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Found 6 results

  1. Seems like an obvious statement doesn’t it? Yet the MFC coaching staff/team seem to have forgotten to change their calendars on January 1st. A 3 goal loss against the equal bottom side in the competition and now with a 0-3 record for the current season, it should be obvious that things have changed from 2018. Not so on the field, as Melbourne continue to play the style which got them to a Preliminary final. Once again the Demons saw 20 goals scored against them for the game. It is easy for the coach to come out and say “ we were scored against easily” but the reason that happened is probably because we are still playing the game as it was played in 2018. The rules have changed, and other teams have worked us out. The Melbourne “brand” of contested football is fine if you win the ball, when you don’t it means you leak goals because we have insufficient players behind and outside the contest. It is why we see other teams this season “waltz” the ball into goal. It is why opposition forwards are seen to be un-manned. The Rules have changed. 6-6-6 was introduced to open the game up in the middle. The jury on that aspect is still out, but opposition coaches are now sitting a resting ruck in their forward line in lieu and we have seen it in all 3 games in 2019. In this game Zac Clarke was brought into the side to do exactly that alongside Bellchambers. They had little effect as players, but it forced us to put one of our tall defenders on them and that opened the gate for Stringer, Tipungwuti and McKernan who each kicked 4 goals! And our resting ruck?…..he will be playing at Casey. It may not be obvious to some but Jesse Hogan is now playing for Fremantle. We are playing with 1 less tall forward in 2019. So why is Sam Weidemann being used as a substitute ruck? In this game against the Bombers, we saw the ridiculous situation when Tom McDonald injured an ankle in the 2nd quarter, had to leave the ground, and then was used on a wing. Max Gawn was resting on the bench and Weideman was rucking. Even after Gawn came back on, Weideman had to be rested on the bench. Having Gawn return to the ruck position saw Melbourne’s resurgence in that quarter. Does that not send a message we need a full-time ruckman on the ground? It is easy when the opposition kicks 20 goals to focus on the backline. There is no doubt that Oscar McDonald is playing well below par. Frost is filling a hole, which he will probably continue to do so, even with the return of May and Lever. But they are being asked to take on opponents much bigger and stronger than themselves, especially with resting rucks dropping back. Then to top it off we are still following the mantra of going at the man with the ball, even if it means 3 Melbourne players doing exactly the same thing, resulting in loose opposition players. And the backline needs help, especially with our current defender drought. The wingers need to get back to cover, but instead are heading toward the middle like they did in 2018. In 2019 it should be the HFF’s heading to the wing and the middle, but hey it worked last year, didn’t it? The disfunction of the forward line is more critical, because this is from where the opposition in 2019 have launched their attacks. Contested football isn’t just in the middle, and once again the lack of pressure from the forwards to keep the ball inside the scoring area was appalling. We saw Melbourne players all flying for the ball leaving no-one crumbing. The times when Hunt and Lockhart stayed on the ground saw them rewarded, but it was the exception. Neal-Bulleen provided nothing again in the forward line, with his opponent Saad doubling his possessions. 2018 performances shouldn’t get games in 2019. This week the Hun re-opened the wounds of the “tanking saga” of the 2009 season ... winning no more than 4 games was thought to be a good thing, because it worked for Carlton, Collingwood, Hawthorn and others in previous years. Well that turned out really well didn’t it, since we learned playing by last years rules doesn’t get you reward. Are we making the same mistake on the field in 2019? Melbourne 3.1.19 10.1.61 12.3.75 18.4.112 Essendon 6.4.40 8.6.54 15.6.96 20.10.130 Goals Melbourne Harmes Hunt 3 Lockhart Melksham Weideman 2 Brayshaw Gawn Kolodjashnij Neal-Bullen Petracca C Wagner Essendon McDonald-Tipungwuti McKernan Stringer 4 Fantasia Smith 2 Baguley McGrath Parish Zaharakis Best Melbourne Gawn Brayshaw Hunt Oliver Harmes Lockhart Essendon Heppell Shiel McDonald-Tipungwuti Zaharakis Stringer Fantasia Injuries Melbourne T McDonald (ankle) Essendon Mutch (hamstring), Francis (corked quad) Reports Nil Umpires Stevic Harris Haussen Official crowd 52,475 at the MCG
  2. The two rogue clubs of the AFL face off tonight and I’m tipping that they will change their respective roles for the game. The Demons will play as if they have ingested some powerful potion that turns each of them into supermen and the Bombers will ... er, tank it.
  3. Friday night sees two clubs of which a great deal was expected in 2019, facing off in the battle of the slow starting tortoises. Both have had calamitous starts to the season and are sitting at 0-2. One of them will, by the end of the evening, be seeing their season slipping away from their grasp. Both clubs are playing without confidence and without purpose. The Demons, who had the best-performed attack of all clubs last year, managed to convert 73 entries inside their forward 50 metre arc into just six goals at the Cattery on Saturday night. Their opponents who managed 25 less inside 50s scored six goals or more in the first, third and last quarters. That is as damning a statement of the team’s ineptitude as you can get. Leaving aside the first 11 minutes of the season when it scored three goals to zip against Port Adelaide, Melbourne’s scoring has completely dried up and is a definite cause for concern for coach Simon Goodwin along with the decline of many team members who were in sparkling form last year. But the Bombers have been in a similar place in their two games, barely giving a whimper against Greater Western Sydney and lowering their colours to an injury-hit St Kilda in their two matches. With so little form to go by, it’s almost impossible to predict a result in this game so the only thing I can go on is history. Melbourne is playing at home on a Friday night. Its last two encounters on that day and at that time were electrifying finals victories in front of large enthusiastic crowds that marvelled over the team's hardness and endeavour. The Demons haven’t had an MCG home game against the Bombers since 2010 so they should relish the reminder of how they played just four or five games ago in AFL terms. Although neither side has many aces up their sleeves, the Demons can take heart from the fact Max Gawn returned to form last week in the ruck and Clayton Oliver was sensational in a losing team and in a midfield that came close to matching a very strong Geelong engine room. Their presence will, in my view, tip the scales in favour of the home side and hopefully, end a slump as the team has done in the past two years when facing Essendon. Last year's win started a six game winning streak that ultimately led the team into the finals and a top four berth. There's not much to go on but if one of these sides is going to play the hare to the other’s tortoise this week then it had better be us. Melbourne by 4 points. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Friday, 5 April, 2019 at 7.50pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins Essendon 129 wins 2 draws At MCG Melbourne 45 wins Essendon 66 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Melbourne 3 wins Essendon 2 wins The Coaches Goodwin 2 wins Worsfold 0 wins MEDIA TV – Fox Footy Channel Channel 7 Live at 7.30pm RADIO - THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.12.108 defeated Essendon 10.12.72 at Etihad Stadium, Round 6, 2018 Melbourne started slowly but gradually took control and dominated the second half. Gawn dominated the rucks while Salem, Hibberd and Jones got plenty of the football. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B Jay Lockhart Oscar McDonald Neville Jetta HB Josh Wagner Sam Frost Christian Salem C Jayden Hunt Clayton Oliver Nathan Jones HF James Harmes Sam Weideman Kade Kolodjashnij F Angus Brayshaw Tom McDonald Jake Melksham FOLL Max Gawn Christian Petracca Jack Viney I/C Bayley Fritsch Michael Hibberd Alex Neal-Bullen Corey Wagner EMG Harrison Petty Braydon Preuss Tom Sparrow Billy Stretch IN Corey Wagner Josh Wagner OUT Steven May (injured) Tom Sparrow (omitted) ESSENDON B Aaron Francis Patrick Ambrose Conor McKenna HB Kobe Mutch Michael Hurley Adam Saad C Orazio Fantasia Zach Merrett Andrew McGrath HF Jake Stringer Zac Clarke Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti F Devon Smith Shaun McKernan Mark Baguley FOL Tom Bellchambers David Zaharakis Dylan Shiel I/C Matt Guelfi Dyson Heppell David Myers Darcy Parish EMG Mitch Brown Sam Draper Kyle Langford Jordan Ridley IN Zac Clarke Kobe Mutch OUT Mitch Brown (omitted) Kyle Langford (omitted) Round 3 injury list: Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – available Charlie Spargo (jaw) – 1 week Steven May (groin) – TBC Jordan Lewis (hamstring) – 1-2 weeks Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 3-5 weeks Joel Smith (groin) – TBA Mitch Hannan (knee) – 6-8 weeks Jake Lever (knee) – 6-8 weeks Jay Kennedy Harris (knee) – 10-12 weeks Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season
  4. Back in the good ol days ... THE TEAMS ESSENDON B: Brendon Goddard, Michael Hurley, Adam Saad HB: Patrick Ambrose, Cale Hooker, Dyson Heppell C Matt Guelfi, Jayden Laverde, Kobe Mutch HF: Ben McNiece, Jake Stringer, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti F: David Zaharakis, Joe Daniher, Mark Baguley Foll: Matthew Leuenberger, Devon Smith, Jackson Merrett I/C: Darcy Parish, Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett, James Stewart, Emg: Dylan Clarke, Kyle Langford, Shaun McKernan, Jordan Ridley In: Patrick Ambrose, Jayden Laverde, Matthew Leuenberger, Ben McNiece, Kobe Mutch Out: Josh Begley (injured), Tom Bellchambers (rested), Josh Green (injured), Michael Hartley (rested), David Myers (rested) MELBOURNE B: Jake Lever, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Bernie Vince, Michael Hibberd, Jayden Hunt C Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham F: Alex Neal-Bullen, Sam Weideman, James Harmes Foll: Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver I/C: Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo Emg: Jeff Garlett, Joel Smith, Timothy Smith, Josh Wagner In: Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Jordan Lewis, Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo Out: Jeff Garlett (omitted), Dean Kent (hamstring), Christian Petracca (finger), Billy Stretch (omitted), Josh Wagner (omitted) New: Charlie Spargo
  5. I havent looked at a single comment on DL before writing this, and will probably be brave enough to venture back shortly to witness the carnage. Instead I thought Id write my own report, call it catharthis. Tonight was clearly disappointing. An underwhelming performance at best, truly dispiriting at worst. I havent yet seen the press conference by Roos, but I have seen fleeting comments through twitter and one in particular stands out, the difference between our best and worst is pretty dramatic. Roosy, youre not wrong. Despite promising signs early, the Dees slumped in to old habits, seemingly brought on by pressure. One gets the feeling that the boys have built their confidence around slick ball movement while unopposed at training, yet forgot that in games there is an opposition thats trying to stop you. Decision making is a serious concern and when that is coupled with at times suspect skills, you have the makings of a train wreck. Unfortunately, tonight, like so many nights before it, thats exactly what happened. Those two factors defined the last 2.5 quarters, while the first 1.5 appeared to be tainted by an inability to put the ball through the sticks when it appeared the easiest option. Thankfully, I think this is rectifiable. Garlett is a god-send, he is so vital to this team now. However we need one other, and that is something we will have. Both Kent and JKH have shown an ability to sniff an opportunity, so come round 1, heres hoping some of those bouncing balls find their home off their feet. Tonight also highlighted something else we all hoped wasnt true, Hogan is young. He is inexperienced and will take time to develop. I dont think anyone doubts his talent, the bloke will be a star. But not yet. Its as if at the back of all our minds we secretly hoped hed kick 6 goals the day he walked in. Our very own Wayne Carey from day dot. Sadly, not. A few other players stood out for different reasons: · Frost is a very handy pick up. Personally, I liked the look of him down back but I understand what theyre trying to do. In the ruck however, he is super raw. He was beaten time and time again and it allowed the opposition to get on top in the clearances. · vandenBerg was a shrewd pick up, and is a lock for Rd 1. · Sadly, I think the man expendable when Vince comes back, is Toumpas. I still hold hope that he can fill a role, but when you look at the team and where Bernie slots in, its on the wing or HHF. Sorry Toump. · Viney is all heart, but he makes bad decisions and his foot skills are dubious. Talk of him as a future star is premature to me. A wonderful clubman he is, but future A grader mmm, I just dont know. · For the second game running, I was pleased with what Grimes put out there. Thought he was one player in our defensive 50 who showed a bit of poise and his disposal was much improved. He had 19 disposals tonight at 100%, bet you never thought youd hear that. · Watts looks ripe for a good season. He has definitely filled out and now looks a man, rather than a lanky boy. He did some really good things tonight, knows how to kick a goal and covered a hell of a lot of ground as well as making lead after lead. There are plenty of others we can speak of, but I fear its been heard. Our tackling was disappointing tonight, this is a little concerning and hopefully doesn't represent a backwards step from last year. its a major factor in a game. Without it, you dont get momentum and it can affect everything. So, Im hoping a lot of what happened tonight can be put down to psyche around it being NAB Cup and not wanting to get injured. Well see. My team for Round 1? FB: Jetta Dunn Garland/Howe (fitness dependent) B: Salem McDonald Grimes C: Vince N Jones Lamumba HF: Watts Frost Garlett FF: Gawn Hogan JKH Foll: Jamar Tyson Cross R: Viney, Kent, M Jones, vandenBerg Sub: Toumpas · Im not comfortable with Frost at CHF, but with Dawes there, what do you do. Im open minded about Pedersen on form. If he comes in I move Frost back to the resting ruckman, but Jamar takes the workload and Cross/Dawes provide the chopout until Frost works out what hes doing. · I persevere with Toumpas as the sub, he has to grow comfortable on this stage. Its like he gets stage fright. · I find Garland underwhelming at the moment. There were a few times tonight where we looked like we had a bit of class, but its baby steps. You look at the team above and its clear were a better side than last year, vastly better? Maybe not, at least not yet. Baby steps.
  6. I didn't see this coming either. Ten minutes into the game we were looking shaky but level at one goal each. Ten minutes later Essendon had broken our backs and then our hearts went too. There's nothing much more to say. MELBOURNE not much ESSENDON a lot more. If you have a thirst for further knowledge about this game then click here.
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