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PLAYING TEAMS INTO FORM by The Oracle

Melbourne has made it a habit of late to play its opponents into form. The Brisbane Lions are a case in point.

I watched most of their game last week against North Melbourne and they were pathetic. They looked sluggish, ran to the wrong places when they did run and were outplayed by superior opposition. By a strange quirk of the draw they sit ahead of the Kangaroos on the AFL ladder today but I doubt whether that will last.

But enough of that game. Back home at the Gabba they weathered Melbourne's efforts in the first quarter when the teams were on equal terms at the first break and were only a goal in front by half time but they were never going to lose. By then, it was clear that they had worked their way back into form by a team that simply appeared unable or unwilling enough to put in the hard work and the hard yards necessary to get on top in a game.

Brisbane was leading the game significantly in most of the key indicators and in particular the disposal count where it was led by former Demon best and fairest Brent Moloney who put into the game significantly more effort than he had appeared to do at any time under coach Mark Neeld last year when he was at Melbourne. At least he was able to momentarily recapture the old combination of the Russian tapping the ball to Beamer in the middle although it wasn't to the effect intended back in the good old days when they dominated every second week. With Nathan Jones pretty well covered in the midfield, Melbourne struggled while the Lions prospered even without Simon Black and Daniel Rich.

When things are going bad, they really go bad and things went pear shaped in the third quarter when the Lions inevitably got on top and the hapless Demons committed coach killing errors to let the home side effortlessly stride to a five goal buffer which they kept to the end.

The sad part from my point of view is that, although the mature age newcomers like Matt Jones and Dean Terlich are being persevered with and doing well, there seems to be little improvement from the early twenty somethings and not much of an inclination to go with a youth policy. Injuries to Clark and Dawes don't help either as the club lurches into a never land of long term failure to improve.

Melbourne 5.3.33 7.5.47 10.7.67 14.10.94

Brisbane 5.3.33 7.11.53 13.14.92 17.20.122

Goals

Melbourne Gawn Howe Watts 2 Bail Davey Jamar Jones McKenzie Pedersen Rodan Tapscott

Brisbane Brown Leuenberger Zorko 3 Cornelius 2 Adcock Bewick Paparone Polkinghorne Redden Rockliff

Best

MelbourneB yrnes Sylvia Terlich Watts Garland Gawn

Brisbane Moloney Mayes Polkinghorne Leuenberger Zorko Rockliff

Injuries

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Nil

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Polkinghorne (Brisbane) for tripping Byrnes in the second quarter

Umpires McBurney Leppard Bannister

Crowd 19,018 at Gabba

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I only saw a half, but it looked like our skills were abysmal. There were a frightening number of passes that went straight to opponents under very little pressure.

There were a couple of positives even in this mess though. I loved seeing Tapscott hitting Zorko with that ripping bump. Watts was thrown forward and did a pretty decent job, held his contested marks and kicked well. Evans continues to improve.

That's about it.

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The big mistakes that hurt more than the rest...

Byrnes kicking into mark... Brisbane Goal!

McDonald dropped mark... Brisbane Goal!

The umpire paying ridiculous holding ball against Tierlich in goalsquare... Brisbane Goal!

Oh yes... Bail not hitting up Davey in goalsquare in last qtr... cost us a certain Goal!

Edited by waynewussell
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Imagine of these pea hearts only got paid on performance alone. Reckon they'd have a bloody go then.

Jones tagged out of game.

Trengrove struggling.

No spread.

No accountability.

Not one ounce of mongrel in the team.

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And 5-6 tackles in our fwd fifty in last qtr in one instance - not rewarded at all. Gets out and down the other end for goal! Poor umpiring!

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The big mistakes that hurt more than the rest...

Byrnes kicking into mark... Brisbane Goal!

McDonald dropped mark... Brisbane Goal!

The umpire paying ridiculous holding ball against Tierlich in goalsquare... Brisbane Goal!

Sylvia missing goal in last is what hurts. Kick that and the discussion on this site might have been very different.

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Imagine of these pea hearts only got paid on performance alone. Reckon they'd have a bloody go then.

Jones tagged out of game.

Trengrove struggling.

No spread.

No accountability.

Not one ounce of mongrel in the team.

Trengove struggling? if 10 tackle is struggling, i cant wait to see what top form is.

Trengove is on the improve after a very VERY limited pre season....

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from gameday thread.

I've taken this from one of my other posts. It is relevant here...

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this friggin list Neeld and co have put together.

Did anyone watch Pedersen today? Actually did anyone know that he was out there? Well he was. Played like a bloody donkey like has most of his career. Great drafting skills ...

Moloney B&F 2011, Neeld didn't play him 2012, so he leaves for the lions 2013, don't blame him.

I'm sick of this rubbish. The positive to the loss today is that it puts more pressure on Neeld, hopefully the club will react this week and finally get rid of him.

Pedro is recruited as a depth player to help out when a player gets injured. not to be the main go to man.

It was expected to have Clark & Dawes up forward, as the 2 key Talls, but surely you do realise that?????

you want the club to stay as it has been for the last 8 Yrs. going nowhere... but downhill as it did...

our list is not as bad is it appears right now.

we'll get the players back on the field... Dawes maybe this week... Gawn must play deep, & changing 2nd ruck because he still doesn't have his leep back yet, for a No 1 ruck duties.

whatever: watts has to go,,,, & Strauss, Dunn & Nicho must return,,, Or the Blues will wipe us off the map.

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Plenty of issues their to work on but to put it simply

centre clearances are not good enough, we won't win games of football getting smashed out of the middle

our defensive zone is a joke, i saw at least 10 easy marks inside 50

and we really missed clark and dawes today

ash mcgrath smashed us running out of half back far too easily

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Wah wah wah get your chins up you babies

No matter how stupid you are you can (hopefully) count, we have matched our opponent for 7 of the last 12 quarters. These are obviously small joys but clearly we have improved since the start of the year. 3 weeks ago we lost by 148, today by 28. Obviously some of you are so pathetic that this rate of improvement is not enough for you.

Today at 3:40 into the last qtr, a shot on goal from Sylvia would have reduced the margin to 13 points, he just missed. We matched them for goals in the 1st,2nd and 4th quarters, only losing by the 3 extra goals we conceded in the third. Obviously they kept fighting for most of the game unlike lying down they did for large periods of the first 3 rounds.

This was an interstate game without Clark or Dawes, I think it is fair to say those 2 are worth the 3 goals we lost by. Clearly the likes of Jones, McDonald, Trengove and Grimes were well below their best today. We KNOW they are better than that. We have Viney, Toumpas and Hogan to come into the side over the next few... and I don't know wtf is wrong with some people but Byrnes and Rodan were OK today. Just because you hate losing doesn't give you the right to blatently lie in order to slag off Neeld.

We are coming from a long way back, these needs to occur gradually, you can't just expect to improve 1000% from week to the next. Stop your bloody whingeing FCS.

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Trengove struggling? if 10 tackle is struggling, i cant wait to see what top form is.

Trengove is on the improve after a very VERY limited pre season....

DC he looks o he really struggling to get away a clean disposal even when he starts with 5 yards head start he is taken in and can't dispose of it. Limited preseason or no he looks slow and it is hurting us.

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Trengove struggling? if 10 tackle is struggling, i cant wait to see what top form is.

Trengove is on the improve after a very VERY limited pre season....

The problem is that Trengove does everything slowly: running, kicking, handpassing and thinking. He wasn't drafted at pick two to just lay tackles.

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Trengove struggling? if 10 tackle is struggling, i cant wait to see what top form is.

Trengove is on the improve after a very VERY limited pre season....

My opinion champ.. You're entitled to yours.

10 tackles is great but like watts I saw a lot of jogging just a few metres off the contest ball watching. He's not fit enough granted but I question his intensity right now.

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Wah wah wah get your chins up you babies

No matter how stupid you are you can (hopefully) count, we have matched our opponent for 7 of the last 12 quarters. These are obviously small joys but clearly we have improved since the start of the year. 3 weeks ago we lost by 148, today by 28. Obviously some of you are so pathetic that this rate of improvement is not enough for you.

Today at 3:40 into the last qtr, a shot on goal from Sylvia would have reduced the margin to 13 points, he just missed. We matched them for goals in the 1st,2nd and 4th quarters, only losing by the 3 extra goals we conceded in the third. Obviously they kept fighting for most of the game unlike lying down they did for large periods of the first 3 rounds.

This was an interstate game without Clark or Dawes, I think it is fair to say those 2 are worth the 3 goals we lost by. Clearly the likes of Jones, McDonald, Trengove and Grimes were well below their best today. We KNOW they are better than that. We have Viney, Toumpas and Hogan to come into the side over the next few... and I don't know wtf is wrong with some people but Byrnes and Rodan were OK today. Just because you hate losing doesn't give you the right to blatently lie in order to slag off Neeld.

We are coming from a long way back, these needs to occur gradually, you can't just expect to improve 1000% from week to the next. Stop your bloody whingeing FCS.

Its not the stats, its the will to win.

Just look at Port.

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Can't believe people are trashing Watts, he did ok 16 touches 2 goals both clutch kicks. I read on the gameday thread that he was running from end to end chasing hence the reason he looked stuffed everytime he had to chase. I agree with this, the delivery to him was woeful.

People seem to forget the reason Watts went back was to get him behind the ball so he can get his hands on it. If we had just 1 other person who could actually kick accurately out of defence we may be able to keep him forward. A forward line of Clark, Dawes, Gawn, Howe Watts & Byrnes / Tappy would be pretty handy.

For me the blame lays firmly with the midfielders, as EVERYONE here has stated we need 1 even better 2 "A" class mids. Throw the sink at everyone available in the off season...

Also the zone isn't working, we need to play man on man problem is our guys can't get back for the rebound.

I was proud of the boys for keeping it to 28 points, yes Brisbane kicked like they had broken feet but we kept at them.

Ins for next week: Dunn, Kent, Dawes, Clarke

Outs: Pedo, Tom McDonald (isn't the same player and can't kick), Davey, Rodan.

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