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TIGERS OUTPOINTED by George On The Outer


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Normally when one side outpoints the other, it is because of an emphatic victory.  Against Richmond in the annual ANZAC Eve Blockbuster, the win by Melbourne was anything but emphatic, as they managed to miss the “big sticks” an incredible 22 times!
 
The groans from around the ground as the Demons failed to put the Tigers away, eventually turned into ironic cheers for each successive point on the scoreboard. However, this irony from the fans was only possible because Melbourne had complete control of the game across the whole ground. They just couldn’t deliver the coup de grace on the scoreboard.  
 
The evening was spectacular, as it is every year with the lights dimmed for the solemn ANZAC memorial. Surely the players from Melbourne would have been impressed by the experience of playing in front of 70,000 at the G on this night.  If it was this good, imagine what a GF experience will be like in front of their own fans. Something to look forward to?
 
Unfortunately, what the game had in pre-match spectacle, it lacked in on-field performance. Richmond are a mere shell of the team which won 3 out of 4 Premierships, and are facing further decline as they try to hold it all together with old stagers in Riewoldt, Cotchin and Edwards. Only 7 touches to Edwards and with no Dusty, Grimes or Houli from the glory days, they are absolutely no chance to challenge again in 2022, as many thought in the pre-season.  
 
The Demons were just as ruthlessly overpowering as they were in their own GF appearance from last year, except on the scoreboard.  The defensive unit once again held the opposition to below sixty points, with May, Bowey and Petty just racking up the intercepts when the ball came down their end.  Nine each to May and Bowey with Petty chiming in for 8.  
 
No Lever? It didn’t matter, as the others just filled in with his absence. Jayden Hunt probably played his best game for the side this season in his 100th game, and importantly played defensively, not his attacking mode. He used his speed to shut down his opponent and let others do the ball movement upfield.  
 
In the middle, Petracca had a quiet game … but only because it was measured against an incredible performance from Clayton Oliver who was judged best afield on the night.  Petracca’s mere 25 touches with 7 contested possessions was simply eclipsed when Oliver turned on the jets to produce 41 touches and an astounding 22 contested posssessions! 
 
Tom Sparrow is establishing himself as the third rock in the centre square as the coaches give him more time in the engine room.  Twenty-four disposals in the hardest section of the ground, and still just 21 years of age. Then the side has a couple of reliable backups in Harmes and Dunstan and let’s not forget that Jack Viney is due to return next week. As noted last week, opposition sides should be very, very afraid.
 
But the whole night was summed up by the enigma of the forward line. Sam Weideman received another chance, and despite three goals, they all came from fortuitous circumstances, not his own efforts.  A solitary uncontested mark for the whole game is not what should be coming from a forward in his seventh year at the club. He will probably be given another chance to show if he has a future, but we keep revisiting this hope without an emphatic answer. 
 
Finally, in the third quarter Bayley Fritsch showed the side that someone up forward could kick straight and started a 5 goal streak that put the game beyond any doubt.  Was it Christian Salem’s boots that he wore this week, and if so, the rest of the side needs to be issued with whatever Salo has sitting in the back of his locker.
 
Hopes of a better game from therein for the fans however, was dashed as both teams could only manage a solitary goal each in the final quarter. And the Demons managed to out-point the Toiyges yet again in that quarter with three more minor scores to their two. It was just enthralling football to watch. Not!
 
Next week the Hawks who are experiencing an up and down season.  They are missing major components of their side particularly in the ruck and up forward.  The Demons yet again face selection table problems with Lever and Viney available, while Tom McDonald put in a more than credible performance at Casey with three goals.   
 
The Demons certainly out-pointed Richmond and  probably will do the same to the Hawks, but it is worth pointing out  the winning streak is now out to 13, and Jake Bowey continues to know no other match result.  
 
Point made!

MELBOURNE 2.6.18 3.12.30 8.19.67 9.22.76

RICHMOND 2.2.14 5.3.33 7.4.46 8.6.54

GOALS

MELBOURNE
Weideman 3 Fritsch 2 Brown Langdon Petracca Spargo

RICHMOND Lynch Riewoldt 2 Baker Bolton Graham Rioli

BEST

MELBOURNE
Oliver Hunt Langdon May Gawn Petty

RICHMOND Vlastuin Nankervis Gibcus Short Graham D Rioli

INJURIES

MELBOURNE Dunstan (head)

RICHMOND Dow (leg)

REPORTS

MELBOURNE
Nil

RICHMOND  Nil

SUBSTITUTES

MELBOURNE
T Bedford (not used)

RICHMOND Parker (replaced Dow)

UMPIRES Leigh Fisher Andrew Stephens Robert Findlay

CROWD 70,334 at The MCG
ReportRd062022.png
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