Jump to content

  • Podcast:     

  • Podcast:     

EASTER BUNNIES by George on the Outer



Recommended Posts

Easter is supposed to be an occasion of hope, revival and ultimately celebration.  But for the Demon supporters it was none of these as yet again their team was made Easter Bunnies by the Saints.

With the exception of Christian Salem, there was not a single winner on the ground.  The danger for the Demons was giving the Saints their own hope and enthusiasm by conceding early goals.  That is exactly what happened in the first quarter, although with some ridiculous frees from the umpires close to goal.

Nevertheless, the opportunity still stood before the Melbourne players, all they had to do was stay in the game, and all the efforts would come to fruition ... surely ... surely?  

On just about every statistic the Demons outclassed the Saints, yet the scoreboard showed no genuine improvement.  Simple fact is that the forward line is completely and utterly dysfunctional. Aside from early goals (yet again) from Braydon Preuss, the rest of the designated forwards contributed nothing of value for the game (yet again). 

Jake Melksham with two goals and Christian Petracca with a single out of a total of seven majors for the game says it all. Once again Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman failed to bother the goal umpires. We are missing Jesse Hogan more than most would admit, and the plans to cover his loss have been shown to be worthless.

A single goal in the second quarter, followed by another goal-less third quarter, as the Saints piled on eight unanswered goals to have the match all sewn up by ¾ time. 

Too many only look at the defenders and blame them for when the opposition walk the ball into goal, seemingly without a Melbourne player nearby. The truth is the problem lies further up the ground, particularly with those non-performing forwards, and some will not like to hear this, but also the mids.

For the third time this season we have been absolutely cut to ribbons by the small outside runners.  Where do they come from?  Just look a little upfield to see where the likes of Lonie, Billings, Steven and Steele start their runs from.  Who are their opponents?  They are usually easy to find as they are 30 metres behind.  

And sadly, their opponents are some of the highest possession getters for the Melbourne side.  Not much point getting the hands on the ball when your opponents are busy waltzing down the field and kicking goals ...

The situation is not aided when the coaching staff put Jones and Lewis on the wings.  That might have been something done in 2018, but wings are now needed and used (by winning sides) to cover a far greater depth of the ground.  

And Melbourne players on those wings and even flanks continue to just meander toward the contest.  It was a sharp contrast to St.Kilda players who ran toward the middle to either cover defensively, or provide an outside option.   

The other standout was the team positioning in general play by St.Kilda. They were well drilled at the outside fringe and moved almost ballet like together as they kept their Melbourne opponents inside by a metre or so.  

Should they win the ball, they have that metre start, but not just one of them, all of them.  It was why the Melbourne players were so far behind as the Saints linked up down the field.  

In sharp contrast the Demon players gave their opponents five metres and have fallen into the old defensive zone trap of “guarding grass”. 

This type of zone works on a basketball court where the space is limited.  On a football field it leaves holes everywhere.  To apply it to a football field, it is essential to concede the minimum space, but keep the opponent within striking range.

Back to the forwards. Tom Mac cannot run at the moment - he has not recovered from his foot injury and so cannot lead.  Weideman needs serious coaching in forward work.  His leads are non-existent and as a result the only time he is seen competing is in the air, contests he will not win until he adds strength to his body.  He also needs coaching on when to jump, as he runs under the flight of the ball too often.  

Importantly, ALL the forwards need to apply some pressure on their opponents.  Remember, Tom can’t run, but Petracca, Melksham, Weidemannn and even Hunt were nowhere to be seen. Between them they could only manage 7 tackles for the game! That’s the same number as Jack Viney.  This is where the opposition start their attacks, especially when the same players are unable to mark the ball to keep it in the forward 50m. 

Melbourne certainly didn’t come home with the chocolates at Easter.  Those failings that have re-surfaced again and again since the start of the season will surely standout even more  when facing a Richmond side which uses forward manic pressure and slingshot manoeuvres to score more than any other side. 

Is there any hope?  Probably not, for coming into an ANZAC eve match without ammunition or reserves is something not even those brave souls at Gallipoli faced.  

Demon fans are calling for various players to be replaced, but the options at Casey have either been tried and failed, or are simply not up to the task. We desperately do need a player or 2 in the forward line who can run and chase or who can mark the ball.  Losing one of the current batch in front of goal will not change the scoreline, given their output this season.  

The season is now over for the Demons.  In 2018, even in losing games, the side was competitive.  Failings could be sheeted home to youth and inexperience.  

Not so this year.  

We have returned to the stage where opposition get runs of unanswered goals, and we have no answer.  We have too many unfit, injured players unable to make a meaningful contribution, with little prospect of replacements to fill the gaps.  

And unlike the Christian faith, there is little prospect of resurrection in three days.  

Melbourne 3.3.21 4.5.29 4.8.32 7.13.55  

St Kilda 4.1.25   7.2.44 12.5.77 15.5.95  

Goals  

Melbourne Melksham Preuss 2 Brayshaw Harmes Preuss  

St Kilda Membrey 4 Kent 3 Billings Bruce 2 Acres Lonie Long Parker  

Best   

Melbourne Brayshaw Oliver Gawn Harmes Salem Hore

St Kilda Billings Kent Membrey Newnes Acres Steele Geary  

Injuries   

Melbourne Nil   

St Kilda Long (corked thigh)  

Reports

Melbourne Nil  

St Kilda Nil

Umpires Chamberlain Whetton Harris  

Official crowd 35,558 at the MCG

ReportRd052019.png

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles

    CANCEL CULTURE by Whispering Jack

    I’m not one who likes mixing politics with sport but it should be noted there have been some unusual trends in the world of sport lately. In the US, Major League Baseball announced that it’s moving the 2021 All-Star Game and the 2021 MLB Draft out of Georgia, in response to the state’s new voting law. Over here, there’s a move to force Carlton to change its club song because the original song on which it was based (written in the late 1800s) has “racist connotations”. The Blues maintain the curr

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    MOGGIES MASTERED by George on the Outer

    They say that herding cats is an impossible task but not for the Melbourne Demons who through relentless pressure, scored a commanding 25 point victory in Round 4 over Geelong at the MCG. The team that missed the AFL finals only once in the past dozen years were shown up by the new Demons of 2021 who have recorded their first 4-0 opening to the season in 21 years! Melbourne knew what was coming, and it was Geelong who were shown up for their inability to adapt to the 2021 style of foot

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    UNDER MY SKIN by The Oracle

    The story goes that there’s a certain player from Geelong who has been seen in Moorabool Street crooning the old Sinatra classic, “I’ve got you under my skin.” His name is O’Connor and he’s been tasked to achieve one thing on Sunday by his coach, Chris Scott: to get under the skin of a Demon midfielder on Sunday and thereby tag him out of the big contest at the G. The idea behind the tactic is to not only blunt one of the team’s most destructive weapons but to distract them all from producing th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    MAX IN SPACE

    Demon skipper Max Gawn is one big unit at 208cm and lately he’s been standing even taller. We already know that he’s unstoppable in the air when going for a mark but with three consecutive victories to open the season, you might say that he has his head in the clouds.  And that is literally true thanks to a fan at Demonland.com who recently arranged for our big ruckman to go even further than the clouds but way beyond to the edge of space and into the stratosphere. And this photograph of Ma

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 25

    CAPITAL PUNISHMENT by George on the Outer

    A 34-point win in the nation’s capital has seen the Demons kill the Giants hopes early in the 2021 season. It wasn’t only the scoreboard, but a succession of injuries to major players for GWS that has put paid to their aspirations. The winning result wasn’t just due to the opposition losing players, but also to the relentless pressure from this 2021 Melbourne side that put them in the winners circle. In past years, a 16 point deficit at the first change combined with a rampant Toby Greene w

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    POWER AND THE PASSION by Whispering Jack

    The Demons ran out for their Qualifying Final match against the Fremantle Dockers at Casey Fields as the sounds of Midnight Oils’ “Power and the Passion cascaded over the mainly friendly pro-Melbourne crowd. It was a far cry from the season opener at Carrara in late January where few of their fans were in attendance in high 20’s heat and humidity and silence greeted every score from the slow-starting Demons. They ran away from the lowly Suns, won comfortably in the end and followed that with ano

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    BREAK OUT by Whispering Jack

    Despite the chaotic events occurring in Canberra over the past few weeks, one thing is for certain. This weekend’s game at Manuka Oval in the nation’s capital between the GWS Giants and Melbourne will decide which of Scott Morrison or Leon Cameron is the most under the pump at this point in time.  This time twelve months ago, the Giants were coming off a season in which they had played off in a grand final. They opened up their 2020 campaign with a resounding 32-point victory in round 1 aga

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    MARVELOUS PRESSURE by George on the Outer

    Is this a new form of Melbourne which has suddenly emerged in 2021?  In the past, whenever the pressure was applied, the team would falter early and as a consequence, it would more often than not, be forced to confront its own self-inflicted failure. But perhaps not so this year. The match at Marvel Stadium against the Saints provided an insight into how creating pressure, actually relieves it on the club, players and coach. Right from the start, Melbourne was there to make a stat

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    STUCK IN THE MIDDLE by The Oracle

    Throughout the off season, St Kilda was touted as an improver and a possible challenger for a top four position mainly off the back of another good trade and draft period at the end of last year. Then in Round 1, the undermanned Saints made a shaky start and almost succumbed to the Giants but they managed to come home from a wet and woolly Sydney with the four points intact. For Round 2, they have a couple of handy players returning so they come into the the game at Marvel Stadium choc

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    A SCRAPPY, SLOPPY SUCCESS by George on the Outer

    After what seemed like an eternity without Footy in Melbourne, the Demons and their fans produced a scrappy, sloppy yet successful return to the MCG. Yet is was against an interstate team from the furthest reaches of the country, but the 21K fans who made it through the gates, was way below expectations for numbers.  Sure it can’t have helped with all the difficulty that Ticketek imposed just to get a ticket, and since you just couldn’t walk up, perhaps the number wasn’t that surprising.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    UNFINISHED BUSINESS by Whispering Jack

    The Melbourne Football Club has unfinished business with Fremantle after that unexpected loss in their previous clash at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns cost it a place in last year’s finals campaign.   Back then, the tired Demons spluttered listlessly through the humid conditions in tropical far North Queensland playing in and losing two games in the space of four days and against two lowly clubs. The end result was much more than an embarrassment for the club given what was at stake at th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    PRACTICE PUMMELLING by George on the Outer

    Was this a practice for what lay ahead for the Demons in 2021 or was it an outcome to expect because it was used as a true practice game? Those of us on the outside will never know, but a 39 point loss to the Western Bulldogs was a pummelling in anyone’s language. We can draw some consolation from the players that Melbourne put on the field, with Toby Bedford, Jake Bowey, Kade Chandler, James Jordon and Tom Sparrow each getting a guernsey whereas they probably would not normally be in the f

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

×
×
  • Create New...