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  1. Apart from the hope of a win to start the 2015 season, was there anything to be gained or learned from the match against the Dockers? The Demons were playing against a team with a home ground advantage, in fact a home training ground advantage, who had finished 4th in 2014. The Demons, remember, finished a lowly 17th with a meagre 4 wins. Surely, a one-sided contest could have been expected? Well, it was a NAB Practice match and while the stifling conditions and the missing players from each side make it nearly impossible to assess if there is something better to hope for in 2015 for the Demon fans, the answer must be that there is. The 18 point margin in the end could have so easily been in the Demons favour, could they have been able to execute some really simple tasks. Twenty metre kicks that missed targets by ten, three set shots at goal from inside thirty in the final quarter that failed to produce a solitary score, a single point from the whole second term, these were the things which let them down in the end. By way of contrast, Fremantle made the most of its opportunities when it had them, and made a habit of hitting targets when most needed. In the end it produced the scoreboard results to win the game. But it was not all doom and gloom. Although Fremantle must be questioning the value of these events, when injuries to Barlow, Mundy and Duffield have compromised the start of their season. For the Demons, there were too many players who simply did not contribute at all during the game, yet others lifted beyond expectations to show their tardy team-mates the amount of effort required to play at AFL level. Heritier Lumumba showed he will be a positive live-wire in the back line and up the ground. Sam Frost, likewise was a force to be reckoned with for his first outing in the red and the blue (or in this case, the red, white and the blue. Dom Tyson was superb and Nathan Jones was his usual self showing the way. Aaron vandenBerg, coming off the rookie list can see an early elevation if he performs like this again in his next match, and Ben Newton showed more than enough until taken from the ground injured. Paul Roos played a lot with positioning in the first half, which didnt always play to the team's strengths, but these games are the only chance to do exactly that without consequences. Jeff Garlett in the middle, Frost up forward, Lumumba all around the place were all experiments to see what alternatives could be used during the season proper. When he returned to a more stable structure, the game started to swing Melbourne's way, kicking 3.4 to 1 point in the third term. The finishing let them down in the end and must be worked upon and while a win would have been good, the team remained competitive and was never blown away as we have seen all too often in recent times. Bring on the next game! MELBOURNE 0.3.1 0.3.2 0.6.6 0.6.7 (43) FREMANTLE 0.3.2 0.7.4 0.7.5 0.9.7 (61) GOALS Melbourne: Dawes, Hogan, N Jones, Kent, Newton, vandenBerg Fremantle: Pavlich, Taberner 3, Crozier, Mayne, Walters SUPERGOALS Melbourne: Nil Fremantle: Nil BEST Melbourne: N Jones, Lumumba, Tyson, Cross, T McDonald, Newton Fremantle: Hill, Taberner, Neale, Pavlich, Mzungu, Sutcliffe INJURIES Melbourne: Newton (cut head) Fremantle: Barlow (right ankle), Mundy (ankle), Duffield (left shoulder) SUBSTITUTES Melbourne: McKenzie replaced Newton at half-time; vanderBerg replaced Jetta at half-time Fremantle: Blakely replaced Barlow at three-quarter time; Smith replaced Mundy in the fourth quarter Reports: Nil Umpires: Farmer, Dalgleish, Stephens, Edwards Official crowd: 8000 approx. at Fremantle Oval
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