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POWER FREEZE by George on the Outer

Melbourne (the city) turned on its best winter weather for the match against Port Adelaide but it was the Power who were frozen out of the game by the relentless Demons. 

Any concern about negatives that might be attributed to teams returning from a hot and steamy Darwin trip were well and truly dispelled with both participants in that match, Adelaide and Melbourne, putting on emphatic performances and wins in the following week. It's now clear that Melbourne's sad history of past losses after these games is simply because as a side the Demons were not up to standard. 

But not so this time. Playing against a top four side, the Demons came out of the blocks hard to hold a four goal lead at quarter time and they maintained that advantage right until the final siren. They also held Port goalless until well into the second quarter, which was remarkable given Port had a percentage well above 130 - an indication of its high scoring capability.

With the return of the mid-fielders in Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the whole Demon structure became balanced again. Jack Watts up forward and Christian Salem down back further bolstered the strength of the side and while Watts didn’t have any genuine effect on the game and Tyson tired heavily in the second half after 21 touches in the first, they were all better for the run. We can hope for the same as Gawn and Hogan weren’t up to match speed last week, but they were deciding factors in that frantic first quarter and a half.  

Clarrie finally had some help, and so racked up another 30 touches as his assistants in Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan and Viney made life for the Power mids very difficult.  They simply can’t match up everyone with the talent the Dees now have across the lines, and none more so than down back where Jayden Hunt cut Port to ribbons with his dash and 26 touches while Michael Hibberd got leather poisoning with 36 of his own.   

How impressive was the backline with Oscar McDonald an absolute rock who rarely makes a mistake these days. Similarly with Sam Frost who displays great dash and with the ever reliable Neville Jetta mopping up anything loose down back. 

Who would have thought at the start of the season that they could afford not to be playing Tom McDonald in defence? However, with the current crew in defence it is hard to imagine that setup again as we head towards finals.  

It was good to see the return of Jack Trengove and while he contributed and held his place he still has a way to go. His 16 touches were similar to others in the side who would be competing for those type of spots. With that first game for the season under his belt, he now needs to cement a spot with a step up, as the return of Nathan Jones and perhaps Angus Brayshaw will put pressure on the selectors.

The Demons took a nearly five goal lead into the final change, and Port responded with two goals in the first six minutes.  In the past this would have seen the flood-gates open as Melbourne had put undue pressure upon itself. But this is a different side that is now developing the maturity to know how to win ugly.  

They froze the game and for the next ten minutes we saw a rolling maul around the ground with Port unable to get free to continue that scoreboard pressure.  

Melbourne then grasped the opportunity and Melksham and Petracca took a couple of telling marks and converted to put the game beyond doubt. 

After the warmth of Darwin, Melbourne now faces further freezing conditions as Hobart and an icy blast coming from Antarctica beckons next week. Then to top it off, we head to Canberra where a lovely minus 7 greeted the day this morning.

This is a new and different team of the Demons and until Hell freezes over they will just keep attacking, competing and playing a hot brand of football, no matter what the conditions.  

Like the Power today, it is the opposition who find themselves out in the cold. 

Melbourne 4.4.28 8.8.56 11.8.74 13.10.88

Port Adelaide 0.3.3 3.6.24 6.10.46 9.11.65

Goals

Melbourne Hogan Melksham 3 Garlett Petracca 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald

Port Adelaide  Boak 4 Westhoff 2 Dixon Wingard Trengove

Best

Melbourne Hibberd Tyson Hogan Hunt Gawn Viney Jetta

Port Adelaide R Gray Boak Ebert Powell-Pepper Wines S Gray

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Port Adelaide Nil

Injuries 

Melbourne Gawn (right ankle)

Port Adelaide Broadbent (leg) Wingard (left ankle)

Reports 

Melbourne Nil

Port Adelaide Nil

Umpires Donlon, Nicholls, Meredith

Attendance 27,068 at the MCG

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Nice summary

like you I was v impressed by the defensive efforts in the last  quarter. Must have been nearly 20 minutes between goals, while we always had 2 or 3 with hands on the ball in packs. Port must have been quite confident--only 16 points down, 5 minutes into the last quarter, but we defended beautifully. Can't recall Dees doing this as well in the last decade

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12 minutes ago, DubDee said:

27,000 at the game? Terrible crowd

As someone pointed out in the Post Match Discussion thread, that's actually not a bad crowd all things considered.  The Pies got 35k to their game against Port when they were still in the finals hunt and they have bucket loads more members than us.

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