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Post Match Discussion - Round 16

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NATURAL SELECTION by The Oracle

Melbourne's third venture for the year into the Northern Territory has again ended in pain.

All three matches, starting with a NAB Challenge game against Geelong in Alice Springs on 28 February and finishing with the Round 16 fixture against Fremantle in Darwin were defeats. The first saw an injury to key forward hopeful Jesse Hogan that severely curtailed the start of what is hoped to be a stellar career, the second (against Port Adelaide) showed hope of brighter things to come and the third was a major reality check that demonstrated how far the club must go to reach the dream of a finals appearance.

Fittingly, in a place named after the great English naturalist whose evolutionary theory gave rise to the phrase "survival of the fittest", the two combatants, Melbourne and Fremantle played out their game as a demonstration of Darwinian theory.

It doesn't really matter if the coach is Mark Neeld, Paul Roos or Ross Lyon. The rigours of learning the defensive style can be strength sapping from both a physical and mental perspective. The stronger, more experienced and classier sides will wear the other down and once that other's energy reserves are low it will pounce, strike and cut it down mercilessly as we saw with Fremantle. In this game, Melbourne barely lasted a quarter and a half.

Last year's grand finallist has grasped the importance of finishing high in the top four and the previous evening's result with Hawthorn saw the doors open. Even without Pavlich and Hill, the Dockers were never going to let the opportunity out of their grasp.

And, in the broader meaning of the word "fittest" (which covers more than simply the physical sense but all attributes required to be successful in the sport), that is exactly what they were - the fittest.

So they wore the Demons out in the first half and crushed them in the second. The lesson for Melbourne is that having wasted substantial and significant opportunities in drafting and trading over the past decade, it needs to be right on the mark when the next round takes place. The defence looks solid but will possibly lose one of its number soon, the midfield is improving but still has a way to go and the forward line ... well, just take a look at the scoreboard.

At least one third to one half of the current list fails to come up to the standard by which we require players to be defined as "the fittest". The club must discover and develop its own species like Nathan Fyfes if it is to find its way to the top echelons and therefore many on the current list be be gone before the Demons next challenge for a finals berth.

Melbourne0.2.2 1.5.11 3.7.25 4.10.34

Fremantle 2.1.13 6.3.39 13.5.83 15.7.97

Goals

Melbourne Bail Dawes Jamar Kent

Fremantle Ballantyne 3 Clarke Mzungu D Pearce 2 Barlow Mayne Neale Sandilands Suban Sutcliffe

Best

Melbourne McDonald M Jones Vince N Jones Tyson Frawley

Fremantle Fyfe Barlow Neale Ibbotson Muzungu Suban

Injuries

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Clancee Pearce

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Matthew Pavlich by Michael Apeness

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Nil

Umpires Jeff Dalgleish, Dean Margetts, Jordan Bannister.

Crowd 9,290 at TIO Stadium Darwin

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So frustrating. We lapsed in concentration late in the second quarter, and regressed to "Old Melbourne" in the third. It reminded me how much I bloody hate seeing opposition get easy goals, but it's also not something I've seen all that much of this year.

As at mid last quarter, they'd scored 8.2.50 from our turnovers. The final margin was 53 points. The number of errors we make is unbelievable. We desperately need an injection of some class.

Looking forward to seeing everyone single out Grimes as if he was the only one to make an error.

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9,290 is tonight's crowd in Darwin. not bad.

YOu have to remember we are playing a top 4 team who were runners up last year. I mean we cant even beat the dogs or stkilda. Why would you think we would beat Freo? If we were 10-4 instead of the other way it would look more respectable.

If in a year we are still doing this then we can worry more.

Plus stupid port lost by 2 points to the bummers because they cant kick straight. what a crap night

By the way we have dropped a spot on the ladder. Now under GWS.

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Thinking that our season is already over. Too much too early, and we're being exposed as a poor list of players again.

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Gee the more I think about it the more Frawley walking for a first round compo looks good. We do need some extra mids...

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Not sure if it's equally true of our game, but commentary was the worst we've had this year.

We're getting the B-team.

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Thinking that our season is already over. Too much too early, and we're being exposed as a poor list of players again.

You mean we're not going to make the finals? :(

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Does anyone think we will ever make the finals as long as we are playing home games in Darwin?

We need to be playing Freo (and anyone else) at the MCG

Im not saying tonights result would have been different, theyd have flogged us at the MCG too, but for a team that needs to win desperately after years of losing we need to give ourselves have the best chance to win. We cant be playing home games at neutral venues. Same with Alice Springs

2 games lost to the MCG and played in the Northern Territory

Edited by hogans_heroes
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Week in, week out, it's the poor decisions and turnovers that are killing us.

Hard to see where to go in the short term, hard skills to teach outside of actual games.

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Does anyone think we will ever make the finals as long as we are playing home games in Darwin?

We need to be playing Freo (and anyone else) at the MCG

Im not saying tonights result would have been different, theyd havenflogged us at the MCG too, but for a team that needs to win and have the best chance to win we cant be playing home games at neutral venues. Same with Alice Springs

2 games lost to the MCG and played in the Northern Territory

It's not the difference between us winning and losing, so it's a non-factor. It's a 1%er when we're ignoring the 100%er: we don't give ourselves much chance of winning when we play like arse.

Freo also played in Darwin tonight and I suspect they might make the finals.

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Roos and assistants like Stone and Allison have implanted on the Swans a game style and team first ethos that has stood the test of time and premierships and has had an obvious influence on Ross Lyon at St Kilda and Fremantle.

We need more talent. For example we are at least a rotation of mids short. They may come from draft picks, trades or development of currently listed players. Our recruiting has undoubtedly improved since Prendergast departed. That has to continue. Combine that talent with a coaching panel we and the players can finally place their trust in and we should improve.

Edited by demoniac
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Our effort was there aside from 10 minute lapses in the second and third quarters. We just need class mids that can run all game. We again played too tall forward.

Nowhere near as bad as the panic stations that will occur in this thread. We just need to continue to turn over the list and find players that will make the most of the ball when we have it.

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Grimes should be made to walk back to Melbourne. You can't be captain and consistently make so many skill errors. Ridiculous.

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Does anyone think we will ever make the finals as long as we are playing home games in Darwin?

We need to be playing Freo (and anyone else) at the MCG

Im not saying tonights result would have been different, theyd have flogged us at the MCG too, but for a team that needs to win desperately after years of losing we need to give ourselves have the best chance to win. We cant be playing home games at neutral venues. Same with Alice Springs

2 games lost to the MCG and played in the Northern Territory

Never going to happen....too much debt and too many residual fvckups in admin, business models and recruiting.

Having said that, a 33% improvement on the last two meetings! but we're still an ordinary list.

We need: one big forward...Hogan

: one crumber.....JKH

: three big bodied midfielders...???

: one big backman....Chip?

No more draft picks, there's no time.

Edited by jumbo returns
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What can you say, we were bad they were good, we've got a long, long way to go, they are almost there.

Their attack on the ball was sensational tonight, I had hoped that Howe might turn out to be our version of Fyfe but that's not going to happen.

We are still a bottom 4 side, simple as that.

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Grimes should be made to walk back to Melbourne. You can't be captain and consistently make so many skill errors. Ridiculous.

You win a prize for being the first one. Congratulations.

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Grimes should be made to walk back to Melbourne. You can't be captain and consistently make so many skill errors. Ridiculous.

Because a long work improve his skill?

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Turnovers r killing us. I think they scored 50 odd points from our turnovers.

Until we minimise these we are going to be chasing tail.

Wouldn't hurt if we could kick our goals when the opportunity presents. Dawes and Grimes just to name two.

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So frustrating. We lapsed in concentration late in the second quarter, and regressed to "Old Melbourne" in the third. It reminded me how much I bloody hate seeing opposition get easy goals, but it's also not something I've seen all that much of this year.

As at mid last quarter, they'd scored 8.2.50 from our turnovers. The final margin was 53 points. The number of errors we make is unbelievable. We desperately need an injection of some class.

Looking forward to seeing everyone single out Grimes as if he was the only one to make an error.

Until we an get some footballers who can use the ball well out of defence were going to struggle and turnovers will kill us. I've said it in previous threads but have been shot down, we need good kicks coming out of our backline. Guys like grimes, garland, Howe, Terlich are not good kicks

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