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FROZEN by Whispering Jack


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Who would have thought? 
Collingwood had a depleted side with several star players out injured, Max Gawn was in stellar form, Christian Petracca at the top of his game and Simon Goodwin was about to pull off a masterstroke in setting Alex Neal-Bullen onto him to do a fantastic job in subduing the Magpies' best player. Goody had his charges primed to respond robustly to the challenge of turning around their disappointing performance against Fremantle in Alice Springs. And if not that, to make a statement to the player who ended a teammate’s career with a crude (but absolutely legal according to the AFL Tribunal) bump to the head.
This was the setting for what should have been an emphatic Melbourne victory except for one minor matter. The majority of Goody’s team froze up as if they had spent their time preparing for the game going up and down the MND slide into the ice bath.

From very early in the game, the signs were not good. A couple of simple errors from the Demons and a lack of pressure in the first fifty seconds of the game saw the opening goal kicked by Magpie Will Hoskin-Elliott who was coming back from injury. Of course, he slotted it straight through the middle of the big sticks.

By way of a first response, Melbourne was hesitant and fumbly as it struggled to get the ball into attack and three minutes after Collingwood's opening gambit, Max Gawn's shot hit the post. 
The scene was set for the day. One team made the most of its chances while the other showed little urgency, fiddled around, turned the ball over, didn't chase hard enough and disposed of the ball at an efficiency rate well below the other.

As it happens so often in those circumstances, you don't get the rub of the green either. In that way, Kozzy Pickett's shot in the first quarter was given a goal by the goal umpire and eventually overturned by faceless score review just before the ruckmen were about to go up at the bounce. (Not that I dispute the decision, but it would have been nice to see it on the big screen to judge for myself). 
Assuming the decision was that the ball brushed the post, it was one of five times during the game that a Melbourne shot for goal hit the woodwork. All were chances to gain the favour of momentum while the Pies just couldn't miss. 
And when the siren sounded for quarter time, the Demon's major match winning prospect Christian Petracca was keeled over in the hands of the trainers with four broken ribs and a number of associated injuries. It took more than another half hour of game time for him to be subbed off (and that's another big question mark coming out of the match) but, as I wrote, the die was already cast. The team was frozen in time. 

None of this stopped a Demon comeback in the second quarter when the team got going and, in the search for an unlikely hero, found one in Jacob van Rooyen who worked hard, marked a couple, and put the team back into the game with two goals in that term and the first in the second half. 
After he kicked his second and, with the team down by only seven points, JvR marked on the half forward flank and had the opportunity to take the game on and shoot from a long way out into a vacant goal square. I surmise that had he worn black and white, the kick would have rolled through making it game on. He chose however, to wait, the Pies intercepted and moved the ball on. In the moments that followed, the Pies regained their composure, the Dees dropped their guard and leaked three goals including one from a mark after the siren. Things were suddenly grim at the halfway mark.

And the second half was pretty much more of the same with Melbourne falling down by 38 points despite their advantage of two scoring shots for the match. When your shooting accuracy is 29% against your opponent's 74%, there is no chance in the world that you're going to win. But as I wrote, that was obvious from early doors.

To add to the Demons' woes, two of its veterans in Max Gawn and Tom McDonald were among its best, alongside Neal-Bullen, Kozzy Pickett worked hard but was wasteful in front of goals, Caleb Windsor was lively. The defence was a shadow of itself and lacked the organisation it normally has when Jake Lever is around. Apart from van Rooyen (and he spent some time in the ruck) the forward line was dysfunctional.
Clayton Oliver worked hard but needs to be given more midfield responsibility and Jack Viney couldn't get into the game. Without Petracca for the obligatory four to six, the Demons look like a team that will be frozen out of finals calculations after the break ... unless they can find something like Carlton and the Giants found at about this time last year.

MELBOURNE 0.4.4 2.6.18 4.11.35 6.15.51

3.1.19 7.3.45 11.3.69 14.5.89


van Rooyen 3 Pickett 2 Fritsch

COLLINGWOOD Harrison Kreuger 3 Hoskin-Elliott 2 Cameron N Daicos Frampton Lipinski Macrae Schultz


Neal-Bullen McDonald Windsor Gawn van Rooyen Pickett

COLLINGWOOD Crisp J Daicos Maynard Howe Noble Kreuger


C. Petracca (ribs)

COLLINGWOOD  N. Daicos (corked calf)





MELBOURNE Jack Billings (replaced Christian Petracca in the third quarter)

COLLINGWOOD Jack Bytel (replaced Nick Daicos in the fourth quarter)

UMPIRES Jamie Broadbent Justin Power Matt Stevic Andrew Stephens

CROWD 84,659 at the MCG
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  • Demonland changed the title to FROZEN by Whispering Jack

it was a desperately sad and depressing way to lose a game maybe even worse than last week because really it was game we could have won, however lose we did and now with Petracca out for an extended period another challenging period awaits, time for calm heads and steely resolve if there is indeed such a thing, as for myself well  I'm just refusing point blank to give up, not until I absolutely have to and that's it

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Demonland, the Kozzie goal review was deemed touched after the kick, it didn’t touch the post..

We have now had 3 of these reversals the most of any team, while most have never had one. That is typical if new rules which always seem to affect us adversely. Yes MFCSS is alive and well.

8 of the Pies’ 14 goals were kicked by 3 players brought back into the side, including Krueger with 3 who had never kicked an AFL  goal before. That is just so typical once again.

Against the team who ended Gus’s career, we lost another star player probably for the rest of the season, all the while it was the Pies who showed aggression while we showed none.

Bombing into the forward line continued to little effect while the Pies sought and got the simple pass or kicked to advantage of a team mate.

The disposal couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed.

A pressure rating of 164, a season low. Somebody needs to explain how that results after the worst defeat in 8 years and playing a weakened opponent, that put us out of a possible premiership last year, let alone the Gus issue.

One team played as a team and won, the loser didn’t.

We have serious work to do.

Edited by Redleg
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We were always going to slump at some point.

No preseason for Oliver and Petty. Brayshaw retires, Smith gone, Melksham ACL.

Plenty of young inexperience:

JVR 31 games, Windsor 13, Laurie 9, Howes 11, Turner 8.

Chandler 46 games struggling.

Billings not the answer.

Tholstrup, Sestan and K Brown need to get games this year. Casey performances warrant it.

Need to look at Free agents that will make a difference. Draft well this year. Given that we will likely get Kalani White next year i would consider trading 2025's 1st rounder back into 2024 draft.


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“If You Always Do What You've Always Done, You'll Always Get What You've Always Got.” ~ Henry Ford. 

Surely it is time for some innovation - NB Billings, Laurie in and out and repeat and again without making any impact whilst Kolt, AMW, Sestan continue to do well at Casey but don’t get a go.  
Even Fullarton, traded for as a relief / helper for Max and a tall half forward, whist not setting the world on fire isn’t given a look in; meanwhile Max is being ground into the ground and though JVR is a willing and strong second ruck he leaves the forward line bereft when on the ball 

The experiment of using AFL game time to rehab players such as Petty, Spargo round 0 😮🙄🤔😫, even Oliver (though a 75% Oliver is better than most at 100%) just is not working. May is injured, Viney probably too. Fritsch is either injured or has something else on his mind  

But like The Ox, I still haven’t given up all hope, but it is time to try some new blood. The old just isn’t working. 

Unfortunate timing for our Saturday evening match v North - a poor attendance will doom us to Sunday afternoons for years so even though we are struggling we really need all true supporters to give it one more go next week.  

GO DEES ❤️💙❤️💙

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