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2019 IS NOT 2018 by George on the Outer

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 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.  It is easy for the coach to come out and say “ we were scored against easily” but the reason that happened is probably because we are still playing the game as it was played in 2018.

The rules have changed, and other teams have worked us out.  The Melbourne “brand” of contested football is fine if you win the ball, when you don’t it means you leak goals because we have insufficient players behind and outside the contest.  It is why we see other teams this season “waltz” the ball into goal.  It is why opposition forwards are seen to be un-manned.  

The Rules have changed.  6-6-6 was introduced to open the game up in the middle.  The jury on that aspect is still out, but opposition coaches are now sitting a resting ruck in their forward line in lieu and we have seen it in all 3 games in 2019.  In this game Zac Clarke was brought into the side to do exactly that alongside Bellchambers.  

They had little effect as players, but it forced us to put one of our tall defenders on them and that opened the gate for Stringer, Tipungwuti and McKernan who each kicked 4 goals!

And our resting ruck?…..he will be playing at Casey.

It may not be obvious to some but Jesse Hogan is now playing for Fremantle.  We are playing with 1 less tall forward in 2019.  So why is Sam Weidemann being used as a substitute ruck?

In this game against the Bombers, we saw the ridiculous situation when Tom McDonald injured an ankle in the 2nd quarter, had to leave the ground, and then was used on a wing.  Max Gawn was resting on the bench and Weideman was rucking.  Even after Gawn came back on, Weideman had to be rested on the bench.  Having Gawn return to the ruck position saw Melbourne’s resurgence in that quarter.  Does that not send a message we need a full-time ruckman on the ground?

It is easy when the opposition kicks 20 goals to focus on the backline.  There is no doubt that Oscar McDonald is playing well below par.  Frost is filling a hole, which he will probably continue to do so, even with the return of May and Lever.  But they are being asked to take on opponents much bigger and stronger than themselves, especially with resting rucks dropping back.  

Then to top it off we are still following the mantra of going at the man with the ball, even if it means 3 Melbourne players doing exactly the same thing, resulting in loose opposition players.

And the backline needs help, especially with our current defender drought. The wingers need to get back to cover, but instead are heading toward the middle like they did in 2018.  In 2019 it should be the HFF’s heading to the wing and the middle, but hey it worked last year, didn’t it?

The disfunction of the forward line is more critical, because this is from where the opposition in 2019 have launched their attacks.  Contested football isn’t just in the middle, and once again the lack of pressure from the forwards to keep the ball inside the scoring area was appalling.  We saw Melbourne players all flying for the ball leaving no-one crumbing.  

The times when Hunt and Lockhart stayed on the ground saw them rewarded, but it was the exception. Neal-Bulleen provided nothing again in the forward line, with his opponent Saad doubling his possessions. 2018 performances shouldn’t get games in 2019.

This week the Hun re-opened the wounds of the “tanking saga” of the 2009 season ... winning no more than 4 games was thought to be a good thing, because it worked for Carlton, Collingwood, Hawthorn and others in previous years.  

Well that turned out really well didn’t it, since we learned playing by last years rules doesn’t get you reward.  

Are we making the same mistake on the field in 2019?
 
Melbourne  3.1.19 10.1.61 12.3.75 18.4.112

Essendon 6.4.40 8.6.54 15.6.96 20.10.130

Goals

Melbourne Harmes Hunt 3 Lockhart Melksham Weideman 2 Brayshaw Gawn Kolodjashnij Neal-Bullen Petracca C Wagner

Essendon McDonald-Tipungwuti McKernan Stringer 4 Fantasia Smith 2 Baguley McGrath Parish Zaharakis

 Best 

Melbourne Gawn Brayshaw Hunt Oliver Harmes Lockhart

Essendon Heppell Shiel McDonald-Tipungwuti Zaharakis Stringer Fantasia 

Injuries 

Melbourne T McDonald (ankle)

Essendon Mutch (hamstring), Francis (corked quad)

Reports Nil

Umpires Stevic Harris Haussen

Official crowd 52,475 at the MCG


ReportRd032019.jpg

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