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Found 42 results

  1. If there was ever a prime example of a team of players not ready for the new football season it was Melbourne in the opening round of 2019. Throughout the field there was just too much evidence of players who haven’t had sufficient pre-season or players who ordinarily wouldn’t have even graced the field at this early stage. The Demons also got a lesson on selection with Port Adelaide showing that two ruckmen on the field is an essential for this season. It was a lesson that should have been obvious to the Melbourne coaching panel were they to have reviewed the Preliminary Final disaster, not to work out what went wrong, but rather what West Coast did right. Then in the Grand Final a week later, two ruckmen overpowered a solitary Heath Grundy. With Scott Lycett and Patrick Ryder playing on the ground and tag-teaming Max Gawn it was not surprising that they simply overpowered him and the Melbourne side. The critical factor was not the ruck contests, but rather what they did when not rucking. Resting Ryder or Lycett in the forward line instead of the bench meant the Demons had to commit Sam Frost or Oscar McDonald to them. That left Westhoff free to take uncontested mark after mark. Five goals for the game resulted. That was the score difference at the final bell! And if further proof is needed for the two talls, check out what Hawthorn are doing with Ceglar and McEvoy on the ground, and they had only one week less break than us over the summer! Meanwhile when Gawn was resting on the bench, the big forwards of Tom McDonald or Sam Weidemann had to double with ruck duties. No small surprise that a single big man in front of the sticks resulted in very little scoring, including not a solitary point in the final quarter. The other selection failures were simply too many small players without the necessary experience at AFL level. Could we really expect a team including ANB, Hore, Sparrow, Spargo, Wagner, Fritsch, and Hunt to compete with taller opponents? And should we really have selected Sparrow (although he acquitted himself reasonably well) to replace a 300 game general of the backline. There may have not been many more experienced available, but a tall would have helped. Sadly, apart from these failures, too many players were simply underdone. Jack Viney with 10 possessions. Petracca with only 2 touches to half-time. Jones putting in an absolute “mare” with kick and marking failures. Even Clayton Oliver with (for him) only 10 handballs. What do they all have in common ... interrupted pre-seasons, with Jones and Viney only returning to running in the past 4-6 weeks ... it showed! Christian Salem held the defence admirably, and with 32 touches off half-back he excelled at every turn. The pity is that a HBF shouldn’t be the major possession getter in the side. Angus Brayshaw held together the mids because he, at least, could get his hands on the ball, while Harmes helped out, but they were on their own. They performed OK in the middle, and in fact Melbourne won the centre square clearances easily. But around the ground without any assistance, Port simply cut the Demons to pieces. Rockliff with 44 touches but only 4 clearances from the middle, showed where the Power were gaining the advantage. Port also used their footy smarts. Kicking the ball long, especially with the fluky wind, almost guaranteed chaos entries into their forward line. In contrast Melbourne tried to chip and seek out the better option all the time, and it failed. With the wind playing havoc, the ball often came out the back to find Port players who stayed down in the contest. Not so Melbourne who continued to fly in packs to no effect. Will it get any better next week? Not if we continue doing the same thing at selection table. The addition of Steven May will help in a big way down back, but we need to give Max a cut-out during the game. 1 ruck is not enough in 2019. We can’t do much about the lack of fitness in too many players, that’s just the nature of post season surgery, but if they are not ready and primed, then they shouldn’t be selected. Facing Geelong so early in the season will be a problem, because all their old stagers will be reasonably fit at this time of the year. Come year end (as we saw in last year’s Elimination Final) they just drop by the wayside. What will happen? Will we see a half-baked team again next week? If we do, all the pre-season aspirations will be cooked ... Melbourne 4.3.27 6.5.41 9.7.61 9.7.61 Port Adelaide 2.4.16 6.8.44 10.9.69 12.15.87 Goals Melbourne Melksham 2 Brayshaw Fritsch Jones T.McDonald Petracca Sparrow Weideman Port Adelaide Westhoff 5 Butters 2 Boak Duursma Ebert Gray Marshall Best Melbourne Salem, Harmes, Melksham, Hibberd, Brayshaw, Oliver Port Adelaide Westhoff, Rockliff, Gray, Boak, Burton, Ebert Injuries Melbourne Lewis (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Sparrow Port Adelaide Marshall (concussion) Reports Nil Umpires Rosebury, Stephens, Hosking Official crowd 38,866 at the MCG
  2. The inspiration for today’s game is persistence and dedication. 100 games to Max Gawn - a terrific achievement after undergoing so much hardship with injury in his early years at the club. Debut matches at the club for Marty Hore and Corey Wagner who had to do it the hard way to get their chances today. Bring it on! .Countdown Round One Melbourne v Port Adelaide Saturday, March 23, 1.45pm AEDT MCG 11.30am: MCC Reserve 12.00pm: AFL Reserve 12.00pm: General public This week's match will be Melbourne's annual Welcome Game - an inclusive event that promotes a message of welcoming everyone to Australian Rules football, the MCG and the Melbourne Football Club. Here's what will be happening around the MCG and nearby during the day: Scarf drive Following the success of the Melbourne Scarf Drive at the 2018 Welcome Game, Melbourne is pleased to be bringing back the initiative for this year’s game. By donating old membership scarves, existing fans can play a key role in welcoming new audiences to the club. Members and supporters can donate pre-loved scarves to new fans on the day by dropping them in the donation box located in Yarra Park, outside Gate 3. Victorian Multicultural Festival at Federation Square Experience the Victorian Multicultural Festival at Fed Square pre-game from 12.00pm before heading to the MCG. The festival is a vibrant and joyous showcase of Victoria's rich cultural traditions in a free one-day program featuring music, performance, food and art for all ages! Read more about the Multicultural Festival and Culture Waves here. Culture Waves 2019 Post-match, make sure to visit Culture Waves 2019 which will be held at Federation Square after the Multicultural Festival. Culture Waves is a special music event planned featuring some of Victoria’s most acclaimed young artists. This free evening of incredible music celebrates how cultural diversity is influencing Victoria’s local music scene. Members You can use your Memberships to gain access to the game. If you’re an unrenewed member who received their card in the mail, visit a membership tent to activate the card. If you’re a new member and sign up at the ground, you will receive a ticket to gain entry. General Public Tickets to the game can be purchased via Ticketek. General admission seating Ponsford Stand Level 1 M28-M32 M33 rows DD-NN M34-M36 Level 4 Q29-Q36 Olympic Stand Level 1 M53 & M54 rows A-W M55-M57 Level 4 Q49-Q57 Southern Stand Level 1 M1 rows A-Y M2 (Demon Heartland – DRY) M3-M12 M13 rows A-Z (DRY) Level 4 Q1-Q15½ Cheer squad allocations Melbourne: M3 Rows A–T Port Adelaide: M33 Rows A-S Public reserved seating Public reserved seat sales available at all Public Gates, as well as at the Ticketek box office at Gate 3. Arrive early Security measures such as bag checks and patron scanning will again be in place as fans make their way into the stadium. This process will take time, so please be patient - and limit the number of bags you bring. Each bag will be inspected, so the more bags you bring the longer it will take. It is recommended that fans arrive early, as those who arrive later may miss the teams run out and/or the start of the match. Public transport Buses will be replacing trains on the Mernda, Frankston, Sandringham, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines this Saturday. See more info on travel disruptions on Victoria's Big Build website. Use the MCG Journey Planner to find your best way to get to the game. The MCG is serviced by multiple tram lines from the city and is in close proximity to Richmond and Jolimont Stations. Car parking Car parking capacity in Yarra Park will be limited. We encourage fans to take public transport to the match or park in the CBD. Gate 3: 9.00am Gate 5: 11.30am Gate 6: 10.30am Gate 7: CLOSED For the latest parking information, please visit the MCG website. Rod Laver Arena footbridge closure The footbridge linking Rod Laver Arena and the MCG will be closed for development until 2023. Fans are encouraged to use alternative pathways such as the Edwin Flack Bridge and William Barak Bridge to get to the MCG. Our Membership team will be set up around the ground on Saturday from 11.00am for Membership purchases queries and scarf collections. You can find them at: Gate 2 - inside and outside Gate 3 - outside Gate 5 - outside To find out which Membership is best for you, view our packages HERE. The Demon Shop will be open from 10.30am until half an after the game and is located on Brunton Avenue next to carpark Entrance E. All 2019 Members will receive 10% off full priced merchandise on presentation of their Membership card. Can't make it to the store? Browse the whole range online HERE. If you're at the game early, make sure to take part in our Match Predictor competition, exclusively in the Melbourne FC mobile app. At each MCG home game, we'll pit you with five questions - such as how many goals Melbourne will score, which players will get the most touches and how many hit-outs Max Gawn could rack up. Your challenge will be to select the most correct outcomes before the bounce, with a $75 New Balance voucher on offer for the person who guesses the most correct outcomes first. To take part make sure you're at the MCG between 1.05pm - 1.35pm, with location settings enabled in your copy of the app. To play: Download the Melbourne FC app to your iOS or Android device. Ensure your location services are turned on to take part - if you have them turned off, head to the Settings section to enable location settings. Open up the Match Predictor on the main menu. Enter your details and make your predictions for the match ahead. TV times Melbourne: Fox Footy - 1.30pm Sydney: Fox Footy - 1.30pm Brisbane: Fox Footy - 12.30pm Adelaide: Channel 7 + Fox Footy - 1.00pm Perth: Fox Footy - 10.30am Tasmania: Fox Footy - 1.30pm Darwin: Fox Footy - 12.00pm For all other regions and radio info, refer to the AFL Broadcast Guide. Mobile app Live scores, stats and match highlights are available at the tap of a finger in the club's mobile app. Download it for iOS or Android. Social media Match hashtag: #AFLDeesPower Follow the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live match coverage and a behind-the-scenes insight into match day.
  3. Still can’t figure out how we lost this one:- PORT ADELAIDE B Riley Bonner, Tom Jonas, Dan Houston HB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Clurey, Jasper Pittard C Steven Motlop, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec HF Travis Boak, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F Sam Gray, Charlie Dixon, Robbie Gray FOLL Paddy Ryder, Tom Rockliff, Brad Ebert I/C Dougal Howard, Todd Marshall, Sam Powell-Pepper, Lindsay Thomas EMG Jack Hombsch, Aidyn Johnson, Jack Trengove, Jack Watts IN Tom Jonas OUT Jack Hombsch (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Bernie Vince, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB Joel Smith, Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis C Christian Petracca, Jack Viney, Tom McDonald HF James Harmes, Jesse Hogan, Clayton Oliver F Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith, Bayley Fritsch FOLL Max Gawn, Jake Melksham, Nathan Jones I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Christian Salem, Dom Tyson EMG: Harrison Petty, Charlie Spargo, Billy Stretch, Sam Weideman IN Tim Smith Dom Tyson OUT Cam Pedersen (omitted) Charlie Spargo (omitted)
  4. The Melbourne Football Club has moved forward in leaps and bounds since it last met Port Adelaide in a totally forgettable (for Demon fans) season opener on the MCG. That game, played on Sunday, 31 March, 2013 before a crowd of 22,924, was supposed to be a close encounter between two of the competition’s lesser lights from the previous season when the Power had finished 14th and the Demons 16th (ahead only of AFL newbies Gold Coast and GWS). It turned into a slaughter with Port taking the lead in the first minute with a behind to Justin Westhoff, followed a minute or so later with a goal to Hamish Hartlett and the deluge continued until the final siren blared as the scoreboard read, “Port Adelaide 19.19.133 Melbourne 8.6.54”. From there Port Adelaide went on to play off in the finals and went down to Geelong in the Semi Final after beating Collingwood in a Qualifying Final while Melbourne finished in 17th spot with two wins, ahead only of the Giants and with a percentage of 54.07. Plenty of water has flowed under the Swan Street Bridge after that fateful day with the club moving forward on an upward trajectory on an annual basis ever since. The top four finish after the finals last year left it close to football’s holy grail. Close ... but no cigar. The summer has been an unusual one for the Demons who encountered the unfamiliar territory of a late start to the pre season (due to them having gone deep into the finals) with plenty of players undergoing operations and hence, making late starts to their preseasons - and we all know how vital it is for the playing group to have a clear and uninterrupted run into a new season. Notwithstanding, Melbourne’s summer remained full of hype standing as a legitimate premiership contender until the last few weeks when things began to go awry with two relatively unconvincing JLT performances and injuries and a suspension serving to dent the confidence of the supporter group, at least. The game takes on even greater importance when one looks at what lies ahead beyond week one with games against Geelong, Essendon and Sydney to complete the first month. I’m going for Melbourne because it is playing at home which is exactly the right place for it to welcome in a new season. Port Adelaide doesn’t win at the MCG very often and I don’t think they can win what the AFL has dubbed “The Welcome Game 2019”. While Port has a shorter injury list, it still has its worries and will be taking a lot of youth into the game. The Demons have greater depth and, despite those injury woes, they should go into the game with all of their A-listers involved again at the stoppages where they were so dominant in 2018. The AFL’s leading ruckman Max Gawn looks strong and fit and is a master of the centre clearance game with enough class gathered around him to ensure that the team gets enough of the ball forward to the club’s key forwards to win the game. Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman have been rather subdued in the JLT series but with Max heading the abovementioned group, the force of numbers will help them and the likes of Jake Melksham and Christian Petracca to hit the scoreboard with regularity. They probably won’t miss Jesse Hogan one iota. Melbourne by 30 points THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday March 23, 2019 at 1.45pm (AEDT) at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 13 wins Port Adelaide 20 wins At the MCG Melbourne 8 wins Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Port Adelaide 3 wins, Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Goodwin 1 win Hinkley 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Footy 1.30pm live RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 11.9.75 defeated Melbourne 9.11.65 Round 14, 2018 at the Adelaide Oval, Melbourne led for most of the night but was held back by poor disposal in front of goal and some inexplicable umpiring decisions didn’t help the cause. THE TEAMS INJURY LIST Round 1 Injury List: James Harmes (finger) – Test Braydon Preuss (adductor) – Test Kade Kolodjashnij (adductor) – Test Steven May – (suspension) – 1 week Tim Smith (calf) – 2 weeks Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – 2-3 weeks Joel Smith (groin) – TBA * Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 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 * appears like 4 - 6 weeks
  5. Dear me ... Why do they keep doing that to us? From a 44 point lead to almost a heart stopper ...
  6. POWER FREEZE by George on the Outer Melbourne (the city) turned on its best winter weather for the match against Port Adelaide but it was the Power who were frozen out of the game by the relentless Demons. Any concern about negatives that might be attributed to teams returning from a hot and steamy Darwin trip were well and truly dispelled with both participants in that match, Adelaide and Melbourne, putting on emphatic performances and wins in the following week. It's now clear that Melbourne's sad history of past losses after these games is simply because as a side the Demons were not up to standard. But not so this time. Playing against a top four side, the Demons came out of the blocks hard to hold a four goal lead at quarter time and they maintained that advantage right until the final siren. They also held Port goalless until well into the second quarter, which was remarkable given Port had a percentage well above 130 - an indication of its high scoring capability. With the return of the mid-fielders in Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the whole Demon structure became balanced again. Jack Watts up forward and Christian Salem down back further bolstered the strength of the side and while Watts didn’t have any genuine effect on the game and Tyson tired heavily in the second half after 21 touches in the first, they were all better for the run. We can hope for the same as Gawn and Hogan weren’t up to match speed last week, but they were deciding factors in that frantic first quarter and a half. Clarrie finally had some help, and so racked up another 30 touches as his assistants in Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan and Viney made life for the Power mids very difficult. They simply can’t match up everyone with the talent the Dees now have across the lines, and none more so than down back where Jayden Hunt cut Port to ribbons with his dash and 26 touches while Michael Hibberd got leather poisoning with 36 of his own. How impressive was the backline with Oscar McDonald an absolute rock who rarely makes a mistake these days. Similarly with Sam Frost who displays great dash and with the ever reliable Neville Jetta mopping up anything loose down back. Who would have thought at the start of the season that they could afford not to be playing Tom McDonald in defence? However, with the current crew in defence it is hard to imagine that setup again as we head towards finals. It was good to see the return of Jack Trengove and while he contributed and held his place he still has a way to go. His 16 touches were similar to others in the side who would be competing for those type of spots. With that first game for the season under his belt, he now needs to cement a spot with a step up, as the return of Nathan Jones and perhaps Angus Brayshaw will put pressure on the selectors. The Demons took a nearly five goal lead into the final change, and Port responded with two goals in the first six minutes. In the past this would have seen the flood-gates open as Melbourne had put undue pressure upon itself. But this is a different side that is now developing the maturity to know how to win ugly. They froze the game and for the next ten minutes we saw a rolling maul around the ground with Port unable to get free to continue that scoreboard pressure. Melbourne then grasped the opportunity and Melksham and Petracca took a couple of telling marks and converted to put the game beyond doubt. After the warmth of Darwin, Melbourne now faces further freezing conditions as Hobart and an icy blast coming from Antarctica beckons next week. Then to top it off, we head to Canberra where a lovely minus 7 greeted the day this morning. This is a new and different team of the Demons and until Hell freezes over they will just keep attacking, competing and playing a hot brand of football, no matter what the conditions. Like the Power today, it is the opposition who find themselves out in the cold. Melbourne 4.4.28 8.8.56 11.8.74 13.10.88 Port Adelaide 0.3.3 3.6.24 6.10.46 9.11.65 Goals Melbourne Hogan Melksham 3 Garlett Petracca 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald Port Adelaide Boak 4 Westhoff 2 Dixon Wingard Trengove Best Melbourne Hibberd Tyson Hogan Hunt Gawn Viney Jetta Port Adelaide R Gray Boak Ebert Powell-Pepper Wines S Gray Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right ankle) Port Adelaide Broadbent (leg) Wingard (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Nicholls, Meredith Attendance 27,068 at the MCG
  7. Melbourne (the city) turned on its best winter weather for the match against Port Adelaide but it was the Power who were frozen out of the game by the relentless Demons. Any concern about negatives that might be attributed to teams returning from a hot and steamy Darwin trip were well and truly dispelled with both participants in that match, Adelaide and Melbourne, putting on emphatic performances and wins in the following week. It's now clear that Melbourne's sad history of past losses after these games is simply because as a side the Demons were not up to standard. But not so this time. Playing against a top four side, the Demons came out of the blocks hard to hold a four goal lead at quarter time and they maintained that advantage right until the final siren. They also held Port goalless until well into the second quarter, which was remarkable given Port had a percentage well above 130 - an indication of its high scoring capability. With the return of the mid-fielders in Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the whole Demon structure became balanced again. Jack Watts up forward and Christian Salem down back further bolstered the strength of the side and while Watts didn’t have any genuine effect on the game and Tyson tired heavily in the second half after 21 touches in the first, they were all better for the run. We can hope for the same as Gawn and Hogan weren’t up to match speed last week, but they were deciding factors in that frantic first quarter and a half. Clarrie finally had some help, and so racked up another 30 touches as his assistants in Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan and Viney made life for the Power mids very difficult. They simply can’t match up everyone with the talent the Dees now have across the lines, and none more so than down back where Jayden Hunt cut Port to ribbons with his dash and 26 touches while Michael Hibberd got leather poisoning with 36 of his own. How impressive was the backline with Oscar McDonald an absolute rock who rarely makes a mistake these days. Similarly with Sam Frost who displays great dash and with the ever reliable Neville Jetta mopping up anything loose down back. Who would have thought at the start of the season that they could afford not to be playing Tom McDonald in defence? However, with the current crew in defence it is hard to imagine that setup again as we head towards finals. It was good to see the return of Jack Trengove and while he contributed and held his place he still has a way to go. His 16 touches were similar to others in the side who would be competing for those type of spots. With that first game for the season under his belt, he now needs to cement a spot with a step up, as the return of Nathan Jones and perhaps Angus Brayshaw will put pressure on the selectors. The Demons took a nearly five goal lead into the final change, and Port responded with two goals in the first six minutes. In the past this would have seen the flood-gates open as Melbourne had put undue pressure upon itself. But this is a different side that is now developing the maturity to know how to win ugly. They froze the game and for the next ten minutes we saw a rolling maul around the ground with Port unable to get free to continue that scoreboard pressure. Melbourne then grasped the opportunity and Melksham and Petracca took a couple of telling marks and converted to put the game beyond doubt. After the warmth of Darwin, Melbourne now faces further freezing conditions as Hobart and an icy blast coming from Antarctica beckons next week. Then to top it off, we head to Canberra where a lovely minus 7 greeted the day this morning. This is a new and different team of the Demons and until Hell freezes over they will just keep attacking, competing and playing a hot brand of football, no matter what the conditions. Like the Power today, it is the opposition who find themselves out in the cold. Melbourne 4.4.28 8.8.56 11.8.74 13.10.88 Port Adelaide 0.3.3 3.6.24 6.10.46 9.11.65 Goals Melbourne Hogan Melksham 3 Garlett Petracca 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald Port Adelaide Boak 4 Westhoff 2 Dixon Wingard Trengove Best Melbourne Hibberd Tyson Hogan Hunt Gawn Viney Jetta Port Adelaide R Gray Boak Ebert Powell-Pepper Wines S Gray Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Gawn (right ankle) Port Adelaide Broadbent (leg) Wingard (left ankle) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Nicholls, Meredith Attendance 27,068 at the MCG
  8. It's here and I'm excited about this game and our inclusions. I haven't been to the G in about 5 years to watch a game so I'm looking forward to seeing the boys live with my kids and hoping we play a hard contested game and come out on top. Firstly I'm off to a pre match function where Bernie (slugger) Vince will be in attendance. Should be interesting. Hope he doesn't hit me! One final thing GO DEES.
  9. LONG TIME COMING by The Oracle It's been a long time since Melbourne played a game against Port Adelaide at the MCG but it was one that fans of both teams should remember well. The game was the opening match of 2013 and it was Ken Hinkley's first as coach of a club that had been pushed from pillar to post and had suffered some massive defeats in the previous season. They had recruited well picking up the likes of Angus Monfries from Essendon and a strong youngster in Ollie Wines from the Murray Bushrangers and their team was fit, healthy and ready for the fray. The Demons, not so. They had sent a very inexperienced side to play a near full strength Port in a NAB Cup game in Renmark a month earlier and surprisingly beat them by 2 points but we know full well the folly of relying on the results of these practice matches. Mark Neeld, the coach, was buoyed by the result but it was accepted that it was meaningless as a guide to what might happen during the season. By the time of the opening round, the Demons produced a better line up but there were plenty of cracks in their make up, much of them due to internal issues relating to attitude and division in the ranks concerning their coach who would in any event, fail to last out the season. The result was decisive. Port Adelaide 19.19.133 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54. Hinkley's team did not look back from there. They made the finals and finished a couple of kicks away from playing in a grand final. Neeld's team never recovered and it's been a long hard grind to the present time for the club, first under Paul Roos and now Simon Goodwin, to reach the point where it is today - at the crossroads and needing to beat Port Adelaide in its next game at the MCG to keep its foothold in the race for the top eight. The opposition also needs to win in order to hold its place in the top four, making for an intriguing tussle between two teams with finals aspirations. The make up of the Melbourne side has changed dramatically since the season opener of 2013. Ironically, the only member of that team to represent it last Saturday night in Darwin was Cam Pedersen who had crossed from North Melbourne at the end of the previous season but had a debut to forget with the Demons. Other current day players who played that day - co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney (another debutant in 2013) and Jack Watts and Col Garland are all injured but the first three are chances to return this week. In light of the fact that some key players are slated for a return to the side, I will wait upon team selection before I reach any conclusion as to the result. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 22 July, 2017 at 2.10pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins, Port Adelaide 19 wins At the MCG Melbourne 7 wins, Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, Port Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Hinkley 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.25, Port Adelaide to win - $1.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.16.94 defeated Port Adelaide 8.6.54 Round 21, 2016 at Adelaide Oval The Demons were on a high having beaten the Hawks a week earlier and they continued on with another exciting and groundbreaking victory - their first over the Power at Adelaide Oval. Max Gawn dominated the ruck duels and Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince starred. It was to be Melbourne's last win for the season as the young team was fast running out of steam as the season was coming to a close. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Jayden Hunt C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Jake Melksham I/C: Mitch Hannan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem, Jack Trengove EMG: Cameron Pedersen Joel Smith, Billy Stretch IN: Christian Salem, Jack Trengove, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Jack Watts OUT: Kent (shoulder), Pedersen (omitted), Joel Smith (omitted), Bernie Vince (suspended), Josh Wagner (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Logan Austin HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett C: Brad Ebert, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec HF: Sam Gray, Jackson Trengove, Sam Powell-Pepper F: Chad Wingard, Charlie Dixon, Justin Westhoff FOLL: Paddy Ryder, Robbie Gray, Travis Boak I/C: Joe Atley, Dan Houston, Jarman Impey, Matthew White EMG: Karl Amon Jasper Pittard, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent OUT: Jasper Pittard The return of co-skippers Jack Viney and a number of others gives Melbourne an "A team" look after it lost two of the past three matches with a patched up side that was also limited by the fact that it was carrying players like Max Gawn, Jesse Hogan and Joel Smith who had come back to football after extra long stints on the sidelines. Viney's return to lead the Demons less than three weeks after undergoing foot surgery to release his plantar fascia is the stuff of Superman and should be an inspiration to the rest of the team. Viney is of course, the icing on the cake with Christian Salem, Dom Tyson and Jack Watts all coming back as well as Jack Trengove finally getting his reward for so much perseverance in coming back from his horrible foot injury and then having to languish in the VFL for a year. The renewed opportunity for the former skipper, the return of those players to bolster the midfield and Watts to attack convergence with the day on which the club acknowledges the Wurundjeri people and honours their heritage and lands by wearing its Indigenous jumper on the MCG for the first time. They don't really need the extra boost but Neville Jetta, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris should be inspired. The pressure will also be off young guns Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver with the return of so much midfield class. Port Adelaide are winning games and find themselves in the top four. Last week they beat North Melbourne by 70 points but there's something about them that's not quite right. They can't beat top eight teams so if the Demons want to prove their credentials, this is the time. Melbourne by 37 points.
  10. LONG TIME COMING by The Oracle It's been a long time since Melbourne played a game against Port Adelaide at the MCG but it was one that fans of both teams should remember well. The game was the opening match of 2013 and it was Ken Hinkley's first as coach of a club that had been pushed from pillar to post and had suffered some massive defeats in the previous season. They had recruited well picking up the likes of Angus Monfries from Essendon and a strong youngster in Ollie Wines from the Murray Bushrangers and their team was fit, healthy and ready for the fray. The Demons, not so. They had sent a very inexperienced side to play a near full strength Port in a NAB Cup game in Renmark a month earlier and surprisingly beat them by 2 points but we know full well the folly of relying on the results of these practice matches. Mark Neeld, the coach, was buoyed by the result but it was accepted that it was meaningless as a guide to what might happen during the season. By the time of the opening round, the Demons produced a better line up but there were plenty of cracks in their make up, much of them due to internal issues relating to attitude and division in the ranks concerning their coach who would in any event, fail to last out the season. The result was decisive. Port Adelaide 19.19.133 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54. Hinkley's team did not look back from there. They made the finals and finished a couple of kicks away from playing in a grand final. Neeld's team never recovered and it's been a long hard grind to the present time for the club, first under Paul Roos and now Simon Goodwin, to reach the point where it is today - at the crossroads and needing to beat Port Adelaide in its next game at the MCG to keep its foothold in the race for the top eight. The opposition also needs to win in order to hold its place in the top four, making for an intriguing tussle between two teams with finals aspirations. The make up of the Melbourne side has changed dramatically since the season opener of 2013. Ironically, the only member of that team to represent it last Saturday night in Darwin was Cam Pedersen who had crossed from North Melbourne at the end of the previous season but had a debut to forget with the Demons. Other current day players who played that day - co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney (another debutant in 2013) and Jack Watts and Col Garland are all injured but the first three are chances to return this week. In light of the fact that some key players are slated for a return to the side, I will wait upon team selection before I reach any conclusion as to the result. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 22 July, 2017 at 2.10pm at the MCG HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins, Port Adelaide 19 wins At the MCG Melbourne 7 wins, Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win, Port Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Hinkley 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 RADIO - THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $2.25, Port Adelaide to win - $1.65 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.16.94 defeated Port Adelaide 8.6.54 Round 21, 2016 at Adelaide Oval The Demons were on a high having beaten the Hawks a week earlier and they continued on with another exciting and groundbreaking victory - their first over the Power at Adelaide Oval. Max Gawn dominated the ruck duels and Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince starred. It was to be Melbourne's last win for the season as the young team was fast running out of steam as the season was coming to a close. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Jayden Hunt C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Jake Melksham I/C: Mitch Hannan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem, Jack Trengove EMG: Cameron Pedersen Joel Smith, Billy Stretch IN: Christian Salem, Jack Trengove, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney, Jack Watts OUT: Kent (shoulder), Pedersen (omitted), Joel Smith (omitted), Bernie Vince (suspended), Josh Wagner (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Logan Austin HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett C: Brad Ebert, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec HF: Sam Gray, Jackson Trengove, Sam Powell-Pepper F: Chad Wingard, Charlie Dixon, Justin Westhoff FOLL: Paddy Ryder, Robbie Gray, Travis Boak I/C: Joe Atley, Dan Houston, Jarman Impey, Matthew White EMG: Karl Amon Jasper Pittard, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent OUT: Jasper Pittard The return of co-skippers Jack Viney and a number of others gives Melbourne an "A team" look after it lost two of the past three matches with a patched up side that was also limited by the fact that it was carrying players like Max Gawn, Jesse Hogan and Joel Smith who had come back to football after extra long stints on the sidelines. Viney's return to lead the Demons less than three weeks after undergoing foot surgery to release his plantar fascia is the stuff of Superman and should be an inspiration to the rest of the team. Viney is of course, the icing on the cake with Christian Salem, Dom Tyson and Jack Watts all coming back as well as Jack Trengove finally getting his reward for so much perseverance in coming back from his horrible foot injury and then having to languish in the VFL for a year. The renewed opportunity for the former skipper, the return of those players to bolster the midfield and Watts to attack convergence with the day on which the club acknowledges the Wurundjeri people and honours their heritage and lands by wearing its Indigenous jumper on the MCG for the first time. They don't really need the extra boost but Neville Jetta, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris should be inspired. The pressure will also be off young guns Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver with the return of so much midfield class. Port Adelaide are winning games and find themselves in the top four. Last week they beat North Melbourne by 70 points but there's something about them that's not quite right. They can't beat top eight teams so if the Demons want to prove their credentials, this is the time. Melbourne by 37 points.
  11. CAN YOU HEAR THE DRUMS? by George on the Outer Demons Fans boo off team after Round 1 capitulation. A simply disgraceful team performance by the Melbourne Football club where they managed a solitary goal in a half of football, saw them rightly booed from the ground by their fans. And for all the apologists who say the team shouldnt be bagged ... that's rubbish! When a couple of first game 18 year olds show how to play a game of football, as an example, then players who had pulled on the jumper for 50 or 100 games should hang their heads in shame. Once again the supporters turned out in droves with over 20,000 paying their money and providing encouragement. For that they were treated disgracefully as they witnessed half-hearted efforts and lack of simply football smarts throughout the whole game. If it werent for the likes of Mitch Clark, Jack Grimes, Jack Viney and Nathan Jones the result would have been as one toothless Port supporter described after the match -Road Kill. How true that was! Port were prepared to run. Port were prepared to back up their team-mates and keep playing simple football. It was what we have come to know them as. It is their culture. Melbourne players in contrast played like a group of upper-class schoolboys. Avoiding the heavy contact, and hoping someone else will do the hard work, just to avoid getting the hands dirty. Simple tactics of manning up were either not followed or issued, as countless Port goals were slammed through with barely a Melbourne player in sight. Grimes tried hard to rally the troops with some genuine dash, and Blease added that which was missing for the first ¾ of the game. Clark played his heart out, but with no other assistance up forward his output was nullified. Viney will surely win the Rising Star award for this week with 22 disposals. And they were all hard fought and valuable. However, his long time friend Oliver Wines had an equally impressive debut for the Power. A sharp contrast with Col Sylvia (yet again) who simply refuses to cover his or any man, while he is all too happy to let others get the ball to him ... if he feels like it. The fans booed the team off at half-time and again at full time. They could see the sub-standard performance and the lack of effort being shunted out. Any supporter can stomach a team that is better than yours, but they certainly couldnt stomach what they saw today. Melbourne 3.1.19 7.2.44 7.3.45 8.6.54 Port Adelaide 5.3.33 11.6.72 16.13.109 19.19.133 Goals MelbourneClark Howe 2 Byrnes McKenzie Pedersen Viney Port Adelaide Schulz 4 Monfries Stewart 3 Hartlett 2 Cornes Heath Moore Pittard Westhoff Wingard Wines Best Melbourne Grimes Viney Clark N Jones M Jones Port Adelaide Hartlett Monfries Schulz Ebert Cornes Westhoff Injuries Melbourne Clark (ankle) Port Adelaide Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Substitions Melbourne Sam Blease replaced Mitch Clark (final quarter) Port Adelaide Kane Mitchell replaced Angus Monfries (final quarter) Umpires Farmer Ryan Pannell Crowd 22,924 at the MCG
  12. Vote now 6,5,4,3,2,1 If applicable, specify your McDonald.
  13. DEFYING HISTORY by Whispering Jack I was surprised to read that Melbourne started the week as a firm favourite to beat Port Adelaide in this Saturday's indigenous round game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs. The Demons might have a slight edge on Port in terms of recent form but both clubs are close in ladder terms and are equally motivated to win in order to stay in touch with the top eight. While the Demons are nominally the home team, the visiting side is domiciled closer to its own home base, therefore having less travel to get to the venue and it also has history on its side. The Power have won at both of their meetings at this ground and beaten the Demons on all three occasions since Paul Roos became coach at Melbourne. In addition, despite its last start win at the MCG against the Brisbane Lions, the "home" team has such an abysmal record when starting as favourite that it cannot be said with confidence that it is a sure thing to beat a team containing the likes of Robbie Gray, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard and Ollie Wines. I heard somewhere that the latter player apparently originally wanted to be drafted to Melbourne to join his mate Jack Viney so every time he plays against them, he likes to really turn it on. The ruck battles will be interesting with the Demons holding the edge through 208cm Max Gawn who should be too good for the Port ruckmen although some are calling for the overworked Gawn to be rested in the light of the fact that Port have been relying on an undersized Jackson Trengove in that department. In recent weeks, Max has been pushed from pillar to post and double teamed in an attempt to rough him up. Last week, the umpires didn't seem to notice and the opposition will continue to try as long as they can get away with the tactic. Gawn doesn't need a rest - he needs assistance. The big man has been a vital cog in the team's resurgence and leaving him out of a game that's important as this one should not even be considered. Port Adelaide also goes into the game with the edge in experience which can be a double edged sword when both teams are traveling away from the comfort of their own home. It's always good to have cool, seasoned heads but the young Melbourne team these days (nine of its players last week had not played more than 20 AFL games) is so compelling and so full of enthusiasm when it gets going. Of course, that doesn't always help but I'm tipping Melbourne to defy history and win its first game ever at Traeger Park. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 28 May, 2015 at 1.10pm (AEST) at TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 18 wins At TIO Traeger Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 2.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.70 Port Adelaide to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 18.7.115 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54 Round 9 at TIO Traeger Park Melbourne started like a house on fire and held a four goal lead at one stage during the second quarter. At that point however, the house burned down. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tomas Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Colin Garland C: Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Chris Dawes, Jack Grimes, Viv Michie IN: Neville Jetta, Dom Tyson OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Clayton Oliver (quad) PORT ADELAIDE B: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Jasper Pittard HB: Nathan Krakouer, Cam O'Shea, Matthew Broadbent C: Jared Polec, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert HF: Jake Neade, Justin Westhoff, Hamish Hartlett F: Aaron Young, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard FOLL: Jackson Trengove, Travis Boak, Robbie Gray I/C: Karl Amon, Dougal Howard, Jarman Impey, Paul Stewart EMG: Brendon Ah Chee, Logan Austin, Sam Gray IN: Dougal Howard OUT: Tom Jonas (suspended)
  14. TRAEGER TRAGEDY by George on the Outer Another venture into the Red Centre for the Demons, and another defeat. Just when the opportunity was there to put some space between themselves and their nearest opponent on the ladder it was once again tragically squandered. The equation was simple ... beat Port Adelaide and you set yourselves up for a promising second half of the season ... lose the game and it all looks rather tragic. Apart from the financial bonus of playing in the Northern Territory, it has been a disappointing destination for the Demons for some years now. We simply are unable to put in a creditable performance at either the Alice Springs or Darwin venues. Melbourne was never in the game, despite a slender lead at quarter time, as it was never able to contain the likes of Boak, Wingard, R Gray, Hartlett and Westhoff. Then their new arrival Charlie Dixon turned on a blinder and produced 5 goals to continuously beat down the chances that the Demons struggled to achieve. Worst of all was the simply porous defensive structures that we have employed since the St. Kilda game. There were at least 7 goals from this match that came from a free Port player either running into an open goal or marking uncontested 20 or 30 metres out. And each and every time it was a player running in behind the defenders without a Melbourne player in sight. The structure isn’t working, and we cannot keep hoping to win shootouts against the better sides. Our mids refuse to get back to assist, and the wingers don’t help out either. Thank goodness for Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner who continue to show promise and a hardness that is required to play at AFL level. Oscar Mac has now had his chance and is simply out of his depth at the moment. There were plenty of other non-shows again this week. Ben Kennedy could only produce 7 disposals for the match and Jeff Garlett didn’t produce anything other than a single goal, until the coach threw him into the middle to force him do something. Even then he only touched the ball nine times for the whole game. And it was in the middle where once again we were soundly beaten. Nathan Jones produced yet another sterling performance, but Jack Viney has dropped off from his best and Dom Tyson was also not as effective as he was before last week's illness. Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts did the best they could, given the lack of opportunity and some simply poor delivery into the forward line. Whhen hitting a target was critical, we simply couldn’t do it. And that was the nature of the game. It was a tragedy at Traeger Park. Tragically, Port was the better side and tragically, after traveling to the Red Centre, Melbourne comes up against Hawthorn next week. Well may we hope that the outcome is not as tragic against them as it has been in recent years. Melbourne 2.7.19 4.9.33 9.12.66 10.16.76 Port Adelaide 2.4.16 8.6.54 12.11.83 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Gawn Watts 2 Garlett Kent Neal-Bullen Port Adelaide Dixon 5 Impey Wingard Young 2 Boak Byrne-Jones R Gray Hartlett Howard Krakouer Neade Best Melbourne Gawn Jones Watts Hogan Wagner T McDonald Port Adelaide Wingard R Gray Ebert Dixon Westhoff Boak Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Broadbent (gastro) replaced by S Gray Injuries Melbourne Garland (cheekbone) Port Adelaide Hombsch (hamstring) P Stewart (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Hay Findlay Mollison Official crowd 5,146 at Traeger Park
  15. Another venture into the Red Centre for the Demons, and another defeat. Just when the opportunity was there to put some space between themselves and their nearest opponent on the ladder it was once again tragically squandered. The equation was simple ... beat Port Adelaide and you set yourselves up for a promising second half of the season ... lose the game and it all looks rather tragic. Apart from the financial bonus of playing in the Northern Territory, it has been a disappointing destination for the Demons for some years now. We simply are unable to put in a creditable performance at either the Alice Springs or Darwin venues. Melbourne was never in the game, despite a slender lead at quarter time, as it was never able to contain the likes of Boak, Wingard, R Gray, Hartlett and Westhoff. Then their new arrival Charlie Dixon turned on a blinder and produced 5 goals to continuously beat down the chances that the Demons struggled to achieve. Worst of all was the simply porous defensive structures that we have employed since the St. Kilda game. There were at least 7 goals from this match that came from a free Port player either running into an open goal or marking uncontested 20 or 30 metres out. And each and every time it was a player running in behind the defenders without a Melbourne player in sight. The structure isn’t working, and we cannot keep hoping to win shootouts against the better sides. Our mids refuse to get back to assist, and the wingers don’t help out either. Thank goodness for Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner who continue to show promise and a hardness that is required to play at AFL level. Oscar Mac has now had his chance and is simply out of his depth at the moment. There were plenty of other non-shows again this week. Ben Kennedy could only produce 7 disposals for the match and Jeff Garlett didn’t produce anything other than a single goal, until the coach threw him into the middle to force him do something. Even then he only touched the ball nine times for the whole game. And it was in the middle where once again we were soundly beaten. Nathan Jones produced yet another sterling performance, but Jack Viney has dropped off from his best and Dom Tyson was also not as effective as he was before last week's illness. Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts did the best they could, given the lack of opportunity and some simply poor delivery into the forward line. Whhen hitting a target was critical, we simply couldn’t do it. And that was the nature of the game. It was a tragedy at Traeger Park. Tragically, Port was the better side and tragically, after traveling to the Red Centre, Melbourne comes up against Hawthorn next week. Well may we hope that the outcome is not as tragic against them as it has been in recent years. Melbourne 2.7.19 4.9.33 9.12.66 10.16.76 Port Adelaide 2.4.16 8.6.54 12.11.83 18.13.121 Goals Melbourne Hogan 3 Gawn Watts 2 Garlett Kent Neal-Bullen Port Adelaide Dixon 5 Impey Wingard Young 2 Boak Byrne-Jones R Gray Hartlett Howard Krakouer Neade Best Melbourne Gawn Jones Watts Hogan Wagner T McDonald Port Adelaide Wingard R Gray Ebert Dixon Westhoff Boak Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Broadbent (gastro) replaced by S Gray Injuries Melbourne Garland (cheekbone) Port Adelaide Hombsch (hamstring) P Stewart (concussion) Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Umpires Hay Findlay Mollison Official crowd 5,146 at Traeger Park
  16. Hard to believe that we're already at Round 10 and it's even harder to believe that the Demons are putting such a young team onto the field each week and yet still remain in finals contention. The table below from what I believe was last week's round shows how young the team. With Nev Jetta and Dom Tyson coming into the team today, the average age might be slightly higher but it's good knowing that we have plenty of youth to come in and supplement the team - Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem for starters. That's all good but our opponents have on average about three years in age and far more than double the numbers played over us. Can youth triumph over experience today?
  17. I was surprised to read that Melbourne started the week as a firm favourite to beat Port Adelaide in this Saturday's indigenous round game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs. The Demons might have a slight edge on Port in terms of recent form but both clubs are close in ladder terms and are equally motivated to win in order to stay in touch with the top eight. While the Demons are nominally the home team, the visiting side is domiciled closer to its own home base, therefore having less travel to get to the venue and it also has history on its side. The Power have won at both of their meetings at this ground and beaten the Demons on all three occasions since Paul Roos became coach at Melbourne. In addition, despite its last start win at the MCG against the Brisbane Lions, the "home" team has such an abysmal record when starting as favourite that it cannot be said with confidence that it is a sure thing to beat a team containing the likes of Robbie Gray, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard and Ollie Wines. I heard somewhere that the latter player apparently originally wanted to be drafted to Melbourne to join his mate Jack Viney so every time he plays against them, he likes to really turn it on. The ruck battles will be interesting with the Demons holding the edge through 208cm Max Gawn who should be too good for the Port ruckmen although some are calling for the overworked Gawn to be rested in the light of the fact that Port have been relying on an undersized Jackson Trengove in that department. In recent weeks, Max has been pushed from pillar to post and double teamed in an attempt to rough him up. Last week, the umpires didn't seem to notice and the opposition will continue to try as long as they can get away with the tactic. Gawn doesn't need a rest - he needs assistance. The big man has been a vital cog in the team's resurgence and leaving him out of a game that's important as this one should not even be considered. Port Adelaide also goes into the game with the edge in experience which can be a double edged sword when both teams are traveling away from the comfort of their own home. It's always good to have cool, seasoned heads but the young Melbourne team these days (nine of its players last week had not played more than 20 AFL games) is so compelling and so full of enthusiasm when it gets going. Of course, that doesn't always help but I'm tipping Melbourne to defy history and win its first game ever at Traeger Park. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 28 May, 2015 at 1.10pm (AEST) at TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 18 wins At TIO Traeger Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 2 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 5 wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 3 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 live at 2.00pm RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.70 Port Adelaide to win - $2.15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 18.7.115 defeated Melbourne 8.6.54 Round 9 at TIO Traeger Park Melbourne started like a house on fire and held a four goal lead at one stage during the second quarter. At that point however, the house burned down. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Tomas Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Colin Garland C: Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Chris Dawes, Jack Grimes, Viv Michie IN: Neville Jetta, Dom Tyson OUT: Viv Michie (omitted), Clayton Oliver (quad) PORT ADELAIDE B: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Jasper Pittard HB: Nathan Krakouer, Cam O'Shea, Matthew Broadbent C: Jared Polec, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert HF: Jake Neade, Justin Westhoff, Hamish Hartlett F: Aaron Young, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard FOLL: Jackson Trengove, Travis Boak, Robbie Gray I/C: Karl Amon, Dougal Howard, Jarman Impey, Paul Stewart EMG: Brendon Ah Chee, Logan Austin, Sam Gray IN: Dougal Howard OUT: Tom Jonas (suspended)
  18. The stuff of which nightmares are made for Demon fans. This "home" game was played in Alice Springs which is a lot closer to Adelaide than Melbourne. The Demons were seemingly in control for most of the first half. They led by a couple of goals at quarter time, kicked away to lead by four midway through the second and then fell into the abyss. Port kicked six in a row before half time and won the game by 61 points. The Dees were woeful. MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired)
  19. Your votes after the final siren sounds please (remember there are two Jones')
  20. How is it possible for a team to dominate the first quarter and a half of football in every facet of the game and to lead by four goals and yet, to lose by ten? That scenario is becoming something of a habit with Melbourne this year after the team meekly surrendered a big lead in Canberra against the GWS Giants and then repeated the dose at the weekend against an out-of-form Port Adelaide in Alice Springs. The Power were teetering on the brink after abysmal efforts against Brisbane and Richmond and when Jeff Garlett slotted home two majors to give the hosts the comfort of a four goal lead, they were staring down at the precipice. It would be easy to say that what happened next was a surrender by the Demons because that is what appeared to be the case. There was a period of ten minutes when they maintained their lead and neither side scored but then, inexplicably, they just stopped. They stopped running. Where the Demons had previously been running, chasing, tackling and placing enormous pressure on their opponents, they gave them latitude and space. Port Adelaide suddenly were in control and they piled on goal after goal a little over ten minutes to take a 14 point lead into the rooms at half time. In that short space of time, Port scored 6.1.37 to zip, winning the contested possessions 22 to six and uncontested possessions 18 to one while the Demons were reduced to being spectators with the coaching bench seemingly powerless to stop the rot as they had been in Canberra and even in a practice match in Ballarat against the Bulldogs earlier this year. The Demons put up some resistance early in the third and even fought back with a goal to narrow the margin to eight points but when the Power applied the blowtorch again, the Dees were shot. The end result was an embarrassing ten goal defeat in front of small crowd in the middle of the continent. So was it surrender, the heat, lack of mature bodies after a six day break, poor coaching, but team selection or poor preparation? There's no simple answer but it reflects poorly on the team when it's best players in such a rout are in the first senior year of their careers. Kudos to Angus Brayshaw and Jesse Hogan who stood up all day but where were the rest of you? Melbourne 3.2.20 6.2.38 7.3.45 8.6.54 Port Adelaide 1.2.8 8.4.52 12.6.78 18.7.115 Goals Melbourne Garlett Hogan 2 Fitzpatrick M Jones Lumumba Spencer Port Adelaide Schulz 4 Monfries 3 Westhoff Wingard 2 Amon Ebert R Gray Hartlett Krakouer Stewart White Best Melbourne Brayshaw Hogan Port Adelaide Ebert Boak R Gray Wines Schulz Wingard Hartlett Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Substitutions Melbourne Jack Viney replaced Neville Jetta in the third quarter Port Adelaide Nathan Krakouer replaced Karl Amon in the fourth quarter Umpires Bannister Ryan Pannell Official crowd 4,866 at TIO Traeger Park Oval, Alice Springs
  21. This game might suit Jesse Hogan if we can get the ball inside our 50 enough times, more fast paced and he might find himself 1 on 1 on more occasions than other weeks, we can only hope so.
  22. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by The Oracle The AFL's Indigenous Round takes the Demons right into the heart of the country - to Alice Springs where almost to the day, twelve months ago they fought tooth and nail again a top four aspirant in Port Adelaide but ultimately fell agonisingly short. In that game, the Power were off to a flyer and led 4.2.26 to 0.0.0 by the mid point of the opening quarter but the young Demons fought back to hold a narrow lead with 15 minutes left in the game after Christian Salem goaled. It was Port, on its way to a Preliminary Final appearance, that held sway with the last three goals and again, two months later in the return game at Adelaide Oval, they kicked the final goal two minutes before the end to stave off another Melbourne comeback and win by the narrow margin of three points. It was not that the win meant all that much to the Demons in the grand scheme of things in season 2014 but the heart of the matter was that it was one of a handful occasions in recent years when a truly big scalp was there for the taking and the opportunity to take it was missed. And if the club is to truly raise itself up from the group of also rans of the competition and into its middle tier from which it can launch future campaigns into finals class, it has to take scalps like that of Port Adelaide which right now, has about it an air of vulnerability. And that is at the heart of the matter this week. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 30 May, 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 17 wins At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne wins Port Adelaide wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.30 Port Adelaide to win - $1.32 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 10.12.72 defeated Melbourne 10.9.69 Round 18 at the Adelaide Oval Port Adelaide was going through a bit of a slump but seemed in control for most of the first half until a rear guard action led by Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones in the midfield saw Melbourne hit the front in an exciting final quarter. The Demons had their chances but a late rally for a goal to Jay Schulz saw the Power hold on to the final siren. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired) IT FIGURES by Sam the Stats Man When the Demons jubilantly took the honours and caused a minor upset in the first round of the season against the Gold Coast Suns, they had almost a full list of players fit and available for action. Jack Trengove was the only player with senior AFL experience on the injured list. The two others - Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca are kids with their careers ahead of them. Progressively, from that day onward, the injuries began to kick in (as they do at most clubs) leading the club to a position where a lack of player depth was exposed in successive weeks in games against the leading teams in the competition. It all started when one of the stars of the Gold Coast win, Jack Viney who subdued an injured Garry Ablett Junior, broke his leg and a swag of others from that opening game win are missing - most of them with injuries extending beyond a couple of weeks. Here's hoping for a better run from here on in but from a statistical point of view, the run of injuries has certainly not helped the club's quest to rise from the depths of the AFL ladder. On a more positive note, the contributions of the new faces at the club have been significant to this point in time, a testament to the excellent recruiting at the club since the advent of Paul Roos as coach. BAIL, Rohan MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 3 games 3 goals - on the outer until the last couple of games coming in to fill the need for a little speed. BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 8 games, 2 goals - exciting debut season from this highly rated youngster. CROSS, Daniel MFC 8 games, 0 goals - continues to inspire and lead the team. DAWES, Chris MFC 5 games, 3 goals - hampered by a calf injury and yet to hit his straps. DUNN, Lynden MFC 8 games, 0 goals - solid as a leader in the back line. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 0 goals - impressed in his new role in defence in his first game of the season last week. FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace suffered an injury in round three that will keep him out for some time yet. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable in defence. GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 8 games, 16 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking. GAWN, Max CSFC 6 games 8 goals - showing some form at Casey but hasn't been able to break into the AFL team this year. GRIMES, Jack MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games 1 goal - struggled early but back in the team and starting to show form. HARMES, James ® CSFC 6 games, 5 goals - promising rookie developing nicely as a utility player with the Scorpions. HOGAN, Jesse MFC 7 games, 14 goals - the talk of the town as the next big thing in power forwards. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 1 goal - has been somewhat subdued in defence but showed some spark up forward in his last game. HUNT, Jayden CSFCDL 3 games, 0 goals - on the comeback trail in the Casey development side after a long term injury. JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - lion hearted early but has seemingly fallen out of favour lately and suffered a head knock in his last game at Casey. JETTA, Neville MFC 4 games, 0 goals - the Demons are taking great care with Jetta after a few bouts of concussion. JONES, Matthew MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 4 games, 1 goal - just broke back into the team and did well in curtailing the Bulldogs' skipper in the last game before being subbed off with concussion. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 games, 4 goals - has had one or two quiet ones but overall continues to set the example of courage through great leadership. KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 5 games, 1 goal - showed promise as a crumbing forward before his injury. KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - was stepping up into a regular forward role before he tore a hamstring in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers. KING, Max ® CSFCDL 5 games,14 goals - the big man is waiting in line in the Casey development team where he is regularly kicking goals. LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 8 games, 1 goal - showing great passion and leadership and you get the feeling that he's due for a big game at any time. McDONALD, Oscar ® CSFC 4 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 2 games, 0 goals - following in his older brother's footsteps, Oscar is learning the ropes at Casey. McDONALD, Tom MFC 8 games, 1 goal - raised his game to a new level and regarded a real chance for All Australian honours if he can keep up his current form. McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal looks like keeping him out in the cold despite some good form in the VFL. MICHIE, Viv MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - one of a number of midfielders working hard to establish a place in the side. NEAL-BULLEN, Alex CSFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor in development phase who is impressing with the Casey seniors. NEWTON, Ben MFC 7 games, 7 goals - one of the Demons' impressive midfield imports. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - has come back with a vengeance in his last two games as a forward/ruckman. PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster. RILEY, Aidan MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 2 goals - spent most of the season so far in the VFL but impressed when he came on as a sub in his last game. SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - there were no second year blues for the youngster who was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out until the middle of next month. SPENCER, Jake MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 percent goals - grabbed his opportunity after some good form in the ruck at VFL level. STRETCH, Billy MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 2 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season. TERLICH, Dean CSFC 6 games, 1 goal - an injury interrupted pre season meant a late start and he has yet to break into AFL ranks this year. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 1 goal - starting to show some signs as to why he was so sought after in his draft year. TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out indefinitely. TYSON, Dom MFC 7 games, 2 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and is currently out with a knee injury. VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 8 games, 3 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder. VINCE, Bernie MFC 7 games 3 goals - warming up in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason. VINEY, Jack MFC 2 games, 0 goals - it took a break in his foot to stop this young hard nut. WATTS, Jack MFC 7 games, 4 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - continues to be an enigma with fluctuating form lines. WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot. ONE MORE WEEK by The Oracle Driving home from last week's win over the Bulldogs, I was listening to the Port Adelaide v Richmond game and simply couldn't believe the pain that Port were suffering as they struggled to get among the goals against the Tigers. What the hell was happening with them? Was this the same team that monstered Hawthorn in the first half of their game a month earlier? I have absolutely no answer but I hope their current poor form persists for one more week and they allow Melbourne for the first time in four years to go back to back in the heart of the country.
  23. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by The Oracle The AFL's Indigenous Round takes the Demons right into the heart of the country - to Alice Springs where almost to the day, twelve months ago they fought tooth and nail again a top four aspirant in Port Adelaide but ultimately fell agonisingly short. In that game, the Power were off to a flyer and led 4.2.26 to 0.0.0 by the mid point of the opening quarter but the young Demons fought back to hold a narrow lead with 15 minutes left in the game after Christian Salem goaled. It was Port, on its way to a Preliminary Final appearance, that held sway with the last three goals and again, two months later in the return game at Adelaide Oval, they kicked the final goal two minutes before the end to stave off another Melbourne comeback and win by the narrow margin of three points. It was not that the win meant all that much to the Demons in the grand scheme of things in season 2014 but the heart of the matter was that it was one of a handful occasions in recent years when a truly big scalp was there for the taking and the opportunity to take it was missed. And if the club is to truly raise itself up from the group of also rans of the competition and into its middle tier from which it can launch future campaigns into finals class, it has to take scalps like that of Port Adelaide which right now, has about it an air of vulnerability. And that is at the heart of the matter this week. THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 30 May, 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 17 wins At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 1 win Past five meetings Melbourne wins Port Adelaide wins The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 1 win MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live) RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.30 Port Adelaide to win - $1.32 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 10.12.72 defeated Melbourne 10.9.69 Round 18 at the Adelaide Oval Port Adelaide was going through a bit of a slump but seemed in control for most of the first half until a rear guard action led by Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones in the midfield saw Melbourne hit the front in an exciting final quarter. The Demons had their chances but a late rally for a goal to Jay Schulz saw the Power hold on to the final siren. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted) PORT ADELAIDE B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired) IT FIGURES by Sam the Stats Man When the Demons jubilantly took the honours and caused a minor upset in the first round of the season against the Gold Coast Suns, they had almost a full list of players fit and available for action. Jack Trengove was the only player with senior AFL experience on the injured list. The two others - Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca are kids with their careers ahead of them. Progressively, from that day onward, the injuries began to kick in (as they do at most clubs) leading the club to a position where a lack of player depth was exposed in successive weeks in games against the leading teams in the competition. It all started when one of the stars of the Gold Coast win, Jack Viney who subdued an injured Garry Ablett Junior, broke his leg and a swag of others from that opening game win are missing - most of them with injuries extending beyond a couple of weeks. Here's hoping for a better run from here on in but from a statistical point of view, the run of injuries has certainly not helped the club's quest to rise from the depths of the AFL ladder. On a more positive note, the contributions of the new faces at the club have been significant to this point in time, a testament to the excellent recruiting at the club since the advent of Paul Roos as coach. BAIL, Rohan MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 3 games 3 goals - on the outer until the last couple of games coming in to fill the need for a little speed. BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 8 games, 2 goals - exciting debut season from this highly rated youngster. CROSS, Daniel MFC 8 games, 0 goals - continues to inspire and lead the team. DAWES, Chris MFC 5 games, 3 goals - hampered by a calf injury and yet to hit his straps. DUNN, Lynden MFC 8 games, 0 goals - solid as a leader in the back line. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 0 goals - impressed in his new role in defence in his first game of the season last week. FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace suffered an injury in round three that will keep him out for some time yet. GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable in defence. GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 8 games, 16 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking. GAWN, Max CSFC 6 games 8 goals - showing some form at Casey but hasn't been able to break into the AFL team this year. GRIMES, Jack MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games 1 goal - struggled early but back in the team and starting to show form. HARMES, James ® CSFC 6 games, 5 goals - promising rookie developing nicely as a utility player with the Scorpions. HOGAN, Jesse MFC 7 games, 14 goals - the talk of the town as the next big thing in power forwards. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 1 goal - has been somewhat subdued in defence but showed some spark up forward in his last game. HUNT, Jayden CSFCDL 3 games, 0 goals - on the comeback trail in the Casey development side after a long term injury. JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - lion hearted early but has seemingly fallen out of favour lately and suffered a head knock in his last game at Casey. JETTA, Neville MFC 4 games, 0 goals - the Demons are taking great care with Jetta after a few bouts of concussion. JONES, Matthew MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 4 games, 1 goal - just broke back into the team and did well in curtailing the Bulldogs' skipper in the last game before being subbed off with concussion. JONES, Nathan MFC 8 games, 4 goals - has had one or two quiet ones but overall continues to set the example of courage through great leadership. KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 5 games, 1 goal - showed promise as a crumbing forward before his injury. KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - was stepping up into a regular forward role before he tore a hamstring in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers. KING, Max ® CSFCDL 5 games,14 goals - the big man is waiting in line in the Casey development team where he is regularly kicking goals. LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 8 games, 1 goal - showing great passion and leadership and you get the feeling that he's due for a big game at any time. McDONALD, Oscar ® CSFC 4 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 2 games, 0 goals - following in his older brother's footsteps, Oscar is learning the ropes at Casey. McDONALD, Tom MFC 8 games, 1 goal - raised his game to a new level and regarded a real chance for All Australian honours if he can keep up his current form. McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal looks like keeping him out in the cold despite some good form in the VFL. MICHIE, Viv MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - one of a number of midfielders working hard to establish a place in the side. NEAL-BULLEN, Alex CSFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor in development phase who is impressing with the Casey seniors. NEWTON, Ben MFC 7 games, 7 goals - one of the Demons' impressive midfield imports. PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - has come back with a vengeance in his last two games as a forward/ruckman. PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster. RILEY, Aidan MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 2 goals - spent most of the season so far in the VFL but impressed when he came on as a sub in his last game. SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - there were no second year blues for the youngster who was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out until the middle of next month. SPENCER, Jake MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 percent goals - grabbed his opportunity after some good form in the ruck at VFL level. STRETCH, Billy MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 2 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season. TERLICH, Dean CSFC 6 games, 1 goal - an injury interrupted pre season meant a late start and he has yet to break into AFL ranks this year. TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 1 goal - starting to show some signs as to why he was so sought after in his draft year. TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out indefinitely. TYSON, Dom MFC 7 games, 2 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and is currently out with a knee injury. VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 8 games, 3 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder. VINCE, Bernie MFC 7 games 3 goals - warming up in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason. VINEY, Jack MFC 2 games, 0 goals - it took a break in his foot to stop this young hard nut. WATTS, Jack MFC 7 games, 4 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - continues to be an enigma with fluctuating form lines. WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot. ONE MORE WEEK by The Oracle Driving home from last week's win over the Bulldogs, I was listening to the Port Adelaide v Richmond game and simply couldn't believe the pain that Port were suffering as they struggled to get among the goals against the Tigers. What the hell was happening with them? Was this the same team that monstered Hawthorn in the first half of their game a month earlier? I have absolutely no answer but I hope their current poor form persists for one more week and they allow Melbourne for the first time in four years to go back to back in the heart of the country.
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