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ENCOURAGING OR JUST ANOTHER DEFEAT? by JVM

It was a strange game. After 11 minutes, the Sydney Swans had booted four of the game's first five goals and after that the two sides went goal for goal through to the end. Of course, the reigning premiers dominated the clearances at centre bounces and at stoppages around the ground and they went through passages (particularly in the second term where their kicking for goal was atrocious) but in the context of this year's results, a 31 point loss at the hands of such quality opposition was almost a win for the Demons.

The Swans' poor kicking for goal was offset by some gift goals courtesy of the men in blue and this leads me to wonder whether the outcome was an encouraging result or just another defeat.

Melbourne's well documented midfield deficiencies were exposed once again, this time against one of the best units in the business. Kennedy, McVeigh, Hannebery and K Jack were outstanding whereas the Demons' best on baller Nathan Jones, whilst still workmanlike, was pretty well covered. Mumford shaded Max Gawn in the ruck duels but the young emerging Demon worked hard around the ground where his contribution was more than useful.

The pleasing part was that although comprehensively beaten in the game's engine room, Melbourne did well everywhere else. James Frawley was strong in defence until injured and the likes of Dean Terlich, Colin Garland and Tom McDonald more than held their own. Mitch Clisby, despite giving away that controversial goal with the non kick out that went wrong, continues to impress in the early days of his career.

Jack Fitzpatrick, played his best game yet for the club up forward to finish with three goals. He presented well, marked cleanly and gave some good run at ground level. Jeremy Howe booted two, as did Chris Dawes and all that was needed to make it an even closer contest was a forward line crumber to milk a few sucker free kicks and score opportunist goals in the same vein as Sydney's B. Jack.

Speaking of free kicks that end up in goals, there were a few rippers today that weren't paid which ended up in goals for the Swans. The most glaring was the holding the ball decision not paid against Tippett during the last quarter, that gave McVeigh a stolen goal that seemed to snuff out any resistance left in the Demons.

There's definitely more spirit in the players. It was good to see the return of Jack Grimes. His co-skipper Jack Trengove is slowly working his way back to form and the fact that youngsters like Jimmy Toumpas, Dean Kent and Clisby are getting games into their young legs all add up to the fact that things are more encouraging and that it wasn't just another defeat.

Melbourne 3.1.19 5.2.32 8.5.53 13.7.85

Sydney Swans 5.3.33 9.13.67 13.18.96 16.20.116

Goals

Melbourne Fitzpatrick 3 Dawes Howe Watts 2 Davey N Jones Nicholson Trengove

Sydney Swans B Jack 4 Bird Tippett 2 Everitt K Jack Lamb McVeigh Mitchell O'Keefe Parker Pyke

Best

MelbourneTerlich Fitzpatrick N Jones Trengove McDonald Gawn

Sydney Swans K Jack O'Keefe Kennedy Mitchell McVeigh Bird B Jack

Injuries

Melbourne Frawley (hamstring tightness)

Sydney Swans Reid (quad)

Changes

MelbourneNil

SydneyNil

Reports

MelbourneNil

SydneyNil

Umpires Hay, Harris, Mollison

Official crowd 26,216 at the MCG

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Encouraging.

under Neeld that would have been a guaranteed 100+ point loss.

When we went to 50 points down it could have let the floodgates open.

But we fought back, and showed some pride.

baby steps.

Edited by hogans_heroes
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Whilst a loss is a loss is a loss, the guys do seem to be developing and learning under NC.

After the huge Q4 fadeout last week we actually won the last Q this week - this IS progress.

I could only listen to the game but it seems that there is some flair that we haven't seen the last couple of years.

Well done Craig and team.

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The umpiring was atrocious but was made up by sydney's missing a number of sitters.

Totally unlike a Neeld coached effort. They only went into their shells late in the third qrtr. Craig changed that attitude at 3/4 time.

It's like watching a different team.

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HUGE IMPROVEMENT

I have said it before but for the first time in a LONG time i feel we have a real future.

I have not been this confident in about 6.5yrs.

Its a very nice feeling tbh

Add a few more MIDS and whacko there we go.

Cant wait.

GO DEMONS

PS the umps can GAGF.

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Good to see players have been given some time to develop at senior level, finally Fitzy gets more than one game in a row and is showing something. Kent has done some good and some not so good but this time is invaluable for him and his development, Watts is stepping up, pity that Sammy Blease is injured, sooner he is back up to see out the rest of the year at AFL level and we will have a player.

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At the start of the season DL's wanted wins against the lower teams and honourable losses to the top teams. A 5 goal loss to the reigning premiership is a good result. A win against the Dogs shows we have more talent

A loss like this will attract a coach, who will see there is hope with a few more players in the team

Paul Roos, this team has talent particularly when we have big outs due to injury and important players who did not have a pre season. SIGN UP AS COACH!

We are better than the dgs and the saints. We could have a season like GC with the right people in place next season. Onward and upward from here on IMO

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Considering their midfield dominance, the appalling umpiring and the loss of Chip it is difficult to work out how we only went down by 31.

Think we have past rock bottom, but have thought that on about 7 different occasions over the past two years

Gotta be happy about keeping at it right till the end of the match

The Swans work from stoppages and clean hands are amazing

The fox commentators a couple of minutes prior to the end of the game were saying we should look for a midfielder during the trade period. Sharp

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