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Found 45 results

  1. Enough said 55 years will be 56 yrs of failure
  2. It truly became a “Cat Run” with an 80 point win to the home side, an outcome that had us wondering what happened to the Demons of 2018 when they got to a Preliminary final on the basis of their “brand” of contested football? Well that part hasn’t changed any, since the likes of Clayton Oliver can win the ball 44 times in a game including 15 clearances, Angus Brayshaw racks up 33 touches with Jack Viney chipping in for 27 of this own. In the ruck Max Gawn had 53 hitouts on the night, and yet on a wet and continuously raining night the team get beaten by 80 points! The Demons went inside their forward line 25 more times than the Cats for the game, this should have been a comprehensive Melbourne victory, based on these overwhelming statistics. But to lose instead by 13 goals means that something else is seriously, seriously out of whack! There is no doubt the forward line is completely dysfunctional. For the second week in a row Melbourne robbed the forwards of a tall to replace Gawn in the ruck to give him a rest. For the second week in a row it failed, and failed big time. Geelong didn’t have two rucks, they just used Hawkins in the forward line, Blicavs in the backline and Ratugolea as backups. This gave Stanley free reign to run Max around and into the ground. Unless Gawn can run the whole game, and around the whole ground at full pace, then perhaps the selectors could try bringing a second ruckman in to the side on selection night. And a forward line with the likes of Sparrow, Fritsch, ANB, first gamer Lockhart, even Melksham and Hunt simply isn’t going to match it for height against Taylor, Stewart and Blicavs. The constant bombing inside by Melbourne just meant Geelong were able to spoil or outmark their Melbourne opponents since it had only Weideman and Tom McDonald as talls, (when they weren’t dragged into the ruck). One spare Geelong tall all the time, or even more when Ratugolea or Stanley dropped back as well. Small wonder Melbourne wasn’t able to score, with yet another goal-less quarter (this time the third) which is too often now becoming part of “the Brand”. The other troubling re-emergence is the inability to stop an opposition teams “run on”. In the first quarter, the Cats kicked 5 unanswered goals in a 13 minute period and it was effectively game over in the wet. But they followed it up with a six goal unanswered period in the third and a 4 goal run in the last. This was emblematic of the worst of Melbourne sides prior to the arrival of Paul Roos. The mids were fantastic as seen by the simply enormous touches, contested possessions and simply drive they provided. The backs did their job well as evidenced by Hawkins only producing two goals for the night in a team which kicked 10 times as much. And the backline coaches have to stop the ridiculous habit we are developing of kicking short from the point-kick-ins. Clearing the danger zone should be critical. Again, that was a hallmark of Roos, which seems to have disappeared. The loss was simply the lack of pressure coming from too many around the ground, and the lack of scoreboard pressure caused by the forwards. The selectors have got to stop putting debutants into the side and expecting more. They have got to provide assistance to Gawn with another ruck or tall who can double as a forward. Losing the first two games, and not being competitive in either is a troubling sign. Can it be turned around? First step is the selection table, or we will face another blow-up against the hapless Bombers next game. Melbourne 2.2.14 3.4.22 3.9.27 6.10.46 Geelong 6.1.37 7.4.46 13.4.82 20.6.126 Goals Melbourne Melksham 2 Brayshaw Lockhart Viney Weideman Geelong Rohan 3 Dahlhaus Dangerfield Hawkins Selwood 2 Clark Constable Duncan Kelly Menegola Miers O'Connor Parfitt Ratugolea Best Melbourne Oliver Gawn Brayshaw Viney Geelong Dangerfield Selwood Kelly Stewart Dahlhaus Taylor Hawkins Constable Injuries Melbourne May (groin) Geelong Henry (hamstring) Reports Nil Umpires McInerney, Williamson, Wallace Official crowd at GMHBA Stadium Too many Cats sycophants to count so the figure has yet to be released
  3. I’m going a bit early but I don’t think we can win this one.
  4. How much should we be making out of Melbourne’s opening round loss on its home ground against an unfancied team from interstate in Port Adelaide? The game was barely over before the excuses were coming out that about the lack of preparation of the team, the fact that some players were playing injured or unfit and unable to handle the humidity and the heat, the team’s lack of run and spread, the lack of experience and having too many key players injured or (in the case of Steven May) suspended. The resort to excuses or reasons for failure should not sit well in light of the fact that it was not that long ago when Melbourne was being strongly touted as a top four team, if not a strong contender for the flag. There really will be no excuses this week with the game played at night (17 degrees and possible showers predicted), players returning from injury and big Maxy over the after effects of his minor skin surgery and the challenge of winning in Sleepy Hollow awaiting a team that will benefit from having the run of last week’s game out of its legs. In many ways this will be a game of redemption for both sides. The Cats will be looking to redeem themselves for their humiliating exit from last year’s final series when they were overpowered early by the enthusiastic Demons while Melbourne will be looking to redeem itself for last week’s crushing loss where it was made to look slow and without any focus up forward. In fact, it has been horrific in front of goal in its last two matches - no goals in the entire first half of the Preliminary Final and none in more than a quarter and a half at the end of last week’s game. The club will also be looking to redeem itself for that nightmare after-the-siren defeat late last year at at GMHBA Stadium which put paid to its efforts to finish in the top four before the finals. This week will be different with the long anticipated debut of Steven May who will no doubt be called upon to stop Tom Hawkins who was the match winner booting seven straight when the teams last met at this ground. The strength and aggression of the former Gold Coast skipper should certainly be significant after the limp efforts of the Demons’ key backs last week on the MCG. And speaking of skippers, one would hope that Melbourne co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney will provide the sort of leadership that was sorely lacking last week and led to a diminished output from the rest of the midfield. I expect Max Gawn to stand up strong and proud and for a much better midfield which faces the quality of Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Tim Kelly. In the end however, the team is coming from a long way back on the basis of its lethargic performance against Port Adelaide and I fear that they aren’t ready yet to redeem themselves in the hostile territory of GMHBA Stadium. Geelong by 10 points. THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday 30 March 2019 at 7.25pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 130 wins Melbourne 85 wins 2 draws At GMHBA Stadium Geelong 39 wins Melbourne 18 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Geelong 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Scott 3 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel 7 live RADIO - ABC Triple M 3AW LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 10.15.75 defeated Geelong 6.10.46 Elimination Final 2018 at the MCG It was happy days for the Demons as they booted the first five goals for the game to hammer home an advantage through Max Gawn’s ruck dominance over the inexperienced Ryan Abbo tt provided silver service to the midfield led by Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw and full forward Sam Weideman delivered with three goals. Two quarters of inaccuracy in front of goal prevented a complete slaughter. THE TEAMS Round 2 Injury List: Harry Petty (foot) – Test Tim Smith (calf) – Test Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – 1 - 2 weeks Jordan Lewis (hamstring) – 2 - 3 weeks Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 4 - 6 weeks Joel Smith (groin) – TBA Mitch Hannan (knee) – 6-10 weeks Jake Lever (knee) – 6-10 weeks Jay Kennedy Harris (knee) – 10-12 weeks Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season
  5. Glory days THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd C : Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver, James Harmes HF: Jake Melksham, Tom McDonald, Angus Brayshaw F: Bayley Fritsch, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Mitch Hannan, Christian Petracca, Charlie Spargo, Aaron vandenBerg Emg: Jay Kennedy Harris, Jayden Hunt, Joel Smith, Tim Smith In: Mitch Hannan, Jack Viney Out: Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted) Kent (AC joint) GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Lachie Henderson, Tom Stewart HB: Jed Bews, Harry Taylor, Zach Tuohy C : Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Cameron Guthrie HF: Sam Menegola, Gary Ablett, Tim Kelly F: Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, Jordan Murdoch Foll: Ryan Abbott, Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan I/C: Jack Henry Mark O'Connor Brandan Parfitt Scott Selwood Emg: Lachie Fogarty, Quinton Narkle, Zac Smith, Jackson Thurlow No change
  6. If only ... Max! MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Jake Lever, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones 😄 Bernie Vince, Jordan Lewis, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Cam Pedersen, James Harmes F: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen I/C: Jake Melksham, Mitch Hannan, Corey Maynard, Josh Wagner Emg: Angus Brayshaw, Tom Bugg, Sam Frost, Dom Tyson NEW: Bayley Fritsch (Casey Demons), Jake Lever (Adelaide) GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Harry Taylor, Zach Tuohy HB: Mark Blicavs, Tom Stewart, Jed Bus 😄 Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan HF: Cory Gregson, Esava Ratugolea, James Parsons F: Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, Brendan Parfitt R: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, Sam Menegola I/C: Lachie Fogarty, Zac Guthrie, Tim Kelly, Mark O’Connor Emg: Charlie Constable, Jordan Cunico, Jordan Murdoch, Rhys Stanley NEW: Lachie Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Esava Ratugolea (Murray Bushrangers)
  7. DEJA VU by George on the Outer It couldn’t possibly happen, could it? It was just like last time. With a 2 point, after the siren loss to Geelong at Goomba stadium, the Demons fans were (once again) experiencing that feeling of Déjà vu that leads to an outbreak of MFCSS. Not just that feeling of losing after heading the Cats by nearly 4 goals into the final quarter, but the feeling that this loss may be just another version of the 2017 season when the Demons failed to make the finals by a kick or 2. For this loss puts Melbourne back in the pack fighting for a spot in the final 8, and should that happen then the fans will be entitled to ask how a whole season hinged on the dying minutes of one game. And not for the first time. A loss to Geelong in Round 1 by 3 points when Max had the chance to seal the game with less than a minute, the Port Adelaide game, the St.Kilda match. All of these had a similar feel. Melbourne managed to snatch defeat from a position of strength and come away with nothing. Despite losing the match, the effort from the players with only a few exceptions was exemplary. Right from the start they had come with an intent and a fire that was indicative of the style of play necessary to perform in September action. The pity is that like September you cannot get across the line unless you have 18 players on the field who do that for the full match. And unfortunately, there are still a couple who think they can put in when they feel like it. They are the ones who keep finding themselves down at Casey Fields on a regular basis. They will be getting that feeling of déjà vu once again in coming weeks, because we have seen the same patterns before. Those performances were in sharp contrast to the likes of Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and Christian Petracca who drove themselves and the side to that winning position with sheer grunt and ability. James Harmes shut down a couple of handy Geelong players in both J Selwood and Dangerfield, and up front Tom McDonald held his own with 4 goals to keep the side in the match. Down back Jordan Lewis showed why he is in the side when he had 30 touches and just kept filling the massive hole created by the losses of Hibberd and Lever. Although Hawkins kicked 7 for the match, it was too much to expect any different outcome from Oscar McDonald. Without the support around him and in the absence of any other “gorilla tamer” at the club, it was a near impossible task. Having seen it before, the feeling of déjà vu was well justified. In the ruck Max Gawn and Rhys Stanley fought each other to a draw. The mids fought each other to a draw. The respective forwards and backs fought each other to a draw, and but for the sake of 2 points, the match deserved to be a similar outcome. Sadly, the umpires intervened yet again gifting Geelong a goal when Dangerfield was awarded a free as a ruck when never in a position to be the ruck contest. Perhaps it was gamesmanship, but the umpire fell for it ... again. Most Demon supporters would not have put this match down as a win. The MFCSS determined that we had seen a loss at this venue too often to think a win possible. Déjà vu determined that gut feeling, even when controlling the game deep into the final quarter. It is now up to the side to overcome the same feelings heading into the final weeks. Have we lost regularly at Adelaide - sure have. Have we dropped games against lowly sides like Gold Coast - sure have. How about Sydney and West Coast? Mmmm, that seems familiar. Another wasted season after falling at the final hurdle? It's starting to look that way. It’s about time the MFCSS and sense of Déjà vu were dispelled. Melbourne 2.3.15 5.8.38 11.9.75 14.14.98 Geelong 2.1.13 5.3.33 8.4.52 16.14.100 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett Melksham 2 Brayshaw Gawn Hogan Jones Spargo Geelong Hawkins 7 Dangerfield 2 Duncan Henry Jones Kelly J Selwood Tuohy Best Melbourne Oliver T McDonald Harmes Petracca Lewis Brayshaw Geelong Hawkins Dangerfield Kelly Stewart Blicavs Ablett Stanley Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Rosebury, Brown, Nicholls Official attendance 30,125 at GMHBA Stadium
  8. Please cast your votes for the best players in today’s game on a 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis.
  9. Well some of the players have been gobbing off again in the media prior to a big game against the Cats. Lets hope this time the “talk” can be backed up on the field. It’s time Dees.
  10. ON THE ROAD AGAIN by Whispering Jack The highway to Geelong has long been a well travelled road for Victorians, used for a variety of purposes ranging from trade, commerce and industry, education, leisure and entertainment. One could include sport as part of the last category but, for fans of the Melbourne Football Club, trips down that road have rarely reached any definition of the word "entertainment". Rather, they have often been equated with horror stories ending in long, silent and forlorn wintertime trips back to the city and home. Those days are over now with the Demons on the cusp of their first finals appearance in a dozen seasons. That's not to say the flakey up and down Cats will be easy meat on their home turf this week at GMHBA Stadium but they are now better rounded, more experienced and are traveling the road to Sleepy Hollow on a mission. Melbourne has been bruised many times at this venue in the past. Even as its teams were on the improve and coming out of their dark times, they would sometimes get ahead of themselves and falter. When they last ventured down that highway, in Round 23, 2016, they were massacred by 111 points only weeks after beating the then reigning premiers Hawthorn. The Demons are therefore well aware as they journey on the road again that they will definitely have to leave at home the accolades and adulation they have been receiving as a result of that blistering third quarter against the Western Bulldogs with its highlights reel on constant rotation of big Max slapping the ball down to his young midfielders toying with Doggie on ballers and spearing the ball forward at will. Such moments are rare in football. They have fallen for the hype on one or two occasions already this year but this time they know they have to focus on Geelong, its strong midfield and defence, the narrow ground and on overcoming the advantage a feral home crowd gives to the Cats and to be able to play their game on their terms. I'm confident Melbourne can do this. The players are demonstrating a strong belief in each other and trust in themselves. These are elements that make a team capable of taking on the big challenges ahead of them, the first of which they face on Saturday night at the end of the highway. THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday 21 March 2018 at 7.25pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 129 wins Melbourne 84 wins 2 draws At GMHBA Stadium Geelong 38 wins Melbourne 18 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Geelong 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Scott 2 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 live at 7:00pm Fox Footy Channel live at 7:20pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 14.13.97 defeated Melbourne 13.16.94 at the MCG in Round 1, 2018 The game will best be remembered for that missed shot at goal by Max Gawn in its last minute but the Demons lost it in the last ten minutes of the second quarter when they let four goals slip past to give the Cats a stranglehold on the game. THE TEAMS GEELONG Tom Stewart, Jake Kolodjashnij, Zach Tuohy HB: Cameron Guthrie, Lachie Henderson, Jack Henry 😄 Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood HF: Sam Menegola, Gary Ablett, Brandan Parfitt F: Quinton Narkle, Tom Hawkins, Daniel Menzel Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan I/C: Jed Bews, Jordan Cunico, Jamaine Jones, Tim Kelly Emg: Ryan Abbott, Jordan Murdoch, Sam Simpson, Jackson Thurlow In: Jordan Cunico, Lachie Henderson Out: Wylie Buzza (omitted), Sam Simpson (omitted) MELBOURNE B: James Harmes, Sam Frost, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis 😄 Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver, N at han Jones HF: Jake Melksham, Jesse Hogan, Bayley Fritsch F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo Foll: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Bernie Vince I/C: Jay Kennedy Harris, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Joel Smith Emg: Oskar Baker Cameron Pedersen Josh Wagner Sam Weideman In: Joel Smith, Dom Tyson Out: Mitch Hannan (jarred knee), Michael Hibberd (quad) There’s been a lot written and spoken about the inconsistency of the Cats in recent times but the reality is that they have recorded just one victory since their last game at GMHBA Stadium when they beat North there in Round 12. That one win was against the Swans in Sydney and might appear to have been impressive but given the question marks about that club, one wonders. Geelong has dropped games in the past couple of months to clubs out of the top eight in Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide and it wasn’t all that long ago (Round 10) that a late surge saved them them from football’s ultimate humiliation in 2018 - a home defeat at the hands of a woefully inaccurate Carlton. By comparison, it could be said that the Demons seem to have shed their three game mid season slump after recording consecutive wins in impressive style against albeit weaker opponents (noting that two of the losses during that “slump” were by less than two goals in games that were controversial for some of the umpiring decisions that went against them). All that said, the questions confronting Melbourne are whether it is capable of claiming a big “scalp” and whether its recent uptick in injuries will hurt the club in the tough lead up to the finals. In assessing this game, the midfield battles will - as they always are these days - be crucial. The Demons have the competition’s outstanding ruckman and a young emerging midfield while the Cats have those seasoned campaigners in their engine room. Clearly, the winner in that contest is the one most likely to take the spoils. And then there is also the battle between Melbourne’s attack which averages 105 points per game and is ranked first in the competition and the Cats’ defence which has conceded just 56 points on average from five matches at GMHBA Stadium although that figure includes games against the Blues, the Saints and GWS when the Giants were decimated by injury. For this game, much will depend on the key forwards. If one of Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald or Tom Hawkins have a big night out, that could be decisive. I think the Demon ship has been steadier and this, plus the team’s greater depth will get it home in the end for a narrow win on the road. Melbourne by 8 points.
  11. The highway to Geelong has long been a well travelled road for Victorians, used for a variety of purposes ranging from trade, commerce and industry, education, leisure and entertainment. One could include sport as part of the last category but, for fans of the Melbourne Football Club, trips down that road have rarely reached any definition of the word "entertainment". Rather, they have often been equated with horror stories ending in long, silent and forlorn wintertime trips back to the city and home. Those days are over now with the Demons on the cusp of their first finals appearance in a dozen seasons. That's not to say the flakey up and down Cats will be easy meat on their home turf this week at GMHBA Stadium but they are now better rounded, more experienced and are traveling the road to Sleepy Hollow on a mission. Melbourne has been bruised many times at this venue in the past. Even as its teams were on the improve and coming out of their dark times, they would sometimes get ahead of themselves and falter. When they last ventured down that highway, in Round 23, 2016, they were massacred by 111 points only weeks after beating the then reigning premiers Hawthorn. The Demons are therefore well aware as they journey on the road again that they will definitely have to leave at home the accolades and adulation they have been receiving as a result of that blistering third quarter against the Western Bulldogs with its highlights reel on constant rotation of big Max slapping the ball down to his young midfielders toying with Doggie on ballers and spearing the ball forward at will. Such moments are rare in football. They have fallen for the hype on one or two occasions already this year but this time they know they have to focus on Geelong, its strong midfield and defence, the narrow ground and on overcoming the advantage a feral home crowd gives to the Cats and to be able to play their game on their terms. I'm confident Melbourne can do this. The players are demonstrating a strong belief in each other and trust in themselves. These are elements that make a team capable of taking on the big challenges ahead of them, the first of which they face on Saturday night at the end of the highway. THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday 21 March 2018 at 7.25pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 129 wins Melbourne 84 wins 2 draws At GMHBA Stadium Geelong 38 wins Melbourne 18 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Geelong 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Scott 2 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 live at 7:00pm Fox Footy Channel live at 7:20pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 14.13.97 defeated Melbourne 13.16.94 at the MCG in Round 1, 2018 The game will best be remembered for that missed shot at goal by Max Gawn in its last minute but the Demons lost it in the last ten minutes of the second quarter when they let four goals slip past to give the Cats a stranglehold on the game. THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Tom Stewart, Jake Kolodjashnij, Zach Tuohy HB: Cameron Guthrie, Lachie Henderson, Jack Henry 😄 Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood HF: Sam Menegola, Gary Ablett, Brandan Parfitt F: Quinton Narkle, Tom Hawkins, Daniel Menzel Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan I/C: Jed Bews, Jordan Cunico, Jamaine Jones, Tim Kelly Emg: Ryan Abbott, Jordan Murdoch, Sam Simpson, Jackson Thurlow In: Jordan Cunico, Lachie Henderson Out: Wylie Buzza (omitted), Sam Simpson (omitted) MELBOURNE B: James Harmes, Sam Frost, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis 😄 Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones HF: Jake Melksham, Jesse Hogan, Bayley Fritsch F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo Foll: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Bernie Vince I/C: Jay Kennedy Harris, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Joel Smith Emg: Oskar Baker Cameron Pedersen Josh Wagner Sam Weideman In: Joel Smith, Dom Tyson Out: Mitch Hannan (jarred knee), Michael Hibberd (quad) There’s been a lot written and spoken about the inconsistency of the Cats in recent times but the reality is that they have recorded just one victory since their last game at GMHBA Stadium when they beat North there in Round 12. That one win was against the Swans in Sydney and might appear to have been impressive but given the question marks about that club, one wonders. Geelong has dropped games in the past couple of months to clubs out of the top eight in Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide and it wasn’t all that long ago (Round 10) that a late surge saved them them from football’s ultimate humiliation in 2018 - a home defeat at the hands of a woefully inaccurate Carlton. By comparison, it could be said that the Demons seem to have shed their three game mid season slump after recording consecutive wins in impressive style against albeit weaker opponents (noting that two of the losses during that “slump” were by less than two goals in games that were controversial for some of the umpiring decisions that went against them). All that said, the questions confronting Melbourne are whether it is capable of claiming a big “scalp” and whether its recent uptick in injuries will hurt the club in the tough lead up to the finals. In assessing this game, the midfield battles will - as they always are these days - be crucial. The Demons have the competition’s outstanding ruckman and a young emerging midfield while the Cats have those seasoned campaigners in their engine room. Clearly, the winner in that contest is the one most likely to take the spoils. And then there is also the battle between Melbourne’s attack which averages 105 points per game and is ranked first in the competition and the Cats’ defence which has conceded just 56 points on average from five matches at GMHBA Stadium although that figure includes games against the Blues, the Saints and GWS when the Giants were decimated by injury. For this game, much will depend on the key forwards. If one of Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald or Tom Hawkins have a big night out, that could be decisive. I think the Demon ship has been steadier and this, plus the team’s greater depth will get it home in the end for a narrow win on the road. Melbourne by 8 points.
  12. There are days when you can't hit the side of a barn door and days when you can't miss. Each of the team's had one of those days today. SLIP, SLIDING AWAY by George on the Outer Geelong dedicated the third round match against Melbourne to the 1980’s and, in doing so, featured some of the worst music to come out of that era with their fans stupidly dancing around to Brian Mannix and other such forgettables. It was cringeworthy but has the desired effect because it provided their opposition with another 80’s song as backdrop- Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away". For those born in more recent times, the lyrics of the song include this line:- "You know the nearer your destination, the more it slips slides away”... And that was true for the 19 shots on goal that the Demons had which failed register a six point outcome and included in that were no less than ten set shots from inside a distance of 40 metres that resulted in not a single major! As a consequence of that factor alone, for the Demons, this very winnable game was slip sliding away... At ¾ time there were a bare three points in the match, but Geelong had scored 14 majors with only two behinds. In the second and third quarters combined, the Cats had kicked nine straight goals to 10.13 - they were in the game because of their accuracy, and the Demons failed to hold a match winning lead because of their inaccuracy. Tellingly, in the warm-up before the game, Melbourne ran their usual drills. In contrast Geelong spent the majority of their time with goal kicking. Etihad stadium is different to the MCG or Kardinia Park and the extra time spent finding out the difference was critical in front of goal for both sides. For Melbourne the game turned significantly in the second quarter, when Max Gawn left the ground with what the early reports indicate was a hamstring injury. Before that, he was truly fired up and was urging his team to overcome the three goal deficit at the first break. His efforts were working, but unfortunately, he was unable to carry them through as he hobbled from the field. Desperate times called for desperate measures and Jack Watts was called upon to ruck against Clarke and Blicavs, a monumental ask. But he responded and while they continued to dominate the taps, the differential to advantage wasn’t great. He became an extra mid and Melbourne led the clearances out of the centre. When guts was required, it brought out the best from Nathan Jones, who produced one of his best games with 36 touches and his toughness around the packs was telling, especially when facing off against Dangerfield and Selwood. Clayton Oliver had another 28 touches to keep his star shining brightly, but there was a fairly dim effort from Dom Tyson when we needed more. His 57% kicking efficiency is deplorable, but his unwillingness to run when the opposition mids were streaming forward told in multiple Geelong goals. He must do better and needs to lift soon. The backs held their own given the height of the Geelong forwards and their ability to drop one of their rucks into the spot as well, once Gawn had departed. However, there were too many occasions when the half backs simply didn’t get back far enough and quickly enough to help out. As a result we often saw Neville Jetta having to try to out mark Hawkins or Blicavs. The coach fortunately gave up on part of the zone defence at half time and stuck Tom Macdonald onto Hawkins, who then kept him quiet. Bernie Vince was uninspiring after his return from suspension. Even when thrown forward in the last quarter, he didn’t put in the required effort to have an impact. His position will also be in doubt for the future once more efficient ball distributors like Lewis and Hibberd return. The loss of Gawn in itself wasn’t the cause of the loss. The poor kicking and the loss of forward structure when Watts was press-ganged into ruck service left Melbourne severely stretched. Sam Weidman was all at sea, without big bodies like Hogan's around him, and there is a direct comparison to Darcy Moore who hasn’t had a touch since Cloke left Collingwood for Footscray. When younger-bodied players get the best defender they struggle. This was a game that got away. It WAS the game that Melbourne had the opportunity to stamp its mark on the competition to say it had arrived. It didn’t happen, and in one fell swoop, the team has even slipped out of the top eight - a sign of danger is that if the Demons of the recent past resurface, then the season itself will start "slip sliding away ..." Melbourne 2.4.16 7.11.53 12.17.89 13.19.97 Geelong 5.2.32 9.2.56 14.2.86 20.6.126 Goals Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Garlett Hannan Harmes Hunt Jetta Petracca Neal-Bullen T. Smith Stretch Geelong Hawkins 5 Menzel 4 Dangerfield 3 Blicavs Motlop 2 McCarthy Parfitt Selwood Smith Best Melbourne Jones Hunt Watts Viney Stretch Kent Jetta Geelong Selwood Dangerfield Menzel Hawkins Blicavs Ruggles Parfitt Changes Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right hamstring) Kent (cut head) Geelong Selwood (cut head) Hawkins (corked quad) Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Hosking, Ryan, Mollison Official crowd 29,733 at Etihad Stadium
  13. SLIP, SLIDING AWAY by George on the Outer Geelong dedicated the third round match against Melbourne to the 1980’s and, in doing so, featured some of the worst music to come out of that era with their fans stupidly dancing around to Brian Mannix and other such forgettables. It was cringeworthy but has the desired effect because it provided their opposition with another 80’s song as backdrop- Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away". For those born in more recent times, the lyrics of the song include this line:- "You know the nearer your destination, the more it slips slides away”... And that was true for the 19 shots on goal that the Demons had which failed register a six point outcome and included in that were no less than ten set shots from inside a distance of 40 metres that resulted in not a single major! As a consequence of that factor alone, for the Demons, this very winnable game was slip sliding away... At ¾ time there were a bare three points in the match, but Geelong had scored 14 majors with only two behinds. In the second and third quarters combined, the Cats had kicked nine straight goals to 10.13 - they were in the game because of their accuracy, and the Demons failed to hold a match winning lead because of their inaccuracy. Tellingly, in the warm-up before the game, Melbourne ran their usual drills. In contrast Geelong spent the majority of their time with goal kicking. Etihad stadium is different to the MCG or Kardinia Park and the extra time spent finding out the difference was critical in front of goal for both sides. For Melbourne the game turned significantly in the second quarter, when Max Gawn left the ground with what the early reports indicate was a hamstring injury. Before that, he was truly fired up and was urging his team to overcome the three goal deficit at the first break. His efforts were working, but unfortunately, he was unable to carry them through as he hobbled from the field. Desperate times called for desperate measures and Jack Watts was called upon to ruck against Clarke and Blicavs, a monumental ask. But he responded and while they continued to dominate the taps, the differential to advantage wasn’t great. He became an extra mid and Melbourne led the clearances out of the centre. When guts was required, it brought out the best from Nathan Jones, who produced one of his best games with 36 touches and his toughness around the packs was telling, especially when facing off against Dangerfield and Selwood. Clayton Oliver had another 28 touches to keep his star shining brightly, but there was a fairly dim effort from Dom Tyson when we needed more. His 57% kicking efficiency is deplorable, but his unwillingness to run when the opposition mids were streaming forward told in multiple Geelong goals. He must do better and needs to lift soon. The backs held their own given the height of the Geelong forwards and their ability to drop one of their rucks into the spot as well, once Gawn had departed. However, there were too many occasions when the half backs simply didn’t get back far enough and quickly enough to help out. As a result we often saw Neville Jetta having to try to out mark Hawkins or Blicavs. The coach fortunately gave up on part of the zone defence at half time and stuck Tom Macdonald onto Hawkins, who then kept him quiet. Bernie Vince was uninspiring after his return from suspension. Even when thrown forward in the last quarter, he didn’t put in the required effort to have an impact. His position will also be in doubt for the future once more efficient ball distributors like Lewis and Hibberd return. The loss of Gawn in itself wasn’t the cause of the loss. The poor kicking and the loss of forward structure when Watts was press-ganged into ruck service left Melbourne severely stretched. Sam Weidman was all at sea, without big bodies like Hogan's around him, and there is a direct comparison to Darcy Moore who hasn’t had a touch since Cloke left Collingwood for Footscray. When younger-bodied players get the best defender they struggle. This was a game that got away. It WAS the game that Melbourne had the opportunity to stamp its mark on the competition to say it had arrived. It didn’t happen, and in one fell swoop, the team has even slipped out of the top eight - a sign of danger is that if the Demons of the recent past resurface, then the season itself will start "slip sliding away ..." Melbourne 2.4.16 7.11.53 12.17.89 13.19.97 Geelong 5.2.32 9.2.56 14.2.86 20.6.126 Goals Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Garlett Hannan Harmes Hunt Jetta Petracca Neal-Bullen T. Smith Stretch Geelong Hawkins 5 Menzel 4 Dangerfield 3 Blicavs Motlop 2 McCarthy Parfitt Selwood Smith Best Melbourne Jones Hunt Watts Viney Stretch Kent Jetta Geelong Selwood Dangerfield Menzel Hawkins Blicavs Ruggles Parfitt Changes Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right hamstring) Kent (cut head) Geelong Selwood (cut head) Hawkins (corked quad) Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Hosking, Ryan, Mollison Official crowd 29,733 at Etihad Stadium
  14. HONEYMOON OVER? by The Oracle Any thoughts that Melbourne's transition from perennial also ran to finals contender in 2017 would be smooth and uneventful were extinguished at the weekend with the game against Carlton. Not only did the team make heavy weather of a contest it was expected to win without much trouble (and possibly come out with a significant percentage boost), but it emerged from the second round of the season with a slap in the face from the Match Review Panel with gun recruit Jordan Lewis receiving a three-match suspension and forward Jesse Hogan getting a two week holiday for striking opponents to the head. The AFL website even went so far as to suggest that the suspensions had the effect of "crippling the Demons ahead of Saturday's clash against Geelong". The sports betting agencies agreed by installing the Cats as firm favourites to win this week's clash between the sides at Etihad Stadium. According to the pundits, Melbourne's 2017 honeymoon is over and the club has allegedly been crushed into submission as a result of a lack of discipline on the part of two important players. Despite all of that, I don't understand the panic about the fact that these players will be sitting in the bleachers watching on with ordinary people like you and me. After all, the Demons disposed of the then rampant, top-of-the-ladder Hawks in Round 20 late last year in the absence of Hogan and with Lewis batting for the other side. The thing which the pundits are overlooking is that there is so much greater depth at the club in this phase of its development as there was a few years ago. Bernie Vince who picked up 30 touches at his last start, comes back as a direct replacement for Lewis and even though some might say that Hogan is irreplaceable, there are plenty of options available, depending on the style of play coach wants from his forward line and which particular player is going to replace him. A couple of weeks ago, we wondering how about a young team that had lost its last real game of football by more than eighteen goals could win its next. History tells us the team responded magnificently so that it now it has a 2 - 0 record. Things are different now and whilst it comes up this week against the team that destroyed it in such a merciless fashion. Can they turn the tables without the two players outed by the MRP? I've found a way they can do that and will reveal all shortly. THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday 8 April 2017 at 4.35pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 127 wins Melbourne 84 wins 2 draws At Etihad Stadium Geelong 0 wins Melbourne 0 wins The last five meetings Geelong 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Scott 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel - live at 4.30pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Geelong to win - $1.37 Melbourne to win - $3.10 LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 24.11.89 defeated Melbourne 6.8.44 at Simonds Stadium in Round 23, 2016 A little over a year earlier, Melbourne had shocked the football world with its win over Geelong but this time a tired, dejected outfit limped its way to season's end with the slightest of resistance. THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Zach Touhy, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Jackson Thurlow C: Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Sam Menegola HF: James Parsons, Harry Taylor, Brandan Parfitt F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Daniel Menzel FOLL: Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Cameron Guthrie I/C: Mitch Duncan, Lincoln McCarthy, Jordan Murdoch, Tom Ruggles EMG: Jed Bews, Darcy Lang, Rhys Stanley IN: Cameron Guthrie, Sam Menegola, James Parsons, Zac Smith OUT: Josh Cowan (managed), George Horlin-Smith (hand), Darcy Lang (omitted), Rhys Stanley (omitted) NEW: James Parsons MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt HB: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, James Harmes HF: Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Christian Petracca, Timothy Smith FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney I/C: Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts EMG: Tomas Bugg, Cameron Pedersen, Jake Spencer IN: Dean Kent Timothy Smith, Bernie Vince OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted), Jesse Hogan (suspended), Jordan Lewis (suspended) NEW: Timothy Smith It's hard to fathom that it was only three games ago that a listless, rudderless Melbourne was blown out of the water by Geelong in the final round of 2016. Of course, things were different then. The Cats were playing for high stakes - a place in the top four that would provide them with the perfect launching pad for a tilt at the flag. The Demons' season had hit the wall and was ingloriously snuffed out a week earlier when beaten by the Blues. This week the teams meet on an even keel with both on a 2 - 0 win/loss ratio. They meet at the neutral Etihad Stadium rather than at the killing field that Simonds Stadium has, with one rare exception, been to Melbourne over the past decade. The teams had good wins to open the season but stumbled last week when they were expected to do well. Indeed, both of them had to rely on a "get out of gaol card" with strong finishes to score the points. Geelong has the midfield superstars in the AFL's number one ranked player Pat Dangerfield and a close behind Joel Selwood but not the depth of its Melbourne equivalent even in the absence of Lewis (and the omission of Angus Brayshaw). The reigning Brownlow Medallist is very, very good and a model of consistency but how about 19 year old Clayton Oliver who admittedly is a different beast but whose numbers stack up favourably against those of the Cat's pair? Last week he picked up 35 disposals, seven marks and laid nine tackles to almost match his 36 possession game from round one. For the record, he has racked up ten more disposals than Danger. Oliver and the rest of the Demon midfield crew have another major advantage over the Cats in the form of ruckman Max Gawn who is in red hot form and in the absence of any third men up, he is a potent weapon in helping the team win the all-important clearance battle. Let's not underestimate the number of quality players Melbourne has to throw into the midfield mix with Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Dom Tyson and the returning Bernie Vince who was so important in the opening round both in defence and around the ground. The loss of Hogan is quite significant but Jesse hadn't really hit his straps this year. It might well be a stroke of genius that hard nosed, high flying forward Tim Smith has been asked to step into the breach. The Cats got out of gaol last week. This week it will be different. Melbourne by 10 points
  15. Any thoughts that Melbourne's transition from perennial also ran to finals contender in 2017 would be smooth and uneventful were extinguished at the weekend with the game against Carlton. Not only did the team make heavy weather of a contest it was expected to win without much trouble (and possibly come out with a significant percentage boost), but it emerged from the second round of the season with a slap in the face from the Match Review Panel with gun recruit Jordan Lewis receiving a three-match suspension and forward Jesse Hogan getting a two week holiday for striking opponents to the head. The AFL website even went so far as to suggest that the suspensions had the effect of "crippling the Demons ahead of Saturday's clash against Geelong". The sports betting agencies agreed by installing the Cats as firm favourites to win this week's clash between the sides at Etihad Stadium. According to the pundits, Melbourne's 2017 honeymoon is over and the club has allegedly been crushed into submission as a result of a lack of discipline on the part of two important players. Despite all of that, I don't understand the panic about the fact that these players will be sitting in the bleachers watching on with ordinary people like you and me. After all, the Demons disposed of the then rampant, top-of-the-ladder Hawks in Round 20 late last year in the absence of Hogan and with Lewis batting for the other side. The thing which the pundits are overlooking is that there is so much greater depth at the club in this phase of its development as there was a few years ago. Bernie Vince who picked up 30 touches at his last start, comes back as a direct replacement for Lewis and even though some might say that Hogan is irreplaceable, there are plenty of options available, depending on the style of play coach wants from his forward line and which particular player is going to replace him. A couple of weeks ago, we wondering how about a young team that had lost its last real game of football by more than eighteen goals could win its next. History tells us the team responded magnificently so that it now it has a 2 - 0 record. Things are different now and whilst it comes up this week against the team that destroyed it in such a merciless fashion. Can they turn the tables without the two players outed by the MRP? I've found a way they can do that and will reveal all shortly. THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday 8 April 2017 at 4.35pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 127 wins Melbourne 84 wins 2 draws At Etihad Stadium Geelong 0 wins Melbourne 0 wins The last five meetings Geelong 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Scott 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel - live at 4.30pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Geelong to win - $1.37 Melbourne to win - $3.10 LAST TIME THEY MET Geelong 24.11.89 defeated Melbourne 6.8.44 at Simonds Stadium in Round 23, 2016 A little over a year earlier, Melbourne had shocked the football world with its win over Geelong but this time a tired, dejected outfit limped its way to season's end with the slightest of resistance. THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Zach Touhy, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Jackson Thurlow C: Mark Blicavs, Joel Selwood, Sam Menegola HF: James Parsons, Harry Taylor, Brandan Parfitt F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Daniel Menzel FOLL: Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Cameron Guthrie I/C: Mitch Duncan, Lincoln McCarthy, Jordan Murdoch, Tom Ruggles EMG: Jed Bews, Darcy Lang, Rhys Stanley IN: Cameron Guthrie, Sam Menegola, James Parsons, Zac Smith OUT: Josh Cowan (managed), George Horlin-Smith (hand), Darcy Lang (omitted), Rhys Stanley (omitted) NEW: James Parsons MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt HB: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, James Harmes HF: Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Christian Petracca, Timothy Smith FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney I/C: Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Billy Stretch, Jack Watts EMG: Tomas Bugg, Cameron Pedersen, Jake Spencer IN: Dean Kent Timothy Smith, Bernie Vince OUT: Angus Brayshaw (omitted), Jesse Hogan (suspended), Jordan Lewis (suspended) NEW: Timothy Smith It's hard to fathom that it was only three games ago that a listless, rudderless Melbourne was blown out of the water by Geelong in the final round of 2016. Of course, things were different then. The Cats were playing for high stakes - a place in the top four that would provide them with the perfect launching pad for a tilt at the flag. The Demons' season had hit the wall and was ingloriously snuffed out a week earlier when beaten by the Blues. This week the teams meet on an even keel with both on a 2 - 0 win/loss ratio. They meet at the neutral Etihad Stadium rather than at the killing field that Simonds Stadium has, with one rare exception, been to Melbourne over the past decade. The teams had good wins to open the season but stumbled last week when they were expected to do well. Indeed, both of them had to rely on a "get out of gaol card" with strong finishes to score the points. Geelong has the midfield superstars in the AFL's number one ranked player Pat Dangerfield and a close behind Joel Selwood but not the depth of its Melbourne equivalent even in the absence of Lewis (and the omission of Angus Brayshaw). The reigning Brownlow Medallist is very, very good and a model of consistency but how about 19 year old Clayton Oliver who admittedly is a different beast but whose numbers stack up favourably against those of the Cat's pair? Last week he picked up 35 disposals, seven marks and laid nine tackles to almost match his 36 possession game from round one. For the record, he has racked up ten more disposals than Danger. Oliver and the rest of the Demon midfield crew have another major advantage over the Cats in the form of ruckman Max Gawn who is in red hot form and in the absence of any third men up, he is a potent weapon in helping the team win the all-important clearance battle. Let's not underestimate the number of quality players Melbourne has to throw into the midfield mix with Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Dom Tyson and the returning Bernie Vince who was so important in the opening round both in defence and around the ground. The loss of Hogan is quite significant but Jesse hadn't really hit his straps this year. It might well be a stroke of genius that hard nosed, high flying forward Tim Smith has been asked to step into the breach. The Cats got out of gaol last week. This week it will be different. Melbourne by 10 points
  16. OMG, another nightmare to relive! THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Corey Enright, Harry Taylor, Mark Blicavs C: Cameron Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood HF: Jimmy Bartel, Rhys Stanley, Mitch Duncan F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Lincoln McCarthy FOLL: Zac Smith Patrick Dangerfield Sam Menegola I/C: Josh Caddy, Josh Cowan, Daniel Menzel, Tom Ruggles EMG: Jed Bews, Shane Kersten, Darcy Lang IN: Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy, Daniel Menzel OUT: Shane Kersten (omitted), Lachie Henderson (knee), Darcy Lang (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Sam Weideman, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Dean Kent, James Harmes Christian Salem EMG: Matt Jones, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Trengove IN: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Christian Salem OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted), Clayton Oliver (omitted)
  17. A CATASTROPHIC WAY TO SAY "GOODBYE" by George on the Outer Demon supporters were expecting the team that Paul Roos has dragged from the depths of the AFL ladder over a three year period would produce something special in his final game as coach. Well they certainly did, by gifting him an 111 point losing margin ... greater than any loss in his AFL coaching career! What an absolute insult to a great icon of the game, a man who has instilled pride and hope again into the supporters, and has presented the incoming coach, Simon Goodwin with a talented group of youngsters that have the potential to play finals next year. Like the previous week against Carlton the midfield was completely blown away. Yes, there was one hell of a player in Dangerfield ripping the ball away from the centre time and time again, but the lack of physical pressure on him was telling. Jack Viney was tried for a while, but to little effect. Bernie Vince was then tried but had even less effect as he consistently trailed five metres behind him all over the ground. There were some positives in the middle as Angus Brayshaw and Christian Salem topped the disposals list with 26 and 27 respectively. Nathan Jones produced his usual 25 with 4 clearances but still struggled with his kicking, which has bedeviled him in the past couple of weeks. Brayshaw, Viney, Petracca and Salem also provided a much needed boost around the ground, something that Vince and Tyson simply didn’t do. Tyson despite 23 touches did not manage a solitary clearance. This on top of the meagre two from last week. Vince 14 touches only. Max Gawn continued his fine form for the year, but until the umpires start penalizing opposition players who hold and block him in the ruck contests, allowing a third man up, he simply cannot be truly effective. He also had three Geelong ruckmen jumping on him all day in Zac Smith, Stanley and Blicavs. He took them all on, and beat them, probably securing his AA nomination for 2016. The backline simply didn’t do anything wrong today. There were not the turnovers and silly mistakes that we have seen over the past year, but the sheer volume of ball coming from the middle was too much. Oscar and Tom McDonald tried hard to repel the invaders and did on numerous occasions, but when Hawkins has the ball drilled down his throat it was no surprise that he finished with six for the day. Jayden Hunt continued, right to the end, to provide dash and line-breaking moves that provide hope for the future. He led the team with rebound 50’s, but with little support from the mids, he often had few options up the field. Without much on offer, the forwards were starved, but didn’t cover themselves with glory, as the ball all too often rebounded straight out of the Geelong half back line without a Melbourne player touching it. Geelong have a simply defensive structure set up on the 40 metre mark. It is a line consisting of Taylor, Lonergan, Mackie and Enright. If you keep kicking the ball to that area, they will clean up. Our mids needed to kick over that wall We didn’t and so they had a day out. The result: Weidemann, Hogan, Garlett and Bugg all finished the day with less than 10 touches. This game was a disgrace to everything that Roos had instilled into the team since his arrival. Hard work, contested footy, and never say die was his trademark that he brought from Sydney. The Melbourne fans surely need the opportunity to say “thank you” to him at some time next year. This was not the right way for him to exit the game. Melbourne 2.0.12 3.2.20 3.6.24 6.8.44 Geelong 8.2.50 11.6.72 14.10.94 24.11.155 Goals Melbourne Garlett 2 Brayshaw Hogan vandenBerg Weideman Geelong Hawkins 6 Menzel 4 Bartel Menegola 3 Caddy Motlop 2 Duncan McCarthy Selwood Taylor Best Melbourne O McDonald T McDonald Brayshaw Petracca Hunt Salem Geelong Dangerfield Caddy Hawkins Guthrie Selwood Taylor Menzel Changes Melbourne Kent (corked thigh), replaced in selected side by Matt Jones Geelong Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong Kolodjashnij (calf) Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Margetts Nicholls Mollison Official crowd 24,413 at Simonds Stadium
  18. Demon supporters were expecting the team that Paul Roos has dragged from the depths of the AFL ladder over a three year period would produce something special in his final game as coach. Well they certainly did, by gifting him an 111 point losing margin ... greater than any loss in his AFL coaching career! What an absolute insult to a great icon of the game, a man who has instilled pride and hope again into the supporters, and has presented the incoming coach, Simon Goodwin with a talented group of youngsters that have the potential to play finals next year. Like the previous week against Carlton the midfield was completely blown away. Yes, there was one hell of a player in Dangerfield ripping the ball away from the centre time and time again, but the lack of physical pressure on him was telling. Jack Viney was tried for a while, but to little effect. Bernie Vince was then tried but had even less effect as he consistently trailed five metres behind him all over the ground. There were some positives in the middle as Angus Brayshaw and Christian Salem topped the disposals list with 26 and 27 respectively. Nathan Jones produced his usual 25 with 4 clearances but still struggled with his kicking, which has bedeviled him in the past couple of weeks. Brayshaw, Viney, Petracca and Salem also provided a much needed boost around the ground, something that Vince and Tyson simply didn’t do. Tyson despite 23 touches did not manage a solitary clearance. This on top of the meagre two from last week. Vince 14 touches only. Max Gawn continued his fine form for the year, but until the umpires start penalizing opposition players who hold and block him in the ruck contests, allowing a third man up, he simply cannot be truly effective. He also had three Geelong ruckmen jumping on him all day in Zac Smith, Stanley and Blicavs. He took them all on, and beat them, probably securing his AA nomination for 2016. The backline simply didn’t do anything wrong today. There were not the turnovers and silly mistakes that we have seen over the past year, but the sheer volume of ball coming from the middle was too much. Oscar and Tom McDonald tried hard to repel the invaders and did on numerous occasions, but when Hawkins has the ball drilled down his throat it was no surprise that he finished with six for the day. Jayden Hunt continued, right to the end, to provide dash and line-breaking moves that provide hope for the future. He led the team with rebound 50’s, but with little support from the mids, he often had few options up the field. Without much on offer, the forwards were starved, but didn’t cover themselves with glory, as the ball all too often rebounded straight out of the Geelong half back line without a Melbourne player touching it. Geelong have a simply defensive structure set up on the 40 metre mark. It is a line consisting of Taylor, Lonergan, Mackie and Enright. If you keep kicking the ball to that area, they will clean up. Our mids needed to kick over that wall We didn’t and so they had a day out. The result: Weidemann, Hogan, Garlett and Bugg all finished the day with less than 10 touches. This game was a disgrace to everything that Roos had instilled into the team since his arrival. Hard work, contested footy, and never say die was his trademark that he brought from Sydney. The Melbourne fans surely need the opportunity to say “thank you” to him at some time next year. This was not the right way for him to exit the game. Melbourne 2.0.12 3.2.20 3.6.24 6.8.44 Geelong 8.2.50 11.6.72 14.10.94 24.11.155 Goals Melbourne Garlett 2 Brayshaw Hogan vandenBerg Weideman Geelong Hawkins 6 Menzel 4 Bartel Menegola 3 Caddy Motlop 2 Duncan McCarthy Selwood Taylor Best Melbourne O McDonald T McDonald Brayshaw Petracca Hunt Salem Geelong Dangerfield Caddy Hawkins Guthrie Selwood Taylor Menzel Changes Melbourne Kent (corked thigh), replaced in selected side by Matt Jones Geelong Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Geelong Kolodjashnij (calf) Reports Melbourne Nil Geelong Nil Umpires Margetts Nicholls Mollison Official crowd 24,413 at Simonds Stadium
  19. A bit of an anticlimax this week after the Demons' "19th nervous breakdown" in a must win game against the Blues. There will be no trip down the highway today for me (enough of those dreary rides back into civilization after a loss) but a nice surprise like last year will do me (and Roosy in his last game) fine. At this time of year, it's been usual to look forward to trading and drafting but the circumstances (limited trade bait, no high draft picks) mean that that's out of the question as well. Our Aussie cricketers? Say no more. Not even watching the EPL because it's not on Foxtel these days. Does anyone know when the darts season starts?
  20. THE PEOPLE SPEAK by the Demonland Crew We asked the fans on Demonland to help with the final match preview for the year. The quantity might not have been great but it's the quality that counts. Thanks folks and thanks to those who contributed to this section during the year. Demon Head "Whatever the result on Sunday, Demon fans will be left wondering whether their glass is half full or half empty after season 2016. On the one hand, they have seen the improvement and development from a young side growing in stature and reaching the double figure mark in wins for the first time in a decade. On the other hand, they will look upon the opportunities lost in terms of the four games against fellow bottom six teams from last year squandered - Essendon, St Kilda (twice) and Carlton. These were all winnable games where they team performed abysmally, which were marked by turnovers, poor decision making and woeful disposal. Turn those games around and you make the finals. Against Geelong at Geelong, a game that means a hell of a lot less to Melbourne than the Carlton (a team which had lost nine in a row) at the MCG of last week, I wonder which Demon team will come out?" dpositive "Melbourne Football Club has little to play for this year after succumbing to the Blues last week. However they have everything to play for, for next year. The progress of the team has been obvious and the high point with wins over Hawthorn and Port show that there is a nucleus of performance that can generated into something more meaningful. Will the young and emerging players benefit from another exposure at AFL level, for that is all it will be exposure. Victory will have little reward and loss will have further depletion of spirit. Or does the club concentrate its efforts on Casey and provide the club with a greater chance to enjoy the sweetness of success. A positive finish to what has been another frustrating year would provide some solace to the many weary Demon supporters who will continue to follow the club. Whoever takes the field against Geelong should know exactly what they are playing for, its not the present it is most assuredly the future. In some cases it will be their individual future but it is most certainly the future of this club which is poised on the brink of something. Supporters hope that something is success and will hope to see that manifested with a hard fought win or loss, a blow out after the disappointment of last week is just not acceptable. The club must select the team that will match up and play against a team that is assured of finals participation, they must match them and their clubmates must see them match them. They must see them apply every fibre of their being to match them and they must see them leave the field exhausted. The memory of other matches must be erased and a new standard set, one that will reignite that candle of hope that was snuffed out so easily last week, and burn into a fire of rage for next season. " krazyjay "A season of ups and downs again for the diehard Dees supporters, albeit with more ups than downs, could well be remembered as the one that got away. With everything to play for in the penultimate round the players just didn't give a yelp and looked like rabbits trapped in the headlines ... I mean headlights. A young group, lacking in the leadership that can only come from being winners, have tried hard all year and given their supporters moments of hope and belief with the odd WTF thrown in every couple of weeks. With a solid victory, against a Carlton side that most predicted would happen, this young side would have gone into the final round down at the Cattery oozing a confidence that had not been imagined some 23 weeks earlier. Although some may argue that a side that lost to Essendrug in 2016 is no side that deserves to be playing come September. After all is said and done this young side with potential dripping from every orifice will go into their last game of the year with an "I don't care" attitude (in a good way) that could shock the club right down to its foundations. Run, dash, carry and ferociousness will be plentiful. Followed by poor handballs and simple skill errors that give this match the potential of being one of two things.... An absolute ripper where a young up and coming side with nothing to lose come out and make a statement that tells the competition they better get ready for the next 10 years because you all 'bout to dance with the devil .... Or ... A bully beats down on a scrawny school kid who thinks just because he has new shoes that he is entitled to strut around the playground like he is the ducks nuts. Here's hoping for the former! Dees by 31" THE GAME Geelong v Melbourne at Simonds Stadium on Saturday 27 August 2016 at 1.45pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Geelong 126 wins Melbourne 84 wins 2 draws At Simonds Stadium Geelong 37 wins Melbourne 18 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Geelong 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Scott 1 Roos 1 MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm, Channel 7 delayed at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Geelong to win $1.15 Melbourne to win $5.50 LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 18.5.113 defeated Geelong 13.11.89 at Simonds Stadium in Round 12, 2015 In a shock result, Melbourne with Max Gawn dominating the ruck duels and marking everywhere on the ground, beat Geelong by four goals at the Cattery. Bernie Vince (38 disposals) and Nathan Jones (35) starred. THE TEAMS GEELONG B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Tom Lonergan, Andrew Mackie HB: Corey Enright, Harry Taylor, Mark Blicavs C: Cameron Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood HF: Jimmy Bartel, Rhys Stanley, Mitch Duncan F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Lincoln McCarthy FOLL: Zac Smith Patrick Dangerfield Sam Menegola I/C: Josh Caddy, Josh Cowan, Daniel Menzel, Tom Ruggles EMG: Jed Bews, Shane Kersten, Darcy Lang IN: Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy, Daniel Menzel OUT: Shane Kersten (omitted), Lachie Henderson (knee), Darcy Lang (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Sam Weideman, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Dean Kent, James Harmes EMG: Jack Trengove, Cameron Pedersen, Matt Jones, Christian Salem IN: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Christian Salem, OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted), Clayton Oliver (omitted)
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