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THE MELBOURNE WAY by George on the Outer

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Much has been made by the coaching staff of playing a “Melbourne way” style of play. The nail-biting finish by the Demons in the dying minute of the game could not have been any more the case in point.  

Leading by a game-high 38 points late in the third quarter, and by five goals at the final change, this should have been the catalyst for a romp home to an easy win.  

But that is not the “Melbourne way” and the supporters, especially those with a severe case of MFCSS (aka intense insecurity), knew all too well what would happen.    

The last quarter started typically, when Tom McDonald failed to show after the ¾ time huddle.  A knee injury (possibly another long term injury and what could be more “Melbourne way” than that), saw him on crutches despite a 6 goal haul up to that point.

McDonald’s injury combined with a concussion to Harry Petty and a broken collar bone to the already missing Marty Hore meant the Demons had a solitary rotation available ... and the already high levels of intense insecurity started going through the roof.  It didn’t take long, as Carlton kicked 4 goals within 10 minutes to bring them within striking distance, and their ‘desperate for success’ fans started to high five and find their voice.    

In typical “Melbourne way” the Demons couldn’t find a way to kick a goal, which would have put the game beyond reach.  Overusing the ball in front of goal saw the certain opportunities squandered and Carlton continued to build hope as a result.   

Sure enough, with barely minutes left on the clock, they hit the front with a rushed behind leaving Carlton fans beside themselves. However, they too had forgotten the ability of their team to lose the un-loseable.  

That and Clayton Oliver who despite exhaustion, with 26 touches, 19 contested possessions and 10 clearances for the game, found a way to extract the ball from the Carlton clutches and deliver to a running Jayden Hunt in the forward 50.    If there was ever a clutch goal for a player, and the side it was this shot at the big sticks.  

Losing the match from this point would have seen Carlton leapfrog the Demons on the ladder, and leave the supporters with little hope, not only for the remainder of the season, but for the next as well.    

Fortunately, Jayden kicked truly.  But the “Melbourne way” still had something to give.  Mitch Hannan broke from the pack in the middle and kicked toward the open unattended goal.  As it bounced in the goal square, everyone knew that this would seal the game….surely!  

But the ball stopped in the Melbourne way - dead short of the goal line by millimetres!  A frantic rush saw it pushed through for another behind but with only two minutes left on the clock, Carlton still had a chance.    

They pushed the ball forward and it came down to a Steven May v Mitch McGovern grappling contest, as the sole competitors within the Carlton 50m arc. Gladly, Melbourne had recruited May and his big strong body, because no other Melbourne defender would have been able to match it with McGovern.  

Still McGovern managed to get a boot to the ball off the ground and it rolled toward goal and  ... hit the post!    

No longer was it the game of the “Melbourne way”, but now it was the “Carlton way” to lose a game….again!  Make no mistake.  

Melbourne were in complete control of this game, but it was a game of 16th v 17th on the ladder.  

The Demons relished the constant turnovers from the Navy Blues and while they punished them for it, another team would have been 10 goals up at ¾ time, not 5.    

Melbourne simply lacks any form of a credible forward line.  Tom McDonald piled on 6 goals to ¾ time but without him, the fragility up front was again exposed.  

Sam Weideman failed to show much and is constantly pushed off the ball in contested situations. He is a run and jump type, which happens rarely today, so a summer in the gym should be the target in the months ahead.    

With Tom off the ground, Brayden Preuss played all but 5 minutes of the last quarter. That dragged Weideman into the ruck, Petracca was moved to the middle, and left the Demons with a forward line of Hunt, Lockhart, Hannan, Dunkley and ANB and that wasn’t likely to worry even the Carlton backs.    

Preuss finally got his chance in the seniors and showed the coaching staff (hopefully) that he has a role there on a more permanent basis.  He beat Kreuser convincingly with 44 hitouts to 24 with 43% of those to advantage. Those are numbers that Gawn would be proud of, particularly against Kreuser. He combined that with 14 touches but the message surely is that he is a reliable back up in the ruck, and can also provide us with another option up forward when resting ... which is surely what has been lacking again and again this year.  

A big change was made in the middle with Jordan Lewis given the chance to play in his old stamping ground. His ability to simply get the ball in tight situations was seen, and importantly he shut down Marc Murphy comprehensively. This relieved pressure on Oliver who had a belter of a game, and ultimately saved the game itself for us.    

More injuries, and the suffering MFCSS fans will surely be thinking the worst as Tom goes in for scans on Monday….it’s the Melbourne way! With the list of “outs” still not dropping and coming up against a rampant Western Bulldogs at Marvel stadium next week the result would not be likely to fall in the Demons favour.  

But then again, that would not be the “Melbourne way” and so a positive result for the team will surely be the outcome.     

Melbourne 4.4.28 7.11.53 14.12.96 15.15.105  

Carlton 2.4.16 5.4.34 10.6.66 15.10.100  

Goals   

Melbourne T McDonald 6 Hunt Petracca 3 Harmes Neal-Bullen Weideman   

Carlton Casboult Setterfield Silvagni 3 Kennedy 2 Dow Fisher Gibbons O’Brien  

Best   

Melbourne  Fritsch T McDonald May Salem Harmes Jones  

Carlton Silvagni Murphy Kreuzer E Curnow Walsh Setterfield  

Injured  Melbourne Max Gawn (ankle) replaced in selected side by Braydon Preuss, Marty Hore (broken collarbone) Tom McDonald (knee) Harry Petty (concussion)  

Carlton Jacob Weitering (concussion)  

Reported  

Melbourne Nil   

Carlton Nil  

Umpires Rosebury Deboy Heffeman  

Official crowd 55,593 at the MCG

ReportRd162019.png

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