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Post Match Discussion - Round 14


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JURRASIC WORLD by JVM

It seems to me that one of Melbourne's selectors must have taken the kids to the movies during the week, stumbled into a screening of Jurassic World and assumed that the Top End of Australia was not dissimilar to the fictional island of Isla Nublar, where the film is set. Said selector must have been so impressed by the havoc those pre-historic creatures played with the punters who turned up at that dinosaur theme park that he convinced the others that the same sort of caper could succeed on Saturday night in Darwin.

Fat chance.

I don't know what it is about these sojourns to the Northern Territory but the Demons are getting things terribly wrong every time they play there. At their last meeting against Port Adelaide in Alice Springs back in May, the problem was that they stopped running after 1½ quarters which turned a possible victory into a disastrous loss. This time round in the warmish but not oppressive conditions of Darwin, they simply didn't run at all and I put this down to the fact that the team simply had insufficient runners and too much of the lumbering big men to match it against a team that moves the ball very well out of defence and mostly with plenty of hard, gut running.

At times, it was scary; just looking at Melbourne's forward line with all of those dinosaurs standing there knowing that the West Coast defenders had the mobility and run to take the ball away on the majority of occasions when the ball was delivered (often sloppily) into the Melbourne attacking zones. Compare and contrast with the set up when the ball came down to the opposite end of the ground.

Melbourne's troubles started early. They had already lost one creative mover before the game in Heritier Lumumba so it didn't help when last week's hero Angus Brayshaw crashed head-first into an opponent's hip and had to be subbed off.

When someone at Melbourne is omitted with "leg" next to their name having not been previously noted on the injury list, it could mean anything between one week or a lifetime out of the team. Losing Brayshaw so early as well as Lumumba was a crushing blow because it had one less set of fresh legs available when the heat of the night started to take its toll late in the third term. It was no coincidence then that the Eagles soared at that very time and went on to outscore Melbourne by 40 points to six in the last quarter.

Earlier, at the same time as we saw Brayshaw depart, Melbourne was being beaten in the ruck and at the stoppages and was missing some easy chances to score goals. Jesse Hogan hit the post with his first shot for goal and shanked his second. After that the forward opportunities dried up for him until late in the game and he did his best work further afield. The upshot was that a "coodabeen" lead at quarter time was in fact a deficit of three goals at the first break and whilst Melbourne fought valiantly until late in the third quarter (at one stage in midterm there were only two goals between the teams), the lack of run and the turnovers would take their toll - and they did. Not even a half time swim could save the team from going into melt down.

melt.jpeg

Credit as always goes to the skipper Nathan Jones who worked tirelessly to set the example, capably assisted by Bernie Vince and Jack Viney and the efforts of Jeff Garlett, Neville Jetta and Brayshaw's replacement in Alex Neal-Bullen but in the end, the opposition was simply too hot and two fast for a team that moved like the now extinct reptiles of the early days of the planet.

Melbourne 2.4.16 5.5.35 8.6.54 9.6.60

West Coast 5.4.34 7.8.50 10.14.74 16.18.114

Goals

Melbourne Dawes Neal-Bullen 2 Garlett Hogan Spencer Tyson Viney

West Coast Darling 5 Cripps Kennedy Shuey 2 Hill LeCras McGovern Sheed Sinclair

Best

Melbourne Vince N Jones Garlett Viney Tyson Watts

West Coast Darling Gaff Sheed Masten Naitanui Wellingham Kennedy

Changes

Melbourne Nil

West Coast Nil

Injuries

Melbourne Angus Brayshaw (head/neck).

West Coast Nil

Substitutions

Melbourne Angus Brayshaw (head/neck) replaced by Alex Neal-Bullen in the first quarter

West Coast Liam Duggan by Scott Selwood in the third quarter

Reports

Melbourne Nil

West Coast Nil

Umpires Schmitt Hosking Deboy

Official Crowd 11,873 at TIO Stadium

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If nothing else, this week has reminded me that life's too short to waste getting upset about footy. Can't be bothered kicking the cat tonight, going to go tell my family I love them instead as the boys pay their respects. Night all.

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We are nowhere near good enough

But a man lost his life this week, so I'm keeping our "back to ordinary programming" in perspective

Not just one but anyhoo ....

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Light week on the track this week.

Hopefully Brayshaw comes up.

JKH to come in along with Harmes.

We rebound and win our first game following a Darwin match next week.

Nothing more to be said about tonight.

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Skills, turnovers. Got a bit to go, but the kids are holding up OK. Alongside us, Eagles look incredibly well-drilled (has been pointed out already).

Last quarter blow-out not ideal, but we're just a bit under-manned. Losing Bradshaw didn't help.

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The loss of Lumumba before the game and then Brayshaw in the opening minutes was telling.

We lost two players who can move the ball through the lines quickly ... and by having one to use our sub early, we were always going to be behind in our energy levels at the end.

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Make no mistake, WC are a very good team. The number of times they streamed out of the centre to hit a fwd target was incredible.

Melb. need another Jeff Garlett and a bit more class in the midfield. They also need McDonald to rediscover some form, Dunn to do more and get rid of M Jones and Bail.

Edited by dee-tox
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Reasonable first three quarters, disappointing last quarter.

I really hope Brayshaw isn't too badly hurt because we have 3 winnable games coming up and we need him out there.

I like the work of Stretch and ANB and Watts looks a totally different player of late.

Clearly Bail, Spencer and Matt Jones aren't the answer. But we knew that already.

Games in Darwin are dead set boring to watch.

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Tyson is right off at the moment. So slow.

Bail is the worst footballer to ever play at te MFC. He is closely followed by Matt Jones.

Howe is a one trick pony.

Hogan ha a stinker and should not be allowed to extend his break again. His head was not in the gane and he looked like a bloke who had missed a month of footy.

Dunn's free/50m at the start of last quarter was the momentum sucker. He constantly does one stupid thing a week that ends up being so costly.

Tom McDonalds form has dropped right off. He was smashed tonight and constantly behind his man

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We were outrun and outclassed which is really just where the two sides are at. Not helped by playing one too tall and using the sub so early.

Brayshaw played for 15 seconds and had one more tackle than Howe. Howe is a lazy disgrace of a footballer and I have no interest seeing him at Melbourne next year. Take whatever you can get.

Time to ship Bail and Jones out of the side. They just make too many errors to justify any role they play.

Edited by big_red_fire_engine
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West Coast finished last in 2010. Bounced back and had two good seasons, then were mid-range in 2013, 2014. They have somehow built a top-4 squad after one year of bottoming out. It has taken us 9 seasons of being at the bottom to start *looking* like a *decent* (at best) side. Who the hell built this squad? Who drafted Bail, Jones, Toumpas, Howe? They are all VFL players and massive liabilities. Why does Dunn have the brain fades of a 10-gamer when he's been playing for 10 years?

Our good is very good but our bad is still bottom-2 quality. I don't know how long it's going to take but the Geelong win was an anomaly, a bit like the Adelaide win last year.

On tonight's performance I'm still of the belief we are a legitimate chance to finish last. Throw in the loss against the Saints, GC's smashing of North, Carlton's improved play. Our worst is probably the worst in the league. If we have an off day, we lose. Some teams have an off day and still find a way to win.

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