 Round 5, 2012 at the MCG The teams slugged it out for three quarters going goal for goal in wet conditions on a Saturday night. Mitch Clark was missed and he would have been handy at full forward in the last quarter when the Demons failed to score. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA Backs Jarryn Geary James Gwilt Tom Simpkin Half backs Sean Dempster Sam Fisher Sam Gilbert Centreline Farren Ray Lenny Hayes Brendon Goddard Half forwards Ahmed Saad Nick Riewoldt Nick Dal Santo Forwards Stephen Milne Justin Koschitzke Sam Dunell Followers Ben McEvoy David Armitage Leigh Montagna Interchange Jason Gram Clinton Jones Jack Steven Beau Wilkes Emergencies Jamie Cripps Tom Ledger Dean Polo In Beau Wilkes Out Dean Polo MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald Half backs Lynden Dunn Matthew Bate Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Brent Moloney Sam Blease Half forwards Neville Jetta Jared Rivers Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Colin Sylvia Followers Jake Spencer Jack Grimes Nathan Jones Interchange Jordie McKenzie James Magner James Strauss Luke Tapscott Emergencies Michael Evans Jack Fitzpatrick Jordan Gysberts In Matthew Bate Neville Jetta Jordie McKenzie Out James Frawley (quad) Jordan Gysberts Cale Morton (shoulder) It's a pity from Melbourne's point of view that Stephen Milne is free to play on Saturday after being fined $3,000 by St Kilda for making a homophobic comment towards Harry O'Brien. The little pest always seems to be the first to kick a goal (or two) in St. Kilda v Melbourne games and the Dees best bet to control the damage he might inflict, Clint Bartram, is languishing on their long injured list which last week stretched to about 15 players. By way of contrast, the Saints have close to a full list of players from which to select their team this week. According to this week's Age, it reads like this: ST KILDA Adam Schneider (hamstring) 1 wk Rhys Stanley (hamstring) 1-2 wks Darren Minchington (hip) season This compares well with the miraculous situation over at Arden Street where this is the situation on an almost weekly basis:- NORTH MELBOURNE Leigh Adams (shoulder) test Tom Curran (foot) season [a late addition to this list is Hamish McIntosh who faces LARS surgery on his knee which also rules him out for the season] The end result is that a full strength St. Kilda which needs to make every post a winner is taking on an emaciated Melbourne which is variously considered as tanking, experimenting, suffering from a losing culture (even when it wins games by seven goals). The game will still have its points of interest. Nathan Jones is having a stellar season and has set a great example to many of his teammates as to how to go about things from the very start of the pre season and right through the highs and mainly the lows of the year. It's a pity that very few have followed that example although Tom McDonald is one who has worked hard to make himself a valued member of the team. He took on Nick Riewoldt last time the teams met and acquitted himself well enough to be given the task again. The two skippers have been under fire for most of the year but are slowly coming of age. Their experience in difficult times will hold them in good stead in the years to come when the team takes on a different shape. Against the Saints, Grimes plays only his 50th game. Trengove reached that mark a few weeks ago. One day their appointment as joint captains may well be seen as an inspired move. At the other end of the scale a rejuvenated Green should continue to kick goals but the Demon forward line is bereft of star players. We might see another mark of the year from high flyer Jeremy Howe but, in reality, there's not enough goal kicking capacity for me to say the Demons will get close to causing an upset. The result is a foregone conclusion - an absolute no brainer with the Saints to win and win well. St. Kilda by 40 points If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health.
  17. A BIG LAUGH by The Oracle This season has produced very little for Melbourne supporters to smile about as the club has been hit by disasters off the field and pushed from pillar to post on it. The calamities that have affected the Demons have certainly been well documented and little of it has been funny. This is why I was somewhat puzzled to see the three talking heads on On The Couch giggling away with amusement after showing a film clip of Melbourne Chairman that selectively focussed on part of the comments he made to members at a lunch before last week's game against the Gold Coast Suns concerning the tanking controversy initiated by an interview on the programme with former player Brock McLean. Of course, they would not be laughing if they had to respond to the substantive matters McLardy discussed and about which On The Couch omitted to mention; namely the issues surrounding list management that are a fundamental to our game and which affect most clubs from time to time. And we all know that Melbourne has not been alone here although the panel was apparently collectively inflicted by amnesia about how McLean's current club rorted the system so that they forgot to ask him why, if he held such high principles, did he move on to the Blues of all clubs after leaving the Demons? What McLardy said was reported in the Melbourne Age in rebuttal of claims that McLean had declared on the programme that Melbourne deliberately lost games to gain valuable draft picks (actually McLean described what happened as not tanking but "experimenting" but the facts should never get in the way of a good story) – Demons re-sign key players, Schwab:- I understand how three people with a megaphone and an agenda can misrepresent the club's position and ignore the thrust of what McLardy said but it wasn't funny and it reflected poorly on the presenters of On The Couch. As the great Groucho Marx would say: "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." I reckon Groucho must have been thinking about the three clowns on On The Couch. Unfortunately for them, Melbourne produced some winning form last weekend against the Gold Coast Suns. Sure, it wasn't a flashy or convincing win but the margin was 42 points. One might think a win of that size would mean the club could avoid criticism from the usual suspects but a few decided the loss was shameful; the winning margin should have been double that and Melbourne's effort is therefore deemed a failure and indicative of a poor culture. Never mind that the Suns' recent form hasn't been all that bad. On 8 July, they lost to Geelong by 14 points, a week later they beat Richmond by 2 points and after that lost to the Lions by 11 points. Their only recent thumping was at the hands of ladder leader Sydney. The media circus continues with another one-sided stab against Melbourne in today's Age concerning the retirement of Brad Green who has been a great servant of the club and yesterday announced he was leaving at the end of the season. The press conference was conducted with great professionalism and in the style of the club champion the 251 gamer conducted himself throughout his illustrious career. In the circumstances, it was disappointing for the Age to immediately jump in and focus on the whether Melbourne had been disloyal to Green suggesting it should have kept him on irrespective form or the player's drive to continue on further. It will be a matter of much amusement to see whether such an approach will be taken in the case of other impending retirements at clubs like the Western Bulldogs in the weeks to come. To the media gurus who think they know everything, I say you're not funny but you certainly are a joke. Thanks for giving me a big laugh! And now, it's on to the MCG and the Saints who are starting at the ridiculous odds of $1.06 to win. That's funny too. THE GAME St. Kilda v Melbourne at MCG Saturday 11 August, 2012 at 1:45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall St. Kilda 84 wins Melbourne 118 wins 1 drawn At MCG St. Kilda 32 wins Melbourne 58 wins Since 2000 St. Kilda 9 wins Melbourne 9 wins The Coaches Watters 1 win Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm Channel 7 (delayed at 3.00pm) RADIO 3AW Triple M THE BETTING St. Kilda to win $1.06 Melbourne to win $9.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 12.12.84 defeated Melbourne 10.6.66 Round 5, 2012 at the MCG The teams slugged it out for three quarters going goal for goal in wet conditions on a Saturday night. Mitch Clark was missed and he would have been handy at full forward in the last quarter when the Demons failed to score. THE TEAMS ST. KILDA Backs Jarryn Geary James Gwilt Tom Simpkin Half backs Sean Dempster Sam Fisher Sam Gilbert Centreline Farren Ray Lenny Hayes Brendon Goddard Half forwards Ahmed Saad Nick Riewoldt Nick Dal Santo Forwards Stephen Milne Justin Koschitzke Sam Dunell Followers Ben McEvoy David Armitage Leigh Montagna Interchange Jason Gram Clinton Jones Jack Steven Beau Wilkes Emergencies Jamie Cripps Tom Ledger Dean Polo In Beau Wilkes Out Dean Polo MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald Half backs Lynden Dunn Matthew Bate Colin Garland Centreline Jack Trengove Brent Moloney Sam Blease Half forwards Neville Jetta Jared Rivers Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Colin Sylvia Followers Jake Spencer Jack Grimes Nathan Jones Interchange Jordie McKenzie James Magner James Strauss Luke Tapscott Emergencies Michael Evans Jack Fitzpatrick Jordan Gysberts In Matthew Bate Neville Jetta Jordie McKenzie Out James Frawley (quad) Jordan Gysberts Cale Morton (shoulder) It's a pity from Melbourne's point of view that Stephen Milne is free to play on Saturday after being fined $3,000 by St Kilda for making a homophobic comment towards Harry O'Brien. The little pest always seems to be the first to kick a goal (or two) in St. Kilda v Melbourne games and the Dees best bet to control the damage he might inflict, Clint Bartram, is languishing on their long injured list which last week stretched to about 15 players. By way of contrast, the Saints have close to a full list of players from which to select their team this week. According to this week's Age, it reads like this: ST KILDA Adam Schneider (hamstring) 1 wk Rhys Stanley (hamstring) 1-2 wks Darren Minchington (hip) season This compares well with the miraculous situation over at Arden Street where this is the situation on an almost weekly basis:- NORTH MELBOURNE Leigh Adams (shoulder) test Tom Curran (foot) season [a late addition to this list is Hamish McIntosh who faces LARS surgery on his knee which also rules him out for the season] The end result is that a full strength St. Kilda which needs to make every post a winner is taking on an emaciated Melbourne which is variously considered as tanking, experimenting, suffering from a losing culture (even when it wins games by seven goals). The game will still have its points of interest. Nathan Jones is having a stellar season and has set a great example to many of his teammates as to how to go about things from the very start of the pre season and right through the highs and mainly the lows of the year. It's a pity that very few have followed that example although Tom McDonald is one who has worked hard to make himself a valued member of the team. He took on Nick Riewoldt last time the teams met and acquitted himself well enough to be given the task again. The two skippers have been under fire for most of the year but are slowly coming of age. Their experience in difficult times will hold them in good stead in the years to come when the team takes on a different shape. Against the Saints, Grimes plays only his 50th game. Trengove reached that mark a few weeks ago. One day their appointment as joint captains may well be seen as an inspired move. At the other end of the scale a rejuvenated Green should continue to kick goals but the Demon forward line is bereft of star players. We might see another mark of the year from high flyer Jeremy Howe but, in reality, there's not enough goal kicking capacity for me to say the Demons will get close to causing an upset. The result is a foregone conclusion - an absolute no brainer with the Saints to win and win well. St. Kilda by 40 points If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health.
  18. We made a good fist of this game for three quarters while Mitch Clark was out with concussion MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Cale Morton Colin Garland Jack Grimes Centreline Jordie McKenzie Brent Moloney Tom McDonald Half forwards Nathan Jones James Sellar Jeremy Howe Forwards Colin Sylvia Lynden Dunn Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar James Magner Jack Trengove Interchange Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Joel Macdonald Jack Watts Emergencies Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd Luke Tapscott In Jack Grimes Colin Sylvia Out Mitchell Clark (concussion) Luke Tapscott ST. KILDA Backs Jason Blake Sam Gilbert Jarryn Geary Half backs Sean Dempster Sam Fisher Tom Simpkin Centreline Brendon Goddard Lenny Hayes Nick Dal Santo Half forwards Leigh Montagna Nick Riewoldt Jack Steven Forwards Terry Milera Rhys Stanley Stephen Milne Followers Ben McEvoy Dean Polo Clinton Jones Interchange David Armitage Jamie Cripps Jason Gram Jack Newnes Emergencies Tom Ledger Arryn Siposs Beau Wilkes In Jason Gram Out Justin Koschitzke (suspended)
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