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THE WRITING ON THE WALL

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THE WRITING ON THE WALL by Grapeviney

At some point between Melbourne's unexpected victory over the Bombers on a wintry Saturday night last month, and quarter time against expansion team GWS a few weeks later, Demons supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that their team might purge their miserable 2012 season opening loss to the Lions with a victory in the return match in Brisbane on Sunday.

Sure, the Demons' 2-10 win-loss ratio heading in to the Brisbane game was nothing to write home about, but there were increasing signs that Mark Neeld's charges were starting to adapt to the new coach's game-plan and vision.

Some of that optimism had dissipated in the wake of Melbourne's 78-point thumping of the Giants, when the club learned of the season-ending foot injury to gun recruit Mitch Clark, who before yesterday's game had bagged an admirable 25 per cent of the Demons' goals in season 2012.

But with the movement of Colin Garland and Jared Rivers to the forward line paying dividends, there seemed to be cause for hope even with Clark sidelined.

Hope turned to dismay, however, before the Lions game, with news that Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones were late withdrawals, and any chance that the Demons had of causing an upset disappeared in the opening minutes of the match, when improving defender Tom McDonald copped a knee to the abdomen and had to be hospitalised with a suspected punctured lung.

In isolation, Melbourne might have been able to handle these setbacks, but taken together, the side was seriously undermined whichever way Neeld chose to position his troops.

To his credit, the coach didn't panic when McDonald went down, and while it left an undersized Watts matched up against the Lions' man-mountain in Brown for a short time, Neeld's faith in the starting line-up seemed to pay dividends when the Demons drew within a point of the home side late in the first quarter.

But the writing was on the wall, even in that first term. While Melbourne could only manage to score goals best described as opportunistic, Brisbane had little trouble finding avenues forward, and two late goals to Brown saw the home side slip away to a handy lead that would only increase as the day wore on.

From there, it was only a matter of filling in the details. Melbourne contested the hard ball well, and there was little to separate the two sides in the clearances, inside-50's, and contested possessions, but the Demons failed to register a major in the second term and could only manage a solitary goal in the third as Brisbane moved the ball with ease from half back to set up scoring chances in their forward 50.

In contrast, the Demons struggled – as they have for much of the year - to run and spread and move the ball with speed, and they regularly broke down at half forward. Stef Martin made a triumphant return to senior football, displaying the form which saw him fill in so successfully for an injured Jamar last year, and Joel Macdonald answered his many critics by complementing his usual hardness at the ball with an 88-per cent disposal efficiency.

Jeremy Howe continued to show why he is one of the more promising names on the club's list, and Jordie McKenzie played the rugged, no-nonsense type of game MFC supporters have come to expect from him.

With Melbourne facing the Tigers – a team with much to play for and an impressive midfield – this week, it's going to take an effort of Herculean proportions if the Demons are to return to the winner's circle

Melbourne 3.6.24 3.8.26 4.11.35 8.13.61

Brisbane Lions 6.1.37 9.60 13.11.89  18.14.122

Goals

Melbourne Blease 2 Bail Bate Garland  Howe McKenzie Sylvia

Brisbane Lions Brown 4 Hanley McGrath 3 Green 2 Bewick Black  Merrett Polec Redden Zorko

Best 

Melbourne Howe Macdonald Sylvia Blease Martin Watts

Brisbane Lions Rich Brown Black Rockliff Harwood Hanley

Injuries

Melbourne Tom McDonald (lung)

Brisbane Lions McGrath (hamstring)

Changes

Melbourne Mark Jamar and Nathan Jones replaced in the selected side by Jake Spencer and Sam Blease

Brisbane Lions Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Lions Nil

Umpires Kamolins Jennings Mollison

Crowd 22,114, at Gabba

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What is there to talk about?

Players sucked.

Coaching sucked.

Injuries sucked.

Overall effort sucked.

The end.

Think the "changes for next week" thread is where it's at now

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Stuie, given the late withdrawals I thought we showed a little overall. Loved Blease's game

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What is there to talk about?

Players sucked.

Coaching sucked.

Injuries sucked.

Overall effort sucked.

The end.

Think the "changes for next week" thread is where it's at now

So we sucked?

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Stuie, given the late withdrawals I thought we showed a little overall. Loved Blease's game

I had very low expectations given the ins and outs, but they still managed to exceed them somehow

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Guest KingDingAling

I just want to know, why was Blease a sub?

I read into it that he is GWS bound.

I hope GC come last, to prevent GWS having any upper hand in a Blease trade, preventing the walkout threat.

I tell you what, I dont trust the GWS, I dont trust Scully and considering Blease is his best mate and was our sub,

when no way in hell he should be - make of it what you will.

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I just want to know, why was Blease a sub?

I read into it that he is GWS bound.

I hope GC come last, to prevent GWS having any upper hand in a Blease trade, preventing the walkout threat.

I tell you what, I dont trust the GWS, I dont trust Scully and considering Blease is his best mate and was our sub,

when no way in hell he should be - make of it what you will.

And he wasn't even going to play, was an emergency, was only because Jones was a late withdrawal that he came in

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Players sucked.

Coaching sucked.

Injuries sucked.

Thanks for the eloquently put, comprehensive and in-depth summary. The board just wouldn't be the same without meaningful contributions like this.

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Today was like watching a replay of round 1. We got out run on all occasions from the HBF. Clearly indicates to me that we must draft one and quicksmart, one who can kick, is quick but can take a man, much like Hanley.

The injury to TMac killed the defensive structures and the game was gone from there. A lot more accuracy and reward for effort in the opening stanza and it may have been a different outcome but oh well, look to next week's thumping :(

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At the risk of being shouted down, I think there's a core group of players here that are starting to come on. Remember that there were significant outs, Black was somehow reprieved, Clarke is out and they got a pretty good run from the ump.

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I just want to know, why was Blease a sub?

I read into it that he is GWS bound.

I hope GC come last, to prevent GWS having any upper hand in a Blease trade, preventing the walkout threat.

I tell you what, I dont trust the GWS, I dont trust Scully and considering Blease is his best mate and was our sub,

when no way in hell he should be - make of it what you will.

It may be MFCSS, but I reckon he's gone. I will apologise if I'm wrong and not gloat if I'm right. He's got the same unsmiling glumness as HWFUO.

Really hope I'm wrong.

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Thanks for the eloquently put, comprehensive and in-depth summary. The board just wouldn't be the same without meaningful contributions like this.

Don't see the point in going further into today. Gave it about as much time, effort, and thought as it was worth.

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Well, that was fun.

It's amazing how easy it is to replace your best players...

Clark, Jones, and Jamar. Then Davey's limited presence that helped in the forward line was gone (the Lions had 42 'Rebounds from 50' from our 54 entries!!), and then McDonald promise was, well, broken...

This left our forward line with midfield idiots - Magner, Moloney, etc and lumbering backs who don't do simple things like manning up on loose men in front of them and ALL RUNNING TO THE SAME SPACE IN THE FORWARD LINE (angry sigh).

Anyway, the Lions are better than we all wanted to think they are and we are on struggle street without Clark to give our forward line some structure (we had 4 more Inside 50s!!). He is a absolute forward and I am very happy that we have him.

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It may be MFCSS, but I reckon he's gone. I will apologise if I'm wrong and not gloat if I'm right. He's got the same unsmiling glumness as HWFUO.

Really hope I'm wrong.

I think thats just his style, looked the same last year. So was he supposed to go last year? Cos its what your statement leans towards.....

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I think Cook must be blooded next week. Is the only REAL forward left on the list that is fit and plays KPF so bring him in I say!

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We just looked so slow.

And when did that differ at any other time this year?

Edited by DEELIRIOUS

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Time for Cook to come in, let's see what he can do. I know he didn't have a big one yesterday but he did kick a couple.

Blease needs to be developed in the ones and not at Casey, he has class and pace that is sadly lacking at the club. Give him the rest of the year and let the coaches ride him where they can see him, not push him back to Casey.

Gysberts will give us much more in the middle than our dumb duo of Silvia and Moloney, for their size neither of them are inside players, they don't go hard and low enough and they don't make good decisions with the ball. I know Col had a bit of it today but that kick into the forward line in the last quarter where we had no one sums up the way he plays, see ball, sometimes get ball, kick ball where I am looking (not looking where to kick the ball).

Time for Garland and or Rivers to go back, keep in mind that we can swing them forward in a game to create a spark but not start them there as a regular thing.

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Yes were undermanned from the start but it was a bland effort nonetheless. Blease showed a bit and Tapscott and Magna provided some needed aggro but overall nothing to promote optimism.

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Moloney has to be dropped for Gysberts. He was so lazy today. There was a Black goal in the 2nd quarter where he was unmanned for about 15 secs before he marked a pass and Brent stood about 25 meters away just pointing at him - shadow of former self.

Trengove is as slow as a wet week. If it's OP, give him a months rest as adds nothing to the side currently - reminds me of Luke Ball 5 years ago.

Frawley needs a rocket.

Blease needs to start every week - Coach needs to look at what he can do rather than not do.

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I just want to know, why was Blease a sub?

I read into it that he is GWS bound.

I hope GC come last, to prevent GWS having any upper hand in a Blease trade, preventing the walkout threat.

I tell you what, I dont trust the GWS, I dont trust Scully and considering Blease is his best mate and was our sub,

when no way in hell he should be - make of it what you will.

GWS do have us over a bit of a barrel. But we can still show some Balls.

Time WYL tell !

A new, big forward anyone?

T-t-t-ra-v.....nope can't say it.

Ah, your cloking your real feelings, shirley?

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blease was played forward all day but i thought we could have used his pace on the wings as he gives us great drive. leave him in the teasm for the rest of the year. why the [censored] do they play magner as a defencive forward when we recruited him as an on baller for frig sake!

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61 pt loss with a thrown together second string rabble come regulars.

In reality it really isnt that bad. Im wondering why the Lions didnt smash us by more than a 100... But they didnt.

Everyone is so quick to get the knives out for Neeld but I think he was quite smart today in a fashion. I know not everyone will see it that way.

Im not about to slash a wrist . Yes some players' shortcomings were shown...and good. A few did have a crack, a couple of others went and earnt their possessions. Some stood flat footed. This is all the stuff Neeld wants to see.. Who does what , where and when.

Games like this is nothing about this season its all just prep and homework for the next..

Look beyond the fence people.

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blease was played forward all day but i thought we could have used his pace on the wings as he gives us great drive. leave him in the teasm for the rest of the year. why the [censored] do they play magner as a defencive forward when we recruited him as an on baller for frig sake!

I think Magner is better when he is 2nd to the ball. He cannot get any space when he gets it 1st.

It's a pity Howe can't kick it to himself. He'd be handy marking it on the HBF on kick-outs and then spotting himself up on the HFF.

Unfortunately, from all reports, nobody put their hand up at Casey yesterday.

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