Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Despair In The Dome

Demonblog is still overseas - I'll miss the Sydney game and be back for Brisbane. In the meantime please enjoy the 2nd special guest report of the season from another one of Big Footy's celebrity correspondants Davey_Magik

Exams. The scourge of the universe. Like Collingwood in paper form. Especially when you have 3 in 3 days the day after Melbourne are again, so close and yet so far.

Anyway back to the action. What was meant to be study turned into a Euro binge very early on Sunday morning and I resigned myself to sleeping in until lunchtime and taking the late train.

Thanks yet again to the incompetency of the Phone Dome and Collo the ticket lines were ridiculous and I didn't get in until about 5 minutes into the game.

Thanks to lazy staff I was able to sit in reserved seating with a few mates and start watching the game. Going into the game I thought it was the battle of the two most unaccountable teams in the competition and that was the type of game it ended up being. Bruce was BOG by a mile in the 1st quarter (His kicking, WTF?) and with a rare two goals to the Junkyard Dog we were up by 2 goals at quarter time. Jonesy and Brock were getting plenty of it but I was worried about Richo up forward as Garland and Warnock have been great but Richo has been fantastic this year, and my fears were vindicated.

Bar a great goal by Frosty to start the 2nd term we well and truly dropped the soap. We got shat on in midfield, whoever the fuck was on Deledio was doing a shit job and the Tigers were kicking goals at will. I'll just take a little time here to highlight the stupidity of some of their supporters. Not even Collingwood supporters are dumb enough to shout 'BALLLLLLLLL' when the opposition player is tackled as soon as they touch the ball, but the Tigers sure are.

After that disgraceful quarter I went to check the odds on the game and betting was already suspended with the bookies thinking along the same lines as me, that we were going to get smashed after a solid game the week before yet again.

I just want to take this moment to explain the antics of one particular Tiges supporter sitting behind me. Seemed a bit odd at first but wasn't a bad bloke, but every time the Tigers got a bad umpiring decision he proceeded to jump out of his seat, start throwing his arms and head around in a frenzy whilst he kicked the concrete step and shouting gibberish. By far one of the funniest things I've seen at the footy, it nearly made up for the abysmal 2nd quarter.

After putting a few bets on and sneaking past the Indian guy who was checking peoples tickets I settled down and waited for it rain goals yet again. But this time it didn't. We didn't crumble? I hear you say, yes I was surprised as well. Miller kicked another beauty from the boundary and whilst I launched into Brock for bombing it into a Davey on Richo contest Flash shoved those bad words straight back down my throat as he decided he had enough of crumbing and jumped right over Richo.

We proceeded to have a very good quarter and I chucked a hard-earned $5 (Well it wasn't THAT hard to earn) on us at 3/4 time hoping for another epic comeback. We started reasonably well and Wonna (I love him) put us within 8 points but when Brown was about to snap on his right foot I knew the game was over.

As usual I was sulky after the loss, but I was happy that at least we didnt get smashed. Garland was fantastic yet again (How the hell did he become good?), Brock was in amongst it and Jonesy nearly kicked one of the goals of the year except he munged the kick (Last quarter, broke a few tackles and did a 180 turn before he kicked on the left, imagine Ablett v the Roos except a shit kick). Flash was good after a few weeks out, one of our most important players when he sparks the team like the way he did in the 3rd.

Yze after a reasonable game against the Pies was poor again, I don't care if he doesn't chase as long as he kicks goals but I'm afraid it has been that way for a few years now. Bartram wasn't bad but got burnt by Deledio a few times, Wonna was quiet aside from his last quarter goal but he's a 1st year player so if he's tired it is understandable. Brock I gave one vote but he's been very good this year and I hope it continues. He'll get even better as other players improve around him as well. Bruce was easily our best and was a very good game from him, I'm still tempted to trade him though. I think he's often underrated by our supporters but I do want another top 20 pick alongside the three we'll most likely get.

Miller's kicking for goal was excellent and team-lifting stuff, he's getting better and better this year and I hope Bailey keeps playing him a bit deeper. Jonesy was great in and under, White I'll say had a fairly good game, Bater was OK but gee the delivery to him is poor at times. Down back Bode was beaten by Brown, Richo beat Warnock (Warnock did hold him to 5 shots at goal though, who would have thought Richo would slot them from everywhere) but the rest of the backline held up very well.

And lastly could some people please respect what Lynden Dunn is doing. I've seen some criticism of him going around and he shut down Foley (After shutting down Swan and Hayes beforehand) and will only improve as he's 21 this year.

2008 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Bruce
4 - Jones
3 - Garland
2 - Miller
1 - McLean

Leaderboard

23 - Nathan Jones
21 - Brock McLean
18 - Cameron Bruce
15 - Brad Green
12 - James McDonald
10 - Austin Wonaeamirri (Leader: 2008 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
9 - Aaron Davey
9 - Cale Morton
9 - Matthew Bate
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Paul Johnson
6 - Jared Rivers (Joint Leader: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
6 - Colin Garland (Joint Leader: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
5 - Brent Moloney
4 - Clint Bartram
3 - Nathan Carroll
3 - Lynden Dunn
3 - Matthew Warnock
3 - Jeff White
3 - Paul Wheatley
2 - Russell Robertson
1 - Mark Jamar
1 - Shane Valenti
1 - Adem Yze

Dunn is extremely unlucky but I'm loving his last few games and hope he keeps going with it. Some may have had Brock higher but I'm not sure how much he hurt the opposition.

And if I may borrow some of Mercs' material:

Whinge Section
Why the fuck are we so unaccountable in midfield? Countless times the Tigers had free men between the wing and half forward and they killed us. I know we're a young side and still learning but seriously this is basic stuff and it killed us.

Treatment Room Corner
No real injuries from the game (Thank god).

Commentary Watch
Was on Fox so I didn't see it, I'm sure if Frawley was on he would have said something silly no doubt.

Coach Watch
Dean is doing a solid job considering the cattle and the gameplan is slowly but surely coming together. As our younger players improve they'll make him look better and better. Playing Miller deeper in the forwardline was a plus for me, a minus was Bode on Brown, that was never going to work.

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