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robbiefrom13

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Mighty Demon

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  1. If he is hampered by the injury, then he shouldn't play. We should still be thinking in terms of possibly playing in the Grand Final, and between now and then any Petrachan niggles other than the fracture should be eliminated if at all possible. We should have enough other players to get past Brisbane, if we play smart. In my opinion, there is enough forward-line shakiness for us to need a wildcard, to throw out Brisbane's thinking. I'd roll the dice on an unknown van Rouyen, and tell him to upset the rhythm of Brisbane's defence - crash packs, take a mark when he can, and feed the ball in to our finishers as often as he can. He's there to be something not-planned-for. The unknown would be more value than bringing in a dependable and predictable but x-less Brown, or an underdone MacDonald, I think. What we don't want is Brisbane taking on a known and depleted Demons. Time for the risk. I think Bedford's pace is worth trying, too, for the same reason. Given their current form, Chandler or Dunstan can run through the middle, with instruction to look for Oliver, Viney and the wings. We are patching up a major hole in our starting mids, but also needing something extra in the forward-line. That ought not to be an injured Petracca - he's a star, but in his injured state I don't think it's time to put the weight of the forward-line woes on his shoulders. It's not as though he's a proven match-winner when thrown into full-forward. Well, I'm not very confident, but I do think playing safe at the moment is not a brave approach. I just re-watched the 2000 semi against Carlton, and in the end Neitz, Schwarz and Farmer didn't get us there - it was Bruce and Green and probably Yze. Classic ambush, coupled with fitness. And Ingerson and Walsh etc holding together. Our backline's fine, we have Max and Clarrie in the middle - we need fit role-players and something Brisbane haven't planned for. We need to get into their heads, and let recent history spook them a bit.
  2. Until you replied to him, I thought he sounded blockworthy. You have creds, I think. You don't really need to join in on the level of his "reply". A few years ago I made free with my opinion of James Hird, and a poster replied with "you're better than that Robbie". Well, i hadn't been, obviously, but I still haven't forgotten the admonishing, and it has stopped me from my worst. Good on you for your practical support of the team. And for going to Brisbane to support them. And for trying to ask nicely to be left unattacked by a fellow supporter. I like your posts.
  3. there were quite a few on Demonland who were supporters of Neeld...
  4. Ham, what you say about Daw may be true, but we were outmarked badly. Defensive pressure is irrelevant when they have marked the ball. Daw can take a mark, and he can halve the contest rather than being simply outmarked. In yestday's Casey game he took a very strong pack mark in the last quarter, imposing himseld - and dished it off very nicely. His fitness issues did not prevent him from achieving what none of our forwards could in the main game. No-one's percect, but his contribution could improve the balance overall. Let the Kozzies of our forward line apply the defensive pressure once Majak has brought the ball to the ground.
  5. I agree Ellison shows promise - so did Turner, and Hibberd improved as the game went on. Rivers made some mistakes maybe, but he also looked AFL standard. I think we have lost our fitness advantage. Partly from illness, but our game plan is giving away that advantage that we had. Allowing so many chaIns of unpressured possessions gives the opposition breathing space and confidence in their skills. I think I understand our defence strategy, but when we are getting so badly outmarked by big forwards, it just gives easy goals away. The loss of May - and injuries to Petty - mean we cannot use our defensive lock-down. We are too east to get through, with our inability to stop their gorillas taking forward line marks, so we need (I think) to stop the free transition down the ground leading to unpressured passrs to advantage on their forward line. If ayers are still not fully recovered from illness, it's an understandable gamble to play rhem. Tracc looked good, but ultimately lacked power: he was not fully himself. Ben Brown likewise. Sooner or later they will be on top again. I thought Mitch Brown showed enough to be kept. But Majak Daw has physical presence, and can take a pack mark - even late in the game - so I think we need him. Also, I don't understand our not looking to go forward through Kozzie. He is electric, and unanswerable. Our tall forwards are far too easily countered. Use the strengths we have! For that reason, i'd like to see Bedford in.
  6. I agree Ellison shows promise - so did Turner, and Hibberd improved as the game went on. Rivers made some mistakes maybe, but he also looked AFL standard. I think we have lost our fitness advantage. Partly from illness, but our game plan is giving away that advantage that we had. Allowing so many chaIns of unpressured possessions gives the opposition breathing space and confidence in their skills. I think I understand our defence strategy, but when we are getting so badly outmarked by big forwards, it just gives easy goals away. The loss of May - and injuries to Petty - mean we cannot use our defensive lock-down. We are too east to get through, with our inability to stop their gorillas taking forward line marks, so we need (I think) to stop the free transition down the ground leading to unpressured passrs to advantage on their forward line. If ayers are still not fully recovered from illness, it's an understandable gamble to play rhem. Tracc looked good, but ultimately lacked power: he was not fully himself. Ben Brown likewise. Sooner or later they will be on top again. I thought Mitch Brown showed enough to be kept. But Majak Daw has physical presence, and can take a pack mark - even late in the game - so I think we need him. Also, I don't understand our not looking to go forward through Kozzie. He is electric, and unanswerable. Our tall forwards are far too easily countered. Use the strengths we have! For that reason, i'd like to see Bedford in.
  7. far too much analysis, I think. We didn't have enough fit and healthy players, and once Freo saw that they went ballistic. I wonder if they realise how lucky they were. I'm sure we are well aware of how we were deprived of just too many of our key players, and next week will be very interesting if we are not still being torn down by the lurgi. I did think that we might have stopped letting them have the loose-man possession rubbish, once we were being so badly outmarked in their forward line. Unpressured kicks coming into the area made it easier for them than it might have been. I appreciate how successful our defensive strategy has been, but when we don't have the man-power to stop their forwards marking it, our defensive teamwork hasn't got much chance to kick in. But probably we were so decimated, nothing could have made much difference on the day. Disappointing, but no grounds for criticising what is still the far-and-away best team in the competition. I imagine as players return there will be a very clear restoration of the pecking order.
  8. The Jenkins Report leads finally to unreserved apologies from all parties for the toxic culture of sexual predation in Parliament House - and that's not as significant a story as someone trying to undermine the reputation of last season's AFL Premiers? Great work, journos. I can't understand anyone going on working at that filthy rag.
  9. A few years ago I got a call from the club, in a membership drive. I'd already renewed as it happened, but we had a bit of a chat. The fella who rang introduced himself as Max Gawn. He'd played his first senior game a few weeks earlier and I'd been in Melbourne and saw it. I remember him going for a bit of a run through the centre, and he played with a kind of looseness that was really entertaining to watch. I told him so, and wished him well. I said I saw Robbie Flower's first game, and now I'd seen his too - great times, seeing someone play their first game with flair. Of course, I had no idea what a god I was talking to, and Max would not remember a random supporter telling him that, back then - but I do. It makes the pleasure of his extraordinary rise all the more wonderful, for me. Must be like that for everyone he shook hands with, made a coffee for, etc. Fabulous stuff. And then - look at the impact these guys have! Like Justin Langer going on about how the team went out there and played for each other, cared, and especially that they made it fun - it was the Max Gawn songbook! Culture-changing stuff. They make you so proud... Love these guys.
  10. Robbie Flower vs Richmond, 1980. His best game.
  11. Even when Bontempelli kicked his third, I had little concern - we were the fittest, we were stronger and we had more stars. I was sure we'd run it out better than the Dogs. I said to the young Bulldogs fan next to me, "you watch, they'll put Jackson in the ruck, Harmes will go onto Daniels and shut him down, it's what they do." he laughed and said something about living in hope - but then it all kicked off. We were so far a different article, the doggies looked absolutely astonished - and then they folded. Anybody would have. We have got a list nobody can match. Gawn Oliver and Petracca - who beats that? but then there's Jackson as well! Not forgetting Viney and a queue of rising strong learners. The best backline, able to shut down anybody. Who has got hold of them in the past twelve months? Kozzie is only starting, so is Ben Brown really. Fritsch is pretty good! We have arrived, and I have never seen a more capable set of players at Melbourne, including 1964; never mind the competition-leading fitness and the team ethos. We've got the wings sorted, and we can kick goals. Bowie and Salem are rock-sloid, smart, skilled - absolute guns. You hesitate to look over-confident, but the objective facts seem to me to point at MFC being the benchmark by quite a margin. Short of us stuffing it up, why would anyone think we're going to be looking back later and saying "i'm not surprised"? This is the box-seat! Clearly the most gifted and well organised team in the competition. And young enough for it all to be in front of them! Max shows the way - hard-working to the nth degree, but with that in place, it's all about fun. I loved the way Petracca spoke so unselfconsciously about knowing he had the talent. It's simply a fact. This is all new for us, but it's real and we should enjoy!
  12. we'd slaughtered Collingwood in the second semi-final, and it seemed to 14-year-old me a bit of an anti-climax that the grand final was a slog. Melbourne winning was normal enough - I wanted it to be glory... I listened with a mate who was Collingwood. Felt a bit sorry for him when Crompton broke ranks and won the game. But it stood to reason we would be better than Collingwood - Melbourne was a whole city, not just a suburb; and just on the jumpers, never mind anything else - black-and-white was TV, as compared to the movies, and surely we had then as we still have the best looking jumper by a mile. Regal! At school, you could hold your head up being a Melbourne supporter - even when we lost a game, we were still obviously the best team. We had Barassi. We almost always ended up the winners... Following Melbourne since then has been a wonderful ride. Builds real character - not just complacent arrogance. If we win this year, it won't be anything like 1964 was. It'll be infinitely deeper and better, I think. Obviously I couldn't have known enough about the psychology of the players back then, to really compare, but considering what it has taken to escape two generations of failure and in its place build this present charge, what we are seeing now has to be a huge human drama playing out. Brian Dixon may have been conned by Norm Smith into fearing every week that he would be dropped, but our current team are coming off genuine longterm grounds for being unable to believe - yet look at them! Spectacular turn-around - and huge credit to all of them. And their coaches. This an unfolding achievement that will be way beyond 1964.
  13. clean ball-handling, and the ability to stop or turn on a sixpence, made Robbie virtually untackleable. Heavier-built by miles, but Petracca does have quite a bit of those attributes. Watching the old footage shows how Wilson had quite a bit of that too. Exactly the things Viney and Jones don't have. But then Viney has a bit of the Barassi unstoppability. One of my strongest memories of Barassi was of him marking a drop-kick probably less that 10 metres from where it had been kicked. A full-blooded low kick that at full stretch Barassi just reached. it stuck in his grip and smashed him backwards onto the turf, as though he'd been shot by a cannon-ball. He didn't let go of the ball. it's imprinted on my mind as much as that famous shot of him airborne, having just kicked, with one arm stretched out to the side and the look on his face - unstoppable. But Robbie was a scalpel among axes. Pure poetry, finesse, instinct for what was going on. He struck in the split-second right moment. Timing as perfect as that isn't likely to come around again.
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