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binman

Impact of rule changes

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Background

All rule changes that have been introduced to the AFL have some impact.

Some rule changes address the intended (perceived) issue. An example is the not having to wait for the goal umpire to signal a goal to kick out. It was introduced to keep the game moving and to make it less difficult to clear the defensive zone. And i think has been relatively successful in achieving these aims. Certainly offensive teams would rather a boundary throw in in the forward pocket than score a point.

Another example of a rule change that addresses the intended issue has been the deliberate out of bounds rule adjustment where players have to make every attempt to keep it in. There are  less kicks to the boundary line now wit the result that the ball stay in play more. 

Some rule changes have mixed results in terms of addressing the intended issue, outlawing the third man up rule being one example. 

And some rule changes don't address the intended issue at all. The below the knees rule is good example. It was introduced to reduce the risk of injury - specifically leg injuries-  but i think you could mount a case it has increased risk as players are staging for it and the schmuck going for the ball gets bot in his head for his trouble. Think Angus Brayshw against the Hawks 

However, whether rule changes are effective, partly effective or ineffective there will always, to a greater or lesser degree, be unintended consequences of rule changes. For example with the change to deliberate team will sometime concede that free kick but try and kick 60 meters and then set up their defence. And players are getting better kicking 'for touch' and my feeling is players are more often spiking the ball over the lien as that (stupidly) doesn't get paid as deliberate.

Often the unintended consequence is related to how it is governed - eg the stupidity of having to nominate  ruck man - or how it is interpreted - eg deliberate or below the knees

Discussion 

This year there are 9 rule changes. A big number by any measure. I'm curious what posters think the impact of the new rule changes will be on both the dees and the competition as a whole.

On the latter point one thing i would like to get a handle on is the impact on scoring. One clear objective of the introduction of these rule is higher scoring. The strong trend to lower scores is a real worry for the AFL and these rules aim to address that trend

Note: i'm not convinced by the rule changes. But my interest here is not whether they are good rule changes but what the impact will be.  That said i understand much will depend on implementation and interpretation, so interested in views on that too as that will be factor in the success of the rule change.

I have had a go at answering the question of impact and  potential implementation and interpretation issues for the first rule change  - and keen on other's views (for that rule change and the others). At some point i'll come back to the others and edit this post to include my thoughts (have run out of time atm)

Note: i understand this is obviously a hypothetical exercise and we won't really know the impact until the end of the season.  So guesses are just that and the impacts are all by definition potential impacts. 

The changes

Traditional playing positions at centre bounces

  • Clubs must have six players inside both 50m arcs, with one player inside the goalsquare.
  • Four midfield players must start inside the centre square with the two wingmen stationed along the wing.  

Impact on competition:

  • will create an even greater reward and therefore incentive to get center clearances and quick forward entries 
  • Will stop teams putting a spare behind the ball  at centre bounces (though the 'wingman' will be able to roll back easily enough) - but obviously this will still occur in play
  • Will the above put an emphasis on good one on on defenders such as McGovern?
  • The teams with the best midfields will be even further advantaged
  • Will help the best tap ruck man - Gawn, Grundy, Martin
  • Might marginally take away some advantage of skilled intercept players like rance (in so far as teams can't have spare at centre bounces)
  • Might we see the return of the specialized wingman? 
  • Likely to be some defensive and offensive innovations in terms of set ups and structure at center bounces
  • Will the 'wingers' set just outside the 50 metre arc and fold back in as n extra defender?

Impact on dees:

  • We are already the highest scoring team - we will be harder to stop now 
  • Will stop Goody running two extra defenders off the HB (which he was doing less of anyway)
  • Suits our contested ball winning midfield beasts
  • We have the best tap ruck man - Gawn
  • Might create some opportunity for Hunt, KK, Fritter and Stretch to play as specialized wingman
  • May might be helped by 6 v 6 at centre bounce set up given his strength  

Potential implementation and interpretation issues:

  • It might be easier said then done to determine if bot tams have their sick inside the arc if they start pushing right up the line
  • Centre clearances straight from the ball up don't happen all that often so it may not have the impact the league is hoping for in terms of stopping teams putting players behind the ball

Kick-ins

  • At kick-ins, a player will no longer need to kick to himself to play on from the goal square.
  • Following a behind, the man on the mark will be brought out to 10m from the top of the goal square, rather than the existing five metres.  

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Marks and free kicks in defence  

  • When defenders mark or receive a free kick within nine metres of their own goal, the man on the mark will be brought in line with the top of the goalsquare.
  • Runners and water carriers

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Team runners may only enter the playing surface after a goal has been kicked and must exit before play restarts.

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Water carriers are not permitted to enter the playing surface during live play.

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Umpire contact

Players will be prohibited from setting up behind the umpire at centre bounces. 

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

50m penalties

The player with the ball: 

  • Must be allowed to advance the mark by 50m without the infringing player delaying the game.
  • Will be able to play on while the 50m penalty is being measured out. 
  • Kicking for goal after the siren 

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

A player who has been awarded a mark or free kick once play has ended: 

  • Will now be able to kick across their body using a snap or check-side kick 
  • BUT must kick the ball directly in line with the man on the mark and the goal. 

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Marking contests

The 'hands in the back’ rule interpretation has been repealed so a player can now:

  • Place his hands on the back of his opponent to protect his position in a marking contest
  • PROVIDED he does not push his opponent in the back.

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

Ruck contests: prior opportunity

A ruckman who takes direct possession of the ball from a bounce, throw-up or boundary throw-in will no longer be regarded as having had prior opportunity.
Where there is uncertainty over who is the designated ruckman, the ruckman for each team will still be required to nominate to the field umpire.

Impact on competition:

Impact on dees:

Potential implementation and interpretation issues :

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One issue with the 666 starting formation will be IMO a greater importance to the role of the ruckman (and may be why we have recruited Preuss to play alongside Gawn - something I have concerns about), a good tap ruckman who can give his midfielders first use of the ball and a quick entry into the 50 will be worth the weight in gold.

 

On that, quality contested marks in the forward 50 will be of even more importance due to many of the clearances being long and direct forward 50 entries. This rule has the potential of being enormously beneficial to the Demons

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56 minutes ago, binman said:

Traditional playing positions at centre bounces

  • Clubs must have six players inside both 50m arcs, with one player inside the goalsquare.
  • Four midfield players must start inside the centre square with the two wingmen stationed along the wing.  

 

 

56 minutes ago, binman said:

Impact on dees:

  • We are already the highest scoring team - we will be harder to stop now 
  • Will stop Goody running two extra defenders off the HB (which he was doing less of anyway)

 

This is a great thread Binman.

The first rule change you listed and detailed, is the most surprising to me.

Generally the AFL want to improve the spectator experience. Positioning was a real issue back with the ‘flood’ game style, but more recently positional coaching has been far more nuanced and interesting. Coaches, in particular Goody, were trying out new ways to set the team and I thought that was exciting, sometimes frustrating, always interesting.

You could argue those manoeuvres are too ‘inside baseball’ for the wider audience, so the AFL don’t care to let that play out. But then there’s the incredible drama of tight games and those last few minutes where the captain has to direct the team to setup defensively to protect a slim margin... dramatic, even when we didn’t and left the game exposed, then lost!

These are great moments in the game. I’m not sure what the AFL are gaining here? Perhaps a really clear graphic setup of the positions in AFL, lasting for just a moment before it becomes a scramble to reposition.

I liked that Goody had new ideas and was brave enough to try them. Gave us an edge, with so many players being trained to be so adaptable.

I’m marking this one down as a loss for the AFL and a loss for the Dees.

Edited by No10
Spelling!
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Let’s face it the ‘no third man up’ rule has helped Gawn become the dominant ruckman that he is. This rule change has helped us immeasurably 

The 6-6-6 rule should also provide us with an advantage; dominant ruck to dominant mods. Perhaps that’s why we have recruited Pruess so that when Gawn has his six or so minutes a quarter resting we don’t lose much. A team that really gets on top at centre clearances could make for some seriously lop sided scores. 

Think the recruitment of May will benefit us with the new kick in rule. May is a lovely long and accurate kick that should provide opportunities for very quick transition. 

As Binman said there are bound to be unintended consequences but overall you would think these rule changes will generally be great for us. 

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Hey @binman  - great thread but I thought I'd condense all the rule changes into a block.  Many are unaware of the changes (at least in detail) so here's the overview.

Traditional playing positions at centre bounces

  • Clubs must have six players inside both 50m arcs, with one player inside the goalsquare.
  • Four midfield players must start inside the centre square with the two wingmen stationed along the wing.  

Kick-ins

  • At kick-ins, a player will no longer need to kick to himself to play on from the goal square.
  • Following a behind, the man on the mark will be brought out to 10m from the top of the goal square, rather than the existing five metres.  

Marks and free kicks in defence  

  • When defenders mark or receive a free kick within nine metres of their own goal, the man on the mark will be brought in line with the top of the goalsquare.

Runners and Water carriers

  • Team runners may only enter the playing surface after a goal has been kicked and must exit before play restarts.

Umpire contact

  • Players will be prohibited from setting up behind the umpire at centre bounces. 

50m penalties

The player with the ball: 

  • Must be allowed to advance the mark by 50m without the infringing player delaying the game.
  • Will be able to play on while the 50m penalty is being measured out. 
  • Kicking for goal after the siren 

A player who has been awarded a mark or free kick once play has ended: 

  • Will now be able to kick across their body using a snap or check-side kick 
  • But must kick the ball directly in line with the man on the mark and the goal. 

Marking contests

The 'hands in the back’ rule interpretation has been repealed so a player can now:

  • Place his hands on the back of his opponent to protect his position in a marking contest
  • Provided he does not push his opponent in the back.

Ruck contests: prior opportunity

  • A ruckman who takes direct possession of the ball from a bounce, throw-up or boundary throw-in will no longer be regarded as having had prior opportunity.
  • Where there is uncertainty over who is the designated ruckman, the ruckman for each team will still be required to nominate to the field umpire.
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The zones at restarts I think could see a return of more resting ruckman, with tall timbre forward and no extra man you would think the ability for there to be direct scores from the restart will increase. 

I didn't know about the prior opportunity change from the ruck for me that's a huge error, what's to stop a player just grabbing it immediately to be tackled just to eat away the clock. Also feel like the nomination part should've been removed. If you have one from each team then why do they need to nominate?

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30 minutes ago, Pates said:

The zones at restarts I think could see a return of more resting ruckman, with tall timbre forward and no extra man you would think the ability for there to be direct scores from the restart will increase. 

I didn't know about the prior opportunity change from the ruck for me that's a huge error, what's to stop a player just grabbing it immediately to be tackled just to eat away the clock. Also feel like the nomination part should've been removed. If you have one from each team then why do they need to nominate?

The only reason I can see is for the umpires  to know who to shout at to stay one metre apart.  But I've never seem much point in that rule either.

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Perhaps another way of looking at this is trying to predict which of these rules will be eliminated first.

The Ruckman taking the ball out of the ruck will lead to multiple secondary bounces and will encourage taller players who can just seize the ball to the detriment of true ruck work. Could never understand why this was brought back in.

In the short term I hope it benefits MFC as by (hopefully) having the dominant ruckman we will be introducing uncertainty into the minds of the opposition... particularly those teams who rove to Gawn's tap outs. The flip side is will it see Oliver still being used in that roving position with his miracle bullet like handpasses.

I must confess that like most supporters I am very confused by these changes.

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The contentious one could well be the new 'Hands in the Back' interpretation.  A player playing from from behind can currently use his body or forearm to hold his ground but the use of the hands could easily open up a can of worms

What's a push and what isn't a push?  Another grey area created to add to the long list of grey areas.  And what's to stop the player in front lurching forward once he feels the hands on his back?  Don't like that new rule. 

The great unknown is the 'Traditional playing positions at Centre bounces' ... I like the new rule because it at least could reduce congestion (in part)  We don't see true wingmen anymore so that position could be resurrected somewhat.  The forward forays from the centre bounces might become more direct therefore bringing the high marking KPF's into the game more.  The policing of the rule will be easy enough but we'll see infractions from forgetful players.

The rest of the rule changes seem quite logical though ... we have a sport without offside so the coaches can and have redesigned the game.  That's their right as they are charged with winning at the sport.  So the AFL trying to bring about some order to the sport should be applauded.  Whether it works or not is anyone's guess.

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15 hours ago, Pates said:

The zones at restarts I think could see a return of more resting ruckman, with tall timbre forward and no extra man you would think the ability for there to be direct scores from the restart will increase. 

I didn't know about the prior opportunity change from the ruck for me that's a huge error, what's to stop a player just grabbing it immediately to be tackled just to eat away the clock. Also feel like the nomination part should've been removed. If you have one from each team then why do they need to nominate?

The Preuss and Maxy tandem with one in our goal square at centre bounces, is a nightmare for most oppositions. We’re clearing at 60% kick long and deep... if leadup blocked. 

We will destroy many teams this season, Goodwin and the FD have read the rule changes well and recruited to our significant advantage, i.e. Kolo for wing, Hunt becomes a weapon from kick ins where the player can now just play on... etc 

interesting times.

 

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Kick-ins

  • At kick-ins, a player will no longer need to kick to himself to play on from the goal square.
  • Following a behind, the man on the mark will be brought out to 10m from the top of the goal square, rather than the existing five metres.  

Impact on competition:

  • Kick in player not kicking to himself will mean marginally quicker kick in, making it more difficult to cover the outlet kick
  • The 10 metre rule will really open up the field - a player who can kick 60 metres will get it to the centre almost
  • Together these two rules are very likely to help teams move the ball forward more quickly
  • The 10 metre rule is the that i think will create the most innovation from coaches and may end up having the greatest impact in terms of changing how the game is played - for example: the longest kicks might, rather than the most accurate, might take kick ins, we might see more torps (like the one Frost unloaded against the Hawks) and maybe a play will b to kick to space (and over presses) on the wings and let quick players  'race' to get it
  • Also coaches will need to come up with new defensive mechanism to maintain presses and stop quick transitions - and i have no doubt they will

Impact on dees:

  • As FarNorthernD points out the recruitment of May will benefit us with the new kick in rule he is long and accurate kick that should provide opportunities for very quick transition
  • But players like Frost and hunt, who are both quick and can kick long torps might get a crack at kick outs
  • Also Hunt with his speed might be a player who could run into space for long bombs kicked into space down a wing

Potential implementation and interpretation issues:

  • In terms of interpretation, without a line on the ground based on umpires inability to gauge 15 metre kicks i suspect they will regularly get the 10 metre wrong - they 'll probably let them run 20! - maybe they will need to put a dot 10 meters out
  • That said both rules easy to interpret and i don't really see any possible implementation issues - however as noted above i think these rules will have abig impact and no doubt a number of unintended consequences
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2 minutes ago, binman said:

Kick-ins

  • At kick-ins, a player will no longer need to kick to himself to play on from the goal square.
  • Following a behind, the man on the mark will be brought out to 10m from the top of the goal square, rather than the existing five metres.  

Impact on competition:

Another unforeseen impact may be clubs will put more emphasis on goal kicking practice at training.

Kicking a behind gives an even bigger advantage to the opposition than previously...it's going to be a lot easier to go end to end with the whole ground spread out in front of you and not very easy to defend.

Accuracy will be king...

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13 hours ago, Macca said:

The contentious one could well be the new 'Hands in the Back' interpretation.  A player playing from from behind can currently use his body or forearm to hold his ground but the use of the hands could easily open up a can of worms

What's a push and what isn't a push?  Another grey area created to add to the long list of grey areas.  And what's to stop the player in front lurching forward once he feels the hands on his back?  Don't like that new rule. 

 

They pretty much cleaned this one up 'Macca' only to open the can of worms again.

One for the defenders.

What position did Hocking play?

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11 minutes ago, rjay said:

They pretty much cleaned this one up 'Macca' only to open the can of worms again.

One for the defenders.

What position did Hocking play?

We also previously saw a lot of forwards playing from behind using their hands.  I see it as cheating and don't like it at all. 

But you're spot on rjay,  they cleaned up the rule and now they've opened up the rule to be exploited again.  What are the chances that they un-repeal the new new rule?  🙄

Use your body,  use your forearm,  use your knees - but not your hands.  One thing I can almost guarantee -  the new rule is going to cause angst for the lack of consistency.  And with grey areas such as these,  you will never get consistency.  The sport is difficult enough to officiate now.

The other changes I'm ok with although the ruckman having to nominate themselves seems a bit overly officious.

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Impact of the changes - I see higher scores and much bigger winning margins in games that are blowouts

I guess that's one of the AFL's intended / desired outcomes but it could lead to some pretty ugly results - more difficult for teams to play a defensive quarter to offset momentum wind advantage etc.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Sydee said:

Impact of the changes - I see higher scores and much bigger winning margins in games that are blowouts

I guess that's one of the AFL's intended / desired outcomes but it could lead to some pretty ugly results - more difficult for teams to play a defensive quarter to offset momentum wind advantage etc.

 

 

Yes the 6-6-6 rule probably would have changed the result of last years Grand Final. West Coast would not have been able to drop back two extra players into defence and regroup when the Pies got out to 5 goals in front. For that reason alone thank god it wasn’t in place or we would all be putting up with a Collingwood flag!

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6 minutes ago, Sydee said:

..................... - more difficult for teams to play a defensive quarter to offset momentum wind advantage etc.

 

should suit norf playing in hobart. they should get the wind game tactics down to an art

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On 1/27/2019 at 12:17 PM, Rod Grinter Riot Squad said:

One issue with the 666 starting formation will be IMO a greater importance to the role of the ruckman (and may be why we have recruited Preuss to play alongside Gawn - something I have concerns about), a good tap ruckman who can give his midfielders first use of the ball and a quick entry into the 50 will be worth the weight in gold.

 

On that, quality contested marks in the forward 50 will be of even more importance due to many of the clearances being long and direct forward 50 entries. This rule has the potential of being enormously beneficial to the Demons

 That means with the best ruckman in Max and our elite midfield consisting of Viney, Oliver, Brayshaw ,Harmes  and Jones, 

 WOW !  it looks like the stars are finally aligning. 

 

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666 positioning will have NO effect on the game.  It happens only at centre bounces, and it has been already estimated that the winger can reach the CHB position within seconds of the ball being bounced ( not when it is first taken possession).  Clubs will still be able to stack the backline during the remaining 99.9% of the game. 

If the AFL wanted to make a serious effort it would have instituted 666 for the whole game.

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1 hour ago, george_on_the_outer said:

666 positioning will have NO effect on the game.  It happens only at centre bounces, and it has been already estimated that the winger can reach the CHB position within seconds of the ball being bounced ( not when it is first taken possession).  Clubs will still be able to stack the backline during the remaining 99.9% of the game. 

If the AFL wanted to make a serious effort it would have instituted 666 for the whole game.

no doubt, it's coming in the next few seasons

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1 hour ago, george_on_the_outer said:

666 positioning will have NO effect on the game.  It happens only at centre bounces, and it has been already estimated that the winger can reach the CHB position within seconds of the ball being bounced ( not when it is first taken possession).  Clubs will still be able to stack the backline during the remaining 99.9% of the game. 

If the AFL wanted to make a serious effort it would have instituted 666 for the whole game.

Maybe you are right - if you are - what's the point of this change ? Surely there is an intended consequence for changing the status quo ?

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5 hours ago, binman said:

 

Potential implementation and interpretation issues:

  • In terms of interpretation, without a line on the ground based on umpires inability to gauge 15 metre kicks i suspect they will regularly get the 10 metre wrong - they 'll probably let them run 20! - maybe they will need to put a dot 10 meters out.

The grass at most(if not all) grounds is cut in 10 metre (light/dark) widths to help umpires gauge distances. Check it out next time you’re at the G, you’ll notice 5 widths from goal line to apex of 50 metre arc.

Of course that doesn’t mean the blind so and so’s don’t get it wrong from time to time😎.

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1 hour ago, george_on_the_outer said:

666 positioning will have NO effect on the game.  It happens only at centre bounces, and it has been already estimated that the winger can reach the CHB position within seconds of the ball being bounced ( not when it is first taken possession).  Clubs will still be able to stack the backline during the remaining 99.9% of the game. 

If the AFL wanted to make a serious effort it would have instituted 666 for the whole game.

And that could leave his wingman opponent standing on his own with a chance to receive the ball unopposed from a quick clearance from the bounce down. 

No effect on the game?  There are far too many variables involved for that to be true.  I would suggest there's more likely a 99% chance that the new 666 rule will have an effect on the game in some form or another.  Whatever that is,  is anyone's guess.

The remaining 99.9% of the game is an incorrect number too ... more like 80% - 90% of the game as the 666 rule will be applied roughly 25 - 45 times per game depending on how many goals are scored.  And each application of the 666 rule will take up a certain amount of game time.

Applying the 666 rule for the whole game is problematic.  There may be a way to do it but any solution I've seen put forward becomes impractical. 

If the goal is to reduce congestion on the ground then bringing the numbers down to 15 or 16 per team could be a viable alternative.  But then we'd be messing with the very fabric of the game.

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2 hours ago, george_on_the_outer said:

666 positioning will have NO effect on the game.  It happens only at centre bounces, and it has been already estimated that the winger can reach the CHB position within seconds of the ball being bounced ( not when it is first taken possession).  Clubs will still be able to stack the backline during the remaining 99.9% of the game. 

If the AFL wanted to make a serious effort it would have instituted 666 for the whole game.

Disagree that it will have no effect. It certainly won't be a huge impact as there are not that many clearances direct from the cenre. But in the event there is one it will not be possible for the winger to fill the 'hole' 30 meters out in front of goal (which the spare currently does), even if they start eg right on the 50 meter arc. A direct tap to a mid then kick will be at that spot in less than 5 seconds.no player is that quick.

And as macca notes team would be rolling the dice having one or both of their wingers starting on the 50 meter arc as the opposition will then have the option of having their winger stand by himself dead centre wing or just ahead of centre.

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Surely 666 will suit the Demons !!

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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

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