WHILE Melbourne’s 41-point loss to Collingwood was disheartening on Monday, the events throughout the afternoon put the game into perspective.
The Demons were poor yet again at the MCG, wasting forward entries and kicking inaccurately in front of goal on Queen’s Birthday.
But on a special day for two greats of the club – Neale Daniher and Brad Green – the result, albeit disappointing, wasn’t the only takeaway from Round 12.
DISPOSALS: Harmes 35, Gawn 34, Oliver 33, Brayshaw 32, Salem 29, Fritsch 26, Petracca 23, Hore 21
GOALS: Weideman 2, Garlett, Hannan, Hunt, Petracca, Spargo
Neale Daniher, the inspiration
In the lead up to the clash with the Pies, Daniher addressed the players, coaches and staff of the Melbourne Football Club, inspiring everyone at AAMI Park.
The former Dees coach delivered a speech that changed the attitudes of all in attendance and inspired the boys ahead of the weekend.
Daniher’s fight against motor neuron disease is a credit to his character, and his willingness to share that story was greatly appreciated.
Zurich Walk to the ’G
In a famous Melbourne tradition, thousands of Dees fans marched from Fed Square to the MCG ahead of the Queen’s Birthday match.
Led by Daniher, the sea of red and blue waved their flags and got behind the great cause.
Slide for MND
Continuing the support for MND, 14 Australian sporting icons slid into a pool of ice to raise funds for the disease.
With some humorous outfits and a Freddie Mercury inspired performance from Nick Riewoldt, the crowd was entertained, and the joy was spread prior to the match.
The MCG was filled with blue beanies on Monday as a crowd of 74,036 people helped raise money to fight MND.
A tribute to Anna Green
After Melbourne great Brad Green’s wife Anna tragically passed away last month, their sons, Oliver and Wilba, were invited to lead the red and blue onto the MCG.
In a moment full of emotion, Green watched as his boys ran through the banner, accompanied by Nathan Jones, giving them a day to remember.
A moment Oliver + Wilba will never forget. ✨— Melbourne FC (@melbournefc) June 11, 2019
After Melbourne great Brad Green tragically lost his wife, Anna, their two sons led the red + blue onto the MCG. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/JBfpZj0C2t
Defensive duo return
On the field, the Demons benefited from the return of Jake Lever and Steven May.
The pair have both had a tough run with injury since joining the club and were able to find their feet against the Pies.
May looked good from the beginning gathering 19 disposals for the day, while Lever took seven marks and grew as the game wore on.
Pies show too much class
Although Melbourne won the contested ball (plus 27), disposals (plus 10) and centre bounce clearances (plus 10), it was unable to convert that onto the scoreboard.
Collingwood’s pressure forced the Demons into errant handballs and kicks, resulting in wasteful forward 50 entries.
The Dees’ accuracy in front of goal was also a major issue, kicking just four goals from 14 scoring shots in the second half, in comparison to the Pies’ nine goals straight.
Gawn v Grundy
The rivalry between Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy has grown over a number of years, as the two star ruckmen compete in one of the great battles in the league.
And on Monday, Gawn took the honours.
The Dees’ big man played a phenomenal individual game with 34 disposals, 33 hit outs (12 to advantage), 10 clearances and nine score involvements.
Although Gawn couldn’t change the result for his side, his own performance was second to none.
A word from Goody
“It’s disappointing because we’re just not getting any reward for our hard work,” Simon Goodwin told Melbourne Media post-game.
“Our fundamentals aren’t up to scratch. We keep kicking the ball on the ground and handballing on the ground and dropping marks.
“We’re going to keep training it, we’re going to keep getting better at it and that’s when we’ll start getting the reward we need.”
Round 13 – Bye
With just three wins from 12 games in 2019, the bye comes at a good time for the Demons, allowing them to reset for the second half of the season.