AFL Round 4 – Fearless: Demons must stay the course

Enough about Majak. It was exciting and a good news story among the many serious stories emanating from the AFL over the last months.

I actually found myself barracking for Melbourne yesterday, thinking the time has come for senior players to stand up. And they did, albeit trailling by 19pts at 3/4 time to the GWS. Setanta had kicked 5 and his young teammates were looking to continue the misery for the Demon faithful but fortunately it didn’t happen.

Somewhere along the way the Demons went from being promising but erratic under Dean Bailey to being this “rebuild of a rebuild”. It was good to see the Demons win as they have had a wretched time. maybe some or much of this is self-inflicted? Who really knows the truth. But I for one was dreading listening to the calls for Mark Neeld’s head after a loss to GWS at the G. Sacking the coach aint the way..Neeld is as highly qualified as any assistant now a senior coach. I can’t even think how they overlooked Ken Hinkley but that’s not the point. Port’s gain is great in that regard and good luck to them.

The Demons have just got to stay the course. They are in good hands with Mark Neeld. Maybe a good omen is the last time the Demons were a powerhouse, a fella called Viney was in the middle and was as courageous as any player on the turf. Young Viney might be green at present but hopefully they can surround him with talent to get the Grand Old Flag flying again.

The first quarter between Sydney and Geelong was worth anyone’s time. 15 goals on the smaller SCG and the record books were getting nervous. The scoring lessened but the intensity stayed the same. Any ascendancy the Swans might have gained in the 2nd qtr was wiped out by the Cats in the 2nd half. The Cats home well, staying undefeated.

With Jack Frost back in the 2s kicking the dew, Collingwood provided an undefeated Richmond with its biggest challenge yet. The Tigers started well but Cloke’s 7 goals or Swan’s leather poisoning aside, handling Foxtel’s ed-tv proved daunting for the Tigers. Shaw, Daicos and Ed in a commentary box. No wonder the Tigers got rolled!

Footy returned to Launceston when the Hawks hosted Freo, fresh from a 5 hr flight epic. With Pav down, the Dockers could scarcely afford to lose McPharlin but injuries happen. Roughy kicked 4 as did Buddy but the Hawks defensive stocks took another hit as Schoenmakers went down carrying a knee. Hawks home by 7 goals.

BJ Goddard’s homecoming to Etihad as a Bomber playing against the Saints was always going to end in tears. And it did, although not quite the tears most expected. In this day and age of controlled competitiveness, a rare show of emotion was actually appreciated by some. The Bombers however caused the sentiment, winning by 37pts.

Mick Malthouse coached at West Coast for 10yrs to build up knowledge of Subiaco and his captain Woosha. Returning for the first time as Blues coach was of no concern. Chris Yarran shared his coach’s demeanour as both set about a homecoming nightmare, silencing the parochial Eagle crowd to register a solid 24pt Blues win.

The Koch dawn at Port Adelaide seems to have renewed the club’s confidence. A club can go far with self belief, especially when Suns got off to a flyer on Saturday night, before a bemused 11000+ at Club Metricon. After qtr time, bang! Port kicked 9.3 to 1.1 and took control. An even forward spread great, so too was Kane Cornes.

The Demons had been living in hell on earth when they took the field against GWS at the G on Sunday. 19pts down at the last change and GWS looked likely to continue the pain. Fortunately the Demons managed a 12 goal last qtr which nearly brought a smile to Mark Neeld’s face. C’mon man have a joke!! Setanta 5 for GWS. Dees 41pts.

The Bulldogs travelled to Adelaide to take on the Crows at AAMI in the slush on Sunday. Any doubts Sando might have had about his charges would’ve been wiped out by a commanding Rodney Dangerfield-inspired 52 pt win. It helps when the opposition kick only 4 goals. 94 tackles by the Crows good; Dog Cooney (30 stats).

Majak magic happened with the 1st goal of the game and then stars via a concussion. North got off to a flyer, although 5.10 in the first qtr would’ve had the coach worried. A 10 goal win for the Roos over a strangely listless Lions. Vossy unearthed Marco Paparone on debut with 3 goals. Lions never in the hunt, a game not for the archives.

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