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Melbourne Football Club

VFL Team Review: round 10

The Demons made it five consecutive wins on Saturday afternoon when they overcame Collingwood by 23 points at Casey Fields. Casey started the game with a fierce attack on the ball kicking three goals to none in the first term, but the Magpies responded to draw within four points at half-time.

In a low scoring contest with just eight goals kicked in the first two quarters, Casey had to increase its intensity in the third term. The Demons had the better of that period with Tom Bugg and Josh Wagner scoring the only majors to open up a steady 15-point buffer at the final change.

Collingwood managed four goals in the last quarter to test the Demons, but Casey were too good in a scrappy contest, holding on to an important victory.

On a sour note, Mitch Lewis left the field with an ankle injury in the second term, continuing his poor luck in recent times.

Saturday’s game marked the 20-year anniversary of Springvale’s 1998 premiership, with the ex-Scorpion players enjoying a celebratory luncheon and joining in on singing the song post-game. Casey also wore a commemorate guernsey to recognise the history of the club.

Telling stat:
It wasn’t a pretty affair and the stats reflected that. With the ball spending a lot of time on the deck, Casey laid a massive 101 tackles in a great workman-like performance. The Magpies also laid 85 tackles, demonstrating the congested style of Saturday’s match. Both sides threw their bodies at the ball consistently and as a result, it was an unattractive game of football.

Tyson 36, Bugg 34, Kennedy-Harris 32, Baker, C. Wagner, Balic 22, Munro, Petty 18, J. Wagner 17.

Balic, Bugg 2, Baker, Frost, Kennedy-Harris, Lewis, Lok, Scott, J. Wagner.

3 Votes: Jay Kennedy-Harris
In the past few weeks Jay Kennedy-Harris has continued to build his form, with Saturday’s performance showcasing his talent. The nimble midfielder amassed 32 disposals, spending time on the wing and lurking dangerously inside 50 to slot a last quarter goal. Kennedy-Harris was the most influential Demon, using his disposals to punish the opposition and penetrate the ball forward.

2 Votes: Oskar Baker
Oskar Baker is an eye-catching wingman who has looked more than comfortable at the level in his first season of senior football. On Saturday, Baker was crucial in reversing the momentum of the match, getting the Demons going in the second half with his run and carry, as well as some clever kicks to set-up goals. The 20-year-old had18 kicks from his 22 disposals and gained plenty of valuable territory for Casey in a scrappy match.

1 Vote: Corey Wagner
A number of players could have pinched the final vote, but Corey Wagner’s contested game was one of the best for Casey. Wagner started the game slowly, but quickly found his feet, gathering 22 disposals in a tough role which saw him fill the shoes of Billy Stretch.

Apologies to:
Dom Tyson and Tom Bugg compiled some impressive midfield numbers and were unlucky to miss out on votes. The pair found plenty of the ball and shared it with each other regularly, looking dominant at VFL-level.

After a slow start down back, Sam Frost was swung forward in the second half and had a big impact in Casey’s scoring chains, as well as helping Sam Weideman get involved. Weideman’s aerial efforts were a crucial factor in the Demons victory, as the 195cm forward consistently brought the ball to ground to provide opportunities for his teammates.

Declan Keilty also played a prolific role, nullifying the influence of Collingwood’s Sam McLarty after half-time, while Harrison Petty and Josh Wagner were reliable contributors in defence yet again.

Good to see:
Casey skipper Jack Hutchins played his first game for 2018, providing a spark for the Demons on Saturday. The 26-year-old battled a wrist injury over the off-season and slowly worked his way back into the side, having an immediate impact in defence upon return. It was great to see Hutchins settle back into VFL football quickly, as the highly respected figure provided valuable leadership on and off the field.

Coaches say:
“When you have games during the year that don’t pan out the way you’d like to you have to find a different way to win. We’ve faced some challenges with away games and various other bits and pieces you deal with in a football season, so to be where we sit by the half-way mark is a relatively good position.” – Jade Rawlings                        

Looking ahead:
Casey will enjoy a week off next week, with its second bye for the season coming in round 11. The Demons have certainly earned their rest after five hard-fought victories which has left them just percentage off top spot on the ladder. They will be looking to extend that winning streak to six games when they meet Coburg at Casey Fields the following Saturday afternoon.