Wednesday 25 April 2018

Don't forget: you're here forever

The person who said "the darkest hour comes before the dawn" failed to factor in what it's like following Melbourne. At least this year when they send out a finals ticket brochure the day after we're eliminated you'll get it in June.

Yes, we're back to our safe place of teetering on the brink of crisis. After a glorious week of being Victoria's #1 team we've served up a pair of steamy turds that have left us better off than only St Kilda, Footscray and Carlton - all of who we're a red hot chance of losing to later in the year. Cue chaos, with a large faction of supporters trying to hang, draw and quarter the coach lining up against a minority dissenting opinion that suggests we should have been satisfied with briefly challenging the premiers before folding like umbrellas in the last quarter.

I'm not voting for either side. The entire Melbourne experience has flattened me so much that it's hard to get wildly excited one way or the other. What I do know is that we kicked eight goals for the night, played in front of 10,000 less people than last year and were generally dragged around the nose like a farm animal. That it was against a side in hot form is only partial comfort after watching us play like Mark Neeld was holding Simon Goodwin hostage a'la Max Walker in The 12th Man.

It was one of those uncomfortably ugly but not entirely disastrous performances that inflames passions, but for now can we retain some shred of dignity and not turn the place into a war zone requiring intervention by the United Nations? Things have gone very badly since 20 minutes into the Hawthorn game, but in the next four weeks we play Essendon, St Kilda, Gold Coast and Carlton - four teams in varying states of terrible form. Don't be the person left without any effigies to torch on Sunday 20 May when we've really stuffed things up.

It's not a ringing endorsement, but at least this was a better performance than against the Hawks. Conversely, this result has done more to harpoon my belief in this team going anywhere quickly. I was prepared to give them a week to regroup, nobody has worn the Veil of Negativity better than me but even I thought the outpouring of grief after one insipid defeat was well over the top. When AFL360 rip out the dramatic video package of distressed and/or angry fans you know you're in trouble. Which always seems cruel to the people pictured, unless they support other clubs then it is tremendous viewing.

There was much consternation over the suggestion in this article that you shouldn't let your kids follow Melbourne. I disagree entirely, it's important to develop a siege mentality at the earliest possible age. At least if you can't convince them to follow you into disaster then at least steer them away from footy entirely and make sure no other team benefits. Then when we can't replace the pokies money and are relocated to Penang you can spend more quality time with your children.

Now I want the scrutiny. The club itself should clam up and get on with business, and supporters should take a deep breath, but give me all the media exposes and slow motion insights into where it went wrong. I didn't think we'd beat Richmond, even when we got to within a goal in the third quarter, but while it was nothing near the worst defeat of the last few years the performance was so stagnant and lacking in creativity that you lose confidence in beating any team that matters. It made me wonder if I'd overrated us as a fringe finals contender. The people who were roped into thinking we'd finish top four must be hearing that famous line "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" Serves you right, nothing realistically suggested we'd take the great leap forward this year.

Last week's Melbourne Member Meltdown led to a lot of club personalities being prematurely wheeled out to talk about our 'brand' and what the 'narrative' is/was/should be. It all came off like a tremendous wank, give me the David Brent free experience. The days of Mick Malthouse looking like he was about to garrotte Mark Stevens with his own microphone cord are over, but spare me these chintzy catchphrases that are supposed to give the impression that everything's under control but make it look more like it's not. There's no point in them whipping themselves publicly again - not that there was last week - so I'm happy for them to work the fictional PR line that this was a half-decent performance if that's what it takes to focus for the Bombers on Saturday.

After all that (and changes in the coaching box which are probably not nearly as drastic as the guy who hosts the club's official podcast makes it out to be) I was hoping that we might get into the spirit of Anzac Day by playing I Was Only 19 while all the well-regarded juniors that we've ruined by drafting them did a lap of the oval. Port would have had to agree to let Trengove, Toumpas and Watts come over for it but it would have been a great chance to heal. Remember the Friday night in 2004 where they paraded past players around the ground so we'd forget about all the board turmoil then Neita kicked nine? More of that please. After that game Neale Daniher said: "I'm really happy for our supporters to be able to witness a Melbourne team really firing up. It was a great night for the club. The players did a bit of soul-searching after last week and they knew we were better than that" and it would be dandy if we could do something to encourage the incumbent to say the same next week.

Speaking of Jack Redvers Watts, remember the people who told us that all our troubles were over when he got the boot? That a new standard of amazing professionalism would sweep over the club in his absence? Looks to me like we're still prone to losing games via being completely mental for a quarter or two. You couldn't question that the players were having a bash for most of the night - especially the first quarter - but whatever amazing steps we were supposed to have taken on the training track don't mean anything if you play the game like you're trying to set the world record for the most players that can be stuffed into one part of the ground simultaneously. There's no point in litigating the Watts case again, but I still think he'd have come in handy this year.

More than 24 hours later I feel a lot better about how good Richmond are compared to us. It's a sobering reminder that we're not going to unexpectedly challenge for a flag, but my goal was to make the eight so I'll be willing to settle for that as a first step. It's not like we didn't have chances to score, but in a flashback to the year when Dawes was our leading goalkicker under a ruthlessly defensive coaching regime we made it look so complicated that you wanted to gouge your eyes out.

The issue of needing a Jesse Hogan up the ground and another one inside 50 reared its ugly head again. He played an excellent game, but when he was in attack nobody could get the ball to him, and when he ventured down-field to take marks and provide a link in the chain there was nobody to go to next.

I thought Sam Weideman had a whole-hearted crack, and like that Adelaide game last year his pressure at ground level is fantastic but he couldn't hold a mark running at the ball for shit (though he did manage to pull down a good one going away from it) so we were left unnecessarily contesting for the ball at ground level, when we should have been quickly going deep into attack. His rucking was surprisingly competent so I'm happy to give him another go, but I can't wait for Tom McSizzle to get back down there so Hogan can afford to shift up the ground (possibly not all the way to the half-back flank Baileyball style), or provide a second big target to aim at.

Even when we were attacking continually in the first quarter you could feel it was one of those days where the other side would shortly regain their senses and start playing keepings off. It was the same story that we've seen many times over the last couple of seasons, if we could get the ball to the middle of the ground we could get it inside 50 but the delivery was ordinary, and the structure on the other end were tracking somewhere between lacking and non-existent. It led to rushed chances at best, and only a slight delay before conceding a score.

If Richmond got the ball inside their 50 it was lights out, we were lucky if it escaped without a goal being kicked within five minutes. I liked the defence as individuals, though the system fell apart a few times, but what I hated was the one-dimensional way of moving the ball up the ground. Over and over again we hoofed it down the line for no reward. The idea of a heat-map is a bit gimmicky (except when Josh Wagner's drew a cock and balls against North), but our second quarter one was a horror story.
Any danger of a switch? No, it was just whacking it down the line at Gawn and hoping for the best. This just fed more Richmond opportunities, and we were lucky that they spectacularly cocked up a number of opportunities in the first half. Oscar was doing a good on Riewoldt, Lever was playing his best game yet, and Hibberd was on top form for almost the first time all year but about the only time we went into the middle was when a panicked kick out of a pack bobbled in that direction. Tyson made a horrible mess of one attempt in the third quarter, but at least he tried. Why you would get into a position where a turnover merchant is the only guy trying to change directions in the backline is an entirely different matter.

What happened to bursting out of defensive 50 and finding a player - usually Garlett - running into the 50 on his own? That is the most comfortable of all goals, instead of the trial by ordeal process we went through last night. You will note that the best we looked all night was when Hogan went forward, but that the moment Richmond managed to get the ball back inside their forward 50 his impact was negated and he had to go back to roaming up the ground to get involved.

Then there was the clearances, where Gawn spanked his opponent in the desperately overrated hitout stat but Richmond still managed to spirit the ball away more overall and twice as much in the middle. At one stage the Tigers ruckman, and it may have been the backup, didn't even bother to contest the tap and we still only narrowly avoided them getting it straight out of the middle. Oliver and Jones were fine, and The Hamburglar especially played one massive quarter, but where does the blame for the armchair ride going to waste sit? Is it with the guy tapping, or the people he's supposed to be tapping to. The sooner we get Viney back the better, as long as it's not another rush job that crocks his foot.

So, that's a lot of pressure on McDonald and Viney. I'm sure Jack will be fine, but I'm starting to get worried that the Sizzle Forward Experience won't carry on its promising start. There's no evidence from the pre-season to suggest that, but look at everyone else who has gone backwards from last year. Hunt is off, Petracca is treading water, Hibberd has been down on last season, Garlett has gone missing in all the losses, Salem is on and off like a tap, Jetta is not himself, and Neal-Bullen is offering a cut price $cully service of running a lot but having little actual impact. Then you get Dean Kent unexpectedly reviving his career only to be injured again.

Then there's Harmes, who is a competent bit part player, Tyson who I have little faith in and Stretch who we bear no ill will towards but played one of the worst games I've ever seen by a Melbourne player. He looked completely overwhelmed, and as much as I'm usually in favour of giving a player a couple of shots before giving them the boot if he's in the selected side on Friday night I will break things.

To be fair to Goodwin this is only the fourth time he's presided over a Bailey Quarter ("that's a one goal opener if you're just joining us" - Dwayne) but three of them have now come since Round 16 last year and the only one in a win was narrowly against Carlton. In his first 14 games we averaged 101.5 points, but since that shitbox Sydney game the last time we stunk up prime time football it's down to 81.1 - including the 123 against North two weeks ago that's the highest score he's ever coached. There's a common armchair theory that he had a plan which has been found out. I don't think you can be that simplistic about it, but there's definitely something off chops going on with our scoring compared to the first half of 2017.

If nothing else the first quarter was intense, but there's only so far ferocity can get you before you have to match it with the appropriate structure. What happened to the daring raids through the middle that we were doing at our best last year? This was football so cautious that we should be sponsored by Worksafe. It was like they were just trying to stick with the Tigers for as long as possible in the hope that something would go wrong for them and let us nick in for a cheap win. It was Ugly, defeatist bullshit from a side that should - at least at its top end - be much better than that. Whether they are or not will be demonstrated in the next 30 days.

There was plenty of finger pointing towards the umpires, but in a game of 732 disposals and probably 150 other opportunities to get a kick I'd contend that a good side should be able to rise above a few howlers. Particular decisions might not make it is easy, but don't represent the crucial factor in a game where you play like arseholes anyway. Besides, I thought they were all over the place in every direction. Witness for instance Melksham's much celebrated second goal which was such a charity job that it should have been delivered via parachute by the Red Cross.

If anything could be said of the umpiring it was that Dustin Martin clearly gets an additional 20% bonus time to dispose of the ball, but I say let's find a player like that and start reaping the benefits. Somebody who leaves umpires awestruck and opponents terrified before they even turn up to the ground, knowing that he can wreck them anywhere from the defensive 50 to the goal-line. He is tremendously overexposed, and that ad of him punching on with all and sundry inside a train is one of the shittest things I've ever seen, but what a player. How can you not enjoy him stuffing his arm into an opponent and having them fly off like Street Fighter II: Championship Edition?

Of course, if we'd drafted him he'd have turned out to be the mental case that his first couple of seasons suggested. I have it on good authority that he credits much of his supernova rise over the last few seasons to work with Richmond's mindfulness guru, to the point where she now works with all players as a matter of course. We're probably still operating under the Neeld era macho bullshit fiction that if players are glum they can have a chat to a coach. MFC HQ connected readers - I see that we do have a sports psychologist on staff, how about a look into what he does instead of another press conference where poor old Nathan Jones is wheeled out to apologise.

If any Richmond fans were aggrieved by the Melksham goal, they didn't have to wait long to get the reply. The ball went straight back into their attack from the next bounce, and we made it out as far as the wing before Stretch boosted was what undoubtedly the worst game of his career into the stratosphere by turning it over and allowing them to get one back. That left us 'just' 20 points behind at half time, but having kicked three goals in our last five quarters. When you're running at less than 1.0 goals per quarter have a good hard look at yourselves.

I was having a miserable old time, and didn't expect it to get any better in the third quarter but against the odds we launched a token comeback. With Hogan allowed to be a target, and Oliver firing, the ball was kept out of Richmond's clutches for long enough to get to within a goal. Then after 10 minutes of battering the door down, and actually getting some reward for once, we let them go down the other end and effortlessly bang through a steadier. They missed another golden opportunity not long after, before Milkshake broke the trend of the evening and got one against the run of play. We weren't out of it, but nor were we anywhere near in it.

Discussion of the last quarter can start and end at Harmes kicking the first goal to give us some way outside hope of pulling off a famous comeback. Instead I sat there sullenly doing my impression of this guy:
If you were a glass half full person you'd say at least they were saving their legs for Sunday. What I saw, when not furiously pounding away on my phone in a failed attempt to make myself feel better, was another occasion where we whipped out our alternative logo of a white cross on a white background. Even Richmond fans were starting to get bored by the end, leaving Adelaide supporters the most engaged as they celebrated the implications of our plummeting percentage on the traded first round pick. My favourite part - and there weren't many to choose from - was when we set up the rare minus one point play by allowing Richmond to respond to Weideman kicking OOF by going straight down the other end for a point.

It's not over yet, and to be fair other than an unexpectedly shithouse percentage we're only one win behind where I thought we'd be. But like going five goals behind in a game and just falling short of a comeback, when you leave yourself down in the hole and having to work on Bradbury Plan calculations five games into the season then don't be surprised if the end result is the wrong one.

Not that you'd know it from all the dull people trying to shorten the season, lengthen the draft, abolish the draw and generally pull themselves over the NFL, but this could be the most even season in years. With apologies to Carlton and Brisbane, the middle of the table is a spectacular battle royale at the moment. Some teams are going to die in the arse by the end (e.g. us) but not before a brutal series of unexpected results and swinging wildly from one end of the battle to the other. Maybe the random results mean that a team will be able to scab into the eight on percentage at 11-11, but if we take 12-10 as the absolute minimum that means we have to go 10-7 from here via trips to Geelong, Adelaide and Perth in the last few weeks of the year. Fat fucking chance.

2018 Allen Jakovich Medal votes
I have no confidence in these votes. For the second consecutive week nobody really deserved them.

5 - Jesse Hogan
4 - Clayton Oliver
3 - Jake Melksham
2 - Oscar McDonald
1 - Michael Hibberd

Apologies to Lever, Gawn, Jones or Wagner who narrowly missed the veil of voting negativity that was draped over the entire squad.

The midfielders vs everyone else battle continues to rate, with the tag team battle now Gawn/Hogan vs Oliver/Jones. Everyone else is a BOG and a bit away and not looking like getting any closer. After five games Hibberd, Jetta and Hunt haven't repeated (or Viney/McDonald, but I think they can be excused), Petracca and Garlett are just going and Pedersen is playing for Casey because that's just what we do with him when we've run out of ideas.

14 - Clayton Oliver
13 - Max Gawn (PROVISIONAL WINNER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jesse Hogan
12 - Nathan Jones
5 - Jeff Garlett, Christian Petracca
4 - Oscar McDonald (LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
3 - Dean Kent, Jake Melksham
1 - Michael Hibberd, Cameron Pedersen, Christian Salem

Aaron Davey Medal for Goal of the Year
Melksham had near enough to 50.1% of our goals, so I'm going to opt for his bendy snap at the start. Remember that? When you had some remote hope of this game turning out well? It was actually a very nice goal, and given that the rest of the game shouldn't be allowed to sully it, I'm going to declare it the clubhouse leader for the award.

For his weekly prize Jake wins a full DNA testing session from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to work out whether or not Essendon injected him with Mad Cow Disease.

Every other year the classy joint banner has led to a draw. It was a lovely banner this year too, except for the Richmond cheersquad peanut who showed up to hold it dressed in a head to toe yellow and black striped suit with a comedy wig on. Which is fine when you're playing anyone else, but it's entirely NQR to do it when you're participating in a ceremony meant to honour people who have fought for their country and in great numbers died.

To be fair he did at least take his novelty hat off for the playing of the Last Post, but when he turned up like that somebody should have told him to have a spell from banner duties. I'm hardly Bruce Ruxton for ruthlessly enforcing Anzac Day standards, but you've got to treat the event with some sort of dignity instead of carrying on like you're the King of Moomba. So, due to fielding an ineligible player Richmond were disqualified from this round. Full points to the Dees, who are now 5-0 for the year and a chance for the perfect season for the first time in years.

Crowd watch
A mystery benefactor smuggled me into the AFL Members, and while I appreciate his patronage there was an apprehension about having to sit amongst Richmond fans. It's bad enough watching opposition fans have fun at any game, let alone when they've just won the flag. When I sat down to find that our group of three was literally the only Demon representation anywhere to be seen I set the clock for how long it would take for somebody to do the old "at least I've seen my team win a flag" chestnut. There's no comeback to that - at least in the immediate season after they won - leaving you to either a) take the moral high ground and congratulate your adversary on their success, or b) get personal. I wish I was an a) person but I am actually very much b).

A Richmond fan extracting the piss about premiership droughts is like a sudden lottery winner walking the streets kicking begging bowls away from leprosy victims, but to the credit of those around us it never happened. Maybe because the handful of Melbourne fans present were all too gloomy to get involved in an argument with anyone other than our own players and/or coaching staff. If I was a Richmond fan - and until last year I'd probably have fit in - the challenge would have been to put a new spin on it, by waiting for a Melburnian to make comment about the Nathan Broad/free-range norgs controversy then asking "how many of your players have been in trouble over a photo of a premiership medallion?"

I thought we were in substantial trouble before the bounce when the trippers in front of us sang along to Eagle Rock (we may never discuss it again, so can I state for the record how much I hate that song? I would rather they play Rupert Holmes' The Pina Colada Song). Then when they showed the moon on the scoreboard one of them pointed and said "the moooooooon" like he had a brain injury, and as Hardwick walked the boundary after a pre-match interview somebody just lightly said "Dimmmmmmmma" in an ethereal way that was not loud enough for him to hear, but loud enough that they obviously wanted somebody in the area to take notice.

This is why it's best that I sit on my own, or with a handful of likeminded individuals. Especially if people are going to titter at stupid shit yelled by other fans like they're a tennis crowd, and painfully follow deliberate calls by 'humorously' demanding them for everything for the next 45 minutes. By the third quarter I was hoping we'd be pinged for one so they'd be forced to debut new material.

In the end the people in front were fine, the most irritating character was the poon behind us who spent four quarters explaining every aspect of the game to a girl who by her responses had quite clearly seen a game of Australian rules football before and didn't need it laid out like a copy of Footy For Idiots. He was one of those people who should be occupying Row MM, because all he did was either mansplain the sport or talk to himself. And when Harmes took a mark at the start of the game he said, with not even the slightest hint of irony, "is that Jack Watts?". But, he's seen his side win a flag and I haven't so he wins.

Stat My Bitch Up 
A few seasons ago we were looking closely at the tremendous Melbourne stack of the worst win-loss records in the competition. I'm pleased to say that even after the latest pair of outrages that we're down to one full time MFC player in the top 20. The SME, Jeremy Howe and Lynden Dunn all feature but we can't be entirely blamed for them (though with the latter two most of the damage was done here).

Regretfully, the last man standing is Nathan Jones with a 29.01% winning record. More concerning is that he is now just 13 career losses off Robbie Flower for the most by a Melbourne player, and 37 off Kevin Murray for the all-time record. I can't see him playing long enough to reach Murray's 208 from 333 games but Flower's record could go down by Round 23 the way we've been playing recently. That will leave them as the only two players on the list to play in less than 100 wins. This club should be facing charges of crimes against humanity. See you in The Hague.

Matchday Experience watch
Tell you how shit a night I had. How many years have I been coming on here speculating that somebody was going to neck themselves doing Hogan's Heroes? Last night I chose to ignore the segment going on 10 rows right in front of me and missed the second contestant knocking himself out by falling on his head. Reader @chrispyy84 confirms that there actually is a waiver, and it's only a one pager that says you can't sue the footy club or the paint company. Note - the MCC are not involved, so if you slip on the grass in your run-up you may still be eligible for a payoff.. err... payout as long as you disclosed any other health concerns ("health concerns").

The last line - with the superfluously capitalised 'ACKNOWLEDGE' suggests that as long as the parents are satisfied we can do a Little League version, hopefully with the addition of a trampoline for the kids to get on Russell Robertson's back.

They did helpfully show a big screen replay of the neckage just in case Nowicki Carbone hadn't already been notified. My highlight was Robbo immediately shutting the segment down after that and moving onto the next thing before the guy had even regained consciousness. You had to be there to enjoy the way Robertson legged it from the scene with the marking bag still attached to his back, leaving some unlucky third player called 'Wombat' unable to have his chance at acquiring a concussion.

So, if that's the end of Howie's Hangers/Hogan's Heroes we bid it a fond farewell. Roll on Gawn's Gags, where three hapless amateurs are handed a microphone and asked to perform a quick stand up comedy routine. Or Goodwin's Gripes, where supporters line up to hang shit on the coach.

Next week
At least if the axe swings (which it won't) the Casey players have had an extra couple of days off. They were last seen pulling off that classic MFC move of going five goals up at quarter time then dying. But at least they kicked five goals in a quarter, which is three more than the seniors managed in an entire half.

I don't know if we can play all of Hogan, Weideman and Pedersen but I'm willing to try. It's not like whatever we've done recently has worked. Have Hulk and Pedersen rotating between CHF and FF, with the Weid floating around the half-forward flank trying to find some space. It's a tall forward line but they need not all be contesting the same ball, and christ knows the small forwards could try some pressure when the ball hits the ground for once instead of letting it fling off down the other end ASAP. Maybe it will leave us too tall, maybe it will be pioneer a grand new way of playing football and sweep us to a flag?

I've had enough of Vince and Lewis now. If you're comfortable bringing Weideman and Stretch in to play in front of (what you thought would be) more than 80,000 people then you're comfortable trying something new for the future to replace the veterans instead of sandbagging to protect 2018. Critics will suggest that Vince had six clearances, but when Tyson had eight inside 50s you know there's no point debating the basic level, free stats.

IN: Fritsch, Hannan, Pedersen, Frost
OUT: Harmes, Stretch, Vince (omit), Kent (inj)
LUCKY: Garlett, Hunt, Neal-Bullen, Tyson
UNLUCKY: Anyone on our list who is fit

I'd love to drop more players, but for all our alleged new found depth I can't find many alternatives that interest me. If it goes pear shaped in the next month just concede - which shouldn't be hard for this team - and play everyone up to and including Lachlan Filipovic. For now I'll give it one more week, then I'm going troppo.

The whole organisation had better respond. And the best place to do that is on the field. Otherwise the club can collectively settle and stop acting like we're in deep a crisis mode like after the Hawthorn game? Just because the receptionist got a few nutty phone calls and we all acted the goat on Twitter is no reason to jump at shadows. No explanatory interviews on podcasts, no mid-week calls for calm from players. Just don't play like a team of enthusiastic amateurs that met for the first time on their way into the ground.

Essendon were reportedly putrid against Collingwood, with Brendan Goddard spreading the love by arguing with his teammates in the middle of the game. Notwithstanding the fact that we play better at Docklands than our home ground, what's the bet they deliver the ultimate team performance next week and walk off in arm-in-arm as the best mates ever. Alternatively we could find a new avenue to kick goals and crush them unmercifully. In a sick way I'm looking forward to it.

Was it worth it?
Christ on a bicycle no. I left home at 5.40am, finished work at 3pm, did Demonwiki research at the State Library until 5 (including causing a microfilm of Inside Football 1978 to completely unspool and have to be hand wound back on), walked to the G, waited for an hour and half for the bounce, saw us kick two goals in a half, walked back to my car on Spencer Street, got caught in road works and walked back in the door bang on midnight. A fair and reasonable person would have gotten home at 4, done something productive with my family for three hours, yelled at the TV for a bit and gone to bed. I am obviously not a fair and reasonable person as I follow Melbourne.

After a shithouse night all I wanted to do was get in the car and listen to Finey's Final Siren, and at least try to remember the corresponding fixture two years earlier where it was the Richmond fans carrying on like pork chops and trying to sack their coach immediately.

But because Hutchy brand SEN is as dull as dishwater this iconic program has replaced with Rohan Connolly earnestly soldiering through a limp knock-off called The Wash Up. With a generic name like that there wasn't much hope, but as much as I like Rohan (except when I followed him on Twitter and he'd keep getting roped into digital punch-ups with numpties) it lacked that potent mixture of sarcasm and disdain for stupid callers that made FFS the greatest show on Australian radio since Get This. All the heavy lifting had to be done by aggrieved Melbourne fans, most of whom you couldn't hear because the audio levels were at a community radio standard.

Final thoughts
I'm not buying a lynch mob membership yet, but that risks missing out when they're all sold in the next few weeks. By Round 9 we'll either be firmly back amongst the mid-table mediocrities or there will be a smouldering crater where our hopes and dreams used to sit. Failure to launch in the next month may make Chernobyl look like burnt toast. Head to your designated fallout shelter and await further instructions.

1 comment:

  1. The back six can hold their heads up. The problems were at half-forward. If Hogan is given licence to roam up the ground (that's fine) Pedersen must play. As well as Melksham played, all of our goals were scored haphazardly. Good to see Hunt return to give us some zip off the backline. I did enjoy Dustin Martin fending off one tackler but getting completely nailed by the second tackler he didn't see coming - why doesn't that make the highlights reel?


Crack the sads here... (to keep out nuffies, comments will show after approval by the Demonblog ARC)