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    SOUTH OF THE BORDER by the Oracle

    Thankfully they moved this week’s game from Sydney where the sun shines and the virus breeds ever so slowly and almost nobody returns a positive test. The change of fixture comes at precisely the right time to allow everyone in town to head to the MCG on Sunday at around 3:30pm, not to catch up with what’s going on inside the ground but rather, to do what’s fashionable for woke folk in 2020 — pulling down statues. It’s time for Kevin Bartlett and Leigh Matthews to go but you can’t touch Norm Smi

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    Match Previews

    LESSONS IN LOSING by George on the Outer

    Turn up for the game and look like you want to win it.  Melbourne lost this game to Geelong, a game after a couple of extended breaks, looking like they were at the end of a 22 game season. Right from the start there was a lack of intensity across the board, as the Demons played exactly the type of game that the ageing Geelong list wanted. Geelong repeatedly played possession footy, to avoid having to run those ageing legs, something that Melbourne failed to exploit.  To use the oft quot

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    Match Reports

    QUARRANTINO by Whispering Jack

    At a little after 4.00pm last Saturday, the MCG ceased to be the centre of the AFL universe. That was when the AFL’s el supremo Gil McLaughlin announced that the Bombers’ Conor McKenna had returned a COVID-19 positive result and declared that the game set for the following day between Essendon and Melbourne was postponed.  What followed was truly the stuff of a pulp fiction novel. We witnessed a suitcase load of mental gymnastics and spin calculated to let McKenna (and the Essendon Football

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    Match Previews

    WHADDA WE SING? by Whispering Jack

    When the Melbourne team sang “The Grand Old Flag” last Saturday at Marvel Stadium in the absence of skipper Max Gawn, Ed Langford and Adam Tomlinson who were first time winners at their new club and Jayden Hunt, the leading goal kicker of the day it was passed off as an honest mistake. Taken in isolation, it most probably was accidental but the problem is that little accidents have been happening far too often in the club’s recent history and, in this case, it was symptomatic not only of a day t

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    Match Previews

    A POINT OF DIFFERENCE by George on the Outer

    It was Melbourne v Carlton at the comics stadium; a game between 16 and 17 in 2019. How could anyone pick a winner?  There had to be a point of difference, and so it would prove to be as the Demons literally fell over the line at the end, by a solitary point. In an almost complete replica of the Richmond v Collingwood game two nights previously, one of the sides (Melbourne in this case) rushed out to a five goal lead in the first quarter, while the Blues failed to bother the goal umpir

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    Match Reports

    EXPOSED FORM by The Oracle

    Carlton fancies itself to beat Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and, based on exposed form, why not? The Blues took it right up to the reigning premiers in their last up start and the Demons were simply horrible against the Eagles at Optus Stadium. That opening game of the season revived all of the nightmares of 2019 for a team that went inside the 50 metre arc 45 times, an advantage of 10 times over the home side and yet lost by almost five goals. Such statistics sum it up for a gam

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    Match Previews

    SOCIAL DISTANCING by George on the Outer

    It was good to see the MFC players practicing the directives about social distancing at the game against West Coast.  Pity was that they continued to do so after the first bounce of the ball, as they allowed numerous WCE players run around un-hindered, with not a Melbourne player within 1.5 metres of them! They then found themselves looking at nearly a 5 goal deficit at the first break, which was to be essentially the final margin for the game. It is difficult to judge exactly what is going

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    Match Reports

    BEST IN SHOW by Whispering Jack

    I am writing this knowing that the AFL has deemed that the opening round of competition will proceed but fully believing that it should not.  The world is going through cataclysmic change as a result of the overwhelming spread of the Covid-19 virus and I agree that a distraction like sport would be good for the public. However, while the physical threat to the population is bad enough, there are other  issues to be addressed including the mental health of the community and the effects on th

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    Match Previews

    TASSIE DEVILS by Van Demon

    If you were looking for something new from the Demons that wasn’t there last year, you didn’t have to look further than the perfectly trimmed grass surface of UTAS Stadium last night as the team steamrolled the Hawks to record a comprehensive 32-point victory to complete their Marsh Community Series commitments for 2020. One new thing was the fact that for the second Marsh game in a row, the team finished full of running and they dominated the second half without the presence or the dominan

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    Match Reports

    SOUTH OF THE BORDER by Paddy Gosch

    The Demons will go into their final Marsh Series match with a strong lineup against the Hawks in Tasmania. Both Max Gawn and Steven May, who were recovering from injuries in first Marsh Series match, have both been named. It is unclear whether Max will be on restricted minutes and will likely get breaks in the ruck with Sam Weideman and rookie Luke Jackson getting their turns in the middle. Angus Brayshaw will be getting his first taste of competitive football despite playing in last week’s

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    Match Previews

    KANGAROO CAUGHT by Whispering Jack

    There was a fair amount of debate in our area as to whether the game warranted a full blown match report because it was felt that it was really an elevated version of a training session with match simulation but against a team in opposition colours. Although notionally the stronger side, North seemed to be using the occasion for the purpose of working on aspects of their game plan, one of the features of which seemed to be based on taking the longest possible route out of defence and good luck w

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    Match Reports

    JUST AN ABERRATION by Whispering Jack

    Melbourne unveiled its top recruits with new fitness boss Darren Burgess and mid-sized bull Christian Petracca sharing top billing in the team’s Marsh Community Series opener in front of 3,095 football starved fans at Casey Fields and thousands of others watching on screens of various shapes and sizes.  What they saw was a different Melbourne to the one that failed to run out its JLT Series games last year and then crashed in a heap early in the season proper with performances lacking the z

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    Match Reports 4

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