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DEE TRAIN DEE RAILED by George on The Outer

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After a promising start to the season with three NAB Challenge wins and another in the opening game of the season proper, everyone was lining up to board the Dee-train for 2016.

The trouble is that it barely got out of the station before the supporters realised there were too many passengers (again!) and no-one was driving the locomotive.  

When players start believing their own publicity, and take a win against a crippled side for granted, then it seems Melbourne will guarantee an insipid performance and lose the un-loseable. Against the Bombers, with a side made up of retired geriatrics and kids, the performance was simply putrid.

Gold Coast showed how to beat Essendon last week.  Come on hard, early and put a couple of quick goals on the board, and they will wilt.  No, our players came out half-hearted and expected someone, anyone to lift the tempo.  

Of course no-one did. And we continually gifted them goals with simply appalling turnovers.  This kept them in the game and built their hopes.  The end result was a foregone conclusion from the 1st quarter.

Just as equally disappointing was the lack of response from the coaching box. Thank heavens Joe Daniher cannot kick straight, because the game would have been over at half-time.  But all day long he was allowed to go one-on-one with his respective opponent, be that McDonald or Garland.  His height will always win out and it did.  

Contrast that with the double and triple teaming against Jesse Hogan.  That is how a coach can shut down a dominant forward, but nothing was done in 100 minutes of football.And we allowed Essendon to have unmarked wingers for the majority of the game.  

How a 2nd gamer in Tipungwuti was allowed such freedom to move the ball forward without an obvious opponent was damning.  His 20 disposals was more than 18 of the Melbourne players!

The selection panel has plenty to answer for again, for the omission of Dunn (save his having a mystery injury) left the team without a viable third tall in the backline and also someone who can kick beyond 50m to clear the zone that Essendon had set.  He may not provide the run, but he doesn’t have to if he repels the attacks in the first place!

Disappointingly, the mids failed to provide the necessary advantage that Gawn was providing in the ruck.  Not at the centre bounce, but the lack of intensity around the ground where it was needed most.  But that was only emblematic of a team going at half-pace.  

Brayshaw was obviously not ready for the seniors and ran out of puff early on, but Oliver showed his class with his efforts when he was injected into the middle.  Matt Jones needs to stay at Casey permanently as he is just not up to AFL standard, two of his turnovers resulting directly in Essendon goals.  

Jack Viney and Nathan Jones battled all day, but Bernie Vince provided little, despite 28 possessions. Dean Kent in contrast provided nothing with only 5 touches. Ben Kennedy was fantastic and stood out in stark contrast to others on the field. With three goals and 21 touches, 11 of them contested, he was exactly the role model for winning.  Sadly, others didn’t follow.

Jeff Garlett is exciting when on song, but provided little in forward pressure.  Hogan was similarly inclined, so the ball bounced out of attack all too frequently.  

This was a disgraceful performance from the side, not untypical of the worst of the past couple of years.  

How much have we progressed?  Have we progressed?

There is a good case to say nothing at all if you watched today’s game.  Against the bigger bodies at North in Tassie next weekend we will struggle, if this effort is the best we can produce.

Melbourne 1.4.10 6.4.40 7.7.49 10.7.67

Essendon 2.2.14  7.7.49 8.10.58 11.14.80

Goals
Melbourne Kennedy 3 Garlett 2 Brayshaw Harmes Hogan Oliver Watts

Essendon Brown Daniher Z Merrett 2 Hartley, Kommer, Langford, Parish Stokes

Best

Melbourne Kennedy N Jones Viney Gawn

Essendon Z Merrett Daniher Zaharakis Parish J Merrett Goddard Kelly McDonald-Tipungwuti

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Essendon Nil

Injuries  

Melbourne Nil

Essendon Fantasia (knee) Matt Dea (nose)

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Essendon Patrick Ambrose for rough conduct on James Harmes in the second quarter.

Umpires Fisher, Stephens, Pannell

Official crowd 50,424 at the MCG

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