Sunday, 15 March 2009

How 'Bout That Drought

Guest review by Jane, Andy and Gabrielle who braved Hurricane Bertha to go to yesterday's game while I was being slaughtered in the weather on the other side of town

Casey Fields
The first quarter of this game was a bit of a blur, largely due to us being on the South Gippsland Highway at the time. Has anyone noticed how far away from anywhere not in Gippsland Casey Fields actually is?

Due to the weather (more on that later) we’d been hoping there’d be eight to twelve other people there, but apparently Dees fans (or bored Cranbourne residents) are a hardier bunch than they’ve been made out to be. The carpark was packed and they were directing cars to a field somewhere out in Berwick. For once, we wished we were real Melbourne fans – y’know, those Range Rover driving ones.
If Jim Stynes had a grand plan of diversifying the fan base when he put his weight behind the Casey move, he knew what he was doing. This was not your usual Melbourne crowd – of the 5000 plus people there, about three-quarters were Dees fans (weird in itself), and of those about three-quarters would punch you if you offered them a Chardonnay. Lucky we’d brought our own, as the Casey Fields bar sells only two drinks – beer, and beer.

Actual Football
Dear weather, thank you for raining all over our notes and giving us a legitimate excuse for having done such a crap job of recording what actually went on in the game [Nature's way of making sure there has never been a real match report on here - Editor].

Here’s what we managed to piece together out of the soggy blur we were left with:

First Quarter: got there about five minutes before the siren. Things were looking pretty even, Melbourne had kicked a goal and the Dogs were just ahead of us. Jetta went on to kick another (isn’t Jetta tops? If this correspondent had been in charge of the voting he’d have got at least one point, but this correspondent wasn’t, so he didn’t. But it’s ace to see a Melbourne player who puts in a second effort every single time. Nothing shits me more than players shrugging their shoulders and going ‘oh well, can’t do anything about that now’ when they mess up a tackle or a mark). At the end of the quarter it was Dees 2.1.13, Dogs 2.7.21.

Second Quarter: A good quarter for us. This is partly guesswork, but it looked like there were goals by Green, Newton, Davey and McLean. Brock’s was a cute little grubber from somewhere near the boundary line. Bennell (I’m told this guy really does exist) used the Sherrin well when he got his hands on it, Martin did some great tackling, spoiling etc., Warnock got in a bit of a scuffle with someone late in the second, but the umpires didn’t seem to care (was this the point where the guy behind us said ‘looks like the umpires are having a practice umpire too’?). Score at half time was Dees 7.3.45, Dogs 5.10.40. Dogs clearly not so good at the kicking.

Third quarter: So much for good quarters for us. The Dogs came out strong and kicked three goals (including one from a soft free for a ‘rushed’ behind: Garland, the alleged rusher, was involved in a marking contest when he ‘rushed’ it through…guess the AFL changed the rule again and forgot to tell anyone except the umpires). Things weren’t looking all that tops – we seemed to be having real trouble getting anyone forward to kick it to – but the Dees rallied towards the end, with Green kicking 2 and Jones 1, one of Green’s largely thanks to Morton. Score at three quarter time: Dees 63, Dogs 67.

Fourth quarter: Melbourne took the momentum they’d developed at the end of the third quarter and dropped it somewhere down the back of the sausage sizzle stand. The Dogs kicked a couple of quick ones right away, after which it started absolutely pissing down and we lost interest in anything much but keeping small portions of our skin dry. The entire game happened down the other end of the field, and with no big screen to turn to for all the far away action, it’s hard to give a good account of what went on. All we can tell you is the final score was Melbourne 10.3.63, Dogs 14.17.101, and Krispy Kreme was giving away free donuts. Apparently playing in a cyclone last week was not enough to prepare us for the Weather Wrath of Cranbourne.

Fashion Watch
Brock McLean no longer has a haircut. It seemed implausible he could get less comely, and yet, here we are.
The rain produced all kinds of fashion faux pas, like the chubby bloke wandering through the crowd whose white shirt had become transparent enough for us to see his nipple hair. We tried to see if Brad Miller’s white jersey had suffered the same fate, but thanks to the complete lack of action in Melbourne’s forward line in the fourth quarter, we were unsuccessful.

Dickhead Watch
It would have been nice if Colin Sylvia could have been bothered caring about football, as he would have been rather useful. He’s been doing pretty well at the whole marking caper, and by the fourth quarter that was something we really needed. Maybe we could trade him for someone good, or at least someone with a more interesting brand of misbehaviour, or even a case of beer.

Injury Watch
Nothing. That’s right, no one was injured, not even Rivers.
[Err, not quite. But at least it doesn't seem all that serious. - Editor]

The good, the bad, the 2009 Paul Prymke Plate for Pre Season Performance Votes

It’s been a long time since Melbourne took home a medal for consistently good kicking-in, but all that may be about to change (depending on whether anyone gets around to inventing such a medal). Garland messed one up, but other than that we were really pretty good.

Our tall forwards did not much at all. Juice got a goal (perhaps. Our notes are inconclusive on this matter), but other than that hardly touched it, and neither did Bate, Meesen (who had a brief stint up front) or Miller (whose tan was, by the way, out of control).

Jetta, as we might have mentioned earlier, really looks like he loves playing football and is a treat to watch. One-third of us think Davey should be taking home some kind of commemorative gift for consistently running his arse off during the pre-season, though another third of us think he’s bulked up too much and it’s slowing him down.

5 – Cameron Bruce
4 – Aaron Davey
3 – Stefan Martin
2 – Brad Green
1 – Brock McLean

Final Leaderboard
10 – Bruce
7 – Warnock
6 – Green, McLean
4 – Bate, Grimes, Newton

Finally, for those who are downhearted by our return to poor form, please take solace in the fact that Collingwood were thrashed by 12 goals the previous night.

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