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THE SEVEN YEAR SWITCH by George on the Outer

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 After seven years in the wilderness, the Fans in the Outer may have reason to overcome their MFCSS (Melbourne Football Club Supporter Syndrome). 

A game against Brisbane who sat in 16th place with a solitary win for the season, against the Demons having four wins under their belt, and sitting just outside the 8 was a cause for angst.

In the past going into the game as favourites, home at the MCG, on a fine day with nearly a full side to select from and wanting to stay in finals contention was a sure recipe for completely stuffing up the opportunity sitting before them.

So to come out of the game with a ten goal win might finally see the end of the MFCSS, and a march toward something completely different from the last seven years of anguish.

The match was previewed by an exhibition match between the Melbourne and Brisbane Lions’ women’s’ sides.  It was a sheer delight to watch the skills of AFL on display without the rolling mauls and scrambling play and continuous ball-ups that blights the male version today. 

Make no mistake - the girls play it hard and tough as well, but if you want to see some real football talent on display, make sure you get along to the next game, and watch Daisy Pearce and her team in action.

The girls set the tone for the day with an over 10 goal win of their own.  The dominance of the MFC players was marked, and the game effectively was over by ¼ time.  Let us see more of them in the coming years. 

Melbourne 6.4.40 8.5.53 10.7.67 14.7.91

Brisbane Lions 0.0.0 1.0.6 1.1.7 3.2.20

Goals

Melbourne Cameron 6 Boyd 3 Eva Foley Kemp D Pearce L Pearce

Brisbane Lions McCarthy 2 Law

Best

Melbourne Cameron Blackburn Hardiman Hosking Lockland D Pearce Boyd

Brisbane Lions Hunt Virgo Zieke Anderson

And now, onto the boys … like the girls, the direction of the game was set by quarter time, with the Demons putting through five majors and then another five to make it ten by half time.  The Lions squandered chances in the third quarter with multiple set shots going wide of the mark. 

Strangely, the wind affected the kicking for goal for both sides, when the MCG is usually devoid of any real wind advantage.  It just swirled around and was fluky, making the shots for goal a hit and miss scenario.

Still, the Demons did it better and finished by nearly doubling the Lions score.  It’s a long time since we have witnessed such high scores from Melbourne sides and it makes for some interesting exhibitions of football.

With a last minute withdrawal of Dom Tyson, the midfield just wasn’t as dominant as it can be, and this demonstrates Tyson’s influence on the team’s performance this year. Without his partner in crime, Jack Viney was unusually quiet with only 19 touches (still can’t complain about that, can we?).  But the slack was picked up by Christian Petracca and Billy Stretch.  Billy ran riot on the flanks and had 31 touches.  The old heads among the fan base will remember and be able to compare his skills with that of his father.  If he keeps performing in this manner, we are in for some wonderful displays in the future.

Max Gawn was targeted again this week, and got little help from the umpires as third man up and opposition rucks just jump into him while the first ruckman simply held onto him.  He could barely walk at the end of the game, and next week it is essential that he get some relief from a second ruck.  Jack Watts provided the relief this week, and did a simply superb job and the hit outs with eight of his own.  It was a brilliant move by the coaches, and forced Watts into the game a lot more than he has been in the past couple of weeks. 

But he is not the solution, as Max needs help around the ground and shouldn’t have to run to each and every contest.  We simply cannot afford from him to break down this season.

The backline unfortunately leaked like a sieve again this week.  The current game plan or failure to execute the game plan sees the opposition getting easy goals and marks from inside the defensive 50. 

Colin Garland provides a big body in contested situations but simply stands off or loses his man too easily. Viv Michie was horrible at HBF and only two possessions to half time hopefully has marked his cards for next week.  There are too many pushing for senior selection to carry passengers.  Oscar McDonald was way out of his depth this week, but he needs the experience for the future.  We simply cannot afford too many NQR players against better opposition. 

Yes, a 10 goal win is something delightful after the years of pain we have suffered.  Now if the side really wants to bury the MFCSS, a win in Alice Springs against a side, which like us is challenging for a finals spot and only one place below us on the ladder, is essential.

Let’s do it!

Melbourne 5.6.36 10.7.67 13.10.88 19.17.131

Brisbane Lions 2.3.15 5.5.35 6.10.46 9.14.68

Goals

Melbourne Hogan 5 Harmes 4 Garlett 2 Jones Kennedy Kent Michie Newton Stretch Viney Watts

Brisbane Lions Bell 3 Lester 2 Freeman Keays Taylor Zorko

Best

Melbourne Hogan Bugg Petracca Garlett Oliver Watts

Brisbane Lions Zorko Robinson Bell Rich

Changes

Melbourne Tyson (ill) replaced by Newton

Brisbane Lions Nil

Injuries

Melbourne Clayton Oliver (corked thigh)

Brisbane Lions Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Brisbane Lions Nil

Umpires Deboy Findlay Harris

Official crowd 26,892 at the MCG

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