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Found 53 results

  1. Your votes please 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  2. Much has been made by the coaching staff of playing a “Melbourne way” style of play. The nail-biting finish by the Demons in the dying minute of the game could not have been any more the case in point. Leading by a game-high 38 points late in the third quarter, and by five goals at the final change, this should have been the catalyst for a romp home to an easy win. But that is not the “Melbourne way” and the supporters, especially those with a severe case of MFCSS (aka intense insecurity), knew all too well what would happen. The last quarter started typically, when Tom McDonald failed to show after the ¾ time huddle. A knee injury (possibly another long term injury and what could be more “Melbourne way” than that), saw him on crutches despite a 6 goal haul up to that point. McDonald’s injury combined with a concussion to Harry Petty and a broken collar bone to the already missing Marty Hore meant the Demons had a solitary rotation available ... and the already high levels of intense insecurity started going through the roof. It didn’t take long, as Carlton kicked 4 goals within 10 minutes to bring them within striking distance, and their ‘desperate for success’ fans started to high five and find their voice. In typical “Melbourne way” the Demons couldn’t find a way to kick a goal, which would have put the game beyond reach. Overusing the ball in front of goal saw the certain opportunities squandered and Carlton continued to build hope as a result. Sure enough, with barely minutes left on the clock, they hit the front with a rushed behind leaving Carlton fans beside themselves. However, they too had forgotten the ability of their team to lose the un-loseable. That and Clayton Oliver who despite exhaustion, with 26 touches, 19 contested possessions and 10 clearances for the game, found a way to extract the ball from the Carlton clutches and deliver to a running Jayden Hunt in the forward 50. If there was ever a clutch goal for a player, and the side it was this shot at the big sticks. Losing the match from this point would have seen Carlton leapfrog the Demons on the ladder, and leave the supporters with little hope, not only for the remainder of the season, but for the next as well. Fortunately, Jayden kicked truly. But the “Melbourne way” still had something to give. Mitch Hannan broke from the pack in the middle and kicked toward the open unattended goal. As it bounced in the goal square, everyone knew that this would seal the game….surely! But the ball stopped in the Melbourne way - dead short of the goal line by millimetres! A frantic rush saw it pushed through for another behind but with only two minutes left on the clock, Carlton still had a chance. They pushed the ball forward and it came down to a Steven May v Mitch McGovern grappling contest, as the sole competitors within the Carlton 50m arc. Gladly, Melbourne had recruited May and his big strong body, because no other Melbourne defender would have been able to match it with McGovern. Still McGovern managed to get a boot to the ball off the ground and it rolled toward goal and ... hit the post! No longer was it the game of the “Melbourne way”, but now it was the “Carlton way” to lose a game….again! Make no mistake. Melbourne were in complete control of this game, but it was a game of 16th v 17th on the ladder. The Demons relished the constant turnovers from the Navy Blues and while they punished them for it, another team would have been 10 goals up at ¾ time, not 5. Melbourne simply lacks any form of a credible forward line. Tom McDonald piled on 6 goals to ¾ time but without him, the fragility up front was again exposed. Sam Weideman failed to show much and is constantly pushed off the ball in contested situations. He is a run and jump type, which happens rarely today, so a summer in the gym should be the target in the months ahead. With Tom off the ground, Brayden Preuss played all but 5 minutes of the last quarter. That dragged Weideman into the ruck, Petracca was moved to the middle, and left the Demons with a forward line of Hunt, Lockhart, Hannan, Dunkley and ANB and that wasn’t likely to worry even the Carlton backs. Preuss finally got his chance in the seniors and showed the coaching staff (hopefully) that he has a role there on a more permanent basis. He beat Kreuser convincingly with 44 hitouts to 24 with 43% of those to advantage. Those are numbers that Gawn would be proud of, particularly against Kreuser. He combined that with 14 touches but the message surely is that he is a reliable back up in the ruck, and can also provide us with another option up forward when resting ... which is surely what has been lacking again and again this year. A big change was made in the middle with Jordan Lewis given the chance to play in his old stamping ground. His ability to simply get the ball in tight situations was seen, and importantly he shut down Marc Murphy comprehensively. This relieved pressure on Oliver who had a belter of a game, and ultimately saved the game itself for us. More injuries, and the suffering MFCSS fans will surely be thinking the worst as Tom goes in for scans on Monday….it’s the Melbourne way! With the list of “outs” still not dropping and coming up against a rampant Western Bulldogs at Marvel stadium next week the result would not be likely to fall in the Demons favour. But then again, that would not be the “Melbourne way” and so a positive result for the team will surely be the outcome. Melbourne 4.4.28 7.11.53 14.12.96 15.15.105 Carlton 2.4.16 5.4.34 10.6.66 15.10.100 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 6 Hunt Petracca 3 Harmes Neal-Bullen Weideman Carlton Casboult Setterfield Silvagni 3 Kennedy 2 Dow Fisher Gibbons O’Brien Best Melbourne Fritsch T McDonald May Salem Harmes Jones Carlton Silvagni Murphy Kreuzer E Curnow Walsh Setterfield Injured Melbourne Max Gawn (ankle) replaced in selected side by Braydon Preuss, Marty Hore (broken collarbone) Tom McDonald (knee) Harry Petty (concussion) Carlton Jacob Weitering (concussion) Reported Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Rosebury Deboy Heffeman Official crowd 55,593 at the MCG
  3. Taking the second born to his first MCG encounter today. Weather back home is perfect for chasing meter plus Murray Cod and they seem to be landed every night at Mulwala so I'm sacrificing a lot for this weekend. Please just make it happen...
  4. In May last year, a rampant Melbourne side demolished Carlton by 109 points at the MCG. The Demons did as they pleased and ran rings against a young, abysmal Blues combination. The Dees led in virtually every key performance indicator, notably entering the inside 50 metre mark 63 times to 33 and the superiority of their attack was highlighted by a 74% shooting accuracy rate (to 47%). A little more than a year later the two sides face each other for the first time since that rout and the tables appear to have turned substantially to the point where people are talking in terms of a Carlton win and that’s with the possibility of the absence of a few of their stars. So what’s changed? Well the Blues have matured considerably, acquired a fresh coach with a different approach and the team appears to have clicked under the new regime while the Demons are languishing with several factors combining to bring about their demise. Statistically speaking, Melbourne continues to push the footy inside 50 advantage more times than its opponents but we should be so lucky to see a positive shooting accuracy rate, let alone one as high as 74%. Go figure? I’m tipping a draw. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 7 July 2019 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 92 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 52 wins Past five meetings Carlton 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Teague 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 25.9.159 defeated Carlton 7.8.50 at the MCG Round 9, 2018 The Demons’ campaign for 2019 was building and this was their perfect game for the year. Despite the damp and drizzly conditions, they piled on 25 goals at an amazing accuracy rate. This year, it would take them three weeks to surpass that number of goals. THE TEAMS CARLTON B Lachie Plowman Liam Jones Caleb Marchbank HB Kade Simpson Jacob Weitering Dale Thomas C Will Setterfield Ed Curnow Lochie O'Brien HF Jack Silvagni Levi Casboult Sam Petrevski-Seton F Marc Murphy Mitch McGovern Michael Gibbons FOLL Matthew Kreuzer Zac Fisher Sam Walsh I/C Paddy Dow Matthew Kennedy Darcy Lang Nic Newman EMG Matthew Cottrell Alex Fasolo Hugh Goddard Andrew Phillips IN Darcy Lang OUT Charlie Curnow (knee) MELBOURNE B Jay Lockhart Steven May Harrison Petty HB Marty Hore Sam Frost Christian Salem C Nathan Jones James Harmes Alex Neal-Bullen HF Bayley Fritsch Sam Weideman Christian Petracca F Mitch Hannan Tom McDonald Angus Brayshaw FOLL Max Gawn Jack Viney Clayton Oliver I/C Kyle Dunkley Michael Hibberd Jayden Hunt Jordan Lewis EMG Oscar McDonald Braydon Preuss Corey Wagner Josh Wagner IN Kyle Dunkley Jordan Lewis Braydon Preuss OUT Oskar Baker (omitted) Max Gawn (ankle) Tim Smith (calf) NEW Kyle Dunkley Injury List: Round 16 Kade Chandler (hip) – test Max Gawn (ankle – test Declan Keilty (ankle) – test Jake Lever (knee) – test Neville Jetta (knee) – test Jake Melksham (foot) – 3-4 weeks Tom Sparrow (knee) – 4-5 weeks Kade Kolodjashnij (head) – TBC Billy Stretch (foot) – TBC Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – TBC Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – season Joel Smith (groin) – season Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite The statistical highlight of the year to date reflects one aspect of the club’s season perfectly. The figures show that Melbourne is leading the AFL for games lost through injury by best 22 players. The contrast with Brisbane - its opponent last week - was stark. The Lions had only two players on their injured list. The Demons had more than a dozen and four of its listed players have yet to take the field in 2019. This is how the playing list has been traveling to date. Four listed Demons have not played at all this year - either with Melbourne or with the Casey Demons. Two players involved in the club’s recent recruiting “coups” epitomize the club’s injury woes. The Jake Lever trade cost Melbourne two first round draft selections but has managed only a single game to date this season. It’s always wise to treat recoveries from ACL’s conservatively but I recall the pre season predictions as to his likely return were for round 5 or sooner. The Steven May trade cost Melbourne one first round draft pick but a combination of suspension and injury has limited his tally of games to four while the “steak knives” thrown into the deal - Kade Kolodjashnij - has two to his name and is, in all likelihood, cooked for the season with his concussion issues. Losing quality players like Neville Jetta and Jake Melksham for long stints has also been unhelpful. On another level, the Demons were known in 2018 for their scoring power. The club boasted two key forwards, Tom McDonald (20 games, 53 goals 20 behinds) and Jesse Hogan (20 games, 47 goals 23 behinds) in the AFL top ten goalkickers. That’s a ton of goals at a spectacular accuracy rate that yielded five goals per game between them. Throw in Melksham (32 goals), Mitch Hannan (22 goals) and Jeff Garlett (18 goals) who have both missed significant game time this year and Sam Weideman who was expected to increase his output significantly in Hogan’s absence (but hasn’t to date) and the issue becomes clear in stark terms. We are closing in on ⅔ of the season and the club’s top goal kicker is Jayden Hunt with 15 goals. The key forwards McDonald, Weideman and Tim Smith have 22 goals between them (Smith scored ½ of his six in one game) at an average of a little over a goal per game while ruckman/forward Braydon Preuss, who kicked two goals in each of his two games seems unwanted and unloved by the selectors. Go figure? 1. Steven May MFC games 4, goals 1 CD games 1, goals 0 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 14, goals 7 3. Christian Salem M FC games 12, goals 0 4. James Harmes MFC games 14, goals 9 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 14 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 4, goals 0 7. Jack Viney MFC games 13, goals 3 8. Jake Lever MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 9. Charlie Spargo MFC games 6, goals 2, CD games 4, goals 0 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 14, goals 7 11. Max Gawn MFC games 14, goals 3 12. Toby Bedford CD games 11, goals 14 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 11, goals 0 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 2, CD games 1, goals 0 16. Kade Kolodjashnij MFC games 2, goal 1, CD games 3, goals 2 17. Sam Frost MFC games 14, goals 0 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 8, goals 10 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 4, goals 4, CD games 1, goals 1 20. Corey Maynard CD games 6, goals 1 21. Braydon Preuss MFC games 2, goals 4, CD games 7, goals 6 22. Aaron Vandenberg 23. James Jordon CD games 11, goals 1 24. Jay Kennedy Harris MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 4 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 12 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 10, goals 10, CD games 2, goals 5 27. Aaron Nietschke 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 9, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 15 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 8, goals 3, CD games 2, goals 1 31. Bayley Fritsch MFC games 14, goals 4 32. Tom Sparrow MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 6, goals 0 33. Oskar Baker MFC game 6, goals 2, CD games 5, goals 6 34. Marty Hore MFC games 11, goals 1, CD games 1, goals 0 35. Harrison Petty MFC games 4, goals 0, CD games 6, goals 0 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 7, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3 37. Kade Chandler ® CD games 10, goals 9 38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 6, goals 6, CD games 3, goals 7 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 4, goals 0 40. Corey Wagner ® MFC games 5, goals 1, CD games 8, goals 3 41. Jay Lockhart ® MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 1, goal 1 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 10, goals 0, CD games 2, goal 0 43. Guy Walker ® 44. Joel Smith 45. Declan Keilty ® MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 6 46. Austin Bradtke ® C D games 3, goals 1 48. Kyle Dunkley ® CD games 4, goals 5
  5. It’s a sick and sorry thought but the way the teams are playing at the moment, the Blues could overturn a 100 point + deficit this Sunday. The teams from a year ago - CARLTON B Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Dale Thomas HB Cameron O'Shea, Liam Jones, Kade Simpson C Lochie O'Brien, Marc Murphy, Sam Kerridge HF Jarrod Garlett, Pat Kerr, Darcy Lang F Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ha rry McKay, Paddy Dow Foll Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Zac Fisher I/C Nick Graham, Jed Lamb, Aaron Mullett, Matthew Wright Emg Matt Shaw, Jack Silva gni, Jacob Weitering In Pat Kerr, Marc Murphy Out Charlie Curnow (quad), Ed Curnow (suspended) MELBOURNE B Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB Angus Brayshaw, Jake Lever, Mitch Hannan C Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham F: James Harmes, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca Foll Max Gawn, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C Bayley Fritsch, Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith, Charlie Spargo, Emg Jeff Garlett, Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen, Dom Tyson In Tim Smith, Jack Viney Out Dom Tyson (omitted), Sa m W eideman (calf)
  6. A RIGHT ROYAL BLUE CELEBRATION by George on The Outer In recognition of this weekend’s Royal Wedding, the Demons donned their royal blue away strip against Carlton, and then had one enormous celebration at the expense of the Navy Blues. The 109 point victory was the highest winning score for the club since 1993, the greatest winning margin against Carlton and its eighth biggest win ever. This was the way to celebrate, and the supporters whose MFCSS was well and truly alive at the first break when Melbourne had only managed to hold a three point lead, wondered just what happened, and whether the syndrome has finally been cured. At the end of the round they found their team sitting in third spot on the ladder, with a now massive 127 percentage and the fans were searching the record books again to find out when they were last in that position at this stage in a season. While Melbourne has yet to come up against the majority of those clubs considered the benchmark for 2018, you can only beat who the opposition presented to you. The difference between this season and the past is that it has not only beaten those teams below them, but it has beaten them comprehensively. The first quarter was a genuine arm wrestle and the three point margin probably understated the dominance which Melbourne were showing. The inside 50 count was already in favour of the Demons, and not unlike previous weeks, they had not converted to the scoreboard. Then the dam wall broke again, with Melbourne piling on seven goals to two in the second term with Tom McDonald having four before the main break. The dominance began in the middle as Max Gawn overcame Kreuzer and though hit outs were relatively even, they were heavily to the advantage of Max. And that advantage was taken fully by the likes of Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and James Harmes with Jones leading magnificently with 31 touches of which 17 were contested. Clarrie was playing with a finger which had been broken last week and only set last Monday, managed 26 possessions with 15 contested. The midfield assassination was finished of by Harmes (25) and Brayshaw (24), and, just for good measure the Demons were able to bring on a bloke named Viney for a cameo here and there as he returned after an extended period cruelled by injury. It is worth remembering that last year, Melbourne lost the likes of Gawn, Hogan, Jones, Brayshaw and Viney for extended periods, and their presence today showed the value of sheer talent in the end results. Last year the Demons fell over the line by 8 points against the Blues, with an after the siren goal to make up that total. What a difference the injection of these players makes? It is hard after such and emphatic victory to express how well the team played. It was probably the first four quarter performance this year, and hardly any player put a foot wrong. Jake Melksham, like Neville Jetta and Michael Hibberd had a slow start to the year, but he absolutely blew the game wide open with five goals by doing exactly what he does best around the packs up forward. Jesse Hogan may not have troubled the goal umpire much this week, but it was his work up the ground that caused the opportunities for Alex Neal-Bullen (4 goals), Mitch Hannan and Bayley Fritsch (2 each). It took until the last quarter before Hogan registered a major for himself, thus retaining his record of a goal in every game this season. The backs had an excellent day, but really it was more like watching an U11s game where one team sets up a wall and keeps sending the ball back in the other direction. Jake Lever has stepped up into his finest intercepting role, similar to that he played in Adelaide, with a best on ground eight marks alongside 27 disposals. The supporters now know why the recruiting staff were so keen to get his name on a contract at Melbourne. Having said that, we need to see similar signatures from the McDonald brothers, and no doubt their value has increased considerably since season began, but when the team has wins like today, perhaps that decision is a lot easier to make - in particular for Tom, whose size and running ability simply cuts the opposition wingers to pieces when it comes to the one on one scenario. It is no surprise that the change in Melbourne’s fortunes this year have coincided with his presence on the field. Simon Goodwin must be fairly pleased with what he has seen the past few weeks. The relentless style that we now see is similar to that which Richmond and the Bulldogs employed in their successful years, but the difference is he now has to players who are prepared to implement it. And with 7, 8 and 7 goal quarters in succession, as we saw in this game, it shows the players are no longer prepared to take the foot off the accelerator, which was always a criticism in past years. When the club and the team play like they did in this game, then they truly look like royalty. Royalty is something that stays around for a long time, and next week against last year’s Grand Finalist, in Adelaide, we will indeed discover whether they are really Princes or Paupers. Melbourne 3.4.22 10.4.64 18.6.114 25.9.159 Carlton 3.1.19 5.3.33 7.6.48 7.8.50 Goals Melbourne Melksham 5 T McDonald Neal-Bullen 4 Fritsch Hannan 2 Gawn Harmes Hogan Jones Oliver Petracca Viney Carlton Lamb McKay 2, Cripps Fisher Murphy Best Melbourne T McDonald, Melksham N Jones Brayshaw Gawn Lever Neal-Bullen Carlton Cripps Graham Fisher Murphy Rowe Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Murphy (foot) Reports Nil Umpires Gavine, Hosking, Ryan Official crowd 44,142 at the MCG
  7. In recognition of this weekend’s Royal Wedding, the Demons donned their royal blue away strip against Carlton, and then had one enormous celebration at the expense of the Navy Blues. The 109 point victory was the highest winning score for the club since 1993, the greatest winning margin against Carlton and its eighth biggest win ever. This was the way to celebrate, and the supporters whose MFCSS was well and truly alive at the first break when Melbourne had only managed to hold a three point lead, wondered just what happened, and whether the syndrome has finally been cured. At the end of the round they found their team sitting in third spot on the ladder, with a now massive 127 percentage and the fans were searching the record books again to find out when they were last in that position at this stage in a season. While Melbourne has yet to come up against the majority of those clubs considered the benchmark for 2018, you can only beat who the opposition presented to you. The difference between this season and the past is that it has not only beaten those teams below them, but it has beaten them comprehensively. The first quarter was a genuine arm wrestle and the three point margin probably understated the dominance which Melbourne were showing. The inside 50 count was already in favour of the Demons, and not unlike previous weeks, they had not converted to the scoreboard. Then the dam wall broke again, with Melbourne piling on seven goals to two in the second term with Tom McDonald having four before the main break. The dominance began in the middle as Max Gawn overcame Kreuzer and though hit outs were relatively even, they were heavily to the advantage of Max. And that advantage was taken fully by the likes of Nathan Jones, Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and James Harmes with Jones leading magnificently with 31 touches of which 17 were contested. Clarrie was playing with a finger which had been broken last week and only set last Monday, managed 26 possessions with 15 contested. The midfield assassination was finished of by Harmes (25) and Brayshaw (24), and, just for good measure the Demons were able to bring on a bloke named Viney for a cameo here and there as he returned after an extended period cruelled by injury. It is worth remembering that last year, Melbourne lost the likes of Gawn, Hogan, Jones, Brayshaw and Viney for extended periods, and their presence today showed the value of sheer talent in the end results. Last year the Demons fell over the line by 8 points against the Blues, with an after the siren goal to make up that total. What a difference the injection of these players makes? It is hard after such and emphatic victory to express how well the team played. It was probably the first four quarter performance this year, and hardly any player put a foot wrong. Jake Melksham, like Neville Jetta and Michael Hibberd had a slow start to the year, but he absolutely blew the game wide open with five goals by doing exactly what he does best around the packs up forward. Jesse Hogan may not have troubled the goal umpire much this week, but it was his work up the ground that caused the opportunities for Alex Neal-Bullen (4 goals), Mitch Hannan and Bayley Fritsch (2 each). It took until the last quarter before Hogan registered a major for himself, thus retaining his record of a goal in every game this season. The backs had an excellent day, but really it was more like watching an U11s game where one team sets up a wall and keeps sending the ball back in the other direction. Jake Lever has stepped up into his finest intercepting role, similar to that he played in Adelaide, with a best on ground eight marks alongside 27 disposals. The supporters now know why the recruiting staff were so keen to get his name on a contract at Melbourne. Having said that, we need to see similar signatures from the McDonald brothers, and no doubt their value has increased considerably since season began, but when the team has wins like today, perhaps that decision is a lot easier to make - in particular for Tom, whose size and running ability simply cuts the opposition wingers to pieces when it comes to the one on one scenario. It is no surprise that the change in Melbourne’s fortunes this year have coincided with his presence on the field. Simon Goodwin must be fairly pleased with what he has seen the past few weeks. The relentless style that we now see is similar to that which Richmond and the Bulldogs employed in their successful years, but the difference is he now has to players who are prepared to implement it. And with 7, 8 and 7 goal quarters in succession, as we saw in this game, it shows the players are no longer prepared to take the foot off the accelerator, which was always a criticism in past years. When the club and the team play like they did in this game, then they truly look like royalty. Royalty is something that stays around for a long time, and next week against last year’s Grand Finalist, in Adelaide, we will indeed discover whether they are really Princes or Paupers. Melbourne 3.4.22 10.4.64 18.6.114 25.9.159 Carlton 3.1.19 5.3.33 7.6.48 7.8.50 Goals Melbourne Melksham 5 T McDonald Neal-Bullen 4 Fritsch Hannan 2 Gawn Harmes Hogan Jones Oliver Petracca Viney Carlton Lamb McKay 2, Cripps Fisher Murphy Best Melbourne T McDonald, Melksham N Jones Brayshaw Gawn Lever Neal-Bullen Carlton Cripps Graham Fisher Murphy Rowe Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Murphy (foot) Reports Nil Umpires Gavine, Hosking, Ryan Official crowd 44,142 at the MCG
  8. BREAKING THROUGH by JVM Carlton’s breakthrough win last Saturday breathed new life into a club that’s been struggling for quite a while but their down time has been nowhere near as long as that of Melbourne and even of late, they have caused the Demons plenty of headaches. In Round 21 2015, they were rank outsiders but stormed to an eight goal half time lead on the way to a 23-point win. Twelve months later, they led all day to dash the Dees’ faint hopes of a finals berth and won by 20 points. In their first meeting early last year, the dogged Blues led into the final quarter in a bitter game that saw the costly loss for some weeks of two Demon players through suspension and later in the year, their encounter was tense and close until the final siren saw Melbourne win by just 8 points after a goal on the siren. A finals aspirant would, in the normal course, be expected a combined winning margin in two games against the team that finishes 16th of more than 30 points (not to mention that it should not lose twice to the team that finishes 15th). Therein lies the dilemma for the Melbourne Football Club. The past three weeks suggest that those days are behind it but Sunday will be the litmus test. If the Demons want to make the finals, this is a must win. And why not? They are, after all, the leading team in terms of winning the contested ball at stoppages, they lead the competition in forward thrusts and have one of the toughest small men in the game coming back this week. There will be no excuses this week – the Bombers have been pilloried for their ineptitude against Carlton and yet they lost only because of their inaccuracy with 28 scoring shots to 21 and finishing with more inside 50s. On the strength of that, the Demons have them well covered and should win and win well. It’s their turn to break through. Melbourne by 55 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 20th May 2018 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 91 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 51 wins Past five meetings Carlton 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - TBA THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 14.6.90 defeated Carlton 12.10.82 at the MCG Round 16, 2017 The Demons came into the game with several key players missing due to injury, particularly its co-captains Jack Viney and Nathan Jones but also Jack Watts and Dom Tyson. They were strongly tested by the lowly Blues who had injury problems of their own. The Demons led into the final term but quickly lost the lead before regrouping with the last three goals of the match to win by 8 points. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Dale Thomas HB: Cameron O'Shea, Liam Jones, Kade Simpson ? Lochie O'Brien, Marc Murphy, Sam Kerridge HF: Jarrod Garlett, Pat Kerr, Darcy Lang F: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Harry McKay, Paddy Dow Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Zac Fisher I/C: Nick Graham, Jed Lamb, Aaron Mullett, Matthew Wright Emg: Matt Shaw, Jack Silvagni, Jacob Weitering In: Pat Kerr, Marc Murphy Out: Charlie Curnow (quad), Ed Curnow (suspended) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Angus Brayshaw, Jake Lever, Mitch Hannan ? Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF: Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham F: James Harmes, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca Foll: Max Gawn, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C (from): Bayley Fritsch, Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith, Charlie Spargo, Emg: Jeff Garlett, Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen, Dom Tyson In: Tim Smith, Jack Viney Out: Dom Tyson (omitted), Sam Weideman (calf) WHAT’S MY NUMBER? by Sam the Stats Man The club is tracking towards a finals appearance and the numbers confirm this to be the case. One statistic that stands out in comparison with last year is that (touch wood) to date, the Demons have not been hit as hard by injuries to key and depth players as they were last season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 8, goals 20. Has shrugged of the blues of last year coming back better than ever with his strength, endurance and sublime presence around the ground and up forward. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 8, goals 4. Still leading from the front with his hardness in the middle of the ground. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 7, goals 2. Coming on nicely both as defender with stints in the midfield. Precision kicking is a great asset. 4. James Harmes MFC games 8, goals 2. The change of number seems to have suited him. He’s one of the club’s big improvers and is spending more and more time in the midfield. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 7, goals 5. Playing some significant football as he continues to develop although his progress was hampered recently when his dog almost bit his finger off. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 7, goals 1. Continues to provide inspiration and leadership and sets up many damaging plays from the defensive half of the ground. 7. Jack Viney CD games 1, goals 0. The co-captain should be back this week after foot issues have kept him out since Round 21 last season. 8. Jake Lever MFC games 8, goals 0. It took him a while to settle in, but the former Crow is just starting to show his class and skill in defence. 9. Charlie Spargo MFC games 3, goals 5, CD games 2, goals 4. The pocket-sized dynamo has been a revelation with his hard work and maturity. Dangerous around goals. 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 5, goals 2, CD games 1, goals 1. Brayshaw is proving he’s over his concussion issues of recent years and is now on track to show why he was so highly regarded in his draft year. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 8, goals 5. Back to his All Australian best. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 6, goals 1. Remains important when up and running but needs to improve on his execution at times. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 8, goals 4. Last year’s club champion has continued where he left off and is rapidly becoming one of the competition’s best midfielders. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 8, goals 1. After a slow start, the All-Australian defender has outlined his importance to the Demons’ defence. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 2. Down on form and confidence but played very well in his last outing at Casey. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 3, goals 6. Started off strongly but another hamstring injury has put him back on the sidelines. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0. A very handy tall defender to have as depth at the club. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 8, goals 7. Has become an important player after reinventing himself as a medium forward with a damaging long kick. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 4, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 4. Had to work hard to reclaim his spot in the side after a quiet start. Good in recent weeks. 20. Corey Maynard ® MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 2. The hard-nosed midfielder had a torrid time in his only AFL appearance in Round 1 and, after a few games at Casey, will be out for a while with a hip injury. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 2, goals 2, CD games 5, goals 10. The work horse who has been used as a fill in ruckman/forward has a few others ahead of him at AFL level but remains a handy back up. 22. Aaron Vandenberg. Still awaiting his return from the heel and ankle injuries that have kept him out for almost two years. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 8, goals 1. Played every game, can tag and at times goes forward. He remains one of the important cogs in the team wheel. 24. Jay Kennedy Harris CD games 5, goals 4. Battling hard at Casey but looks a fair way off senior selection. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 3, goals 9. Came straight back in after injury and has added strength and goal scoring potency in the forward line with a great 5 goal performance in his last start. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 4, goals 2, CD games 2, goals 6. The selectors are showing faith in the youngster ahead of veteran Pedersen. It’s a decision that could well reap dividends in the medium to long term. 27. Harley Balic CD games 3, goals 8. Had a sensational start in his first game with Casey but an injury held him back. Was solid on return last Sunday. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 8, goals 0. A great improver who has beaten most opponents so far this year. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1. Has lost a bit of his edge and is not enjoying a good season. Dropped to Casey twice to regain some form. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 8, goals 7. Hard working small man who runs all day. 31. Bayley Fritsch MFC games 7, goals 7. Has played all bar one game when rested. The colt from Coldstream has exceeded all expectations as a medium sized forward with some time in the midfield. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 3, goals 4, CD games 3, goals 5. Working hard to revive his career after last year’s brain fade against the Swans but so far had only one good game and then struggled to hold his place with Melbourne. 33. Harrison Petty CD games 5, goals 0. This promising young key defender is highly thought of at the club and is learning the ropes at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 3, goals 1. Was just beginning to show some good form in the ruck with the Casey Demons when struck by an elbow injury that has set him back a month. 35. Oskar Baker CD games 5, goals 4. The cheeky red-headed speedster has impressed at Casey. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 5, goals 9, 1, CD games 2 goals 1. Been more cold than hot which has landed him in the VFL this year. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 5, goals 1. Speedy forward who lays a mean tackle but hasn’t done enough in almost 1½ years in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® CD games 4 goals 6. His form at Casey has been outstanding but who can he replace at AFL level. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 8, goals 0. Continues to be the team glue in defence. He might be small but he’s also strong, hard and important. 40. Patrick McKenna. Yet to play a game due to a hamstring injury after being recruited from the Giants at the end of 2016. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 1, goals 0. Held his place for a while but sent to Casey a couple of weeks ago. 44. Joel Smith CD games 4, goals 1. Spring-heeled and athletic but faces a tough battle to break into the MFC defence. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 5, goals 0. A solid contributor down back at Casey but his problem is that he’s almost at the back of the queue of a deep list of tall defenders. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD games 5, goals 1 Project ruckman being nursed through his games at Casey while he hones his big man skills.
  9. Carlton’s breakthrough win last Saturday breathed new life into a club that’s been struggling for quite a while but their down time has been nowhere near as long as that of Melbourne and even of late, they have caused the Demons plenty of headaches. In Round 21 2015, they were rank outsiders but stormed to an eight goal half time lead on the way to a 23-point win. Twelve months later, they led all day to dash the Dees’ faint hopes of a finals berth and won by 20 points. In their first meeting early last year, the dogged Blues led into the final quarter in a bitter game that saw the costly loss for some weeks of two Demon players through suspension and later in the year, their encounter was tense and close until the final siren saw Melbourne win by just 8 points after a goal on the siren. A finals aspirant would, in the normal course, be expected a combined winning margin in two games against the team that finishes 16th of more than 30 points (not to mention that it should not lose twice to the team that finishes 15th). Therein lies the dilemma for the Melbourne Football Club. The past three weeks suggest that those days are behind it but Sunday will be the litmus test. If the Demons want to make the finals, this is a must win. And why not? They are, after all, the leading team in terms of winning the contested ball at stoppages, they lead the competition in forward thrusts and have one of the toughest small men in the game coming back this week. There will be no excuses this week – the Bombers have been pilloried for their ineptitude against Carlton and yet they lost only because of their inaccuracy with 28 scoring shots to 21 and finishing with more inside 50s. On the strength of that, the Demons have them well covered and should win and win well. It’s their turn to break through. Melbourne by 55 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 20th May 2018 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 91 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 51 wins Past five meetings Carlton 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - TBA THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 14.6.90 defeated Carlton 12.10.82 at the MCG Round 16, 2017 The Demons came into the game with several key players missing due to injury, particularly its co-captains Jack Viney and Nathan Jones but also Jack Watts and Dom Tyson. They were strongly tested by the lowly Blues who had injury problems of their own. The Demons led into the final term but quickly lost the lead before regrouping with the last three goals of the match to win by 8 points. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Dale Thomas HB: Cameron O'Shea, Liam Jones, Kade Simpson ? Lochie O'Brien, Marc Murphy, Sam Kerridge HF: Jarrod Garlett, Pat Kerr, Darcy Lang F: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Harry McKay, Paddy Dow Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Zac Fisher I/C: Nick Graham, Jed Lamb, Aaron Mullett, Matthew Wright Emg: Matt Shaw, Jack Silvagni, Jacob Weitering In: Pat Kerr, Marc Murphy Out: Charlie Curnow (quad), Ed Curnow (suspended) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Angus Brayshaw, Jake Lever, Mitch Hannan ? Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF: Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham F: James Harmes, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca Foll: Max Gawn, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C (from): Bayley Fritsch, Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith, Charlie Spargo, Emg: Jeff Garlett, Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen, Dom Tyson In: Tim Smith, Jack Viney Out: Dom Tyson (omitted), Sam Weideman (calf) WHAT’S MY NUMBER? by Sam the Stats Man The club is tracking towards a finals appearance and the numbers confirm this to be the case. One statistic that stands out in comparison with last year is that (touch wood) to date, the Demons have not been hit as hard by injuries to key and depth players as they were last season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 8, goals 20. Has shrugged of the blues of last year coming back better than ever with his strength, endurance and sublime presence around the ground and up forward. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 8, goals 4. Still leading from the front with his hardness in the middle of the ground. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 7, goals 2. Coming on nicely both as defender with stints in the midfield. Precision kicking is a great asset. 4. James Harmes MFC games 8, goals 2. The change of number seems to have suited him. He’s one of the club’s big improvers and is spending more and more time in the midfield. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 7, goals 5. Playing some significant football as he continues to develop although his progress was hampered recently when his dog almost bit his finger off. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 7, goals 1. Continues to provide inspiration and leadership and sets up many damaging plays from the defensive half of the ground. 7. Jack Viney CD games 1, goals 0. The co-captain should be back this week after foot issues have kept him out since Round 21 last season. 8. Jake Lever MFC games 8, goals 0. It took him a while to settle in, but the former Crow is just starting to show his class and skill in defence. 9. Charlie Spargo MFC games 3, goals 5, CD games 2, goals 4. The pocket-sized dynamo has been a revelation with his hard work and maturity. Dangerous around goals. 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 5, goals 2, CD games 1, goals 1. Brayshaw is proving he’s over his concussion issues of recent years and is now on track to show why he was so highly regarded in his draft year. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 8, goals 5. Back to his All Australian best. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 6, goals 1. Remains important when up and running but needs to improve on his execution at times. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 8, goals 4. Last year’s club champion has continued where he left off and is rapidly becoming one of the competition’s best midfielders. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 8, goals 1. After a slow start, the All-Australian defender has outlined his importance to the Demons’ defence. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 2. Down on form and confidence but played very well in his last outing at Casey. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 3, goals 6. Started off strongly but another hamstring injury has put him back on the sidelines. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0. A very handy tall defender to have as depth at the club. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 8, goals 7. Has become an important player after reinventing himself as a medium forward with a damaging long kick. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 4, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 4. Had to work hard to reclaim his spot in the side after a quiet start. Good in recent weeks. 20. Corey Maynard ® MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 2. The hard-nosed midfielder had a torrid time in his only AFL appearance in Round 1 and, after a few games at Casey, will be out for a while with a hip injury. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 2, goals 2, CD games 5, goals 10. The work horse who has been used as a fill in ruckman/forward has a few others ahead of him at AFL level but remains a handy back up. 22. Aaron Vandenberg. Still awaiting his return from the heel and ankle injuries that have kept him out for almost two years. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 8, goals 1. Played every game, can tag and at times goes forward. He remains one of the important cogs in the team wheel. 24. Jay Kennedy Harris CD games 5, goals 4. Battling hard at Casey but looks a fair way off senior selection. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 3, goals 9. Came straight back in after injury and has added strength and goal scoring potency in the forward line with a great 5 goal performance in his last start. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 4, goals 2, CD games 2, goals 6. The selectors are showing faith in the youngster ahead of veteran Pedersen. It’s a decision that could well reap dividends in the medium to long term. 27. Harley Balic CD games 3, goals 8. Had a sensational start in his first game with Casey but an injury held him back. Was solid on return last Sunday. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 8, goals 0. A great improver who has beaten most opponents so far this year. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1. Has lost a bit of his edge and is not enjoying a good season. Dropped to Casey twice to regain some form. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 8, goals 7. Hard working small man who runs all day. 31. Bayley Fritsch MFC games 7, goals 7. Has played all bar one game when rested. The colt from Coldstream has exceeded all expectations as a medium sized forward with some time in the midfield. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 3, goals 4, CD games 3, goals 5. Working hard to revive his career after last year’s brain fade against the Swans but so far had only one good game and then struggled to hold his place with Melbourne. 33. Harrison Petty CD games 5, goals 0. This promising young key defender is highly thought of at the club and is learning the ropes at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 3, goals 1. Was just beginning to show some good form in the ruck with the Casey Demons when struck by an elbow injury that has set him back a month. 35. Oskar Baker CD games 5, goals 4. The cheeky red-headed speedster has impressed at Casey. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 5, goals 9, 1, CD games 2 goals 1. Been more cold than hot which has landed him in the VFL this year. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 5, goals 1. Speedy forward who lays a mean tackle but hasn’t done enough in almost 1½ years in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® CD games 4 goals 6. His form at Casey has been outstanding but who can he replace at AFL level. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 8, goals 0. Continues to be the team glue in defence. He might be small but he’s also strong, hard and important. 40. Patrick McKenna. Yet to play a game due to a hamstring injury after being recruited from the Giants at the end of 2016. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 1, goals 0. Held his place for a while but sent to Casey a couple of weeks ago. 44. Joel Smith CD games 4, goals 1. Spring-heeled and athletic but faces a tough battle to break into the MFC defence. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 5, goals 0. A solid contributor down back at Casey but his problem is that he’s almost at the back of the queue of a deep list of tall defenders. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD games 5, goals 1 Project ruckman being nursed through his games at Casey while he hones his big man skills.
  10. Melbourne’s record-breaking six goal opening quarter against Carlton at Ikon Park on Sunday set up an all-important 35-point win that catapulted the club into second place on the AFLW ladder with one round remaining before the Grand Final, separated from the top placed Bulldogs by percentage only. The win came at a cost for the Demons as vice-captain and All-Australian defender Mel Hickey came off the ground in the third quarter with a knee injury and awaits the result of scans to determine her fate for the rest of the season and perhaps beyond. Aliesha Newman was also off late in the game suffering an apparent back complaint. The team opened in sensational fashion with six unanswered goals, three of them to the indefatigable Elisa O'Dea and two to tall forward Tegan Cunningham who recovered from last week’s head knock and also finished the game with three goals. At the first break, the team’s disposal count was 73 to 20 and the Blues had yet to mark the ball. Given that Carlton has yet to kick more than three goals in a match this season the game was well and truly over and that turned out to be the case even though Melbourne was characteristically, like its men’s team earlier in the week, outscored by a few points for the remainder of the match. They went on to win easily 8.9.57 to 3.4.22 although it appeared that there was an element of self-preservation in their game with the grand final so close to their grasp, especially after Hickey came off the ground. O’Dea was the outstanding player for Melbourne in an even side that will approach next week’s game against the Bulldogs with some confidence knowing that they have the depth to go all the way. Melbourne 6.3.39 7.5.47 7.8.50 8.9.57 Carlton 0.1.1 2.1.13 2.2.14 3.4.22 Goals Melbourne Cunningham O'Dea 3 Hore 2 Carlton Gee Harris Vescio Best Melbourne O’Dea Cunningham Grierson Hore Scott L Pearce Carlton Gee S Hosking Moody Injuries Melbourne Hickey (knee) Newman (back) Carlton Attard (hand) Reports Nil Umpires Simmonds, Guy, Johansen Official crowd 6,300 at Ikon Park
  11. Please cast those votes people 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  12. ESCAPE FROM JAIL by George on the Outer The Demons rightly got out of jail today against the Blues at the MCG in a game in which many supporters of the Red and Blue were at one stage thinking they were in for a repeat of Round 22 of last year when Carlton put paid to Melbourne’s slim finals hopes for 2016. The Demons were in the top eight and playing against the team sitting 16th. Other games prior to the 3.20pm start on the weekend had already determined that Melbourne could slip outside the top eight should it lose, and then have to face up to three of the top four sides in the coming month. Things weren't looking so good, especially with co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney along with Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Christian Salem and Tomas Bugg all among those missing through injury or suspension. And just coming back from the rehab were Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Joel Smith and not so long ago Max Gawn - hardly a situation to feel confident about especially since Carlton had already defeated Sydney and GWS Giants this season and took ladder leaders Adelaide to within two goals. With a midfield that wouldn’t set the world alight and a lot of underdone players, the Demons were ripe for the pickings once again! And so it was almost to be as Carlton jumped Melbourne in the first quarter to lead by three goals at the first change. The Blues play the old “rope-a-dope” style of game and if you give them freedom they will just chip the ball around and then surge forward. A stern word from the coach and a change in game style saw the end to that and by half time the Demons had pulled back the deficit to be within one point thanks to Tom McDonald's goal after the half time siren. Injuries to Cripps and White placed Carlton in jeopardy of running out of legs, and it certainly looked to be the case as Melbourne hit the front early in the third term through Tom McDonald's third and by ¾ time it had extended its lead to nine points. By that time, the elder McDonald had kicked his fourth; for the second time in three matches his goal kicking exploits made a world of difference in keeping his team out of jail. A series of stupid and costly mistakes by a few Melbourne players handed the momentum back to Carlton and by 10 minutes into the final quarter they led by nine points. The game then became an arm wrestle and the Demons willed and dragged themselves to a two point lead with only minutes remaining. The wrestle continued and in the telling stages of the match, Neville Jetta took the critical mark in the Carlton backline that denied them an opportunity to take back the lead. The ball moved to the other end and Alex Neal-Bullen marked with a minute left in the match and using up his full 30 seconds, he passed to Jordan Lewis rather than shooting for goal. Another 30 seconds was used up and Lewis converted after the siren for the Demons to run out winners by eight points. Melbourne did get out of jail in the end but it did so through hard work and effort which is now their modus operandi in almost every game it plays. The question now is whether it can carry the team through the next month? We can only wait and see ... Melbourne 1.2.8 7.4.46 11.5.71 14.6.90 Carlton 4.3.27 7.5.47 9.8.62 12.10.82 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett 3 Neal-Bullen Wagner 2 Hogan Lewis Melksham Carlton Silvagni 3 Curnow Murphy Wright 2 Casboult Kreuzer Petrevski-Seton Best Melbourne T McDonald Oliver Lewis Petracca Neal-Bullen Frost Carlton Kreuzer Gibbs Murphy Curnow Docherty Casboult Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Cripps (left leg) White (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Deboy, Williamson, Ryan Official crowd 47,266 at the MCG
  13. The Demons rightly got out of jail today against the Blues at the MCG in a game in which many supporters of the Red and Blue were at one stage thinking they were in for a repeat of Round 22 of last year when Carlton put paid to Melbourne’s slim finals hopes for 2016. The Demons were in the top eight and playing against the team sitting 16th. Other games prior to the 3.20pm start on the weekend had already determined that Melbourne could slip outside the top eight should it lose, and then have to face up to three of the top four sides in the coming month. Things weren't looking so good, especially with co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney along with Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Christian Salem and Tomas Bugg all among those missing through injury or suspension. And just coming back from the rehab were Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Joel Smith and not so long ago Max Gawn - hardly a situation to feel confident about especially since Carlton had already defeated Sydney and GWS Giants this season and took ladder leaders Adelaide to within two goals. With a midfield that wouldn’t set the world alight and a lot of underdone players, the Demons were ripe for the pickings once again! And so it was almost to be as Carlton jumped Melbourne in the first quarter to lead by three goals at the first change. The Blues play the old “rope-a-dope” style of game and if you give them freedom they will just chip the ball around and then surge forward. A stern word from the coach and a change in game style saw the end to that and by half time the Demons had pulled back the deficit to be within one point thanks to Tom McDonald's goal after the half time siren. Injuries to Cripps and White placed Carlton in jeopardy of running out of legs, and it certainly looked to be the case as Melbourne hit the front early in the third term through Tom McDonald's third and by ¾ time it had extended its lead to nine points. By that time, the elder McDonald had kicked his fourth; for the second time in three matches his goal kicking exploits made a world of difference in keeping his team out of jail. A series of stupid and costly mistakes by a few Melbourne players handed the momentum back to Carlton and by 10 minutes into the final quarter they led by nine points. The game then became an arm wrestle and the Demons willed and dragged themselves to a two point lead with only minutes remaining. The wrestle continued and in the telling stages of the match, Neville Jetta took the critical mark in the Carlton backline that denied them an opportunity to take back the lead. The ball moved to the other end and Alex Neal-Bullen marked with a minute left in the match and using up his full 30 seconds, he passed to Jordan Lewis rather than shooting for goal. Another 30 seconds was used up and Lewis converted after the siren for the Demons to run out winners by eight points. Melbourne did get out of jail in the end but it did so through hard work and effort which is now their modus operandi in almost every game it plays. The question now is whether it can carry the team through the next month? We can only wait and see ... Melbourne 1.2.8 7.4.46 11.5.71 14.6.90 Carlton 4.3.27 7.5.47 9.8.62 12.10.82 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett 3 Neal-Bullen Wagner 2 Hogan Lewis Melksham Carlton Silvagni 3 Curnow Murphy Wright 2 Casboult Kreuzer Petrevski-Seton Best Melbourne T McDonald Oliver Lewis Petracca Neal-Bullen Frost Carlton Kreuzer Gibbs Murphy Curnow Docherty Casboult Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Cripps (left leg) White (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Deboy, Williamson, Ryan Official crowd 47,266 at the MCG
  14. RETROMANIA by JVM There are two ways that things can go for the Melbourne Football Club in the wake of last Friday’s embarrassing loss to Sydney, the Tomas Bugg punch and suspension, the continuing injury crisis and revelations about sanctions against four players after they ignored a directive not to drink alcohol after a Casey match. Up or down. The club was on a ten year high less than a week ago and then it hit the wall against the Swans with its insipid performance. Simon Goodwin's job of orchestrating the club's fifth winning game on end and thereby securing it a top four position was made so much more difficult for being hamstrung by the unavailability of the four players suspended from playing in the AFL on Friday night. Three of them had strong credentials for selection in team that was obviously weary in the face of their fourth game in 18 days. Dean Kent would have made the perfect fill-in for the injured Jeff Garlett but in his absence, the decision was made to replace him up forward with Jayden Hunt. Although Hunt managed to mark and goal in the first quarter, his game tally of seven possessions was the lowest of his 33-game career and only the second time he has failed to reach double figures. His presence in the backline was sorely missed. Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy were both in scintillating form for Casey and the presence of at least one of them would have been a boon for a team labouring under the strain of a succession of six day breaks and an interstate trip. And one cannot estimate the effect of all this on the psyche of the remaining players knowing that the stupidity of their teammates had left them in a position where the best team could not be selected for an important game. So now Melbourne faces Carlton for the second time this year - the third if you count JLT pre season games. If the team had available to it the personnel of those earlier games, my prediction about the outcome of this match would have been a no-brainer. The Demons by the length of Bourke Street. Now I'm not so sure. In truth, even the 22-point victory scored by Melbourne when the two sides met in Round 2 this season unimpressive. The young Blues have been inconsistent but have acquitted themselves admirably at times. They beat Adelaide and GWS Giants earlier in the season and gave Adelaide a run for their money last week. On that basis, their current form is much better than that of the embattled Demons who are moving in a retrograde motion for what is the Retro Round. I'll give them one chance and once chance only. Melbourne by 1 point. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 9th July, 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 90 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 50 wins Past five meetings Carlton 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Carlton $2.30 to win - Melbourne to win $1.63 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.10.88 defeated Carlton 9.12.66 at the MCG Round 2, 2017 The Demons looked in control early but seemed to stop midway through the second quarter and some undisciplined acts and poor play saw them hand the lead over during the third quarter. The team regrouped in the last but the 22 point win flattered them. Clayton Oliver and Dom Tyson were the team's best. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman HB: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas C: Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps, David Cuningham HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Sam Kerridge F: Zac Fisher, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy I/C: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Sheehan EMG: Ciaran Byrne, Nick Graham, Harry McKay IN: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton OUT: Ciaran Byrne (omitted), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Liam Sumner (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan HF: James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jake Melksham I/C: Dean Kent, Joel Smith, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Joel Smith OUT: Tomas Bugg (suspended), Dom Tyson (knee), Jack Viney (foot), Mitch White (omitted) I HAVE YOUR NUMBER by Sam the Stats Man They talk about lies and damn statistics but the analysis below tells us that the Demons have been hit hard to both key and depth players this season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 4, goals 9 This hasn't been his year. Suspended for two matches in Round 2, then missed a week mourning the loss of his father and then diagnosed with cancer. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 12, goals 10 The tough skipper led from the front but is now out for a month with a groin. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 12, goals 5 Has raised his game a level whether playing in midfield or defence but is currently out with a hamstring injury. 4. Jack Watts MFC games 12, goals 20 After a less than encouraging pre season period, Watts hardly put a foot wrong as a forward or back up ruckman until he injured his hamstring against the Bulldogs. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 20 Has made good progress and is living up to his high draft selection. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 11, goals 4 A great acquisition for the club, providing inspiration and leadership but with one major blemish being his suspension for 3 matches after a brain fade in Round 2. 7. Jack Viney MFC games 15, goals 5 Made a slow start to the season and was coming back to his damaging best when injured against the Swans. Now expected to be out for a month. 8. Heritier Lumumba Retired without making a start to the pre season. 9. Jack Trengove CD games 11, goals 2 The question all year has been whether he will ever get another opportunity to play at the highest level? 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3, goals 1 Troubled by concussion issues and his short term future remains in doubt. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 5, goals 1 Injured in Round 3 and underwent hamstring surgery after the game, the All Australian ruckman's presence in the ruck was sorely missed. Will be an important player now that he's back. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 7, goals 1 Form was a little inconsistent but he's been really important when up and running. Another of the currently injured brigade. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2 The young midfielder is having an outstanding second season. Is probably leading the club's best and fairest and even spoken of as a possible All Australian but super important now that the midfield has been decimated. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 10, goals 1, CD games 2, goals 0 A prolific ball winner with great delivery skills and a good stopper in defence. Already an important player with the Demons after missing the early games with injury. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 2 After a good start, his form dropped off ever so slightly and he found himself out of the side. Seems to be struggling at the moment. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 4, goals 6, CD games 8, goals 6 Has paid the price for poor form and an off field misdemeanour and must now wait for his next chance. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 11, goals 1 Came back from some pre season injury worries as a much improved player in defence. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 11, goals 4, CD games 2, goals 4 Had some good moments and has shaken off a suspension incurred at Casey to become a regular in the AFL team. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 13, goals 18 Has been good in his debut year at the club and well and truly earned his spot in the side. 20. Colin Garland Suffered an ACL injury before the start of the season. Sidelined for 2017. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3 Has worked hard against tough odds and taller opposition as a fill in ruckman/forward. 22. Aaron Vandenberg Yet to take the field during the regular season due to a heel injury. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 13, goals 1 Played some great tagging roles and was terrific on Rory Sloane. Needs to take a further step up this week. 24. Jay Kennedy-Harris MFC games 3, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 4 Had an unimpressive three match stint after a long period out through injuries and found himself back at Casey where he's starred. Drinks with the boys cost him a return last week. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 14 Strong leader in defence who has also gone forward and played on the ball during the club's ruck crisis. Kicked a match winning 5 goals at Domain Stadium recently against the Eagles. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 6, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 9 Dropped from the team after the club's loss to North Melbourne and has been unable to fight back in despite a six goal haul at Box Hill a fortnight ago. 27. Liam Hulett CD games 9, goals 5, CD DL game 1, goals 0 Struggling in the Development League at the moment - sure sign that his future at the club is doubtful. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 12, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 His form was patchy early but has shown great improvement after a brief stint in the VFL. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 5 Having a wonderful season highlighted by his blistering pace, adventurous running and athleticism. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 11, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 2 Had is moments this year and starting to establish his place in the team. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 10, goals 7, CD games 1, goals 5 His career is on the brink after a reckless punch against the Swans saw him suspended for 6 matches. 33. Jake Spencer MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 0 Waited a long time to get an opportunity at AFL level but suffered a shoulder injury in just his second game. Now back at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 8, goals 0, CD DL games 1, goals 1 King is a developing player coming back from an ACL and is being given time at Casey. 35. Ben Kennedy CD games 10, goals 6 Struggling to gain a spot at Melbourne, Kennedy has been working on his game down at Casey and was close to MFC selection before his involvement in the after-game drinks. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 13, goals 29 Dangerous forward having a terrific season and finally gaining recognition for the value of his role to the team. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 11, goals 3 Speedy forward who can lay a tackle is learning the trade in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3 goals 1 Unlucky to suffer a broken rib in his second game which was followed by a navicular bone injury just as he returned. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 14, goals 3 Steady as a rock playing the small defender's role. 40. Patrick McKenna A hamstring tear has prevented him from playing at either AFL or VFL level. 41. Mitchell White ® MFC game 1, goals 0 CD games 9, goals 2 Rewarded for his hard work as a defender at Casey with promotion off the rookie list and a game v the Swans. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1 Had some injury woes in the pre season and his form has been up and down ever since. 43. James Harmes MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 3, goals 0 Lost his place in the Melbourne team but bounced back with a strong performance at Casey last week. 44. Joel Smith ® MFC games 1, goals 0 CD games 1, goals 0 Was going along nicely in defence on debut when he suffered an injured shoulder and missed most of the first half of the season. Made a strong first up return at Casey last week. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 11, goals 3 Rookie spare parts man getting experience as a back up ruckman with key position roles in the VFL. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD DL games 5, goals 0 Project ruckman was getting game time in the Development League with the Casey Demons but has been out recently with a hip flexor injury. 48. Corey Maynard ® CD games 9, goals 2 Apart from a fortnight off after concussion has been doing well and performing better than expected in the Casey midfield.
  15. There are two ways that things can go for the Melbourne Football Club in the wake of last Friday’s embarrassing loss to Sydney, the Tomas Bugg punch and suspension, the continuing injury crisis and revelations about sanctions against four players after they ignored a directive not to drink alcohol after a Casey match. Up or down. The club was on a ten year high less than a week ago and then it hit the wall against the Swans with its insipid performance. Simon Goodwin's job of orchestrating the club's fifth winning game on end and thereby securing it a top four position was made so much more difficult for being hamstrung by the unavailability of the four players suspended from playing in the AFL on Friday night. Three of them had strong credentials for selection in team that was obviously weary in the face of their fourth game in 18 days. Dean Kent would have made the perfect fill-in for the injured Jeff Garlett but in his absence, the decision was made to replace him up forward with Jayden Hunt. Although Hunt managed to mark and goal in the first quarter, his game tally of seven possessions was the lowest of his 33-game career and only the second time he has failed to reach double figures. His presence in the backline was sorely missed. Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy were both in scintillating form for Casey and the presence of at least one of them would have been a boon for a team labouring under the strain of a succession of six day breaks and an interstate trip. And one cannot estimate the effect of all this on the psyche of the remaining players knowing that the stupidity of their teammates had left them in a position where the best team could not be selected for an important game. So now Melbourne faces Carlton for the second time this year - the third if you count JLT pre season games. If the team had available to it the personnel of those earlier games, my prediction about the outcome of this match would have been a no-brainer. The Demons by the length of Bourke Street. Now I'm not so sure. In truth, even the 22-point victory scored by Melbourne when the two sides met in Round 2 this season unimpressive. The young Blues have been inconsistent but have acquitted themselves admirably at times. They beat Adelaide and GWS Giants earlier in the season and gave Adelaide a run for their money last week. On that basis, their current form is much better than that of the embattled Demons who are moving in a retrograde motion for what is the Retro Round. I'll give them one chance and once chance only. Melbourne by 1 point. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 9th July, 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 90 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 50 wins Past five meetings Carlton 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Carlton $2.30 to win - Melbourne to win $1.63 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.10.88 defeated Carlton 9.12.66 at the MCG Round 2, 2017 The Demons looked in control early but seemed to stop midway through the second quarter and some undisciplined acts and poor play saw them hand the lead over during the third quarter. The team regrouped in the last but the 22 point win flattered them. Clayton Oliver and Dom Tyson were the team's best. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman HB: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas C: Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps, David Cuningham HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Sam Kerridge F: Zac Fisher, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy I/C: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Sheehan EMG: Ciaran Byrne, Nick Graham, Harry McKay IN: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton OUT: Ciaran Byrne (omitted), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Liam Sumner (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan HF: James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jake Melksham I/C: Dean Kent, Joel Smith, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Joel Smith OUT: Tomas Bugg (suspended), Dom Tyson (knee), Jack Viney (foot), Mitch White (omitted) I HAVE YOUR NUMBER by Sam the Stats Man They talk about lies and damn statistics but the analysis below tells us that the Demons have been hit hard to both key and depth players this season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 4, goals 9 This hasn't been his year. Suspended for two matches in Round 2, then missed a week mourning the loss of his father and then diagnosed with cancer. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 12, goals 10 The tough skipper led from the front but is now out for a month with a groin. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 12, goals 5 Has raised his game a level whether playing in midfield or defence but is currently out with a hamstring injury. 4. Jack Watts MFC games 12, goals 20 After a less than encouraging pre season period, Watts hardly put a foot wrong as a forward or back up ruckman until he injured his hamstring against the Bulldogs. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 20 Has made good progress and is living up to his high draft selection. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 11, goals 4 A great acquisition for the club, providing inspiration and leadership but with one major blemish being his suspension for 3 matches after a brain fade in Round 2. 7. Jack Viney MFC games 15, goals 5 Made a slow start to the season and was coming back to his damaging best when injured against the Swans. Now expected to be out for a month. 8. Heritier Lumumba Retired without making a start to the pre season. 9. Jack Trengove CD games 11, goals 2 The question all year has been whether he will ever get another opportunity to play at the highest level? 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3, goals 1 Troubled by concussion issues and his short term future remains in doubt. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 5, goals 1 Injured in Round 3 and underwent hamstring surgery after the game, the All Australian ruckman's presence in the ruck was sorely missed. Will be an important player now that he's back. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 7, goals 1 Form was a little inconsistent but he's been really important when up and running. Another of the currently injured brigade. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2 The young midfielder is having an outstanding second season. Is probably leading the club's best and fairest and even spoken of as a possible All Australian but super important now that the midfield has been decimated. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 10, goals 1, CD games 2, goals 0 A prolific ball winner with great delivery skills and a good stopper in defence. Already an important player with the Demons after missing the early games with injury. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 2 After a good start, his form dropped off ever so slightly and he found himself out of the side. Seems to be struggling at the moment. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 4, goals 6, CD games 8, goals 6 Has paid the price for poor form and an off field misdemeanour and must now wait for his next chance. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 11, goals 1 Came back from some pre season injury worries as a much improved player in defence. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 11, goals 4, CD games 2, goals 4 Had some good moments and has shaken off a suspension incurred at Casey to become a regular in the AFL team. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 13, goals 18 Has been good in his debut year at the club and well and truly earned his spot in the side. 20. Colin Garland Suffered an ACL injury before the start of the season. Sidelined for 2017. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3 Has worked hard against tough odds and taller opposition as a fill in ruckman/forward. 22. Aaron Vandenberg Yet to take the field during the regular season due to a heel injury. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 13, goals 1 Played some great tagging roles and was terrific on Rory Sloane. Needs to take a further step up this week. 24. Jay Kennedy-Harris MFC games 3, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 4 Had an unimpressive three match stint after a long period out through injuries and found himself back at Casey where he's starred. Drinks with the boys cost him a return last week. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 14 Strong leader in defence who has also gone forward and played on the ball during the club's ruck crisis. Kicked a match winning 5 goals at Domain Stadium recently against the Eagles. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 6, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 9 Dropped from the team after the club's loss to North Melbourne and has been unable to fight back in despite a six goal haul at Box Hill a fortnight ago. 27. Liam Hulett CD games 9, goals 5, CD DL game 1, goals 0 Struggling in the Development League at the moment - sure sign that his future at the club is doubtful. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 12, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 His form was patchy early but has shown great improvement after a brief stint in the VFL. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 5 Having a wonderful season highlighted by his blistering pace, adventurous running and athleticism. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 11, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 2 Had is moments this year and starting to establish his place in the team. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 10, goals 7, CD games 1, goals 5 His career is on the brink after a reckless punch against the Swans saw him suspended for 6 matches. 33. Jake Spencer MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 0 Waited a long time to get an opportunity at AFL level but suffered a shoulder injury in just his second game. Now back at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 8, goals 0, CD DL games 1, goals 1 King is a developing player coming back from an ACL and is being given time at Casey. 35. Ben Kennedy CD games 10, goals 6 Struggling to gain a spot at Melbourne, Kennedy has been working on his game down at Casey and was close to MFC selection before his involvement in the after-game drinks. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 13, goals 29 Dangerous forward having a terrific season and finally gaining recognition for the value of his role to the team. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 11, goals 3 Speedy forward who can lay a tackle is learning the trade in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3 goals 1 Unlucky to suffer a broken rib in his second game which was followed by a navicular bone injury just as he returned. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 14, goals 3 Steady as a rock playing the small defender's role. 40. Patrick McKenna A hamstring tear has prevented him from playing at either AFL or VFL level. 41. Mitchell White ® MFC game 1, goals 0 CD games 9, goals 2 Rewarded for his hard work as a defender at Casey with promotion off the rookie list and a game v the Swans. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1 Had some injury woes in the pre season and his form has been up and down ever since. 43. James Harmes MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 3, goals 0 Lost his place in the Melbourne team but bounced back with a strong performance at Casey last week. 44. Joel Smith ® MFC games 1, goals 0 CD games 1, goals 0 Was going along nicely in defence on debut when he suffered an injured shoulder and missed most of the first half of the season. Made a strong first up return at Casey last week. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 11, goals 3 Rookie spare parts man getting experience as a back up ruckman with key position roles in the VFL. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD DL games 5, goals 0 Project ruckman was getting game time in the Development League with the Casey Demons but has been out recently with a hip flexor injury. 48. Corey Maynard ® CD games 9, goals 2 Apart from a fortnight off after concussion has been doing well and performing better than expected in the Casey midfield.
  16. We were a lot closer to full strength in Round 2 than we are now:- MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Christian Salem, Jordan Lewis, Billy Stretch HF: Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman, Jack Watts F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Jack Viney I/C: Mitch Hannan, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Dean Kent, Jake Spencer IN: James Harmes, Ben Kennedy, Dom Tyson OUT: Joel Smith (shoulder), Bernie Vince (suspended) CARLTON B: Jarrod Pickett, Caleb Marchbank, Lachie Plowman HB: Harrison Macreadie, Sam Rowe, Sam Docherty C: Matthew Wright, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow F: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski-Seton FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy I/C: Dennis Armfield, Ed Curnow, Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay, Billie Smedts, Dale Thomas EMG: Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay NO CHANGE
  17. AN END TO THE DREAMING by George on the Outer Carlton put paid to the Demons' chances of playing in the 2016 finals series, or more correctly Melbourne threw away its chances of being there in September. From the first bounce it was obvious that the “bad” Melbourne had turned up to play a game that was reminiscent of that against Essendon earlier in the year. Before the supporters could build their hopes, the game was over as Carlton put on four goals in the opening quarter from nine shots, while the Demons could only manage four shots on goal with only two majors resulting. This was a Carlton side that had lost its previous nine encounters, while the Demons were coming off a three game winning streak, its longest for nearly ten years. The mids were comprehensively beaten to everything that Max Gawn sent their way, and when they weren’t first to the ball, the effectiveness of their disposal was appalling. Dom Tyson despite 30 touches needs to be sat down and told to kick the ball instead of trying to handball first, when it is raining. The same happened against Hawthorn first up, then Sydney and again today. Handballing in close is a dry weather option, and it was evidenced that he only managed two clearances for the whole day! Jack Viney battled all day, and produced eight clearances from fewer possession. The difference between statistics and effectiveness. The backs were simply magnificent and without the efforts of the MacDonald brothers and Neville Jetta combined with the sorry skills of most Carlton players, the result would have been much worse. Tom did a particularly damaging job on Levi Casboult who only had 9 touches for the whole game, while Neville just kept intercepting and spoiling the Carlton forward thrusts. The 1%ers statistic had Tom with 14, Oscar with 8 and Neville with 5 with no other players on the field doing better. Bernie on the other hand was simply atrocious and is not a backman. He was moved up the ground after the first quarter, but he continues to do silly things and provide turnovers to the opposition advantage. At least after ¼ time the damage was further up the field. Jayden Hunt provided that thrill and enthusiasm that was so much needed in this game, but without any assistance his was a lone hand. Up forward the selection committee again erred as it brought in an undeveloped Weidemann in favour of Pedersen. Today Hogan needed a big body to provide a second option, and it simply wasn’t there. While the further development of Weidemann is appreciated, one has to wonder whether winning the match was a priority. Hogan led the Demons with his 14 marks including 5 contested, but his kicking for goal remains a real point of concern. He wasn’t alone as not even Jack Watts was able to nail a set shot from 30m which normally would be written down before it left his boot. And the final quarter of 1 goal 6 behinds, most of which were from set shots or easy open shots was the difference between a win, keeping the hope alive, or being beaten by a side which had lost 9 straight! Again the commitment to winning wasn’t evident as the coaches continued to play an extra man in defence, even in the last quarter, when the game had to be won. We had to score, not defend as we were already 4 goals behind. Carlton appreciated the lack of pressure in our forward line, as that spare man was able to mop up successfully time and time again. And with Hogan always double teamed, he had little chance. Small wonder the kid gets frustrated. Viv Michie has almost certainly determined his future despite 20 touches. His lack of vigour is a hallmark, especially when his direct opponent in Dylan Buckley managed 3 goals. Likewise ANB was underwhelming with a mere eight touches and only one to half time. Once again the selection committee has to be questioned about the suitability of these players in a match that HAD to be won. At Melbourne we had a dream. It might have been only a slim hope, but it caused more Demons supporters to turn up to watch on a wet wintery day than had been seen in Round 21 for many a year. So for all those dreaming supporters, the words of Fantinefrom the musical Le Miserables seem so poignant: I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living So different now, from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed Melbourne 2.2.14 4.8.32 6.10.46 7.16.58 Carlton 4.5.29 7.8.50 10.10.70 11.12.78 Goals Carlton Buckley 3 Graham 2 Cripps Everitt Jones Phillips Sumner Wright Melbourne Bugg Gawn Hogan Hunt Neal-Bullen Oliver vandenBerg Best Melbourne Viney Hunt N Jones T McDonald O McDonald Jetta Carlton Cripps Gibbs Buckley Docherty Simpson Changes Carlton Silvagni (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Graham. Kerridge (illness) replaced in the selected side by Everitt Melbourne Nil Injuries Melbourne Watts (right eye), Kent (right leg) Carlton Buckley (head), Curnow (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Mitchell Official crowd 40,693 at MCG
  18. Carlton put paid to the Demons' chances of playing in the 2016 finals series, or more correctly Melbourne threw away its chances of being there in September. From the first bounce it was obvious that the “bad” Melbourne had turned up to play a game that was reminiscent of that against Essendon earlier in the year. Before the supporters could build their hopes, the game was over as Carlton put on four goals in the opening quarter from nine shots, while the Demons could only manage four shots on goal with only two majors resulting. This was a Carlton side that had lost its previous nine encounters, while the Demons were coming off a three game winning streak, its longest for nearly ten years. The mids were comprehensively beaten to everything that Max Gawn sent their way, and when they weren’t first to the ball, the effectiveness of their disposal was appalling. Dom Tyson despite 30 touches needs to be sat down and told to kick the ball instead of trying to handball first, when it is raining. The same happened against Hawthorn first up, then Sydney and again today. Handballing in close is a dry weather option, and it was evidenced that he only managed two clearances for the whole day! Jack Viney battled all day, and produced eight clearances from fewer possession. The difference between statistics and effectiveness. The backs were simply magnificent and without the efforts of the MacDonald brothers and Neville Jetta combined with the sorry skills of most Carlton players, the result would have been much worse. Tom did a particularly damaging job on Levi Casboult who only had 9 touches for the whole game, while Neville just kept intercepting and spoiling the Carlton forward thrusts. The 1%ers statistic had Tom with 14, Oscar with 8 and Neville with 5 with no other players on the field doing better. Bernie on the other hand was simply atrocious and is not a backman. He was moved up the ground after the first quarter, but he continues to do silly things and provide turnovers to the opposition advantage. At least after ¼ time the damage was further up the field. Jayden Hunt provided that thrill and enthusiasm that was so much needed in this game, but without any assistance his was a lone hand. Up forward the selection committee again erred as it brought in an undeveloped Weidemann in favour of Pedersen. Today Hogan needed a big body to provide a second option, and it simply wasn’t there. While the further development of Weidemann is appreciated, one has to wonder whether winning the match was a priority. Hogan led the Demons with his 14 marks including 5 contested, but his kicking for goal remains a real point of concern. He wasn’t alone as not even Jack Watts was able to nail a set shot from 30m which normally would be written down before it left his boot. And the final quarter of 1 goal 6 behinds, most of which were from set shots or easy open shots was the difference between a win, keeping the hope alive, or being beaten by a side which had lost 9 straight! Again the commitment to winning wasn’t evident as the coaches continued to play an extra man in defence, even in the last quarter, when the game had to be won. We had to score, not defend as we were already 4 goals behind. Carlton appreciated the lack of pressure in our forward line, as that spare man was able to mop up successfully time and time again. And with Hogan always double teamed, he had little chance. Small wonder the kid gets frustrated. Viv Michie has almost certainly determined his future despite 20 touches. His lack of vigour is a hallmark, especially when his direct opponent in Dylan Buckley managed 3 goals. Likewise ANB was underwhelming with a mere eight touches and only one to half time. Once again the selection committee has to be questioned about the suitability of these players in a match that HAD to be won. At Melbourne we had a dream. It might have been only a slim hope, but it caused more Demons supporters to turn up to watch on a wet wintery day than had been seen in Round 21 for many a year. So for all those dreaming supporters, the words of Fantinefrom the musical Le Miserables seem so poignant: I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living So different now, from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed Melbourne 2.2.14 4.8.32 6.10.46 7.16.58 Carlton 4.5.29 7.8.50 10.10.70 11.12.78 Goals Carlton Buckley 3 Graham 2 Cripps Everitt Jones Phillips Sumner Wright Melbourne Bugg Gawn Hogan Hunt Neal-Bullen Oliver vandenBerg Best Melbourne Viney Hunt N Jones T McDonald O McDonald Jetta Carlton Cripps Gibbs Buckley Docherty Simpson Changes Carlton Silvagni (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Graham. Kerridge (illness) replaced in the selected side by Everitt Melbourne Nil Injuries Melbourne Watts (right eye), Kent (right leg) Carlton Buckley (head), Curnow (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Mitchell Official crowd 40,693 at MCG
  19. The forecast is for some rain in the afternoon which shouldn't worry us greatly. In fact, for a club that has stood on the edge of the abyss so many times in the past ten years, nothing should worry us. The experience of being in contention this far into the season is something we should savour. This is a glimpse into our future.
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