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DO SOMETHING by Whispering Jack


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At half time in the 1975 Grand final against North Melbourne, legendary Hawthorn coach entered Australian sporting folklore when he implored his charges who were lagging behind their opponents to ‘do something’: 

 

"At least do something. Do. Don't think. Don't hope. Do. At least you can come off saying 'I did this'," Kennedy said.

 

Kennedy’s plea failed but he had made his point and the Hawks rose again in 1976 when they took the premiership flag from the Kangaroos. 

 

The same frustrations which Kennedy faced in 1975 have been felt by the Demon faithful at times throughout 2022 and again, in parts of 2023. Last Thursday, as we sat and watched the train wreck of another slow start against Collingwood, followed by the last quarter and a half of a game in which opportunity after opportunity was butchered by poor decision making and execution in the forward line, many of us were moved to let out that helpless primal scream of ‘do something’!

 

Melbourne won only one first quarter from Round 20 onwards (against an inaccurate Sydney team). The opposition put scoreboard pressure on the Demons, forcing them to work hard to get back into the game and win. Against, better teams such as Carlton (Round 22: 8.8.56 to 9.6.60) and Collingwood (EF: 7.11.53 to 9.6.60) the win simply did not eventuate even though Melbourne ran out the far stronger team in these match ups. 

 

Melbourne has as strong a defence and midfield as any in the competition. The defence has, for the most part, been playing out its role and has curbed the dangerous Charlie Curnow and his cohort of little men twice this year but the midfield needs to do something to lift its intensity rating when the battle starts. The contest between the midfields will be of paramount importance as the Blues’ Cripps, Walsh and Cerra, at their best can match the Demons’ gold star rated mids in Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Jack Viney. It might well devolve into a question of who among the bit parts of the respective mids can stand up and be counted, particularly when they play their opening gambit.

 

The other something needed from Melbourne is  its efficiency when going forward. They need to be less predictable as otherwise, the Blues’ defence headed by Weitering will pick the Demons apart. Any attack that has 32 more inside-50 entries than its opponent but kicks only seven goals in a match has to be classified as bordering on dysfunctional so the Melbourne selectors have to do something to turn that situation around. 

 

That’s easier said than done without the forward line trio of Harrison Petty, Jake Melksham and Jacob van Rooyen who, between them, managed 14 goals straight in Round 20 against Richmond but will all be absent on Friday night. Does the club have the depth of talent necessary to enable it to take advantage in front of goal if the midfield stands up to give them scoring opportunities as expected?

 

Much is being made about claims that Max Gawn and Oliver might be going into battle on Friday night but a little bluebird tells me that Cripps and Marchbank will also be carrying their own injuries into the game. 

 

The Demons have the ability to select some seasoned players including All-Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy and James Jordon and Charlie Spargo who have both played in a premiership team, along with the likes of Bayley Fritsch, Kozzy Pickett and Tom McDonald who had major roles in the same campaign for that 2021 flag.

 

There is plenty of scope left for coach Simon Goodwin and his team to do something.

 

And, I’m tipping that they will do so and overcome the Blues by the slender margin of a solitary point.

 

THE GAME

 

Melbourne v Carlton at the MCG Friday 15 September 2023 at 7.50pm

 

HEAD TO HEAD

 

Overall Carlton 118 wins Melbourne 97 wins Drawn 2
At the MCG Carlton 51 wins Melbourne 56 wins
Past five meetings Carlton 1 win Melbourne 4
The Coaches Voss 1 win Goodwin 2 wins

 

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

 

Carlton 9.6.60 defeated Melbourne 8.8.56 at the MCG Round 22, 2023

 

The Demons made a poor start to the game but somehow were close enough to be well in the contest at each interval before falling asleep again in the opening minutes of the final term when they conceded three goals. Inaccuracy and a Carlton fingernail cost them the win that might have secured them a second place finish and an easier run to a Preliminary Final. Angus Brayshaw’s 31 touches were pivotal to the Demons’ ultimately unsuccessful lunge toward victory.

 

THE TEAMS 

 

MELBOURNE
 

B J. Lever A. Tomlinson J. Bowey
HB J. McVee S. May C. Salem 
C L. Hunter C. Oliver E. Langdon 
HF J. Jordon B. Fritsch C. Petracca
F T.  Sparrow McDonald A. Neal-Bullen
FOLL M. Gawn, J. Viney, K. Pickett 
I/C K. Chandler T. Rivers J. Smith C. Spargo SUB J. Schache EMG B. Grundy M. Hibberd B. Laurie

IN J. Jordon J. Schache C. Spargo A. Tomlinson

OUT A. Brayshaw (concussion) M. Hibberd (omitted) B. Laurie (omitted) J. van Rooyen (suspended) 

CARLTON 

B B. Kemp J. Weitering N. Newman
HB A. Cincotta M. McGovern A. Saad
C B. Acres P. Cripps M. Cottrell
HF S. Docherty T. De Koning M. Owies
F L. Fogarty C. Curnow J. Motlop
FOLL M. Pittonet A. Cerra S. Walsh
I/C D. Cunningham G. Hewett M. Kennedy C. Marchbank SUB O. Hollands EMG P. Dow  S. Durdin Z. Fisher 

IN O. Hollands M. Kennedy 

OUT H. McKay (hamstring) J. Martin (suspended)

 

Injury and Suspension List: Semi Final

 

Ben Brown - Knee  | Test

James Harmes - Hamstring | Test

Angus Brayshaw - Concussion  | TBC

Jacob van Rooyen Suspended | 1 Week 

Luke Dunstan - Knee | Season

Blake Howes - Hand | Season 

Jake Melksham - Knee | Season

Harrison Petty - Foot | Season 

Oliver Sestan - Elbow | Season

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