Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Posts

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 arc into just six goals at the Cattery on Saturday night. Their opponents who managed 25 less inside 50s scored six goals or more in the first, third and last quarters. That is as damning a statement of the team’s ineptitude as you can get.

Leaving aside the first 11 minutes of the season when it scored three goals to zip against Port Adelaide, Melbourne’s scoring has completely dried up and is a definite cause for concern for coach Simon Goodwin along with the decline of many team members who were in sparkling form last year.

But the Bombers have been in a similar place in their two games, barely giving a whimper against Greater Western Sydney and lowering their colours to an injury-hit St Kilda in their two matches.

With so little form to go by, it’s almost impossible to predict a result in this game so the only thing I can go on is history.

Melbourne is playing at home on a Friday night. Its last two encounters on that day and at that time were electrifying finals victories in front of large enthusiastic crowds that marvelled over the team's hardness and endeavour. The Demons haven’t had an MCG home game against the Bombers since 2010 so they should relish the reminder of how they played just four or five games ago in AFL terms.

Although neither side has many aces up their sleeves, the Demons can take heart from the fact Max Gawn returned to form last week in the ruck and Clayton Oliver was sensational in a losing team and in a midfield that came close to matching a very strong Geelong engine room. Their presence will, in my view, tip the scales in favour of the home side and hopefully, end a slump as the team has done in the past two years when facing Essendon. Last year's win started a six game winning streak that ultimately led the team into the finals and a top four berth.

There's not much to go on but if one of these sides is going to play the hare to the other’s tortoise this week then it had better be us.

Melbourne by 4 points.

Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Friday, 5 April, 2019 at 7.50pm

Overall Melbourne 83 wins Essendon 129 wins 2 draws
At MCG Melbourne 45 wins Essendon 66 wins 1 draw

The last five meetings Melbourne 3 wins Essendon 2 wins
The Coaches  Goodwin 2 wins Worsfold 0 wins
TV – Fox Footy Channel Channel 7 Live at 7.30pm
THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.12.108 defeated Essendon 10.12.72 at Etihad Stadium, Round 6, 2018
Melbourne started slowly but gradually took control and dominated the second half. Gawn dominated the rucks while Salem, Hibberd and Jones got plenty of the football.

B Jay Lockhart  Oscar McDonald  Neville Jetta 
HB Josh Wagner  Sam Frost  Christian Salem 
C Jayden Hunt  Clayton Oliver  Nathan Jones 
HF James Harmes  Sam Weideman  Kade Kolodjashnij 
F Angus Brayshaw  Tom McDonald  Jake Melksham 
FOLL Max Gawn  Christian Petracca  Jack Viney 
I/C Bayley Fritsch Michael Hibberd  Alex Neal-Bullen   Corey Wagner 
EMG Harrison Petty Braydon Preuss  Tom Sparrow  Billy Stretch  

IN Corey Wagner Josh Wagner

OUT Steven May (injured) Tom Sparrow (omitted)


B  Aaron Francis  Patrick Ambrose  Conor McKenna 
HB Kobe Mutch  Michael Hurley  Adam Saad 
C Orazio Fantasia  Zach Merrett  Andrew McGrath 
HF Jake Stringer  Zac Clarke  Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti 
F Devon Smith  Shaun McKernan  Mark Baguley 
FOL Tom Bellchambers  David Zaharakis  Dylan Shiel 
I/C Matt Guelfi  Dyson Heppell  David Myers  Darcy Parish 
EMG Mitch Brown  Sam Draper Kyle Langford  Jordan Ridley   

IN Zac Clarke Kobe Mutch 

OUT Mitch Brown (omitted) Kyle Langford (omitted) 

Round 3 injury list:

Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – available
Charlie Spargo (jaw) – 1 week
Steven May (groin) – TBC
Jordan Lewis (hamstring) – 1-2 weeks
Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 3-5 weeks  
Joel Smith (groin) – TBA
Mitch Hannan (knee) – 6-8 weeks
Jake Lever (knee) – 6-8 weeks
Jay Kennedy Harris (knee) – 10-12 weeks
Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite
Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season


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

    BACK IN STYLE by Whispering Jack

    From the moment when the Elton John character in the movie “Rocketman” burst into its opening scene dressed as a flamboyant demon on his way to an addiction rehabilitation session, the game was on. Here was yet another film about a person gifted with a meteoric rise to stardom finding coke, booze and a hedonistic lifestyle that led directly to a destructive crash into the abyss. Ultimately, these stories end in total disaster (“A Star is Born”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Judy”) but this one resulted

    Demonland |
    Special Features


    PART ONE - OVERTURE  I have a disclaimer at the outset. I’m not a fan of the races - be they horses or motors of any kind. Once the final siren sounds on the football season, I find the month or so that follows and corresponds roughly with the Spring Racing Carnival to be the most boring time of the year for sports fans. You turn on the radio and you’re confronted by the monotonous drone of a self-proclaimed racing expert or by the nasally twang of an ex-jockey banging on about the equine p

    Demonland |
    Special Features 8

    CHANGES 2019 by The Oracle

    PART 1 - IT’S A LITTLE MORE COMPLICATED THIS TIME This year’s free agency, trade and draft period will see the usual drama and upheaval as the AFL’s 18 clubs seek to better their lists in order to challenge for finals and possibly premiership honours. Long before the final siren sounded on the season just over a week ago, the maneuvering was under way with player agents and clubs discussing possible player movements and in some cases, deals had already been done.  Yesterday, the r

    Demonland |
    Special Features 2

    HOW FAR SOUTH? by George on the Outer

    It was appropriate that Melbourne was playing its last game of season 2019 in Hobart.  After all, how much further south could the team go? And much as it has done in many of the previous 22 games, the side managed to extract a loss from a winning position by simply giving the ball back to the opposition time and time again. In fact, they gave it back to the opposition to the tune of 53 points from turnovers while, by way of contrast North Melbourne contributed  only 17 points to their oppo

    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    COOKED by The Oracle

    I can vividly remember when the Demons ventured onto Blundstone Arena for the first time in early 2016 only to lose to the Kangaroos by 20.11.131 to 21.10.136.    Melbourne was then a team on the up and up: young, enthusiastic and bold. It gave up a huge quarter time deficit after kicking against a strong wind but made that up by half time and fell dramatically short after an exciting high scoring affair.  The team lost no fans that day - they were willing to take the game on and attac

    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    HELP by KC rom Casey

    The Casey Demons finished off their home and away season against Frankston at Skybus Stadium on Sunday with a narrow, unconvincing 6-point victory that left the door slightly open for a top eight berth when the VFL finals begin in a fortnight’s time. While sunny skies prevailed over Frankston in the morning, the skies became overcast by noon and heavy waves pounded the bay nearby as the rains came in to greet the players as the game started. And conditions stayed dark and dreary for the rem

    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    THANKS BUT NO THANKS by George on the Outer

    Thanks, but no thanks! In a round where the club was supposed to thank their fans for the support during the year, the Melbourne Football Club chose to do otherwise with a 53 point loss to a team that sat 15th on the ladder.  Don’t give us cheap jumpers that can’t be sold in the Demon shop.  Don’t give us vouchers to shop there, give us something on the field, which is why we come to the football in the first place. It was a disgraceful performance, which started with a disgracefu

    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    SLEEP OUT AT THE MCG by The Oracle

    Around about 12 months ago Melbourne and Sydney fought out an epic battle between two top eight teams fighting for the best possible ladder position in the lead up to the finals. The Swans triumphed by 9 points at the MCG after the Demons came back from five goals down at three quarter time. But for its poor kicking for goal, Melbourne might well have won the game and finished in the top four. Who knows what might then have happened for the club in September? As a consequence, the person re

    Demonland |
    Match Previews


    Two clubs that have been hard hit by injury recently took part in a dour battle under dark clouds and, with intermittent showers falling, it wasn’t a pretty game at Victoria Park on Sunday. Despite all that, the Casey Demons added a little ray of sunshine to their day to get the job done over a "traditional" rival with a 15 point victory over Collingwood VFL that breathed life back into their season. There were a few highlights at the ground that in past days has seen many titanic batt

    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    THE RETRO ROUND by George on the Outer

    We have seen it all before… Yes, a wonderful idea to showcase what used to be in football.  Big crowds, umpires who knew how to apply the rules and not opinions, high marks, skilful players. But for the Melbourne supporters their retro is what it has been like for the past 10 years. Losing games, end on end, year after year.  Opportunities squandered in front of goal. VFL standard players running around at the MCG. Just more of the same, and the game against Collingwood was no ex

    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE PEOPLE SPEAK by The Demonland Crew

    Thanks to Demonlanders for their input into this week’s preview. Ralphius Maximus is short and bittersweet: We'll crack in at the bounce to create a contest, win our share of the ball, butcher the forward movement and get scored on easily from the intercepts. Not that hard to predict. Big Demon says: Unfortunately Collingwood will win because they have a lot more to play for. We will be good in parts but really the season is well over so we will have to put up with those bell

    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    WHAT, NO BLOOD? by George on the Outer

    The feeling when turning up to the MCG on a Saturday night to play a top four side in Richmond, while the Melbourne sits cemented in close proximity to the bottom of the table is like attending the Colosseum in Ancient Roman times. The expectation is that a bloodbath is about to occur. There are 100,000 Richmond members and 50,000 Melbourne members, and despite the fact that it turned out to be a wet night after half-time, a crowd of only 37K bothered to turn up. That should never have happ

    Demonland |
    Match Reports

  • Create New...