Rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated

June 12, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 12 – Melbourne V Sydney

Liam Chambers


That’s the thing about winning all the time, the losses, when they come, bite deep. Then there’s the off field palaver involving senior players that’s only added to the upheaval. Sensibly, Melbourne have chosen to put their club culture ahead of their on-field needs.

Of course this may have an impact on our Round 13 game against Collingwood but to compromise principles would be foolish in the longer term. I’m sure the Dees will take this opportunity to take on their demons (apologies for the pun) and unite to prove their critics wrong. We’re still largely the same team that was so successful last year and in the first half of this season.

There are some wrinkles to iron out in the front line and a bit more work to secure the defence but we know what we’re capable of. All teams, even reigning premiers have slumps but to (mis)quote Mark Twain, “rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated”.

Within a minute of the first bounce, the Demons showed that they meant business. James Jordon sliced the ball from 50m and found the middle of the goal. The second bounce and Christian Petracca was able to get a short ball to Ed Langdon 40m out. The returning wing man was spot on and the Dees were twelve points to the good. Melbourne was owning the quarter when Luke Jackson took a perfectly weighted ball from Jack Viney and kicked round the corner to claim the Demons’ third.

The home side was showing off their creativity when Kysaiah Pickett cleverly tapped the ball from the boundary back to Petracca. Then a hand pass to Ben Brown who passed it on to Max Gawn and the captain snapped it from 25m. After the bounce, Mitch Brown marked on the 50m line and went back to take a shot. He kicked into the space in front of Bayley Fritsch and our top goal scorer just laps those up. His conversion was exact and the Dees were looking good.

They were unable to hold the Swans goalless though as Sam Reid was awarded a kick in front of goal with a minute to go.

The second term started perfectly when James Harmes’ kick was marked by Gawn on the edge of the goal square. A few minutes later and Sydney had their second when Sam Reid was awarded another free kick in questionable circumstances. Regardless, he converted and it was back to twenty points. Logan McDonald then marked in the pocket and his set shot from a tight angle went through.

The Swans pressure began to tell with some fumbling from the Dees. Sydney were tackling hard and spending time in their forward 50 where Sam Reid took a mark and went back to squeeze it through by the tightest of margins and claim his hat trick. Now Sydney were getting too close for comfort and when Logan McDonald took a diving mark 30m out, he made it a one point game.

The Swans were in their stride. Tom Papley epitomised their gung ho style when his mark and run on from just outside 50 allowed him to kick a forty metre ball which bounced on the goal line and crossed to give his side a seven point lead. Melbourne desperately needed a lift before half time and it was Fritsch who grabbed his half chance from a crumb to float through his second.

When both teams came out after the big break, there was plenty of frantic scrambling but it was Fritsch who broke the impasse. His collect of the bouncing ball and impressive tap under pressure gave Melbourne back the lead in what was becoming an extremely tight game.

Then it was down to the last quarter and a case of who was prepared to do whatever it took. Max Gawn, who was having one of his best ever games, again stood up and converted a set shot from just outside the goal square. The Swans were a desperate side though and when Isaac Heeney took a couple of attempts to mark 25m out, the visitors looked like a team gaining momentum. Logan McDonald really turned the game in Sydney’s favour when his snap from 40m sailed through.

With five minutes to go, it looked like Melbourne might just be able to salvage the game and get a win. Then Errol Gunden kicked a 50m set shot and basically dared the Dees to do their worst. Unfortunately Melbourne was unable to respond and when Tom Papley kicked around the corner for his second, it was basically all over.

There are still so many pluses for Melbourne. Admittedly there are some tough matches ahead. The first being our Queen’s birthday clash against the Pies. To the casual observer, Collingwood would seem to have the advantage, having won the vast majority of these competitions over the last ten years. Tom McDonald’s presence will be sorely missed but we have an array of talent that has the opportunity to impress.

The Pies will be feeling confident but beware the Demon underdog.

Go The Mighty Dees!!!


I am message box. Click edit button to change this text.


Comments are closed.

Click here join NSW Demons now.

follow us on twitter Follow us on twitter

join our facebook group Join our facebook group

Sign up to our newsletter: