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GORN AT THE GABBA by George on The Outer

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With Melbourne leading the Brisbane Lions in the second term, and the game in the balance, a Max Gawn ankle injury signalled that the Demons were as good as gorrnnn for the match.

Without a suitable 2nd ruck and (once again) forced to use either Tom McDonald, Tim Smith or Sam Weidemann in the ruck the Demons found themselves without a forward line that could kick a winning score.

Not that anything really changed, as the forward line has been completely dysfunctional all season and one could be forgiven should one of the coaches had quoted that famous football pundit…Guru Bob:

“As the Commander of the naval vessel Lusitania confided, when the front half of his boat was blown off by a torpedo…..’We just had nothing up forward! “

Brisbane were doing their best to keep the Demons hopes alive and at half time score 4 goals and 11 behinds. The tide had to turn for them, or the Demons would start kicking some goals themselves but it was Brisbane who started and in particular Eric Hipwood, who found where the big sticks were located.

From the 19th minute of the 3rd quarter to the end of the game, he kicked 5 goals to sink the opposition, and show the value of straight kicking with those 5 goals being his only score.  Melbourne in contrast had more inside 50’s to that point, but the only Demon forward who had more kicks for the game was Jayden Hunt!

Things were further exacerbated by the lack of input from Weidemann and Smith with 2 and 3 marks for the game respectively.  Sam needs further development, but where and how to do this ... back at Casey or more games at senior level?  His lack of intensity and follow-up is telling when he simply stops moving when he doesn’t mark the ball.  

Christian Petracca provided some early highlights but then faded, Mitch Hannan kicked a couple, but not much more.  ANB ran around like a headless chook again, and had no impact whatsoever, and must now surely be destined to finish the year at Casey, after multiple similar performances this year.
The really telling failure in the game happened in the middle.  Despite Max having 25 hitouts despite missing 1/3 of the game, and then barely able to jump off the ground following his return, the rest of the mids were also gorn….to some other place.

Neale and Zorko had a field day, and even though Oliver racked up 36 touches, especially around the ground, he was a sole fighter.  At one point in the 3rd quarter clearances were 19 to 2 in Brisbanes favour, a figure which undoubtedly got worse later in the game.

Christian Salem put in another fine performance and surely has etched his name on the Bluey Truscott trophy for this year with another 32 touches off half-back.  But this is a sign of what is going wrong, the ball just keeps heading down the defensive end too much.  

Even Steven May at full-back managed 18 disposals, likewise Frost with 18 of his own,  and 3rd gamer Petty topped the side for marks with 8.  Nathan Jones also playing down back managed 23 touches, and probably should have been used in the middle at some point, simply because the side was being so badly beaten in that area.

These are numbers that should be found in the middle, not down back, but the final result and the fact that Melbourne were still in the game until half way through the 3rd shows how well the defenders were holding back the tidal wave coming their way.

We all know about the injuries that have cruelled the season.  Now we need to start experimenting, as what we are currently doing is failing.  Brisbane lose their 2nd ruckman ( McInerney) to injury, and they still have Steph Martin running around.  We lose our and we pillage the forward line, that is already bereft of a target.  Meanwhile Brayden Preuss is setting new records for selection as a game emergency player.  

This season is already gorn…..if the “Melbourne style” is required for season 2020, then players who don’t or can’t play that way have to be passed over.  The coaches have spoken of the need for development, and there is not going to be a better game to do so than in the forthcoming game against Carlton.  

Melbourne 3.3.21 6.5.41 9.6.60 11.8.74

Brisbane Lions 2.6.18 4.11.35 10.14.74 15.17.107  

Goals   

Melbourne Hannan Petracca 2 Fritsch Hunt Lockhart T McDonald May Viney Weideman 

Brisbane Lions Hipwood 5 Zorko 3 Answerth Bailey Cameron Christensen Lyons McCarthy Robinson 

Best  

Melbourne Salem Viney Oliver Petracca May  Jones

Brisbane Lions Zorko Neale Rich McCluggage Hipwood Lyons  

Injuries

Melbourne Max Gawn (ankle) 

Brisbane Lions Witherden (virus) replaced in selected side by Starcevich McInerney (concussion)

Reports 

Melbourne Nil 

Brisbane Lions Nil 

Umpires Fisher, Rosebury, Gavine 

Crowd 24,809 at Gabba.    

 

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