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BE AFRAID by George On The Outer


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“Be very afraid!”

 

So said David King when assessing what stood before other teams when facing the Demons in 2022.  Now, most people would take this assessment with a grain of salt from an AFL commentator, but after a demolition of the GWS Giants by 67 points, perhaps there is more than a kernel of truth to the matter.  

 

Not only did the Demons keep the Giants goalless in the first quarter, in exactly the same way they did to Port Adelaide last week, but their relentless defensive pressure ensured that the Giants were never in with a chance.

 

Then came the coup de grace with a stunning 10 goal quarter from the Demons in the third quarter, reminiscent of the 2021 Grand Final, which left their opponents and indeed the rest of the competition, aghast at what Melbourne are capable of doing in a very short period of time.

 

All around the ground the systemic dismantling of opposition tactics was to be seen. Time and time again Giants players came to a standstill as they could not see any options in front of them, since the Demons defensive structures had already shut the gate.

 

With Harrison Petty returning to the side, the old firm was getting back together under the generalship of Stephen May and Jake Lever.  Eight intercepts to May, six to Lever and five to Petty just presented a wall which would not be penetrated. Just as telling was that the Giants two main forwards in Hogan and Himmelberg could only manage 1 mark each for the game.  

 

Any mopping up to be done?

 

Just bring in Jake Bowey, Jayden Hunt and Trent Rivers and. Bowey with 21 disposals and Rivers with 18 gave the opposition small forwards absolutely nothing.  Frighteningly, Bowey and May produced disposal efficiency of more than 90% while Lever’s was at 100%!   Not only do they stop the opposition but they then cut them to pieces with their delivery further up the field.  

 

The Giants have a star studded line-up right across the ground, but particularly in the middle. Not that it helped them very much as Oliver and Petracca racked up over 30 touches each, while Viney chipped in with 27 and Harmes 22, including 11 marks. More importantly, the Giants mids out shone the Demons mids in clearances 41:33 but it is the quality of those clearances that matter.  

 

Often they finished out on the wings or in contested situations where Ed Langdon and Angus Brayshaw just pushed them further out and wide to places where they simply are unable to score. It is all part of the Melbourne team defence, something which is not just isolated to the back four.

 

Up forward there were opportunities galore and in that 10 goal spurt in the 3rd quarter, there were 10 different goal scorers. How does any opposition stop that?  

 

The Giants by this stage would have been very afraid where the next six-pointer was coming from. But this also pointed to the broad base of attacking options, not just a leading target that most teams use. Sam Weidemann didn’t make enough of his chances, and so BBB will be an almost certain substitution for next week.  

 

Melbourne still sit a game clear with 5 wins for 2022,and surprisingly have dispatched 4 of season 2021’s finalists without too much difficulty. With the AFL fixturing, they no doubt thought that evening the competition early in the season would ensure that bottom sides had a better chance of keeping their supporters engaged.  

 

Hence we see Carlton and St.Kilda in with hope and aspiration at this point in the season.  

But for them and other sides, they now look at what Melbourne have done to teams who only six months ago were the gold standard, and would be afraid … very afraid of what could happen to them when they have to face the Demons juggernaut.  


MELBOURNE  4.0.24 6.2.38 16.4.100 19.6.120
 
GWS GIANTS 0.5.5 3.6.24 5.8.38 7.11.53
 
GOALS
 
MELBOURNE Fritsch 4 Pickett 3 Gawn Petracca 2 Bowey Jackson Jordon McDonald Neal-Bullen Spargo Viney Weideman 
 
GWS GIANTS Hill 2 Callahan Coniglio Flynn Himmelberg Hogan 
 
BEST 
 
MELBOURNE Petracca May Oliver Pickett Fritsch Gawn Harmes
 
GWS GIANTS Kelly Green Flynn Ward Coniglio
 
INJURIES
 
MELBOURNE Jake Lever (ankle)
 
GWS GIANTS Nil
 
REPORTS
 
MELBOURNE Nil
 
GWS GIANTS Nil
 
SUBSTITUTES
 
MELBOURNE Toby Bedford (unused)
 
GWS GIANTS Jake Riccardi  (unused)
 
UMPIRES Matt Stevic Brendan Hosking Eleni Glouftsis 
 
CROWD 20,791 at The MCG
ReportRd052022.png
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