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A LITTLE MAGIK by George On The Outer


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With the game against Carlton all but lost, there was little chance the Demons could pull this one from out of the fire … with a little bit of magiK!  

MagiK with a “K” in the form of Kysaiah Pickett, who miraculously managed to get foot to ball in the dying seconds to secure the win for the Demons.

Along with plenty of magiK from Jake MelKsham during the game. Marking the ball while lying on his back, dancing through a bevy of Carlton backmen to score and then marking among three taller Carlton defenders with little more a minute left on the clock to bring the score back to a difference of a point. It was as though Jake had found the Ed Langdon invisibility cloak, because he had no right to do any of those things.  

The game was interesting, but a very, very different spectacle than when we normally watch the Demons in action. Carlton came with a strange game plan, which very nearly worked and would have done so if they had stuck to it.  

It was the simple tactic of man-on-man, one-on-one. This meant that space wasn’t available for the Melbourne players, it meant they had to beat their opponent, but even if they did the next contest was the same.  

All around the ground it resulted in contest after contest, and while that normally suits the Demons, because of their strong mids, there are others in the side who don’t like it at all.  

And from the spectator’s perspective it results in a fairly boring slog of a game.

How often was it with each side that, having won the ball, players would look up field, unable to find the next target, because they were already covered?

Well it worked for the majority of the match, until Charlie Curnow put through a major with three minutes to go. Then inexplicably Carlton sent extra players on to the ball.  With 2 minutes to go, Melbourne players were free in the middle of the ground and out the back. So when Carlton cleared in the first instance Max Gawn pumped the ball back into Melksham to score.

Then with a minute to go, the same. A clearing kick is gobbled by Jake Lever, Steven May and Jayden Hunt is all free in the middle of the ground. The ball is pumped long forward and Melksham and Pickett do their magiK again. 

That was the result, albeit in unusual circumstances but it could have been very different. It had all too many similarities to both the Collingwood and Bulldogs games. The Demons are simply keeping opposition teams in the game due to their lack of fire-power up forward. They got away with it this week, but still continue to squander opportunities from poor kicking, and insufficient tall targets.  

58 forward 50 entries for 11 goals. Once again BIg Ben Brown is expected to fulfil the roles of FF and CHF on a dodgy knee.

Max kicks one goal this week, and Jackson none.  Why does coach Simon Goodwin continue to plant them down there when the outcome is the same. Surely, he We cannot expect Melksham, Fritsch or Pickett to kick 4,5 or 6 goals in every game to win it.  Especially with both Kozzy and Brown hobbling around on one leg. 

Down back the defenders once again did a great job.  Petty towelled up the Coleman medal leader in Curnow to hold him to a single major and that was in the dying three minutes. May and McKay (that one Scottish K) had a superb contest with neither able to claim a victory.  But Jake Lever was out of touch from his usual high standards, and managed only one mark and four intercepts. Jayden Hunt, however, filled in with nine intercepts topped off by his influence in those dying seconds. 

Alex Neal-Bullen was given a bath by Saad, and is one who cannot provide any surety in the one-on-one scenario that Carlton used.  Charlie Spargo likewise, and a paltry four disposals for 28 metres gained will surely see better options used in his place next week. 

Are there other injuries plaguing the side?

Ed Langdon actually had time off the ground this week, a scenario unheard of this season. Luke Jackson only played 64% game time.  Is there something going on which is not for public display?  

Fortunately, we have another MagiK  performer in Angus Brayshaw, who has replicated himself so that he plays midfield, backline and wing.  Surely there were two of him on the ground to pick up 38 possessions, including 19 contested touches.  

Next up is Brisbane and a win guarantees the much valued top four position. This game will be very different to what was witnessed in this one. The Saints would have put them to the sword had they to kicked straight.  But they play a more open style and not the same degree of pressure that we have experienced in the past weeks.  

Then again, Melbourne’s kicking in front of goal has hardly been a forte. Perhaps it needs just a little more MagiK! 

MELBOURNE 1.2.8 4.6.30 7.11.53 11.13.79

1.3.9 3.4.22 7.8.50 10.14.74


Melksham 4  Pickett 2 Brown Fritsch Gawn Langdon Petracca  

CARLTON McKay Martin 3 Curnow Durdin Fisher Silvagni


MELBOURNE Oliver, Brayshaw, Melksham, Petty, Gawn, May

CARLTON Cripps Walsh McKay Marchbank Young Silvagni



CARLTON Adam Cerra (adductor) replaced in selected side by Will Setterfield





James Harmes (unused)

CARLTON Paddy Dow (unused)

UMPIRES Chris Donlon Matt Stevic Jamie Broadbent

CROWD 55,705 at the MCG


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