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MATCH REPORT - Round 23


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A CATASTROPHIC WAY TO SAY "GOODBYE" by George on the Outer
 
Demon supporters were expecting the team that Paul Roos has dragged from the depths of the AFL ladder over a three year period would produce something special in his final game as coach.

Well they certainly did, by gifting him an 111 point losing margin ... greater than any loss in his AFL coaching career!

What an absolute insult to a great icon of the game, a man who has instilled pride and hope again into the supporters, and has presented the incoming coach, Simon Goodwin with a talented group of youngsters that have the potential to play finals next year.

Like the previous week against Carlton the midfield was completely blown away.  Yes, there was one hell of a player in Dangerfield ripping the ball away from the centre time and time again, but the lack of physical pressure on him was telling.

Jack Viney was tried for a while, but to little effect.  Bernie Vince was then tried but had even less effect as he consistently trailed five metres behind him all over the ground.  

There were some positives in the middle as Angus Brayshaw and Christian Salem topped the disposals list with 26 and 27 respectively. Nathan Jones produced his usual 25 with 4 clearances but still struggled with his kicking, which has bedeviled him in the past couple of weeks.  

Brayshaw, Viney, Petracca and Salem also provided a much needed boost around the ground, something that Vince and Tyson simply didn’t do.  Tyson despite 23 touches did not manage a solitary clearance. This on top of the meagre two from last week.  Vince 14 touches only.  

Max Gawn continued his fine form for the year, but until the umpires start penalizing opposition players who hold and block him in the ruck contests, allowing a third man up, he simply cannot be truly effective.  He also had three Geelong ruckmen jumping on him all day in Zac Smith, Stanley and Blicavs.  He took them all on, and beat them, probably securing his AA nomination for 2016.

The backline simply didn’t do anything wrong today.  There were not the turnovers and silly mistakes that we have seen over the past year, but the sheer volume of ball coming from the middle was too much.  Oscar and Tom McDonald tried hard to repel the invaders and did on numerous occasions, but when Hawkins has the ball drilled down his throat it was no surprise that he finished with six for the day.  

Jayden Hunt continued, right to the end, to provide dash and line-breaking moves that provide hope for the future.  He led the team with rebound 50’s, but with little support from the mids, he often had few options up the field. 

Without much on offer, the forwards were starved, but didn’t cover themselves with glory, as the ball all too often rebounded straight out of the Geelong half back line without a Melbourne player touching it.  

Geelong have a simply defensive structure set up on the 40 metre mark.  It is a line consisting of Taylor, Lonergan, Mackie and Enright.  If you keep kicking the ball to that area, they will clean up.  Our mids needed to kick over that wall
 
We didn’t and so they had a day out.  The result: Weidemann, Hogan, Garlett and Bugg all finished the day with less than 10 touches.  

This game was a disgrace to everything that Roos had instilled into the team since his arrival.  Hard work, contested footy, and never say die was his trademark that he brought from Sydney.  

The Melbourne fans surely need the opportunity to say “thank you” to him at some time next year.

This was not the right way for him to exit  the game.
             
Melbourne 2.0.12 3.2.20 3.6.24 6.8.44

Geelong 8.2.50 11.6.72 14.10.94 24.11.155

Goals

Melbourne Garlett 2  Brayshaw Hogan vandenBerg Weideman

Geelong Hawkins 6 Menzel 4 Bartel Menegola 3 Caddy Motlop 2 Duncan McCarthy Selwood Taylor

Best 

Melbourne O McDonald T McDonald Brayshaw Petracca Hunt Salem

Geelong Dangerfield Caddy Hawkins Guthrie Selwood Taylor Menzel

Changes

Melbourne Kent (corked thigh), replaced in selected side by Matt Jones

Geelong Nil

Injuries 

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Kolodjashnij (calf)

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Nil

Umpires Margetts Nicholls Mollison

Official crowd 24,413 at Simonds Stadium
 

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I guess the simple approach would be to say that this is a young team and that they tired noticeably at the end of the season but we've also seen the younger players rested at strategic times during the season. Why have they tired so badly in comparison with the Essendon youngsters?

In future, I don't think we can continue tolerating the situation where the team constantly fails miserably when the time comes to step up to the plate. Our performances against fellow 2015 bottom sixers Essendon, St Kilda (twice) and Carlton have been unacceptable. Yesterday, we dragged ourselves into the mire. If the signs were there that our younger players were flagging it might have been an idea to give some of our veterans like Jack Grimes, Lynden Dunn or Col Garland a game that might have been a farewell to some very loyal servants who went through tough times for the club.

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