Round 9 – Melbourne v Brisbane: Massacre in the MCC

Massacre in the MCC – Jonathan Sloan

Melbourne vs. Brisbane

22/05/2016

MCG, 1.10PM

 

The Melbourne Cricket Club is an illustrious group, made up of people who all either went to private schools or have become rich enough to mingle with people who went to private schools. They all also support Melbourne, which is probably a factor I should have considered before I accepted my mate’s offer of a guest pass into the inner sanctum of Demons supporters. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in the MCC before and I absolutely love it. I’m still slightly mad that my parents didn’t put my name down for membership when I was born, and even madder that my father decided to cancel his membership after just a year. I’ve just never gone in as the outsider before. And let me tell you, it’s quite scary.

 

Before the game, Dom Tyson was a late exclusion for the Demons, which in my naïve mind gave the Lions a fighting chance. While we were still finding our seats, due to a combination of poor traffic and multiple flights of stairs, Jonathan Freeman started the now annual tradition of attempting to win matches through the sheer number of behinds we score by hitting the post from right in front. Strangely, the Demons tried a different tactic, where they aimed to get it between the two big posts, as demonstrated expertly by Jeff Garlett from the boundary. To quote the comedic genius of Jason Bateman in Dodgeball, “It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for ‘em.”

 

As it turns out, it pays off quite well. The idea of kicking more goals than points is quite revolutionary. I can’t wait until it takes off in Brisbane. Fresh off his four-behind performance against Port Adelaide, Ben Keays slots the Lions’ first from a free kick, something the MCC crowd is quick to criticise. Strangely enough though, they didn’t seem to have a problem with Jesse Hogan’s goal, which was the result of a dubious deliberate out-of-bounds call where the ball rebounded off Daniel Merrett’s chest without him ever actually taking possession of the ball. Neither did they chirp up when Nathan Jones was given a goal for a deliberate rushed behind. Funny that.

 

The intensity that Lions fans have so desperately craved was there, kind of. Mitch Robinson was back to throwing his body around, Nick Robertson and Billy Evans made the most of their rare chances in the seniors and our fiercely-criticized half back line of Ryan Harwood, Daniel McStay and Sam Mayes was at least taking the game on. But the superior skills of Melbourne showed how, development-wise, they’re two or three years ahead of us. Colin Garland did a number on Josh Schache, who really needs to beef up a bit if he’s to emulate the success that Hogan has had in his first two years, while midfielders Nathan Jones, Jack Viney and Ben Kennedy were just able to hit the targets that Brisbane wasn’t.

 

After an exorbitantly priced beer at half-time, we saw the Lions fight their way back into the contest, only to kick themselves out of it. Easy chances went begging, as Rich, Keays, Freeman, Trent West and Jackson Paine missed easy shots, whereas James Harmes and Hogan just couldn’t seem to miss. The Demons fans were enraged by a snap from Christian Petracca being disallowed by a score review, which was odd considering the obviousness with which it was touched, but I didn’t dare chirp up, out of fear of potential physical harm from the trio of Melbourne Grammar old boys sitting directly behind me. Speaking of which, I genuinely thought I may have been attacked, such was the anger over a free to debutant Rhys Mathieson for head-high contact. Of course, I understand being annoyed when the umpire gets it wrong, but guys, c’mon. You’re up by 50 points, stop booing the new kid. It’s kind of hypocritical when you cheered Garlett for doing the same thing earlier.

 

The longer the game progressed, the easier it became for Melbourne. Hogan took to showboating a bit when he received a free in the square, but took his run up back to almost the 50 metre line. Nobody knew quite what was going on then, my theory is that he’s getting Demons members accustomed to seeing him walk back further and further until he walks back to Fremantle for some of that sweet iron-ore coin. But if he was smart, he wouldn’t leave. This Demons outfit is going to be very very good, and good luck to them. It’s been quite a while between drinks for their supporters. That’s probably what’s made them so angry.

 

Melbourne 5.6 10.7 13.10 19.17 (131)
Brisbane 2.3 5.5 6.10 9.14 (68)

 

Goals:

Melbourne: Hogan 5, Harmes 4, Garlett 2, Kennedy, Kent, Watts, Jones, Michie, Newton, Stretch, Viney

Brisbane: Bell 3, Lester 2, Freeman, Keays, Taylor, Zorko

 

Best:

Melbourne: Jones, Harmes, Hogan, Bugg, Petracca, Garland, Stretch

Brisbane: McStay, Rich, Robinson, Robertson, Harwood, Zorko

 

Umpires: Deboy, Findlay, Harris. Crowd: 26, 892

 

Our Votes: Jones (MEL) 3, Harmes (MEL) 2, Hogan (MEL) 1

 

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Comments

  1. Theresa Stolz says:

    We too were lonely Lions supporters in the sea of Melbourne scarfs in the MCC stands and dining room on Sunday – loved the experience of mingling but did look longingly down at the loyal Lions cheer squad and wished I was among friends- They at least were less constrained and able to shout and cheer a bit- any attempt to cheer was met with disapproving looks!! Not that we had to worry to much – kicking points has become our modus operandi lately!! It’s going to be a very long season….

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