Jump to content

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview      

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview     

THE EYE OF THE STORM by Whispering Jack

Recommended Posts

When Melbourne monstered Richmond a few weeks back on the MCG thereby registering their sixth win on the trot, the block of games to follow looked highly appealing. After a stirring victory in difficult conditions over the reigning premier, the games to come were against a quartet of low achievers from 2020. North were winless, the Swans were the early high flyers now falling into a slump, Carlton couldn’t take a trick and the Crows had just lost an unloseable game to the Hawks in Launceston. Even the most pessimistic Melbourne fans (and given the history, that means most of us) were looking forward to the month ahead with relish.

What many didn’t realise was that once you step over a particular threshold and start producing the goods in big time matches, you become the hunted. And that’s how it’s turned out over the past fortnight — the Demons have managed to collect the points over the past two matches but their opponents were ready and waiting for them. They have weathered the initial storm and managed to overcome everything thrown at them but the learning has been that you take nothing for granted and this week against the Blues looms as a real danger game.

This season’s Melbourne brand of high pressure intensity has stunned the football world leaving it with a totally unexpected scenario; the Dees are on top of the ladder, undefeated after eight rounds. The question on everyone’s lips is whether that sort of pressure can be maintained over long periods of time? Are they sitting in the eye of the storm waiting for a fall?

In that respect, Carlton is the perfect opponent to test Melbourne’s resilience at this point. Last week, the Blues showed they are strong enough to get the better of a strong premiership contender when they held a 27 point lead over the second placed Western Bulldogs deep into the third quarter. For a moment, they were on the cusp of replacing the Tigers in the top eight but instead, they fell apart in the face of an onslaught led by Marcus Bontempelli and Caleb Daniel in a finish that has led them to fall into the heat of the media furnace. With their season now on the line, the way they react to this defeat and how they fare against the Demons will be a pivotal indicator of their prospects for the remainder of the season.

It’s worth reflecting on how close Carlton were to dumping Richmond out of the top eight. The Tigers are still hanging onto the first line of favouritism along with Melbourne, Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs so the Blues aren’t far off the mark. Their bookends at either end of the ground, Weitering and McKay are top notch and Sam Walsh is up their with most of the elite midfielders in the competition. If they can get their game going and Melbourne’s pressure valve drops by the smallest measure, then they could cause havoc.

On the subject of releasing the pressure, Melbourne’s last two outings against Carlton have been prime examples of what happens when teams ease off just a fraction. In 2019, they gave away a lead of more than six goals halfway through the third term at the MCG while in 2020, they led by seven goals 12 minutes into the second at Marvel Stadium with the Blues catching up five minutes before the final siren. In both cases, the Demons relaxed when they seemingly had a strong grip on the game and were ultimately lucky to get away with the points.

I’m backing Melbourne’s pressure in the eye of the storm to win the day and to emerge with a lead of 37 points when the final siren sounds.


Melbourne v Carlton at the MCG Sunday 16 May June 2021 at 3.20pm


Overall Melbourne 94 wins Carlton 117 wins Drawn 2 m

At the MCG Melbourne 53 Carlton 50 wins

Past five meetings Melbourne 5 Carlton 0 wins

The Coaches Goodwin 2 wins Teague 0 wins


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

Radio - check your local guides.


Melbourne 8.6.54 defeated Carlton 7.11.53 at Marvel Stadium Round 2, 2020

In an extraordinary game, Melbourne scored 5.2.32 to nothing in the opening term and by midway through the second, led 7.3.45 to 0.3.3, at which time it stopped dead in its tracks. Carlton actually caught up to level the scores 16 minutes into the final quarter. The issue was decided after Bayley Fritsch marked 25 metres out and missed a relatively easy shot. The point was enough however, to deliver victory.




B: M. Hibberd 14 S. May 1 J. Lever 8

HB: C. Salem 3 H.  Petty 35 T. Rivers 24

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

HF:J. Jordon 23 T. McDonald 25 A. Neal-Bullen 30

F: C. Spargo 9 B. Brown 50 B. Fritsch 31

Foll: M. Gawn 11 C  Oliver 13 K. Pickett 36 

I/C: K. Chandler 37 J. Harmes 4 J. Hunt 29 S. Weideman 26

Sub: J. Melksham 18 Emerg: O. Baker 33 J. Bowey 17 T. Sparrow 32

In: S. Weideman 

Out: L. Jackson (broken finger)


B: S Docherty 18 L. Jones 14 L. Stocker 13 

HB: A. Saad 42 J. Weitering 23 L. Plowman 20

C: M. Cottrell 46 P. Cripps 9 W. Setterfield 43

HF: D. Cunningham 28 L. Casboult 41 M. Murphy 3

F: E. Betts 19 H. McKay 10 L. Fogarty 8

Foll: M. Pittonet 27 S. Walsh 18 Z. Williams 6

I/C: E. Curnow 35 N. Newman 24 M. Owies 44 L. Parks 26

Sub M. Gibbons 40 Emerg: T. De Koning 12 J. Newnes 32 J. Honey 36

In: M. Murphy N. Newman W. Setterfield

Out: J. Newnes  (omitted) S. Petrevski-Seton (omitted) J. Silvagni (concussion)

Injury List: Round 9

Christian Petracca (corky) — Available

Jay Lockhart (calf) — Test

Luke Jackson (finger) — 1 to 2 Weeks

Aaron vandenBerg (quad) — 2 Weeks

Jack Viney (toe) — 2 Weeks

Bailey Laurie (eye socket) — 5 Weeks

Joel Smith (knee) — 5 Weeks

Marty Hore (knee) — Season

Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season

Adam Tomlinson (knee) — Season


  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 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 |
    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 |
    Match Reports


    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 |
    Match Previews


    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 |
    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 |
    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 |
    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 |
    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 |
    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 |
    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 |
    Match Reports


    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 |
    Casey Articles


    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 |
    Match Previews

  • Create New...