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Melbourne Football Club

The team review: round 12

MATT Burgan looks at the stories, stats and surprises in his weekly column.

Not ideal, not disastrous. Melbourne’s defeat on Queen’s Birthday – its first loss since Richmond at the MCG on Anzac Day Eve – was disappointing, but far from the end of the world. The Magpies were red-hot and the Demons were unable to answer the challenge on the day. Collingwood now has eight wins on the board – the same as Melbourne – although the Demons remain ahead on percentage, yet the red and blue slipped on the ladder from third to fifth. Frustratingly, Melbourne missed a big opportunity to enter the mid-season break with seven straight wins and a 9-3 win/loss record. But if you had have said at the start of the year that Melbourne would be 8-4 and fifth on the ladder entering the mid-season, surely most red and blue fans would’ve taken that. The foundations have been set for the second half of the season – the challenge is to capitalise on it. All who love the red and blue are ready for the ride in second part of the year.

How’s stat?
Fascinatingly, Melbourne’s wins and losses have been considerable margins. The Demons have won eight matches by an average winning margin of 57 points and have lost their four games by an average of 39.5 points.

The number
83,518 – was the attendance on Monday. It meant that it was Melbourne’s fourth best home crowd of all-time. And the red and blue’s fifth best home and away attendance. It was also the 13th time Melbourne and Collingwood have played a finals/home and away match in front of more than 80,000 people.

Experience differential
Games: Collingwood (2231) v Melbourne (2009)
Goals: Collingwood (1395) v Melbourne (1071)
Average age: Collingwood (25 years, 229 days) v Melbourne (25 years, 37 days)

Did you know …
Collingwood’s score of 20.13 (133) was the highest kicked against Melbourne since round 23, 2016, when Geelong booted 24.11 (155) at the Cattery.  

3 votes: Tom McDonald
McDonald continued his outstanding season, booting a career-best six goals, including five in the second half. He was Melbourne’s clear standout. He collected 16 disposals and had eight marks.

2 votes: Clayton Oliver
Oliver had 31 disposals, 10 tackles and six clearances to be one of Melbourne’s best contributors on the day.

1 vote: Jordan Lewis
Mopped up down back and won a game-high 33 disposals and 13 intercepts.

Apologies to …
Joel Smith, Nathan Jones and Jack Viney, who all could’ve been among the votes.

Good to see …
The fourth ‘Big Freeze’ was yet another outstanding event, raising much needed funds and awareness for MND. Seeing all 18 coaches go down the slide and into icy water was a fantastic event. And of course, Neale Daniher continues to be an inspiring person – his impact is quite remarkable. It was a brilliant day and the event has become so pivotal to the Queen’s Birthday day.     

Oppo’s best: Jordan de Goey
de Goey was outstanding, with 30 disposals, including 21 in the first half. His influence was critical in Collingwood’s win. Mason Cox was also outstanding, winning the Neale Daniher Trophy.

Facebook post of the day

Instagram photo of the day

Tweet of the day

Video of the day

Pic of the day

Neale Daniher with Russell Robertson at Federation Square before the Walk to the 'G (Photo: Caitlin Nobes)

In the mix
Oscar McDonald suffered concussion against the Magpies, but should be OK for the game against Port Adelaide in round, given Melbourne has the bye next week. Stability has been a feature in the red and blue’s team in recent times, although two changes were made for round 12, including one forced. Will several changes for made, or will keeping the side relatively settled remain? Emergencies Jeff Garlett, Billy Stretch and Harry Petty could be in the mix, along with Dom Tyson who had 38 disposals in the VFL.

Next round
Melbourne has the bye next round before taking on Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. The clash against the Power promises to be a beauty, with the Jack Watts sub-plot – it will be the first time the former Demon plays against Melbourne – adding to the intrigue. The red and blue has won its past two matches at Adelaide Oval and will head to South Australia with genuine confidence. On the back of a break, it will be the start of a big second half of the season for the Demons.   

In the press box …
A full press box at the MCG provided plenty of atmosphere. The journos enjoyed watching the coaches go down the slide and when Alan Richardson went down as Mark Robinson, the Herald Sun chief football writer was in the box! Robbo took it all in good spirit.

In the rooms ...
Yet-to-debut defender Harry Petty ponders pre-match (Photo: Matt Burgan)

Song to sum up match
Bye Bye Bye – *NSYNC

Simon Says …
"It was a disappointing day in terms of how we played. I thought Collingwood's pressure around the ball was outstanding, they clearly won the clearances and generated a lot of forward momentum from there, and won the territory battle. That put us under a lot of pressure. All phases of our game weren't to the level that we're used to. They tackled incredibly well and I thought we fumbled the ball due to their pressure. It's something they were very good at, but we need to be able to absorb." – Simon Goodwin