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POSTGAME: Practice Match vs Bulldogs



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It's very easy to react negatively to that performance.

But it's a pre-season match in which we were missing almost our entire first choice midfield. Meanwhile the Dogs' overwhelming strength is their midfield. They bat deeper through there than any other side bar none. There is literally no worse side to be depleted in the middle against than the Dogs.

So when we're running AVB, Sparrow and Jordon at centre bounces, it's no wonder that Macrae, Bontempelli and Liberatore are winning the clearances. 

Almost everything else fell apart because of our inability to compete through the middle.

It's hard to judge the forwards because the midfield performance was so poor. TMac didn't look good at all though and I don't see a future in Bedford at all.

May and Lever were comfortably our best two. With a bit more support down there from Salem and Hibberd, hopefully we can convert their intercept play into some more attacking ball movement. The way we tried to move the ball today was not good.

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Some concerning signs I agree but just a note on Gawn and why he "can't tap it down the throat of the mids" A ruck is no good on his own - requires a midfield group that know how to structure a s

It’s only a practice game. Especially if you lose. 

We were always going to get outclassed around the stoppage with the players missing. However the ease they walked out of stoppages and our inability to stick a tackle was a disgrace. That and not one

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28 minutes ago, stinga said:

It was a practice game and when many of your best players are out, you take the opportunity to see what the next level of potential will show.  The trouble was we lost it at the selection table.  When you rely on the CHF or F/F in Jxn to be the fill in ruck, so that you just have one tall forward -Tmac and a whole lot of lightweight four footers, there is just too much pressure on that next level to get any idea of what they will be like.   Why they didn't pick 2 of Brown, Daw or petty to play half a game each beats me

 

Did Mitch Brown play in the twos today? If fit he needs to play forward round 1. He at least is a natural tall forward and we are desperate. With our best mids back playing we will be able to play Petracca deep forward. That May paper over our weaknesses. 

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1 hour ago, Hannibal Inc. said:

Bailey
Laurie
Forward Bailey Laurie was selected by the Demons with pick No. 22 of the 2020 Draft. Coming from the Oakleigh Chargers, Laurie possesses lightning speed, silky skills and an ability to read the game, making him a dynamic recruit for the club. While the 18-year-old can play on the wing, he will prove most valuable around the goals and could have an impact for Melbourne in 2021.

😆🤣😂

A look at his highlights and he clearly doesn't have elite speed for a small mid/forward. What he does have is great agility and classy decision making, but I think he'll have to burst around a contest and run all day rather than be a break away speed guy. Crash, bash and out sprint is never the best way to play footy though, clean skills and burst is the way to get it done.

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3 minutes ago, Earl Hood said:

Did Mitch Brown play in the twos today? If fit he needs to play forward round 1. He at least is a natural tall forward and we are desperate. With our best mids back playing we will be able to play Petracca deep forward. That May paper over our weaknesses. 

No he didn't play. Must be injured.

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5 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

It's hard to judge the forwards because the midfield performance was so poor. TMac didn't look good at all though and I don't see a future in Bedford at all.

Tommy's reaction time is too slow and his field kicking a liability...If he's not holding his grabs then he hasn't much else going for him.

I'm with you on Bedford, just not clean enough to be a small forward...his pressure & pace is ok but he offers nothing else.

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Good to see we haven't changed a single thing with out kick outs. So bloody predictable last year just bombing it to Gawn and yet I see Steven May popping 50m punts on his head. 

It's predictable and the doggies were able to work it out quick smart.

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...and by the way.

Does anyone else hate G Lyon commenting on our games?

I find him insufferable at the best of times but doubly so when it's us.

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2 minutes ago, Earl Hood said:

Did Mitch Brown play in the twos today? If fit he needs to play forward round 1. He at least is a natural tall forward and we are desperate. With our best mids back playing we will be able to play Petracca deep forward. That May paper over our weaknesses. 

Wasn't listed as an emergency and reports had him in the rehab group. He's better on the lead than Tom and can kick (particularly field kicking) but he's just as bad if not worse at forcing contests. He's very poor with any physical pressure. 

When Tom attacks the contest and gets out and running he still offers more than M Brown who really only plays well on days the opposition give him huge breaks and let him play uncontested lead up chest mark footy. Unfortunately Tom's worst is even worse than Brown's when he stops leading and starts moping around. Even in the last quarter today Tom started running a little bit, he got back involved in the game and the team scored. 

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Seems the positivity from the Richmond game has dried up. But today's loss shouldn't be all doom and gloom either. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The worry is our depth players are seemingly a fair way off the mark. That's both experienced players (Jetta,  Melksham, Jones, AvB, Harmes, TMac, etc) and our inexperienced players (Baker, Jordon, Petty, Bowey, Laurie, Spargo, Sparrow, Jackson, Chandler, Lockhart, etc). 

With a full strength team you may be able to cover this and have six to eight players play a role. Depends on your game plan a bit as well. But any given year you're likely to have at least 20 percent of your list injured. Having 10-12 blokes of the above calibre in your 22 spells trouble.

The positive aspect is given the current ability of Gawn, Langdon, Oliver, Petracca, Salem, Brayshaw, Hibberd, Lever, Viney, B. Brown (potentially), Fritta etc.) you may be able to win more games than you lose. And if four or five guys move up in class then you could really challenge.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, spalding said:

I hope Bowey plays round 1. Besides that kick you mentioned he had a couple of very good quick hand passes in close under pressure, and also a couple of times he guided the ball to advantage without taking possession because he was under serious pressure and would have been caught if he did. He’s got footy smarts and probably already the best option we have now as a small defender. 

Bowey in Spargo OUT!

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2 minutes ago, dazzledavey36 said:

Good to see we haven't changed a single thing with out kick outs. So bloody predictable last year just bombing it to Gawn and yet I see Steven May popping 50m punts on his head. 

It's predictable and the doggies were able to work it out quick smart.

What are u talking about Dazz, We havent fixed this aspect since Goody took control! PERIOD

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Just now, dazzledavey36 said:

Good to see we haven't changed a single thing with out kick outs. So bloody predictable last year just bombing it to Gawn and yet I see Steven May popping 50m punts on his head. 

It's predictable and the doggies were able to work it out quick smart.

Rivers mixed a few up in the last, at least turned the long bomb in to a long fake and bomb and resulted in a goal. I'm hoping they've got a few more tricks to show but it was really poor, I don't know what May was thinking. 

In general I thought May was off a bit in a lot of ways. He has a bad habit of hanging back and hedging his bets when his man is leading inside 50. I'm all for it when it's contests on the flank. Let his man go and hope the other talls can cover, he did that well. But when it's inside 50 he has to take care of his man first and trust his fellow defenders. Lever and especially Tomlinson one on one make that hard but he can't always cover them, and being 3m behind his man isn't doing that either.

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12 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

Almost everything else fell apart because of our inability to compete through the middle.

This just about covers everything that needs to be said.

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2 hours ago, dazzledavey36 said:

There are a number of concerns going into round 1 and season as a whole.

In my opinion, nothing has changed with the game plan at all. We still look to bomb it into our forward 50 and hope for the best.

We were not only beaten around the ball but smashed on the outside once again. What did we do to rectify this in the off season? Nothing.. I watched Tom Phillips on the weekend rack up 30 disposals and provide great run along the wing. After missing our on Isaac Smith the arrogance in our coaching staff thinking that we had the players to cover that other wing position will now bite us in the [censored]. We had no plan B after we missed out on Smith and Tom Phillips was ripe for the taking. Baker will not make it as a wingman and as much as I like Jones game, to see him back playing on the wing was just a perplexing. 

Our player development and depth is also another concern. Baker, Spargo, Sparrow,  Harmes, Vandenberg and Jordon were all simply poor. Sparrow and Harmes especially had the perfect opportunity to really make a statement today and they let themselves down with poor disposal and poor efforts. I actually have no idea what's Sparrows strength are at all. 9 disposals today playing as a midfielder is simply [censored] poor. VandenBerg just 5 disposal and looked as slow as a turtle. We are absolutely screwed if we lose Oliver, Viney, Brayshaw to long term injuries. Jordon showed exactly why I was gobsmacked that he was taken high in his draft year.

The game is now built on speed and gut running and when you carry plodders like Tmac, Jetta, Vanders, Tomlinson, Jones all in the one side then you'll get exposed like we did. WB just looked so much fitter and I was getting increasingly frustrated that they continued to out number us around the ball and run with such speed. 

Neville Jetta is finished. The signs were there last year and he is sadly absolutely cooked. I will be shocked if he plays more then 5 games. Adds 0 offensive skill set to the team and just trails behind his opponent. Be a leader down at Casey and start transitioning him into an off field role.

Tom McDonald, he is a shambles. Was expecting a trimmer more agile Tmac but he looks just as worse as last year.. he had a 0 gamer on him who was able to nullify him in thr aerial contests.  Our forward line is in trouble. 

Vanders is cooked and will play majority at Casey.

Tomlinson is a very ordinary footballer. Chewing up our salary, and this is already looking a bust. Incredibly soft and always gets beaten one on one. Start getting games into Harrison Petty.

I think Luke Jackson will hopefully be a good player for us moving forward. But he really didn't  domuch. He's marking is not really a strength of his and I'm not sure if the forward role is going to to work for him. Watching Ben and Max King in their 2nd year of AFL football last year and they just demanded the footy and both are strong contested marks who have enormous work rate. He'll get there and actually like the idea of him rucking and giving Gawn good minutes up forward while BB and Weideman are out. Was jumping over English and thought that I'd love to give him a bit more added responsibility.  Think he'll thrive more on this.

Lever and May were clearly our two best by a long shot. I liked Chandlers game and thought ANB was also impressive with his midfield/forward role. Honestly was pleased to see him play well. 

Honestly,  there weren't much positives to come out of that game. We had key players out but so did the doggies. They will be a great team team to watch this year.

 

You've hit the nail on the head mate . Our new kids the biggest worry for me, particularly concerning that a first year player bowey looked miles past more experienced players such as sparrow, Jordan and baker 

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1 hour ago, rjay said:

I still think we made a big mistake not going after Phillips...especially as the Pies virtually gave him away.

We Sure did.

Not sure how long the Tomlinson project down back is going to last for, $500k a year as a third tall looks laboursome and very slow to react, very problematic going forward.

Gawn, Lever and May are the only players in our line up who can take consistent pack marks. 

Jackson and Tmac have to start clunking some around the logos and in F50 to release some of the pressure on Gawny.

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3 hours ago, Grr-owl said:

Was disappointed to hear BBB mention 'learnings' at 3qtr time....

Etymologically speaking a hideous expression, 'leanings' may be more apt, trust Goody has the watertight doors sorted on this year's model. Or this season could quickly turn titanic...

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7 minutes ago, jnrmac said:

Were there any learnings from today?

:goody:

Yes.

An undermanned side, with nearly its whole midfield not playing, in addition to missing its two key forwards and best distributor of the ball, will never beat a near full strength Dogs side, which has one of the best midfields in the AFL.

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6 minutes ago, Half forward flank said:

I understand our mids were less talented and experienced than the dogs. However why cant the mids act in sync with gawn, receive a tap and get boot to ball. yeah, I know it is more complocated than that but.....

I can play a bit of tennis but will never win a game against any of the top 100 players in the world. Why is that I wonder?

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I am not overly discouraged by the game today but I would have loved to see a bit more from the coaches.

from the middle of the first quarter I would have liked to see Goodwin get Bowey on into the forward line and tell him to run with Daniel until halftime. Run hard, tackle hard and when you win the ball, use your skills to deliver.

Same with Rivers. At one stage we lined up at a center bounce with ANB, Sparrow and Jordan. Give Rivers a run there to see what he can do. 

it is not as if there are 4 points on the line and we may just learn something.

 

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2 hours ago, Reader said:

Not sure Baker is good enough, thoughts?

 

Thought when he got the ball he could find space. As soon as he lifted his eyes he was pressured. A couple of turnovers and early shots on goal were bad.

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6 minutes ago, Half forward flank said:

Maybe because you do not have the best ruckman in the game tapping the ball down your throat.

Of course.

If you have Max Gawn rucking for you, then you can beat Bontempelli, MacRae, Libba, Hunter, Dunkley, Smith etc, even if you are Sparrow, playing in your first few games, Jordon, who has not played one senior game, ANB, who is not a mid or sure ball handler, or AVB, playing your first game in ages. They were our mids at many of the stoppages today. 

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