Jump to content

  • Latest Podcast: Rd 4 vs Sydney      

Sign in to follow this  
Demonland

JESSE WHO? by The Oracle

Recommended Posts

The news that Jesse Hogan is out of contention to play with the Demons until 2019 after suffering a foot injury during their nine-point loss to the Swans at the MCG last Sunday might have sent feelings of shock and aware through the community of Demon supporters but I’m not overly concerned about the fact that the club’s key forward will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

The reason why is that Melbourne seems to produce its best wins without Hogan in the team. There were the big breakthrough wins over Geelong and Hawthorn in 2015 and 2016 respectively and last year, it overcame top eight clubs Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles, both times away from home. 

That is not to say that the team won’t feel the loss of its leading goal kicker of the season but the impact of his absence does not necessarily portend the doom and gloom that some of the pundits are predicting.

Last week against the Sydney Swans, Hogan played with his injury for at least three quarters. As early as in the second quarter, he was visibly limping and in hindsight, the team performance might have benefited from him being declared injured and not to return to the playing field. Given that he was clearly unable to perform at his best, this might well have made the difference in a game where the Demons’ inability to find the goals played a significant role in their failure to bring home the four points. 

The fundamental fact remains that the club leads the competition in contested possessions and centre clearances which have contributed to it also leading the way in inside 50s, marks inside 50 and scoring. Melbourne has also performed better away from the MCG this year than it has done at home and, whilst it has its injury woes, so does West Coast which barely managed the win last week against a tiring Port Adelaide that finished the game off with barely a whimper.

This game is evenly poised and the absence of a key forward on either side is not going to make the difference.

THE GAME

West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium Saturday 19 August 2018 at 3.20pm.

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall West Coast 33 wins Melbourne 16 wins

At Domain Stadium West Coast 15 wins Melbourne 6 wins

Past five meetings West Coast 4 wins Melbourne 1 win

The Coaches Simpson 0 wins Goodwin 1 win

MEDIA

TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 3, Live at 3.00pm

RADIO - Triple M 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 15.9.99 defeated West Coast 14.12.96 in Round 14, 2017 at Domain Stadium

In a tense, close game Melbourne looked gone midway through the last quarter but it launched a successful come back and capped it off with an unlikely victory thanks to Tom McDonald’s goal square gymnastics. His  five-goals for the night helped  break a nine-game losing streak against the Eagles.

THE TEAMS

WEST COAST EAGLES

B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard 
HB: Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta 
C:Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Jamie Cripps 
HF: Mark Hutchings, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras 
F: Willie Rioli, Nathan Vardy, Brendon Ah Chee 
Foll: Scott Lycett, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey 
I/C: Liam Duggan, Liam Ryan, Dom Sheed, Daniel Venables
Emg: Matthew Allen, Jackson Nelson, Francis Watson, Jake Waterman

No change

MELBOURNE 

B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis
HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, James Harmes
😄 Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw
HF: Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Aaron vandenBerg
F: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Dom Tyson
Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca
I/C: Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham
Emg: Jeff Garlett, Jay Kennedy Harris, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner

In: Mitch Hannan, Michael Hibberd, Dean Kent, Jake Melksham, Sam Weideman

Out: Jeff Garlett (omitted), Jesse Hogan (foot), Jayden Hunt (ankle), Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted) 

The moment of truth is about to arrive for the Melbourne Football Club. 

There has been a cloud hanging over the heads of its players and coaching group for almost twelve months since its last gasp elimination from last year’s AFL finals series after it capitulated meekly to Collingwood in the first quarter of the last round of the season.

Ironically, it was the West Coast Eagles that “stole” Melbourne’s place in the finals with their 29-point win over Adelaide in Perth delivering them a narrow lead on percentage over the Demons. This week’s game will be played on a different arena in the same city but for fans of the club it looks as yet another installment in their recurring nightmare. 

The Eagles would appear to have the upper hand given that they have home ground advantage and the statistical abnormality of the “noise of affirmation” from the umpires which demonstrates that they have what amounts to a one player advantage whenever they play in their state. 

Against that is the fact that they are missing some of their top line stars in Nic Naitanui, Josh Kennedy and Andrew Gaff. Some say that those players make up three of their best five players - I maintain they’re actually three of their best three (their best four if you count the noise of affirmation as a player). 

Many commentators say that the fact that they are still second on the AFL ladder proves that the Eagles have the resilience and the ability to defy the odds. The argument goes on to describe as a case in point,  the way the Eagles produced a monumental win at their last start against the Power when Jeremy McGovern scored after the final siren to put his side ahead for the first time. 

My take on that game is that it was always there to be won against a hobbled opposition that ran out of steam because of injury and an inability to rest and rotate players in the final term. 

It could be said that the Demons messed up a similar opportunity against the Swans last week but for their wastefulness, but they also had their problems with injury - Jesse Hogan was limping around as early as the second quarter, Jayden Hunt went off with an ankle and Angus Brayshaw and Neville Jetta missed valuable time getting treatment for ailments during the game, the latter who was dominant in the first quarter with 10 possessions, was off in that patch when the Swans booted about four goals and retook the momentum of the game in the second quarter. The Demons also have three of their top five players out this week as well with the the absence of Jack Viney, Jake Lever and Hogan.

So who really does have the upper hand?

I think it’s Melbourne which still has the best ruckman, the stronger midfield as proven by its record over the year at clearances, and the recast side particularly with the return of Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham to add to the team’s solidity, puts it ahead of the Eagles who will sorely miss their trio of outs far more than the Demons will miss theirs. 

Their good record in the absence of Hogan is what swings the ultimate result for me.

Melbourne by 7 points.

2c0ca89a1ca44f842679b01d7f77c0b7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Social Media

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles

    MARCHING IN by The Oracle

    The most embarrassing loss of the 2018 season (perhaps aside from the Preliminary Final) for Melbourne was the one it suffered in Round 15 against lowly St Kilda. The Demons came into the game as a red hot favourite but were embarrassed by the Saints' speed and willingness to take the contest right up to them for virtually the full four quarters. It was a defeat that they were to bemoan for the remainder of the season. Their arrogance in going into the game and taking an opponent lightly was a c

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    RELENTLESS by KC from Casey

    The Casey Demons returned to the winning list with an emphatic 54 point victory over a limp North Melbourne VFL combination at Casey Fields on Saturday. Smarting from last week’s thrashing at Box Hill, the Demons came out of the blocks intent on redeeming themselves for their embarrassing start to the 2019 campaign.  After a brief early bout of inaccuracy, the goals flowed as a result of relentless pressure applied to the visitors who were constantly forced into error. The pleasing thi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TO A “T” by George on the Outer

    Thursday night football - not something Melbourne FC are accustomed to doing, especially after barely garnering a Friday night game for years. Yet with this opportunity, the Demons soundly beat the Swans at the SCG and put their season back on Track. This was not only a game of mental toughness, since the Demons had so far failed to win a game in 2019 and faced possibly a season ending prospect of 0-4, should they have failed in Sydney.  History was against them, and Buddy Frankli

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    SWANSONG by Whispering Jack

    They said that in 2019, the Melbourne Football Club was going to take its game to another level but we were never prepared for the level the club is reaching as it approaches the fourth round of the season holding up the entire AFL ladder in a match that could be its swansong for the year.    We were meant to be premiership contenders, not playing off for a wooden spoon which is what will be the case unless there is a sudden and dramatic turn around in our fortunes!    And whilst there

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    A DAY TO FORGET by KC from Casey

    The Casey Demons started the 2019 in unimpressive fashion with a 62 point loss to the  Box Hill Hawks at Box Hill City Oval. It was a total contrast to their 2018 opening when they monstered the Coburg Lions but the circumstances were entirely different. Twelve months ago, the Demons were able to go into the match with a large contingent of AFL listed players while yesterday, they went into the game with 12 Melbourne players, mostly inexperienced.  They were also hampered by the AFL sc

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    2019 IS NOT 2018 by George on the Outer

    Seems like an obvious statement doesn’t it?   Yet the MFC coaching staff/team seem to have forgotten to change their calendars on January 1st. A 3 goal loss against the equal bottom side in the competition and now with a 0-3 record for the current season, it should be obvious that things have changed from 2018.  Not so on the field, as Melbourne continue to play the style which got them to a Preliminary final.   Once again the Demons saw 20 goals scored against them for the game.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE NIGHT OF THE TORTOISES by The Oracle

    Friday night sees two clubs of which a great deal was expected in 2019, facing off in the battle of the slow starting tortoises. Both have had calamitous starts to the season and are sitting at 0-2. One of them will, by the end of the evening, be seeing their season slipping away from their grasp.   Both clubs are playing without confidence and without purpose. The Demons, who had the best-performed attack of all clubs last year, managed to convert 73 entries inside their forward 50 metre a

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE CAT RUN by George on the Outer

    It truly became a “Cat Run” with an 80 point win to the home side, an outcome that had us wondering what happened to the Demons of 2018 when they got to a Preliminary final on the basis of their “brand” of contested football?   Well that part hasn’t changed any, since the likes of Clayton Oliver can win the ball 44 times in a game including 15 clearances, Angus Brayshaw racks up 33 touches with Jack Viney chipping in for 27 of this own.  In the ruck Max Gawn had 53 hitouts on the night, and

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    REDEMPTION? by the Oracle

    How much should we be making out of Melbourne’s opening round loss on its home ground against an unfancied team from interstate in Port Adelaide?  The game was barely over before the excuses were coming out that about the lack of preparation of the team, the fact that some players were playing injured or unfit and unable to handle the humidity and the heat, the team’s lack of run and spread, the lack of experience and having too many key players injured or (in the case of Steven May) suspen

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    OVERPOWERED by George on the Outer

    If there was ever a prime example of a team of players not ready for the new football season it was Melbourne in the opening round of 2019.   Throughout the field there was just too much evidence of players who haven’t had sufficient pre-season or players who ordinarily wouldn’t have even graced the field at this early stage.   The Demons also got a lesson on selection with Port Adelaide showing that two ruckmen on the field is an essential for this season.  It was a lesson that should

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE WELCOME GAME by Whispering Jack

    The Melbourne Football Club has moved forward in leaps and bounds since it last met Port Adelaide in a totally forgettable (for Demon fans) season opener on the MCG.  That game, played on Sunday, 31 March, 2013 before a crowd of 22,924, was supposed to be a close encounter between two of the competition’s lesser lights from the previous season when the Power had finished 14th and the Demons 16th (ahead only of AFL newbies Gold Coast and GWS). It turned into a slaughter with Port taking the

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE WALKING WOUNDED by Paddy Gosch

    Forget the fact that Melbourne narrowly missed out on getting the four JLT points on offer for a second consecutive week and the blow to the ego of a supposed top four contender losing ... well almost at home ... to a team that has recently dwelt in the AFL cellar and won a mere five games in 2018. The things that emerged from the horror final JLT outing was that the Demons are a long way from being prepared to take on the rigours of a long tough season in which they have one of the hardest fixt

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

×
×
  • Create New...