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THE BLOW by Whispering Jack



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Narrm’s finals prospects took a crushing blow after the team’s insipid performance at Optus Stadium against a confident Waaljit Marawar in the first of its Doug Nicholls Round outings for 2024. 

I use the description “crushing blow” advisedly because, although the season is not yet at it’s halfway mark, the Demons have now failed abysmally in two of their games against teams currently occupying bottom eight places on the ladder. 

The manner in which these losing games were played out would be most disturbing to Coach Simon Goodwin. The team went down in the most lacklustre manner without giving a whimper and that is unacceptable given they had premiership aspirations a week and a half ago. And please don’t point to the club’s defeat at the hands of lowly Adelaide at a similar time of the 2021 season because that was a loss by a single point which could easily have gone the other way.

The Demons can’t say that it came without warning because the pundits were already pointing before the match to the Eagle’s much improved form on their home turf.

And let’s not talk excuses such as the loss before the game of young key talls in Jacob van Rooyen and Daniel Turner and the team’s running man in Ed Langdon or in form key defender Jake Lever early in the match. The later was certainly a blow given the marking dominance of West Coast key forwards Jake Waterman and Jack Darling who combined for half of Waaljit Marawa‘s goals, but Narrm still had plenty of opportunities to win back the initiative.

However, the team blew its chances every time an attempt was made to put pressure on the Eagles’ lead and to come back into the game. Kudos to last week’s “almost” hero in Christian Petracca for his cameo in the second half of the second quarter but the home side was good enough to repel the Demons on this and every other occasion they showed a glimmer of a prospect of revival.

Bayley Fritsch, who was unsighted in the first half when the ball rarely found itself inside 50 metres from the team’s goal, was an instrumental player in the second half with three goals, but Narrm squandered its opportunities in the third term with 3.7.25 to 5.0.30 so badly that it actually went backwards in the “premiership quarter”. 

And that was it.

Ironically, on the evidence of this match, the Eagles who lost miserably last week in Melbourne by 11 goals, appear closer to a premiership than the Demons. 

This was demonstrated by the star of the match Harley Reid and to a lesser extent in their midfield by another youngster Reuben Ginbey who showed up their more experienced rivals in the game’s engine room. 

It’s not hard to see why every recruiting officer in the land was salivating over Reid last November. Forget about him being the rising star - he’s got that wrapped up already as well as such other accolades as the recruit of the century and possibly more coming up. That goal of his (and it needs no further explanation) was goal of the year - a game breaking match-winner that completely blew the game up in Narrm’s face. 

There’s nothing much more to say.

NARRM 2.1.13 6.1.37 9.8.62 10.10.70

WAALITJ MARAWAR 4.3.27 7.8.50 12.8.80 16.9.105

GOALS 

NARRM Fritsch 3 Brown Chandler McAdam Neal-Bullen Petracca Pickett Windsor

WAALITJ MARAWAR Waterman 5 Darling 3 Reid Ryan 2 Cripps Ginbey Hunt Maric

BEST

NARRM Neal-Bullen Pickett Fritsch Gawn Oliver Petracca

WAALITJ MARAWAR Reid Waterman Kelly Darling McGovern Ginbey Duggan 

INJURIES 

NARRM Jake Lever (concussion) 

WAALITJ MARAWAR Nil 

REPORTS 

NARRM Nil 

WAALITJ MARAWAR Nil 

SUBSTITUTIONS 

NARRM Taj Woewodin (replaced Jake Lever in the first quarter)

WAALITJ MARAWAR Tyrell Dewar (replaced Luke Edwards in the fourth quarter)

UMPIRES Jeff Dalgleish Brendan Hosking Alex Whetton Harrison Birch 

CROWD 43,408 at Optus Stadium 

ReportRd102024.png

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Very little to disagree with in this item. WC game plan was executed to perfection with rally after rally as the Dees looked on, impotently. We must make something positive out of this season - perhaps making and forging more of our youth to take up the cudgel - invoking more wisdom from Williams or outside to develop and steer our youth, the game plan, the whole modus operandi of winning football. Demon supporters are currently tired of living on a prayer.

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Well written Jack. Sunday's West Coast disaster reminds me of those awful loses to the Swans when they were at their worst in the early 90s. We made a habit of making them look like heroes during what was otherwise a dark chapter in their history. 

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This was our worst performance since the Brisbane game in round 5, and we all said that game was the worst loss since the Port game in 2020.

Very disappointing to have 2 uncompetitive performances in the space of 5 weeks. I hope it's not a trend.

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Posted (edited)

Geelong flying at 7 zip and everybody gushing they are the team to beat, then 3 straight losses, the last one by 64 points. Slumps happen to the best.

We have had a couple of poor games, as long as there is a reaction against the Saints, the ship will set sail again.

It is a long season, we are not halfway yet.

 

 

Edited by Satyriconhome
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