Jump to content

  • Podcast: Grand Final Preview      

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview & Grand Final Preview      

SLIP, SLIDING AWAY by George on the Outer


Demonland
 Share


Recommended Posts

SLIP, SLIDING AWAY by George on the Outer

Geelong dedicated the third round match against Melbourne to the 1980’s and, in doing so, featured some of the worst music to come out of that era with their fans stupidly dancing around to Brian Mannix and other such forgettables. It was cringeworthy but has the desired effect because it provided their opposition with another 80’s song as backdrop- Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away".

For those born in more recent times, the lyrics of the song include this line:-

"You know the nearer your destination, the more it slips slides away”...

And that was true for the 19 shots on goal that the Demons had which failed register a six point outcome and included in that were no less than ten set shots from inside a distance of 40 metres that resulted in not a single major! As a consequence of that factor alone, for the Demons, this very winnable game was slip sliding away...

At ¾ time there were a bare three points in the match, but Geelong had scored 14 majors with only two behinds. In the second and third quarters combined, the Cats had kicked nine straight goals to 10.13 - they were in the game because of their accuracy, and the Demons failed to hold a match winning lead because of their inaccuracy.

Tellingly, in the warm-up before the game, Melbourne ran their usual drills.  In contrast Geelong spent the majority of their time with goal kicking.  Etihad stadium is different to the MCG or Kardinia Park and the extra time spent finding out the difference was critical in front of goal for both sides.

For Melbourne the game turned significantly in the second quarter, when Max Gawn left the ground with what the early reports indicate was a hamstring injury. Before that, he was truly fired up and was urging his team to overcome the three goal deficit at the first break. His efforts were working, but unfortunately, he was unable to carry them through as he hobbled from the field. 

Desperate times called for desperate measures and Jack Watts was called upon to ruck against Clarke and Blicavs, a monumental ask. But he responded and while they continued to dominate the taps, the differential to advantage wasn’t great.  He became an extra mid and Melbourne led the clearances out of the centre.

When guts was required, it brought out the best from Nathan Jones, who produced one of his best games with 36 touches and his toughness around the packs was telling, especially when facing off against Dangerfield and Selwood. Clayton Oliver had another 28 touches to keep his star shining brightly, but there was a fairly dim effort from Dom Tyson when we needed more. His 57% kicking efficiency is deplorable, but his unwillingness to run when the opposition mids were streaming forward told in multiple Geelong goals. He must do better and needs to lift soon.

The backs held their own given the height of the Geelong forwards and their ability to drop one of their rucks into the spot as well, once Gawn had departed. However, there were too many occasions when the half backs simply didn’t get back far enough and quickly enough to help out. As a result we often saw Neville Jetta having to try to out mark Hawkins or Blicavs. The coach fortunately gave up on part of the zone defence at half time and stuck Tom Macdonald onto Hawkins, who then kept him quiet. 

Bernie Vince was uninspiring after his return from suspension. Even when thrown forward in the last quarter, he didn’t put in the required effort to have an impact. His position will also be in doubt for the future once more efficient ball distributors like Lewis and Hibberd return. 

The loss of Gawn in itself wasn’t the cause of the loss. The poor kicking and the loss of forward structure when Watts was press-ganged into ruck service left Melbourne severely stretched. Sam Weidman was all at sea, without big bodies like Hogan's around him, and there is a direct comparison to Darcy Moore who hasn’t had a touch since Cloke left Collingwood for Footscray. When younger-bodied players get the best defender they struggle.

This was a game that got away.  

It WAS the game that Melbourne had the opportunity to stamp its mark on the competition to say it had arrived. It didn’t happen, and in one fell swoop, the team has even slipped out of the top eight - a sign of danger is that if the Demons of the recent past resurface, then the season itself will start "slip sliding away ..."

Melbourne 2.4.16 7.11.53 12.17.89 13.19.97

Geelong 5.2.32 9.2.56 14.2.86 20.6.126 

Goals

Melbourne Kent Watts 2 Garlett Hannan Harmes Hunt Jetta Petracca Neal-Bullen T. Smith Stretch

Geelong Hawkins 5 Menzel 4 Dangerfield 3 Blicavs Motlop 2 McCarthy Parfitt Selwood Smith

Best

Melbourne Jones Hunt Watts Viney Stretch Kent Jetta

Geelong Selwood Dangerfield Menzel Hawkins Blicavs Ruggles Parfitt

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Nil

Injuries

Melbourne Gawn (right hamstring) Kent (cut head)

Geelong Selwood (cut head) Hawkins (corked quad)

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Nil

Umpires Hosking, Ryan, Mollison

Official crowd 29,733 at Etihad Stadium

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    THE ICING ON THE QUAKE by Whispering Jack

    It’s not Christmas yet but if the Melbourne wins its last game of the 2021 season, then many of its fans will be celebrating early. There already are some parts of our town where the pending festivity is preordained. Houses are decked out with red and blue banners and streamers, some of which appeared as early as last Saturday week, on the morning after the Demons’ magnificent 83-point crushing of Geelong in their preliminary final at Optus Stadium. While it’s great to see the numbers of lo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CAT SKINNING by George On The Outer

    When they defeated the Geelong Cats in the 2021 AFL Preliminary Final on Friday night in Perth, Melbourne proved that there is more than one way to skin those cats.  They did it in the ruck and in the middle, they did it in the forward line, they did it in defence and around the ground, but importantly, each and every player a Demon guernsey spent his night at Optus Stadium skinning an opponent. Following the after-the-siren win against Geelong in Round 23, there was an expectation of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE POINTY END by The Oracle

    The AFL’s two oldest clubs, Melbourne and Geelong, face off on Friday evening in a sudden death Preliminary Final. It’s a game that promises plenty in terms of fascination and intrigue as a result of the rivalry that’s been building between the teams over recent encounters that have been tight struggles which have gone to the wire with two of them decided by after-the-siren goals. The added touch of mystery attached to this week’s meeting comes by virtue of the fact that it’s going to take

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE VFL YEAR THAT NEVER WAS by KC from Casey

    The rising case numbers and the continuing lockdowns in Victoria and NSW spelled doom for the 2021 VFL season which went through a slow, painful demise before its recent official cancellation. After weeks of indecision, the AFL decided to pull the plug on the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs recognised as minor premier, but without a premiership cup and without awarding the J.J. Liston Medal for the best and fairest VFL player. It was somewhat fortuitous for the integrity of the competition t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TAMING THE LIONS by George On The Outer

    With nine finals debutants in the side, the Melbourne Football Club had a daunting assignment ahead of it in the First Qualifying Final — to overcome the competition’s highest scoring side, the Brisbane Lions. In the end, the Demons accomplished the task by putting the bite on their opponents on their way to taming the Lions and recording a 33 point win that propelled them into one the two Preliminary Finals of 2021.   It was one of those debutants, Luke Jackson, who put the bite in more

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RETURN TO NEVERLAND by Whispering Jack

    The greatest Demon A HIGHWAY OF DEMONS by Whispering Jack CHAPTER SIXTEEN - RETURN TO NEVERLAND  I have a six year old grandson who recently took up the family tradition of following the Demons. He had his first taste of the game a few years ago when he went to the “G” with his parents to watch the 107-point massacre of Carlton and he went to another game in the following season which was also a W for the Dees. But his appetite for the club has grown exponentially this year and wh

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 13

    METAMORPHOSIS by Whispering Jack

    I’ve always believed that when the home and away matches come to an end, the football season takes on a completely different shape and character. During the regular season, each team’s goals progress as the weeks pass and if you’re good enough to survive and make the grade, the situation changes. The comparison can be made with the life cycle of a butterfly going through stages from egg to larva to caterpillar, cocoon and in the end to a bright and colourful creature that emerges from darkness i

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer

    They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position. In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which s

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    SKIN THE CATS by Whispering Jack

    The task ahead for the Demons as they wend their way down the Princes Freeway to Geelong on Saturday night will be to skin the Cats. For them to come away with the points from this game would mark an historic occasion for the club as it will finish on top of the ladder for the first time since its last premiership year, 1964. And it was in that year, that a trip to Corio Bay to meet the reigning premiers in Round 12, was one of the catalysts for Melbourne’s surge to the flag. It was a top o

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    REACH FOR THE STARS by George on the Outer

    It was a game of great significance for the Melbourne Football Club. A win would see them keep top spot on the ladder with one round remaining. To achieve top place in the Round for Reach when we are all inspired to “Be Like Jim” and reach for the stars was a great way of honouring one of our heroes. All the better given that it was done by way of an emphatic 41 point win against Adelaide! It is worth remembering that, but for the umpiring mistake in the previous encounter with the Crows, t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    TICKETS PLEASE by The Oracle

    A lot of water has passed under Princes Bridge in the five years since Melbourne last met Adelaide on the MCG. The Crows were riding high at the time while the Demons were mid-table and scrambling for a win to stay in the race for the finals. The 30,000 fans who had tickets to the game were thoroughly entertained by a close, high scoring affair that ended in tears for fans of the home team. Not even an eight-goal second term could help them.   Times have changed.    In the fi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    ELECTRIFYING by George On The Outer

    What more can they throw at the Demons of 2021? Covid restrictions, hubs, aircraft circling between airports before landing for games and now a match stopped for 30 minutes to give a flagging opponent its second wind? To date, none of those distractions has swayed the team from their winning objectives. The game against West Coast in Perth can be marked on their report card as another positive outcome after yet another test. There was much at stake for both sides.  Melbourne had t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...