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NOTHING TO CROW ABOUT by George On The Outer



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Melbourne’s nine game winning streak  came to an end in Adelaide with a one point loss to the Crows. Losing to a team that had only won three games for the season, having lost five in a row was certainly nothing to crow about. 

All around the ground players collectively put in their poorest performance for the year. 

The loss of Christian Salem before the match was critical, as his replacement Nev Jetta is a mere shadow the player he once was. The mind is still willing, but the body no longer reacts to the instructions, and he spent the whole game behind and conceding to his opposition. 

He wasn’t alone, as Sam Weideman, with a must perform asterisk next to his name did nothing of the sort, and has once again put his position in the side in jeopardy.  The rest of the forward line weren’t much better, with Tom McDonald well down on his performances, while Bayley Fritsch and Jake Melksham yet again failing to record a single tackle each for the whole game.  Others managed 14 tackles inside 50m, but not them. Small wonder there was little defensive pressure save for Charlie Spargo and Kozzie Pickett.

Even Max Gawn in the ruck was well below his best, for despite multiple marks and outscoring on the hitout stat, his dropped marks cost the side multiple goals.  To top it off, his attempt to take the ball out of the ruck contest in the dying seconds was not so smart. The team only needed a point with the goal-mouth 10m away, so a hit forward surely would have resulted in at worst, a scrambled point and a drawn game. 

When Luke Jackson was rucking in the middle of the final quarter, the side hit the front, because he not only got the ball to our mids, but provided an extra mid with his athleticism.  When he moved the momentum swung Adelaide’s way again. 

Clayton Oliver nearly single-handedly brought the side back from their malaise with 27 contested possessions, and 12 disposals in the third quarter and 38 overall.  Sadly he was let down by others around him not stepping up to the plate. 

James Harmes opened his account with 5 critical errors and didn’t improve.  His opponent had 21 touches to ½ time.  He is not the tagger of 2018 any more.

Christian Petracca performed at his best again, with 32 touches, but we cannot expect a miracle effort every week.  And we can’t expect he and Oliver to do all the work. This week we won clearances thanks to that pair, but lost the game. 

Still with Oliver working his heart out and the side leading by up to 16 points deep in the final quarter, the errors just kept coming from the Demons and with more passengers than the No.59 tram on a Friday night, they couldn’t muster the will to get over the line. 

It wasn’t helped by some flaky umpiring decisions, particularly in the dying minute with an obvious deliberate out of bounds by Adelaide not paid (compare the one paid against Jake Lever earlier in the game that resulted in a goal to the Crows), but the Demons should not have been in that situation in the first place.

This week the coaches had problems about which players to select. Next week against the Bulldogs, it will be who to drop. The forward line did not work, and not working was their hallmark in this game. 

Ben Brown will likely be an easy inclusion, but he won’t be the only one. 

The backs failed to gel, and the critical nature of structure and roles was broken when only one player can’t perform that role. There will be changes there as well. 

Salem when available will slot back in easily.

This game was nothing to Crow about.  We were beaten comprehensively, even though only losing by a solitary point.  Surely these players and the Club should know the difference between winning and losing can come down to just a couple of single efforts.  It can be the difference between finals or not.  It can be the difference between top 4 or not.  But when too many don’t make that effort, the result goes the other way

MELBOURNE 5.1.31 8.4.52 11.8.74 14.11.95

ADELAIDE 4.2.26 8.4.52 11.5.71 15.6.96

GOALS

Melbourne Oliver 3 Langdon 2 Fritsch Gawn Harmes McDonald Petracca Pickett Rivers Spargo Weideman

Adelaide Walker 3 Fogarty Keays Rowe Thilthorpe 2 Berry McAdam Mackay Seedsman

BEST

Melbourne Oliver Petracca Langdon Gawn Lever

Adelaide Keays Seedsman Laird Walker Mackay

INJURIES

Melbourne Salem (soreness) replaced in selected side by Jetta

Adelaide Nil

REPORTS

Melbourne Nil

Adelaide Walker (reported for dangerous tackle on Oliver), Fogarty (reported for striking Lever)

SUBSTITUTES

Melbourne Tom Sparrow (unused)

Adelaide Ronin O’Connor (unused)      

Umpires Curtis Deboy Hayden Gavine Jacob Mollison

Official Crowd TBC at the Adelaide Oval

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