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BLUES IN THE RED by George On The Outer



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While the Demons’ undefeated run continues unabated now at 9-0 their emphatic 26 point victory pushed the Blues to their sixth loss for the season and deeper into the red for the year.

While Melbourne opened proceedings with an early goal, the Blues responded with the next two to grab an early lead.  However, as has happened in so many games this year, the Demons fought back to lead by just over a goal come the first break.

This narrow lead was part of a streak either side of quarter time where Melbourne kicked 6 of 7 goals. By half time they had extended their lead to two goals. This was to be the nature of the game until the final bell, where Melbourne just managed to kick an extra goal or thereabouts, each quarter to increase its margin over Carlton.  In the end it was 26 points but could have been considerably more, as Melbourne only managed 1.7 in the final term.

And now the Demons are at 9-0, something not seen since the 1956 season. This follows on from the finish to season 2020 and makes it 11 in a row!  Small wonder the Demon fans are turning out in their droves. When you see old merchandise featuring Opel and Webjet then you know there are some people haven’t been to see them for a while.

Still, we cannot complain about that and another 38k through the gate will surely please the administration staff of the club. With this sort of return both on and off the field, it truly is the Field of Dreams for the fans. 

The team and club have “built it and they have come!”

Up forward, while Ben Brown and Sam Weidman failed bother the goal umpire, they did manage to keep the Blues’ two main defenders in Weitering and Jones occupied which meant that Tom McDonald and Bayley Fritsch were let off the leash, and they certainly did the job for the Demons. 

McDonald in particular continued to impress with three goals. He provides that strong marking forward and link player, while he also doubles up on the ground balls as well.  Fritsch with his strong hands also chimed in with three of his own.  This is the value of the three talls scenario.  Most clubs just don’t have that level of defensive strength to counter it, and whether it be Jackson, Weidman or Fritsch, the opposition just run out of stopping options.

The mids just won the battle in the centre square this week according to the statisticians.  However, it was interesting to see that they paid scant attention to Walsh and Cripps in a similar vein to their approach to the Swans’ mids last week.  They can win possession, but without it being effective, it matters little.

The reason it matters little is that the ball kept finishing in the hands of Lever, May and Salem. Lever had ten intercepts alone, and surprisingly Angus Brayshaw on the wing had 12 as well!  May gained over 400m with his coverage during the game, but his strength took away Carlton’s great hope in McKay, who managed three goals, with two of those courtesy of favourable umpiring decisions of the sort not paid at the other end of the ground.

We simply cannot overlook the efforts of Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca who racked up 28 and 27 touches respectively, just a normal week at the office for them. But we shouldn’t forget James Jordon who had 20 touches and laid 13 tackles.  He is sailing beautifully under the radar, and we have found another hard nut, skilled mid that the media will catch onto some time later in the year.

We also need to know how the club has procured an invisibility cloak for Ed Langdon.  The opposition seem to miss seeing him each week and he keeps popping up with the ball out on his own. This week 20 touches and 430m gained, along with his six score involvements! 

Max Gawn rucked for nearly the whole game against Pittonet, and when the opposition has a solitary prime ruck this is possible.  His 44 hit outs were superb, but while he played much better this week, we cannot afford to expect his body to take such punishment without a good break.  He is far too valuable to the side. 

Another victory to the Red and Blue and their season is well and truly in the black.  Incredibly, they now sit two games clear of third place on the ladder and five games clear of ninth place, with the season yet to reach the halfway mark.

It’s enough to make other sides Green with envy!

MELBOURNE 4.3.27 8.6.54 12.9.81 13.16.94

CARLTON 3.2.20 6.5.41 8.7.55 10.8.68

GOALS
 
Melbourne Fritsch McDonald 3 Neal-Bullen 2 Hunt Langdon Oliver Pickett Spargo

Carlton McKay 3 Betts Casboult Gibbons Murphy Owies Pittonet Stocker

BEST

Melbourne McDonald Oliver Petracca Salem Langdon May Jordon

Carlton Cripps Docherty Walsh Williams Saad

INJURIES

Melbourne Nil

Carlton D. Cunningham (knee)

REPORTS

Melbourne Nil

Carlton Nil

SUBSTITUTES

Melbourne Melksham (unused)

Carlton Gibbons (replaced Cunningham)

Umpires Chris Donlon Simon Meredith Cameron Dore

Official Crowd 38,581 at the MCG

ReportRd092021.png

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