Jump to content

TEN YEARS AFTER by Whispering Jack



Recommended Posts

Things have changed in the more than ten years since the West Coast Eagles decimated Melbourne by 93 points on the MCG early in the 2014 season. The two sides had not met at the home of football in the interim until yesterday when Melbourne won by a comfortable 54 points to remain in contention for this year’s finals series.

Back in those days, the Demons were in the midst of their Great Depression but they have since tasted premiership glory and experienced a long enough period among the top echelons of the AFL that their fans became spoiled. 

A few weeks ago however, all that changed and for the first time since the early days of the Covid epidemic, we were all challenged by the prospect of the team being pushed off the top shelf and relegated to a place among the also rans.

A win against a team that is well down the ladder, out of form and traveling across the continent is no big deal. The Eagles are young but the Demons are younger. The visiting team looked jaded at times and played as if they might have checked out on the season already. However, the way in which the win was achieved provides scope for optimism for Demon fans because this was a Melbourne team so different to the one that has spoiled its fans in recent years. 

The overriding theme is youth and the scene was set early in the opening five minutes when fourth gamer Koltyn Tholstrup scored his AFL goal before repeating the dose a minute later. His enthusiasm over the rest of the game was infectious and while it’s early in his career, he’s living in the moment. It might be a long way from here to the Christian Petracca stratosphere but it’s a space worth watching.

Enter the multitasker Jacob van Rooyen who played two separate roles to perfection. He was particularly dangerous in front of the big sticks in the first half with his strong marking and four goals. He missed a couple of easy ones in the second half but he could be excused because he was also engaged in playing second ruck to Max Gawn, a role that was expanded in the final quarter when the skipper was subbed off with what was explained as a right ankle niggle. 

Daniel “Disco” Turner added to the pressure up forward and kicked a nice goal as well as playing a role in the transition of the ball forward.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Trent Rivers who is approaching his 100th AFL game was relishing his long awaited elevation from defence into the midfield. In a best on ground performance, the long-kicking Rivers managed to accumulate a career high (and game high) 29 disposals along with seven clearances and nine score involvements. Rivers told the media after the game: 

“Goody (Simon Goodwin) threw me in there for a little bit last year, but to be (in there) full-time, I’m loving it.”

“I was nagging at him a little bit, but I’m grateful that he’s given (me) the opportunity, and hopefully (I can) repay him for the favour.”

With Petracca out for the year, Jack Viney playing well and applying the pressure whilst not prolific in gathering the football and Clayton Oliver being heavily tagged, Rivers was a standout but he had a couple of rivals around the middle stratas of the MCG in Ed Langdon and another first year wonder in Caleb Windsor. The former returned to his best form for a while but the latter had some stellar patches with his 25 touches and a lovely goal. 

Then there was Kozzie Pickett who finally took that hanger but failed to convert with the ensuing kick but, along with Alex Neal-Bullen, they certainly kept the Eagle defence on its toes. And speaking of defence and youngsters, Judd McVee and Andy Moniz-Wakefield each applied themselves to the task. The infusion of youth has seen a team with more run and more confidence to take the game on – something that was lacking during the recent midseason slump.

Of course, it wasn’t all youth that did the damage. Max Gawn was strong in the ruck and around the ground until injured and Christian Salem’s return was most welcome. The Melbourne defence works much better now that Jake Lever has been reunited with Steven May and Tom McDonald, the only survivor from the 2014 debacle playing in the same position at centre half back ten years after, was relishing the fact that he’s fit, injury free and playing like a youngster once again. 

It was also good to see Bayley Fritsch getting among the goals again and on an emotional level, Jake Melksham’s two goals on return from his ACL injury was a real fillip for the team.

The real test for the new young Demons is coming over the next month and a half. Every game from hereon is against a contender and the greater bulk of them must be won, starting with Essendon on Saturday night at the MCG.

MELBOURNE 7.3.45 11.5.71 14.9.93 17.10.112

WEST COAST EAGLES 
1.2.8 3.4.22 6.8.44 8.10.58

GOALS

MELBOURNE 
van Rooyen 4 Fritsch 3 Melksham Pickett Tholstrup Gawn Langdon Turner Windsor

WEST COAST EAGLES Allen 4 Waterman 2 Darling Ryan

BEST 

MELBOURNE
 Rivers Windsor van Rooyen Langdon Pickett Viney

WEST COAST EAGLES Yeo Kelly Allen Hutchinson B Williams

INJURIES 

MELBOURNE Gawn (ankle) Pickett (finger)

WEST COAST EAGLES Allen (ankle)

REPORTS 

MELBOURNE 
Nil

WEST COAST EAGLES Nil

SUBSTITUTIONS 

MELBOURNE 
Taj Woewodin (replaced Max Gawn in the fourth quarter)

WEST COAST EAGLES Jack Williams (replaced Tyler Brockman at three-quarter time)

UMPIRES Robert O'Gorman Simon Meredith Andrew Adair Nick Jankovskis 

CROWD 32,000 at The MCG

ReportRd172024.png

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
  • Love 1
  • Clap 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, whatwhat say what said:

crowd was 32k on the money according to the mcg scoreboard

sen of course pooh-pooh'd it

i would be curious to know what other clubs have pulled against meth coke at the g / docklands this year

Quick look shows 

Dogs v Eagles at Docklands 22,991

Pies V Eagles at Docklands 37,433

Dons V Eagles at Docklands 40,840

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Demonland changed the title to TEN YEARS AFTER by Whispering Jack
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Demonland Forums  

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    GAMEDAY: Rd 19 vs Fremantle

    It's Game Day and the Demons have a golden opportunity to stamp their 2024 finals credentials as well as make amends for their disastrous first meeting against the Dockers earlier in the season when they take on Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 9

    THE PEOPLE SPEAK by The Demonland Crew

    DEMONLAND - Good evening, Demon fans and welcome back to the Demonland 2024 Grand Final Podcast ... before we took that last phone call from a Demonlander, we were discussing how the club overcame it’s midseason slump, the season-ending injury to Christian Petracca and the loss for a brief period of skipper Max Gawn due to a  crack to the base of his right fibula, to slowly surge up the ladder turning our detractors into believers and how it ended the year triumphant in the finals with our capta

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews 6

    EARLY BIRDS by KC from Casey

    Wet, slippery conditions and threatening rainfalls greeted the VFL Bombers at the end of their long journey southeast of the big city on Sunday. The threatening weather combined with the fact that neither side had realistic prospects of advancing to action in September, meant that spectators gathered at a cold Casey Fields weren’t expecting a classic exhibition of football. Nor did they get one. Instead they were presented with a dour struggle that never reached great heights. It was a

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    HEAVENS ABOVE by Molly Melbourne

    Who said the football gods and scoreboard attendants at the MCG don’t have a sense of humour? The gods spent a whole week teasing Demon and Bomber fans alike about Saturday night’s game. About how the entire match would be dominated by the hulking, brooding figures of 205cm Sam Draper and his 2IC Peter Wright lapping it up in the absence of Melbourne skipper and the club's No.1, No 2, No 3 and No 4 ruckman Max Gawn in the wake of that ankle injury. They painted pictures of Simon Goodwin ne

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports 8

    PREGAME: Rd 19 vs Fremantle

    The Dees head on the road for the sixth time this season to play for the second time on the holy site of their drought breaking Premiership glory as they take on the Dockers. Who comes in and who goes out?

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 301

    PODCAST: Rd 18 vs Essendon

    The Demonland Podcast will not be LIVE again this week. Binman will do his regular stats files segment for the game against the Bombers and will also preview the upcoming match against the Dockers. He will not be taking any questions. I will post the show here once I receive Binman's stats files. You can also find it wherever you get your podcasts from. We will return in our regular format once I return after the Dockers match.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 32

    VOTES: Rd 18 vs Essendon

    The injured Max Gawn has a considerable lead over the injured reigning champion Christian Petracca in the Demonland Player of the Year Award. Steven May, Jack Viney & Alex Neal-Bullen make up the Top 5. Your votes for the loss against the Kangaroos. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 55

    POSTGAME: Rd 18 vs Essendon

    For 3 quarters the Demons ground out a lead against the Bombers in tough wet conditions at the MCG before putting foot down early in the last quarter eventually winning by 17 points and putting them firmly back in the hunt for September action.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 624

    GAMEDAY: Rd 18 vs Essendon

    It’s game day and the Demons face a massive test which may determine whether they have what it takes to play finals this season. The task has been made all the more difficult without their Premiership Captain Max Gawn.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 610
  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...