Jump to content

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview      

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview     

THE MERRY, MERRY MONTH OF MAY by The Oracle



Recommended Posts

The month of May was a little more than halfway into its second day when the news came. Melbourne was on top of the AFL table for the first time since Round 3, 2005.

As usual with the Demons, there was no time for celebration. They had just lost tough nut Jack Viney with yet another soft spot in his foot, Adam Tomlinson’s year was in ruins with what was subsequently confirmed as an ACL and Bayley Fritsch’s careless but unintentional fend off on North’s Tom Powell was about to see him charged by the MRP. “It was a dangerous action,” piped Matthew Lloyd on TV, completely ignoring the fact that Tom Hawkins’ action that landed Steven May in hospital with a fractured eye socket last month resulted in his complete exoneration. Well, we were April Fools back then, now it’s May and the Tribunal gave Fritta his liberty back and cancelled his initial week’s suspension.

Still, the early setbacks of the month had the pundits sounding out doom and gloom for the 2021 Demons. They said the first cracks were obvious when they were surprised early by the AFL easybeats in Hobart; that all of the features that have been the cornerstone of their rise to the top are about to fall apart. They said the next step would come this week with defeat at the hands of the Sydney Swans on Saturday night, to which I say, “nonsense, bring it on.”

Yes, the injuries, suspension and a poor first half of football are all setbacks but the fact that they happened in May is not at all bad. That’s because, the season doesn’t end one third of the way through and there will always be challenges to face and overcome along the road to the real end game in September. In Melbourne’s case, things were traveling along nicely and people were already getting ahead of themselves with thoughts like — “will they beat the Crows in Adelaide to make it ten in a row?”

The shockwaves experienced at the weekend mean that the club can now take a deep breath, take stock and go back to what is done by strong AFL clubs who always take it one week at a time.This week, it’s Sydney at the G, a place where the visitors have dominated for a long time. They’re on a high, coming off a pulsating win over Geelong and preparing for the return of Buddy and Rampe. But I reckon that we still have them covered.

Firstly, on team selection, the circumstances are such that, unlike in the past when injuries have struck, the selectors have good options available with plenty of depth to come in to fill the gaps that have opened up in the past week. The club can reset by selecting from in-form players like Sam Weideman, Tom Sparrow, James Harmes and Kade Chandler waiting in the wings and the unlucky Harry Petty ready to be unleashed into the defensive hole left by Tomlinson’s injury if the selectors decide not to move Tom McDonald back there.

There’s the Demons’ rock solid defence that seems to smother opposition forward lines whenever they’re put to the test. The Melbourne backline has been consistently good from the outset this season. Against the Swans, even with an underdone Buddy this week, they will continue to suffocate the opposition with their relentless pressure. The Swans somehow managed a winning score at home against the Cats on Saturday night but only by dint of accuracy in front of goal and some incredible efficiency when going inside 50. They would be pushing uphill to kick a score like 14.6 from so few entries for two weeks in a row, let alone against the stingiest of defences.

Elsewhere, the Swans will be looking to emulate the midfield dominance that Ben Cunnington imparted in the first half last week and will be looking to veterans Kennedy and Parker to achieve that. The problem with that is the fact that you need to maintain sufficient energy for four quarters to cut off supply to Melbourne’s  forward line.

And with Bayley Fritsch remaining in the mix, the Demons’ forward line has the potency to overcome the Swans who will run out of luck when they cross the border to confront Melbourne for Saturday’s game.

The news today about Christian Petracca’s new contract signing on top of a number of other leading lights including Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem is indicative of the stability of the team list and the confidence and trust the playing group have in each other. It’s a very merry, merry month of May for Melbourne, there’s a very good May in the team and the force is with them.

Melbourne to win by 27 points.

THE GAME

Melbourne vs Sydney Swans at The MCG Saturday 8 May, 2021 at 7.25

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 93 wins Sydney Swans 115 wins 2 drawn 

At The MCG Melbourne 49 wins Sydney Swans 45 wins 2 drawn

Last 5 meetings Melbourne 1 win Sydney Swans 4 wins 

The Coaches Goodwin 1 win Longmire 5 wins

MEDIA

TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.

Radio - check your local guides.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Sydney Swans 10.7.67 defeated Melbourne 6.10.46 in Round 15, 2020 at Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns

The Demons spent a long day traveling from their Sunshine Coast hub to Cairns and were just plain lethargic and slow in the steamy sub tropics for an important game, the result of which spelled “disaster” for their finals hopes. Whoever signed off on this trip to FNQ involving two matches in four days when the team had no rest during the AFL’s frenzy period was just plain clueless. Full stop. 

Melbourne won the first and third quarters and halved the last but it was simply horrible in the second quarter and the Swans’ accuracy in front of goal in the first half (7.2) was too much for the weary Dees.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: M. Hibberd 14 S. May 1 J. Lever 8

HB: C. Salem 3 H. Petty 35 J. Hunt 29 

C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Petracca 5 E. Langdon 15

HF: Kysaiah Pickett 36 T. McDonald 25 J. Melksham 18

F: A. Neal-Bullen 30 B. Brown 50 B.Fritsch 31 

Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 J. Jordan 23

I/C: J. Harmes 4 L. Jackson 6 Trent Rivers 24 C. Spargo 9

Sub: K. Chandler 37 Emerg: N. Jones 2 T. Sparrow 32 S. Weideman 26

In: K. Chandler J. Harmes  H. Petty

Out: O. Baker (omitted) N. Jones A. Tomlinson (knee)

SYDNEY

B: D. Rampe 24 T. McCartin 30 J. Dawson 34

HB: J. Lloyd 44 R. Fox 42 J. McInerney 27

C:  Parker 26 O. Florent 13 H. Cunningham 7

HF: T. Papley 11 H. McLean 41 C. Sinclair 18 

F: S. Wicks 45  L. Franklin 23 W. Hayward 9

Foll: T. Hickey 31 J. Rowbottom 8. C. Mills 14

I/C: E. Gulden 21 J. P. Kennedy 12 C. O'Riordan 38 C. Warner 1 

Sub: N. Blakey 22 Emerg: K. Brand 2 G. Hewett 29 D. Stephens 3

In: N. Blakey R. Fox L. Franklin D. Rampe

Out: R. Clarke (omitted) I. Heeney (ankle)  L. Melican (hamstring) D. Stephens (omitted)

Injury List: Round 8

Jay Lockhart (calf) — 1 Week 

Jack Viney (toe) — 2 Weeks

Aaron vandenBerg (quad) — 3 Weeks

Joel Smith (knee) — 5 to 6 Weeks

Bailey Laurie (eye socket) — 6 Weeks

Marty Hore (knee) — Season

Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season

Adam Tomlinson (knee) — Season

EVERYTHING THAT COUNTS by SAM THE STATS MAN

The past 15 months have been a statistical anomaly for me. After the announcement by WHO of a pandemic in mid-March, 2020, I locked myself away in my room for 229 days, 12 hours and 33 minutes. In that time, I ventured out only 14 times, never further than 3.54 kilometres from home and watched 46 series of Netflix while devouring 154 meals of two minute noodles (which more accurately should be one minute 56¾ seconds).

Then a miracle happened that changed my life forever. Premier Dan Andrews ditched his usual grim-faced expression and the Northface jacket and announced at his 126th Covid19 news briefing that, after a fall in the 14-day rolling average of new cases to well below five, the lockdown was over.

I was free at last to immerse myself in a backlog of 3,427 studies on statistical subject matters missed over those dreary months of loneliness and isolation. It took me another 178 days to put together my thesis on the recovery of the Melbourne Football Club. Here is the first appendix with all of the statistics that matter. I ran the data through my computer and the analysis suggests that there is an 84.7% chance that the Demons’ streak of improvement will continue for some time so ignore the doubting Thomases who get things wrong 97% of the time.

1. Steven May MFC games 6, goals 0

2. Nathan Jones MFC games 7, goals 2

3. Christian Salem MFC games 7, goals 1

4. James Harmes MFC games 1, goals 1, CD games 1, goals 2

5. Christian Petracca MFC games 7, goals 8

6. Luke Jackson MFC games 7, goals 3

7. Jack Viney MFC games 5, goals 2

8. Jake Lever MFC games 7 goals 0

9. Charlie Spargo MFC games 7, goals 3

10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 7, goals 1

11. Max Gawn MFC games 7,  goals 4

12. Toby Bedford CD games 3, goals 3

13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 7, goals 0

14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 3, goals 0

15. Ed Langdon MFC games 7, goals 6

16. Bailey Laurie 

17. Jake Bowey CD games 3, goals 0

18. Jake Melksham MFC games 5, goals 4

19. Fraser Rosman CD games 3, goals 3

20. Adam Tomlinson MFC games 7, goals 0

21. Marty Hore 

22. Aaron Vandenberg CD games 1, goals 1

23. James Jordan ® MFC games 7, goals 2

24. Trent Rivers games 7 goals 0

25. Tom McDonald MFC games 7, goals 9

26. Sam Weideman CD games 3, goals 14

27. Aaron Nietschke ®

28. Majak Daw ® CD games 3, goals 0

29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 7, goals 0

30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 7, goals 5

31. Bayley Fritsch MFC games 6, goals 18

32. Tom Sparrow MFC games 5, goals 1, CD games 2, goals 0

33. Oskar Baker MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0

34. Deakyn Smith ® CD games 3, goals 0

35. Harrison Petty MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 1, goals 0 

36. Kysaiah Pickett MFC games 7, goals 14

37. Kade Chandler ® MFC games 2, goals 0 CD games 2, goals 3

38. Mitch Brown MFC games 1, goals 2

39. Neville Jetta MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CD 3 games, 0 goals

41. Jay Lockhart CD 1 game, 0 goals

44. Joel Smith CD games 1, goals 0

46. Austin Bradtke ® CD games 3, goals 1

50. Ben Brown MFC games 1, goals 2, CD games 2, goals 7

PreviewRd082021.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    DELTA DEMONS by KC from Casey

    There was an ill wind blowing for the home side at Casey Fields on  Saturday but you wouldn’t have noticed if you turned up seven or eight minutes into the second quarter with the scoreboard showing the Casey Demons holding a lead of 7.5.47 to Footscray’s solitary point. Up to that stage, the depleted Dees combination had taken full advantage of the windy conditions and headed by veterans Nathan Jones, Jimmy Munro and Mitch White had came out of the blocks and plundered the Bulldogs’ defence.  

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    ON THE FLY by George On The Outer

    After spending most of the previous day in the air, flying between Queensland and Victoria, it was hard to imagine the Demons would be at their best.   But this team was on the fly on the field as well and produced a clinical display which saw them record a 98 point win to put aside any questions about the side being out of form.   Certainly, the Suns who have fallen away badly in the second half of the season were their opponents, but with the Demons looking for a confidence boo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS by The Oracle

    This weekend, the Melbourne Football Club was supposed to embark on a tour that started with what looked like an innocent trip to the country’s sunny Gold Coast. However, the Covid19 pandemic intervened to bring them back home for this week at least. Next week, it’s off to the West Coast but conspiracy theorists are already suggesting that this interstate sojourn could take the team all the way across the country over the next month and indeed, there are cynics who even believe that it could bec

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE YEAR THE SNOWFLAKES FELL by Whispering Jack

    The snow that fell on the slopes of Victoria’s mountain districts in the winter of 1965 was not considered good enough to satisfy the enthusiasts. The really heavy snow that season came in two waves further north in July and August. The first descended on the national capital where “Pig Iron Bob” still held sway. Snow flurries touched the landscape all the way across the Blue Mountains. The next big snow extended further north up to the hills around Mackay in Queensland. Snowflakes fell inside t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 10

    DEES GIVE DOGS A BONE by George On The Outer

    First place versus second on the ladder promised to be a precursor to what can be expected in the coming finals race.  However, it was the Demons who faltered and gave the Bulldogs a bone to feed their hunger just weeks out from the end of the season. The win also sent the Dogs to the top of the ladder, a position they are unlikely to cede in the coming weeks, given their fixture. While Melbourne may now struggle to keep a spot in the top four with its draw and will likely depend on the res

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE WORM WILL TURN by The Oracle

    When I was asked to preview this game, I wasn’t sure whether it was going to be played in Darwin, on the Gold Coast or the MCG. I had no idea as to the identity of Melbourne’s opponent. This would have made for one hell of an interesting match preview so I’m glad that the AFL managed to reorganize its fixture to enable a game … any game at all … to proceed in Round 19. We’ll worry about the Gold Coast Suns or whoever they put us up against when the weekend’s done and dusted and if and when

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    DRAWN AND DEEFLATED by George on the Outer

    1st v 17th ... it would seem a sure one way contest between the Hawks and the Demons but it was not to be with the game finishing in a draw, the only positive being the Demons still retain their top spot on the ladder. Melbourne was taught a football lesson by Al Clarkson, who with limited resources, just instructed his players to scrap, fight and surge the ball forward.  It stifled the Melbourne free flowing style of play and denied them the opportunities they could normally expect. I

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    PINK RAIN by Whispering Jack

    There is no certainty about life under a pandemic. You wake up one morning without a care in the world; the sun’s shining and it’s a beautiful day. An hour later, everything’s up in the air, the entire state is on high alert and the apartment complex next door’s in lockdown. The simple decision you had to make about buying a ticket to the footy at the weekend suddenly might get put on the back burner. There are other things in life to prioritise and on top of that, they’re predicting rain for th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    COR BLIMEY by KC from Casey

    In years to come, the old timers will talk in wonderment about the “Avalon Avalanche” that hit Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval on a mild winter’s afternoon at about ten minutes after the halfway mark of the game between the local Tigers and their cross town rivals, the Demons from Casey. At that moment in time, the game was poised as if on a knifepoint. Up until the main interval, it had been the visiting team which had maintained the lead from the start but it had struggled to entirely asse

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    POWER FAILURE by George on the Outer

    South Australians should be well familiar with the damage that storms can do to the power supply.  But Port Power forgot those lessons on Thursday night football as they watched the Melbourne storm descend upon them from across the border and ruin their hopes of a top four placing. Just as equally, the win to the Demons cemented their spot in the top two and sent out the message that a team who had been going around in circles for the past couple of weeks, has in fact, turned into a cyclone

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    CASEY SUFFER FIRST DEFEAT IN TWO YEARS

    The circumstances were a little unusual last Saturday night as KC from Casey was unavailable to report on the Casey Dees due to work commitments. On the ground things were somewhat unusual as well given that, although there was a game to be won on the night, preparations were also being made for the forthcoming Thursday night clash against Port Adelaide with Ben Brown rested for large slabs of the evening. It turned out perhaps, to be a stroke of genius for Melbourne with Brown making a strong c

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    WEATHERING THE STORM by Mel Rundle

    The magic of Melbourne’s magnificent start to 2021 is beginning to wear off. In its past six matches it lost to three teams that were outside the eight, out of form —  teams which it had very little trouble bearing last year. This week, the temperature is turned up even higher with the hard fought spot in the top four at risk. The really ominous factor about the Demons’ upcoming Thursday night meeting with Port Adelaide this week is that it is due to take place at the very place where its dec

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

×
×
  • Create New...