THE DEMONS have suffered a 43-point defeat against the Port Melbourne Boroughs at Casey Fields on Saturday.
After holding a hard-fought 1-point lead at the half-time siren, the Boroughs overrun the Demons in the second half, leaving the Dees searching for answers to their third-quarter fade-outs.
Corey Wagner’s tremendous efforts were the highlight on a tough day for the team.
DISPOSALS: Munro 29, Wagner 23, Maynard 21, Preuss 16, Gent 15
GOALS: Preuss, Bedford, Lefau 2, Stephenson, Chandler, Keilty
Corey Wagner was sensational
Despite being named an emergency for the Melbourne AFL side, and flying back from Perth on a red-eye flight Friday night, Wagner was sensational for the Demons.
Wagner never stopped trying all day, he was heavily tackled which undoubtedly took its toll towards the end of the match, but on a day when players needed to stand up, he was walking tall.
“I thought Corey’s effort was unbelievable,” Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“He flew back on the red-eye from Perth last night.”
“If there was a person who could have had an excuse today it was him but he didn’t have one… His effort was unbelievable.”
Third quarters are danger time
One concerning trend in all of Casey’s losses this season is the team’s performance in the third quarter. The Demons have only won two third quarters this season, and that was in the team’s two victories to date.
Saturday was no different, as the Boroughs added five goals to Casey’s lone goal in a third-quarter period which broke open the match leaving a margin too great for the Demons to overcome.
A successful return for Jake Lever
The Melbourne defender is working his way back from an ACL injury sustained in June 2018, playing his way through VFL to get back his match fitness.
Playing on a restricted 80 minutes, Lever started the game in the backlines and took a stellar intercept mark midway through the first quarter to stem a Port Melbourne attack.
He followed up with another intercept mark, this time diving towards the sidelines in the second quarter.
It was a confidence-building game, finishing with seven disposals, but his immense talent and experience shined through, directing his fellow Casey back men to repel the Boroughs attack.
“I was a little nervous before the game, just having not played for so long,” Lever told Melbourne Media.
“Once I got out there and got involved in my first contest, I was ready to go and blew off a couple of cobwebs.
“It’s just positive being out there and getting that one of out of the way, and hopefully moving onto next week.”
View this post on Instagram
Loved being back out there this weekend. Thanks to everyone for the messages and support over the past few days. The network of people I’ve had around me these last 12 months are the reason I was able to make it back. Special mention to my little mate Noah and his family for coming out and watching. Noah faced his own setback around the same time as I hurt my knee last year and has followed my progress in getting back to playing. I’m so happy to be able to share this game with him and his family.
Jimmy Munro is a tackling machine
Munro has separated himself from the pack in the tackle race this season.
The hard-headed midfielder was outstanding on the weekend finishing with a team-high 29 disposals, but also a VFL round-high 18 tackles.
Munro has now moved to 70 tackles on the season, which means an astonishing average of 9.0 tackles per match.
A word from the coach
“Two and a half quarters of brilliant contests and this was one of the tougher contests we have been in,” Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“This one was really heavily contested and both teams were terrific.
“But one team got the upper hand in the arm wrestle.
“I have a lot of respect for Port Melbourne… The way they go about their footy, the way they are coached, the way they led… So full credit to Port Melbourne.”
Next up the Demons will look to get back on the winner’s list against the Williamstown Seagulls at Downer Oval on Sunday at 2pm.
With the Seagulls thumping the Coburg Lions in Round 7, the home side will be full of confidence heading into the match-up with our Demons.