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KILLERS by George on the Outer

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A guaranteed finals berth was on offer - a chance to stamp some authority on the season and to not be the Melbourne of old.  It was all there in the final match of the home and away season against Collingwood.

The team came out killers. Not the ones that are ruthless and single minded, but season killers.  Supporter killers.  Killers of hope and aspiration.

From the very first bounce it was obvious which was the team who was going to win the match, and it wasn’t Melbourne. The old “turn up and win” attitude was on full display as players simply trotted around and failed to get to the contests. There was no grit and determination, no tackling and no willingness to put in the extra effort needed to justify a finals berth.

It wasn’t until the third quarter that any effort was forthcoming, but even then the lack of skill and multiple stupid turnovers cost dearly.  The final quarter was the same with supposed senior players failing to show the necessary calmness under pressure. The momentum that had been gained by coming back from a five goal deficit was stifled and killed, as the usual culprits handballed when not needed, or failed to kick sufficiently accurately to hit Melbourne players on the chest.  

All around the ground Melbourne players were beaten. Max Gawn continued his poor form as he was not only beaten in the ruck, but around the ground as well with only eight touches in total and only three marks to his name for the game . Even Mason Cox managed five, while Max’s regular opponent in Grundy took eight as well.  

Dom Tyson put in yet another shocker and continues to turn the ball over by failing to kick it when getting possession.  He puts teammates under extreme pressure, when the ball should be 40 metres downfield instead. A midfielder running at below 60% efficiency is damaging to the side, and today, he was a killer.

Mitch Hannan and James Harmes failed to trouble the statisticians too much and one could ask whether they were on the field for the game at all such was their lack of influence.  

Things weren’t helped when Jesse Hogan went down in the second quarter with a hamstring, leaving the side one short.

Fortunately, Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca started something in the third term by bullocking and putting in, even though the results didn’t come immediately.  

Being five goals down was too much to ask, and even when there seemed like a glimmer of hope in the final quarter, Tom McDonald managed a couple of howlers in the backline and up forward to kill the game. Even Bernie Vince fluffed an easy snap in the dying seconds, which we can only hope doesn’t mean the difference between finals and not.

All round it was a killer of a day.  There was little to be taken away and now the whole season outcome is out of our hands.  

We still haven’t learnt the lessons shown by the likes of Sydney and Hawthorn, who in dire circumstances will always stand up.  

Melbourne 1.3.9 4.8.32 9.10.64 12.11.83

Collingwood 6.5.41 9.6.60 12.10.82 14.15.99

Goals 

Melbourne Melksham 3 Garlett Neal-Bullen Petracca 2 Hannan Pedersen Watts

Collingwood Elliott 3 Cox  Hoskin-Elliott Phillips 2 Adams Broomhead Daicos Grundy Sidebottom

Best

Melbourne Oliver Petracca Lewis Melksham Jones Watts

Collingwood Elliott Adams Hoskin-Elliott Sidebottom Treloar Dunn

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Collingwood Reid (general soreness) replaced by Kirby in the selected side

Injuries 

Melbourne Hogan (hamstring)

Collingwood Sidebottom (hamstring)

Reports

Melbourne  Nil

Collingwood  Nil

Umpires Rosebury, Deboy, Pannell

Official crowd 51,223 at the MCG

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