SCORES weren’t kept at Port Melbourne on Sunday morning, but the Demons were outplayed by Geelong in a practice match for those who missed AFL selection.
Up against a strong Cats side, coach Matt Egan says there was enough to like from the 14 boys who took the field.
“It was a freezing morning, so it was tough early,” he told Melbourne Media.
“We played six mids and four each end which made it a pretty open and flowing game.
“But Geelong were excellent – their first half was really dangerous.
“They used the ball really well, opened the ground up and looked pretty damaging going forward, so it was a pretty tough day, but we fought back pretty hard.
“They ended up getting the win, but our second half was pretty solid. We had no rotations and they had a couple, so it was a good day.”
After being left out of Melbourne’s best 22, Harley Bennell made the most of his opportunities against the Cats, booting four of his side's seven goals.
“He looked really dangerous up forward,” Egan said.
“His movement’s great, any chance he gets he often scores and [he kicked] some pretty bloody good goals.”
Bennell wasn’t the only big name to line-up for the club, with Nathan Jones, Oscar McDonald and Neville Jetta all offering their experience on Sunday morning.
“It was a good balance between a pretty young side and a bit of experience,” Egan said.
“Jones was really good, we played him on ball most of the game. I think he ended up with nearly 30 touches [and] seven clearances, so his clearance work was really good.
“Oscar McDonald was outstanding – he was clearly best on ground for us.
“And Neville was Neville. He’s really hard to play against, he’s always consistent, you can hear his voice the whole game barking orders and he looked solid coming back.”
In attack, the Dees had plenty of tall timber, with Luke Jackson, Mitch Brown and Sam Weideman all looking to push their case for selection.
“Jacko played a little bit more in the ruck this week,” Egan said.
“Jacko’s ruck-work was outstanding, that’s obviously why we drafted him. He still needs to learn the forward roles, but his ruck-work follow-up was excellent.
“Browny probably didn’t get much opportunity this week – we weren’t able to open the ground up as much as we would’ve liked.
“He’s a great presenter and leader at the kicker and we probably didn’t use him as much as we should’ve, but when we did, he kicked a couple of goals early.
“And Weids, his aerial stuff was great.
“He was on a very experienced player in [Lachie] Henderson, who’s a great match-up for Weids just to learn and understand positioning.
“Weids looked really good in his pack situations, he’s just got to finish off his work now, so he’s really close to a big game.”
Watch below as Egan provides a review of how the contest played out.