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POSTGAME: Rd 18 vs Hawthorn



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1 hour ago, Swooper1987 said:

From what Damian Barrett said this morning it's likely we are.  Perhaps Gus was aware of that last night.  Looking at the GC v Brisbane game scheduled for Round 20 being flipped to next week which would mean we get the doggies.

And then Crows/Hawks play next week as well? Interesting

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3 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

Would have to be either his hitout form is up and down, the centre group aren't all in sync or oppositions have worked him out. Could be a bit of all of the above too. He looked back to vintage Max last week with the hitouts so not sure what's happened.

Whatever it is though, just wish we'd stick with what is working for a bit longer in games.

Yeah, maybe being the captain, Max's psychological ups and downs filter through the team. 

George noted in his report that Spargo played 63% game time despite being in touch with 7 score involvements.....

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5 minutes ago, Grr-owl said:

Yeah, maybe being the captain, Max's psychological ups and downs filter through the team. 

George noted in his report that Spargo played 63% game time despite being in touch with 7 score involvements.....

Yeah, it seemed an 'off' game for his leadership, if that makes sense? Has been great most of the year in that regard, but there was more than the usual umpire complaining, silly hitouts out of frustration etc.

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33 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

And then Crows/Hawks play next week as well? Interesting

Seems like that's the option being considered: by luck, six sides play each other next week and again the week after, which allows next week's games to be swapped with the following week's games.

Would mean we play Dogs next week and GC the week after.

Problem with that is we'll be travelling twice in a row, if we play GC and then WC...

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35 minutes ago, DeeZone said:

Just goes to show that they are all pretty poor kicks when shooting for goal. I always thought that Shuey was a crack shot and I think Gus has deteriorated since 2018

It is even more interesting when you look at other star mids:

  • Martin - 52%
  • Neale - 48%
  • Pendlebury - 48%
  • Tim Kelly - 46%
  • Bontempelli - 44%
  • Dangerfield - 43%
  • Selwood - 40%
  • Josh Kelly - 40%
  • Yeo - 40%
  • Cripps - 39%
  • Wines - 39%
  • Fyfe - 38%
  • Boak - 37%
  • Kennedy - 36%
  • Cotchin - 24%

So Viney at 46%, Petracca at 44% and Brayshaw at 43% actually stack up really well.

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It's been interesting to me that a large % on this forum feel that the result against Hawthorn reinforces the belief that Melbourne are not going to succeed in the finals - primarily around the assertion that we lack the mental edge or 'killer instinct' required. The evidence being that we have:

- faltered against weaker opposition (i.e. those who should be an easy 'kill')

- struggled when the expectation is to win (i.e. we only succeed as an underdog)

While this makes sense to some degree, for me the win against Port Adelaide was in the game that truly made me believe we can be successful in the finals. That was last week - following weeks of sub-standard play including losses to Collingwood and GWS.

The Port game for me is where the pendulum settles, as it reinforces my belief that Melbourne have invested their strategic, physical and mental energies into the games that matter. Imagine our losses were against the Cats, Dogs, Lions and Power, and our wins included huge percentage boosting wins against the Crows, Pies, Giants and Hawks? This scenario is more likely to make me believe we wouldn't succeed come September.

Why can't put away teams that have struggled against the rest of the competition this year?

1 - I read earlier the theory that when we play against the top teams, they have tried to win applying their own strategy, rather than trying to unpick ours. In contrast, the lower teams have tried to win unpicking our strategy. This sort of makes sense - but I'm not convinced. I do think however buy into the idea that teams prepare to play us as if it is a big game (the way we prepare for our big games). Hawthorn played their best game for the year last night - they were responding to a flogging by Freo. Noting they have the best coach in the comp, and Sam Mitchell was the mastermind behind our humiliation against the Eagles in the Prelim. The pies were playing in Buckley's last game. GWS stated it was a 'final' for them. Adelaide had some major scalps and Tex was still in form. 

2 - We cannot play our high pressure gamestyle for 22 rounds, it's too exhausting. As such, we have invested our biggest efforts for the high stakes games. I think this has some merit - no team can play at 100% all year - and as such, we seem to have 'turned on' the pressure for periods of games (particularly in the second half), as we cannot sustain the energy required to play four quarters of high pressure every week. Against the best teams, we have managed to sustain high pressure for longer periods of the game. I actually like this theory because we have arguably the best fitness and conditioning coach in the league. Everything the Burgess does is for a reason. We looked tired last night - yet came off a 9 day break - I think there is a reason for this.

3 - the coach is crap. I don't buy this argument as he's the guy who has led us to record wins and wins against the best in the comp. I think the players respect him and play for him, and the gameplan (when working) is built to win finals.

4 - mental weakness of players/lack of leadership: I think until we win a flag, we will have this accusation hanging over us, and for good reason. It reminds me of the Chicago Bulls in The Last Dance. They had to prove they could win in the finals to get the belief and trust of their supporters and critics. I don't believe however that you can win against every team in the top 8 and not have serious mental strength. The way we go about our wins has also been instructive - we have never gone over the top celebrating - we look like we mean business and each win is a step towards the GF - the only game that matters

5 - Risk aversion: I've argued this previously as a key reason for not winning against lower clubs (or struggling even if we win). Think back to the incredible chains of handballs that we were bold enough to try against the Tigers, or other really amazing pieces of play through the middle or flooding forward against the Lions and Cats. In a way this is a symptom of mental weakness, but it is also evidence of loss aversion (are they the same). Loss aversion takes hold as the consequences of losing (e.g. humiliation) are greater against teams we are expected to beat. In this scenario, we take less risks because we expect (hope) our opposition to make more mistakes. What happens though is if the opposition don't make mistakes, they grow in confidence, and in turn, we go into our shells and loss aversion kicks in. Thankfully our defence has held strong in many of these games (as it did again last night - thanks HP). Once momentum turns, it can be impossible to stop. In that regard, I was super happy to escape with a draw. For me it had nothing to do with the number of games the Hawks had played - it had everything to do with belief and confidence. Once they got some momentum, we were in trouble. 

6 - the mystery and miracle of competitive sports: There is no rational reason, and why we have lost or nearly lost so many games to teams below us perhaps we just can't be explained.

Of the above, I'm taking the following view: We win when it most matters, which makes me believe we can win the GF this year. We can't sustain 100% high pressure all year, and this puts us at risk when it drops off. We also come from a culture of failure, and mental demons will continue to creep in until we get to the top. Despite that history of failure, we have a coaching and fitness team that rivals the best in the comp, and who, in tandem with the playing leadership, have as at the top of the ladder as of Round 18. 

I've completely given up caring about how much we win games by, or whether we struggle against 'weak' opposition. I just want the win and move on, and my belief in the team will be determined by the games we play against the top teams, not those at the bottom.

Go Dees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Good sides don’t self- sabotage. We are masters at it and will pay a big price. Some basic skills are woefully deficient and they have reverted to playing as individuals. The forward line relies on too few and the mids don’t do enough damage with their possessions. The year is shaping up as a great opportunity wasted.

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3 hours ago, Rab D Nesbitt said:

This thread is starting to feel like checking in on a bipolar relative each weekend. 

Interesting that you think its us supporters who are the bipolar ones. Not the bipolar footy team we follow.

The way they play totally befits a comparison to a bipolar disorder.

And its been that way for 50 years.

But yeah, its our fault.

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23 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

It is even more interesting when you look at other star mids:

  • Martin - 52%
  • Neale - 48%
  • Pendlebury - 48%
  • Tim Kelly - 46%
  • Bontempelli - 44%
  • Dangerfield - 43%
  • Selwood - 40%
  • Josh Kelly - 40%
  • Yeo - 40%
  • Cripps - 39%
  • Wines - 39%
  • Fyfe - 38%
  • Boak - 37%
  • Kennedy - 36%
  • Cotchin - 24%

So Viney at 46%, Petracca at 44% and Brayshaw at 43% actually stack up really well.

These kind of stats are total rubbish unless you have an idea of where the shots are being taken from.

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2 hours ago, Pollyanna said:

IMO the key problem is conversion.  We won all the important stats last night by miles except tackles and that's because we had it more, but we failed to put on scoreboard pressure again.

Contested, clearances, i50s, marks in i50, scoring shots - all in our favour.

The only game we were properly defeated was vs Collingwood.  Against Adelaide, GWS loss and Hawthorn we have gone 32.37 vs 36.23

11 goals total from 14 i50 marks vs 6 - something is very wrong there.

Is it because we try to score from difficult positions with our play to the pockets or failure to convert straightforward shots or both?

Credit to the young Hawks for bringing the heat and discredit to us for feeling it.

Hawthorn won the pressure stat. 206 average. Hawthorn's highest for the  year. Blindingly obvious watching the game they were harder and more switched on than us with numbers at the contest. We had no answer. We fumbled, made poor decisions and went back to the selfish footy of trying to do everything themselves.

And our crumbing forwards were nowhere to be seen when the whips were cracking.

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The guys looked less like they were having fun playing last night. Earlier in the season they seemed to be enjoying the game and playing for each other. Don’t forget we thrashed Hawthorn once this year.

Hopefully they can work out what they’re doing wrong from these losses to crap teams and change it before we get to the finals.

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1 hour ago, Red But Mostly Blue said:

Thanks for the positive read. Think I needed it. Was kind of like a free therapy session (it's free, right?).

I'm not as rage filled as some after last night, probably more disappointed that we lowered our colours to a current lowly team, who as you put it, pantsed us for so many years. Looking forward to our time in this space, I know it'll come.

For now, we've won all our top 8 games, and lost some of the others. Pretty much a reverse of 2018 - a situation I'd much prefer. 

Looking forward to a thumping performance against the Suns, I know the boys will want to make amends.

LOL. Yes, it's free.

I was just reading the posts about all of the things we did wrong last night and wondered if there might be one fundamental thing causing most of them. Intensity when combined with adherence to our total team defensive structures can expose a lot more deficiencies in our opponents game which we've seen with their sideways movement out of the backline allowing us time to set up behind the ball and the poor execution or dump kicks when they find themselves under intense pressure. 

To date we've been fantastic in being able to bring our best in the big games but it looks to be harder to sustain across multiple weeks with the young playing group we have which is understandable. We just need to be a little better at it for longer against the lesser sides. 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Antioch said:

The guys looked less like they were having fun playing last night. Earlier in the season they seemed to be enjoying the game and playing for each other. Don’t forget we thrashed Hawthorn once this year.

Hopefully they can work out what they’re doing wrong from these losses to crap teams and change it before we get to the finals.

We got a run on in the last qtr. The margin 2 pts at one point in the last qtr I think

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Thought I’d feel better today and while we at least escaped with 2 points it’s not good enough. It’s not the result it is the way we played. We need to be mentally, physically and systematically sharp as ever. It sounds harsh, I know we have been great this year but we’ve gotta stop looking in the past now. We’re in the big time now fighting it out near the top of the ladder and those other teams don’t care if we were good for the first 10 rounds, 5 % off and they will gladly take our spot. It’s dog eat dog. Delicate flowers will be trampled on and near enough won’t be good enough. That’s the cut throat nature of AFL footy. 

These things are hard to win and to be the last team standing you have to be special. More special than some darn good teams. Can they rise to the occasion, yes they can. They’ve proven they can, but as of right now there are no more bloopies to give. Sh** just got real. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jnrmac said:

These kind of stats are total rubbish unless you have an idea of where the shots are being taken from.

Yep.... and how many shots

 

1 hour ago, Antioch said:

The guys looked less like they were having fun playing last night. Earlier in the season they seemed to be enjoying the game and playing for each other. Don’t forget we thrashed Hawthorn once this year.

Hopefully they can work out what they’re doing wrong from these losses to crap teams and change it before we get to the finals.

Basics....some have gotten lazy.  Maybe not all matches or in a row but its been happening here and there.  Tracc even admitted this on 360 when questioned about the differences between what's put out on the track vs the loss against the Giants and the win against the Power.

With that laziness to defend comes a drop in form for the player which then ripples through the team.  Others are watching the example / effort and probably thinking they too can back off a little.  All of a sudden it's spreading through too many like a bad dose of NSW delta!

With a drop off in form confidence then goes with it to some degree.  You then start to see some players playing selfish footy for their future (fringe) or if not, just looking to rack up cheap stats so it looks as if they've had a reasonable game post match, win lose or draw.

Basic premise is... 

If you back it off even by a few percent (eg;  choosing when to white line it/run hard both ways and do the 1%ers) you risk losing your (and potentially the entire team's) form and then your mojo.

It's also partly a balance/skill issue as well though.  Confidence will come the more you convert your efforts up forward and get rewarded.  When this goes the other way it also effects the entire teams confidence.....maybe not at first but it would have a cumulative effect over a meaningful period or even in game at times.  This last part needs fixing....and fast.

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I’ve thought about what goes wrong against the poor sides and one thing that sticks in my mind with almost all the games we’ve either lost or been poor is forward entries from the opposition. The grand irony is that to get through our system you have to be random and unsystematic to a point, it’s like they have to work it intelligently or fast to the outer 50 but then instead of trying to place the perfect pass the chaos ball seems to be the one we [censored] our dacks at. Get it in, get it to ground and then outwork our defence with pressure.

Then it seems once they start to do that our defence gets rattled and stop working to their roles, and that’s when the passes to free players begin to happen.  

The other thing that really stuck out last night was that May, Lever, and Gawn we’re all having poor games at marking. They dropped some absolute sodas that usually they take with their eyes closed. When those guys drop marks they should be taking, it’s up to the ground level players to win the ball and the Hawks players were simply more committed. 

We were outcoached, and the players did not put in the hard yards that they did earlier in the year. I’m not giving up on this squads potential but it has a stink of 2005 about it where we drop off at the end and finish outside the top 4. 

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17 hours ago, Dr.D said:

Goodwin still talking about lessons in round 18. 
It's not lessons Simon, its execution. 

Well at least he said 'lessons' and not 'learnings', hey Dr Drivel?!

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There’s a stark difference between the way we play against the top teams and the lowly teams. Is it mental? Is it poor preparation against the lower teams, thinking the game is going to be a breeze? Does our team stop playing the ‘team’ game in an attempt to pick up easy stats against the bottom 8 teams in an attempt to pick up a few extra coaches and/or Brownlow votes? I don’t know what it is, just putting a few things out there. 

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6 hours ago, John Crow Batty said:

That was the dumbest play of the night. We were 5 points up. He declined the chance of getting two straight kicks ahead. If he scored a point it would have still been a goal ahead. It was well within his range but elected to kick to a pack of a dozen players. Very low percentage option. 

There were lots of poor decisions in that last five or ten minutes but Fritschs choice not to go for goal did my head in. Pretty much cost us the game.

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Classic, almost predictable inconsistency from what is still, in many respects, a young team. If this is happening when Petracca, Gawn, Brayshaw etc have 150 - 200 games under their belt, we can perhaps worry.

Also, starting to get noticeable under-performance from the youngest players, Rivers and Jackson especially. You can only go to the well so many times at that age.

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22 hours ago, CYB said:

Make no mistake about it. The Hawks deserved that game. 

 

Take out the ladder position why did they deserve it ? Despite the hawks getting a golden run with the umpires (3rd quarter especially) we had more disposals, inside 50s, more scoring shots, more clearances, contested possessions.. 

But they did win the frees 22-15. 

Hawks were competitive but that doesn't mean they should have won. thats a stretch. we didn't take out chances. Thats why they were able to draw. 

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