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RESURRECTION by Whispering Jack

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Albert Einstein once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This is in many ways the story of the Melbourne Football Club which has lurched from failure to failure in the quest to resurrect itself over the past decade.

Last night we saw a touch of sanity return to herald the dawn of a new era as almost every cog in the Paul Roos machine worked bravely to undermine Richmond's hopes and to inspire an upset 32-point victory on the hallowed turf of the MCG as the football world honoured bravery in a different time and a different part of the world.

To be clear, the Demons won this game because, on a night that required a hard, tough, relentless brand of football they were harder, tougher and more relentless than the Tigers. They bored in for the ball, they tackled and hustled and wanted to win more than the enemy and when the rain came in the third quarter, they redoubled their efforts under the leadership and the example of their hard nosed captain.

Nathan Jones is not your handsome and elegant leader in the mould of his counterpart but as usual, he was both fearless and fearsome and he broke the spirit of the Tigers crashing through packs with team lifting efforts such as his inspirational goal at the nineteen minute mark of the third quarter which snuffed out the opposition resistance for the night.

There was no repetition of the past when he was often forced to do it all on his own. Last night Jones was not alone - he had an entire battalion fighting with him tooth and nail. Many of his foot soldiers were new to the campaign at the club, introduced in the short space of time that Roos has been at the helm.

The 58,175 people at the MCG were awed by the performance of a player in only his fourth AFL game who is surely the most exciting young key forward in the game. From his first contest in early proceedings, Jesse Hogan brushed aside a seasoned opponent in Alex Rance and strode with confidence on the stage bustling and crashing through packs and putting the fear of god through the minds of anyone in his vicinity who wore the yellow and black. He capped off the game with a big contested pack mark in the last quarter, following it up with a straight shot from the boundary and the celebrations were on for young and old.

Other youngsters making their marks in the early days of their careers are Christian Salem and Angus Brayshaw while another fourth gamer in mature recruit Aaron vandenBerg tackled and harassed the Tigers in the best game of his short career. Viv Michie also had a stunning breakout game after coming on midway through the second term and picking up 19 touches and Ben Newton made a solid if not spectacular contribution.

Everywhere you looked, there were new age Demons introduced under the Roos regime causing havoc. Bernie Vince took a second scalp in successive weeks, Dom Tyson linked up beautifully, Daniel Cross put in his usual workmanlike effort, Jeff Garlett and Jay Kennedy-Harris were crumbing and running all over the forward fifty and beyond and Heritier Lumumba was sheer excitement wherever he roamed the ground.

A couple of big men in Mark Jamar and Chris Dawes were also very handy on the night and of course, when you keep your opposition down to just six goals (and that was just about unthinkable two years ago) then kudos must go to your defence. Tom McDonald did the job on Jack Riewoldt and he had great support from Col Garland, Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Salem and, until enervated by his suspected hamstring injury, Nev Jetta, another player whose career has been revived in the past year or so.

So the resurrection continues in much the same way as it does in nations after wars end, slowly and stolidly until the work is completed and one day you suddenly wake up fully restored.

Melbourne 4.2.26 6.5.41 10.9.69 12.11.83

Richmond 3.5.23 5.9.39 6.13.49 6.15.51

Goals

Melbourne Dawes Garlett Hogan 2 Brayshaw N Jones Kennedy-Harris vandenBerg Vince Watts

Richmond Edwards 2 Arnot Gordon Griffiths Hunt

Best

Melbourne N Jones Hogan Vandenberg T McDonald Vince Tyson

Richmond Edwards Miles Ellis Maric Cotchin Vlastuin

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Richmond Nil

Injuries

Melbourne Jetta (concussion) Kent (hamstring)

Richmond Drummond (knee) Griffiths (calf)

Substitutions

Melbourne Viv Michie replaced Dean Kent in the second quarter

Richmond Matt McDonough replaced Nathan Drummond in the second quarter

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Richmond Nil

Umpires Scott Jeffery Luke Farmer David Harris

Official crowd 58,175 at the MCG

Demons defeat Tigers in the wet

FOOTNOTE: I have no inclination to comment on the standard of officiating but think it would be remiss to omit this photograph of the little fella that sat quietly behind me for much of the game and then escorted the umpires home after it was all over.

eyedog.jpeg

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WJ - I'm joining the ranks of the Demonland pedants. Enervated doesn't mean what you meant re Jetta - quite the opposite.

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Beautiful piece Jack.

Umpire Farmer should never grace an AFL ground again. We have suffered his incompetence more than once this year, and it needs to be nipped in the bud!

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