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VINCIMUS by George On The Outer

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Who was Braniac at Hawthorn who decided to teach Latin to their fans? The club motto “spectemur agendo” was plastered all over the ground but the Hawks could not match the Demons at playing football and, when the final siren sounded, it was the Melbourne Football Club that was able to chant,  “vincimus” ... we are victorious!

And who was Braniac at the AFL who decided that one club would be designated as the home club in a finals game?  

This is the Finals, not the home and away, and to have to put up with the trash served up by Hawthorn in the name of “entertainment” both before and during the intervals did nothing for the AFL football brand. If people want that sort of inane excuse for entertainment, they can stay at home to watch some trashy lifestyle nonsense or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mind you, if we wanted to watch Hawthorn’s slow moving style of play we could torture ourselves viewing an episode of The Block!

With 90,000 spectators on hand (and the majority were Demon fans again), this was a true finals game. The MCC was packed to the rafters for the second week in a row and hopefully all these closet Melbourne supporters will actually join as members next year.  

The rest of the ground was equally loaded with the red and blue colours and the vocal support from those fans was something to be heard, as the sounds of “The Grand Old Flag” and the “M-E-L-B-O-U-R-N-E” chants continued throughout the match.  

In typical finals match style, the game was one contest followed by another and then another which is exactly the type of play of which the Demons of 2018 are the masters. The scores at the first break were level although the Hawks had received two goals courtesy of umpiring calls close to goal. All that mattered for nothing, as even by this time, the Demons were playing the better football.

In particular, Tom McDonald was provided a huge target up forward with some telling contested marks. It was to be a sign of his dominance in the forward line to finish the match with four majors. In the middle, the relentless attack at man and ball, saw both teams evenly matched, with Mitchell again racking up possessions, but none of them really hurt.  Importantly, the run of Smith on the wing was shut down at various times through Bayley Fritsch, Alex Neal-Bullen and Mitch Hannan. Without the ball in his hands, Hawthorn don’t move forward, and even when they did the Melbourne defenders had them well covered.   

The second term was much the same, but this week it was the Demons who were more accurate in front of goal. Hawthorn had ten shots at goal to the Demons’ eight at the major change but they found themselves 13 points in arrears. 

Then it happened in the third when Melbourne outscored Hawthorn by six goals to three which effectively sealed the game.  

The youth of Melbourne was starting to stand out with the leadership of Jack Viney in particular, inspiring to his team-mates. The ruck duel between Max Gawn and Ben McEvoy, previously an even struggle, saw Max gain overall control thanks to the coaching staff, who had giving him longer breaks in the first half with Sam Weidemann filling the gap left by his absence. Importantly, during those times, the team lost nothing as the Weid’s  athleticism enabled him to match the Hawthorn rucks.   

With Viney running riot and hitting every contest, the Hawks found themselves in real strife unable to handle Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw, James Harmes, and another old fellow by the name of Nathan Jones backing him up. This proved to be the telling factor in the result.  Shiel and Mitchell could only do so much against this relentless onslaught and they were finally overrun.  

Harmes had 19 disposals, with 12 contested,  Oliver 22 with 11 contested, Viney 27 with 17 contested and Brayshaw had 12 and 8. As a force, they simply could not be denied.

This relentless pressure suited the Melbourne game style much more so, as it denied Hawthorn the ability to retain possession and move it by foot and run around the flanks. The few times they were able to execute this, the Demons were found wanting, and if it weren’t for a better final quarter Tyson would not be playing next week, as he lost his opponent time after time.  

With the Demons hitting the final quarter nearly six goals ahead, it was difficult to see how the Hawks could make a come-back having only kicked six in total to that point.  However, by the four minute mark of the final term, they had added two majors and the margin was down to 20 points. When Jarryd Roughhead goaled at the 11 minute mark, there were only two goals in the game. 

In the past, panic would have kicked in and the fans would have watched in despair as the game slowly slipped away from their team’s grasp but ... not the 2018 side. The defenders threw everything at the Hawks to deny them the momentum, and then drove the ball forward where firstly Jake Melksham drilled one from 50m, to be followed by yet another Tom McDonald contested mark and conversion to put the game beyond doubt.  Melksham chipped in with another and the Hawthorn bubble deflated while the Demon voices in the outer and around the ground just got louder and louder.  

With ten minutes to go, “The Grand Old Flag” was being sung loudly as the Hawks fans streamed from the ground.  Then, at the final siren, it was sung again and again and again just to let them know that it was the Demons who were the one who could say:

Vidimus nos vincimus - we came, we saw, we conquered.

[with apologies to Julius Caesar]

Melbourne 3.1.19 6.2.38 12.5.77 16.8.104

Hawthorn 3.1.19 3.7.25 6.9.45 10.11.71

Goals  

Melbourne T McDonald 4  Brayshaw Melksham Spargo Weideman 2 Gawn Hannan Neal-Bullen Petracca

Hawthorn Gunston 3 Roughead Schoenmakers 2 Puopolo Smith Worpel

Best

Melbourne Viney T McDonald Jetta Hibberd Oliver Spargo

Hawthorn Gunston Mirra Howe Shields Mitchell Henderson  

Injuries  

Melbourne Nil  

Hawthorn  Mitchell (AC joint) Puopolo (hamstring) 

Reports  

Melbourne Nil  

Hawthorn Nil   

Umpires Rosebury Stevic Nicholls  

Official crowd 90,152 at the MCG      

8F737821-F115-47B9-90EC-564295D52265.jpeg

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