Winners and Losers: Round 2

So…. how bout them Demons?



The only thing that could draw attention away from the Demons during the week was the upcoming Collingwood v Carlton clash. The first meeting of the two in 2013 was guaranteed to be the most talked about event the second Malthouse was brought in at the Blues.

Come Sunday it was the Magpies who triumphed over their former coach by seventeen points, with Jamie Elliott leading the way with a career day. The young Pie kicked five goals and found acres of space with ease.

The performances of Collingwood’s young brigade, particularly when compared to their navy blue counterparts, was a big part of their victory. Blair and Dwyer were not far behind Elliott, and were ably supported by the usual suspects in Pendlebury and Sidebottom. Jolly’s departure late in the first forced the Pies to feature Lynch in the ruck, and while Kreuzer was close to best on ground for the Blues, the former Eagle battled admirably and helped minimise what could have been a catastrophic void.


I’ve always wanted to know what a professional AFL side taking on a bunch of witches hats would look like. Thanks to the Bombers I now know.

Jobe Watson has gotten his Brownlow defence off to a terrific start, liking polling three votes in both rounds so far. The Don’s captain had the easiest 38 possession, 9 clearance, and three goal performance you are ever likely to see. I doubt he broke a sweat.


They are like some sort of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger hybrid. They just won’t die.

Tom Liberatore

His side lost, but Liberatore has had a red hot start to the year. He backed up his nine tackles, 11 clearances, and 28 possessions in the opening round of the season with another 11 tackles, 12 clearances, and 28 disposals on Saturday afternoon against the Dockers.


The Dockers exhibited a trait on Saturday that the best sides often possess: winning comfortably despite not being spectacular. The Dogs smashed them in the hitouts and clearances, and only had one less forward fifty entry, but lost by 28 points anyway. Fremantle have been getting goals from midfielders these past two rounds, and this is an area they have generally struggled with. If the can keep this support for Pavlich, Mayne and Walters up then they are a real chance at a top four finish this season.

Justin Westhoff

Lets play a new game. It’s called “Carey or Westhoff?” Check out these gaudy numbers:

25 disposals, 14 marks, 5 goals.

Carey or Westhoff?

The answer is Greater Western Sydney Giants. I mean Westhoff.

Seriously though, credit to Westhoff for deciding to put in one of his twice yearly “games where I look like an excellent footballer” in a contest against someone other than the Crows.

The Riewoldt family

Friday night may as well have been called family fight night (80 per cent chance a show with that title is on Channel Seven at some stage in 2013), with cousins Nick and Jack Riewoldt spearheading their respective team’s attack.

Both delivered in spades. Nick wound back the clock with a twenty possession, eleven mark, and four goal performance, while Jack maximised his output with limited touches. Nine of his ten touches were scoring shots, and he managed seven goals despite only three marks.

Rory Sloane and Patrick Dangerfield

These two emerged as Adelaide’s barometers last season, and so it was again against Brisbane. With the Crows struggling in the opening two rounds to match their level of performance from last year, it fell to their young guns in the middle to drag them over the line against an uninspiring Brisbane outfit. Dangerfield’s two goals in the final term were reminiscent of the last Crow in the number 32.

Adelaide’s young backmen impressed after a disappointing showing in round one. Talia demonstrated some of the form that saw him claim the Rising Star award. Otten had his finest outing in a long time, while Luke Brown gave as good an argument as possible for his retention in the twenty-two despite the expected return of Brodie Smith in the coming weeks. Up forward Walker provided two goals in an unassuming performance, while Jenkins exploited a significant size advantage to claim 12 marks and kick 2.2. If Jenkins can add some consistency and polish to his performances he will go a long way in helping to fill the hole left by Tippett.

The Crows outdid the Lions in terms of contested possessions, clearances, forward entries and marks inside 50. However there are still areas of concern. Jacobs was beaten in the ruck for the second week running, and despite their statistical dominance the Lions led heading into the final stanza. Increasing their intensity will be important if they are to avoid an early season rut.



Melbourne’s horror start to the year got even more horrible Saturday night. If Geelong is a Krueger, Voorhees and Myers hybrid, then the Demons are the annoying teenager who dreams of camping in remote locations on Halloween.

What we witnessed on Saturday night was the closest we will ever see to twenty-two existential nihilists taking the field. Melbourne didn’t only look bad, they looked disinterested (or uninterested?). There was a moment in the fourth term when the Bombers had the ball once again deep in the forward fifty, and, after several failed attempts at picking up the ball, they just decided to kick it off the ground. They did, and they scored a goal. At no stage during the repeated fumbles was a Bomber under any real pressure. It typified everything. The Demons were so lazy the Bombers need not even bother bending down to pick up the ball.

The Demons laid 26 six less tackles than Essendon, despite the Bombers having nearly 200 more disposals than them. That is nothing short of disgusting.

Melbourne have lost by greater margins over the past few years. The 186 point smack down at the hands of slasher hybrids comes to mind. But this felt worse. It was a perverse viewing experience. While the Demons wandered about waiting and wanting to be put out of their misery, those behind the cameras decided to cut to distraught fans in the stands. It felt like this was the one that finally broke them. Judging by their faces you would’ve thought they’d just watched Schindler’s List and Sophie’s Choice back to back. Their misery was so palpable that I felt James Caan had endured less. The Demons should send a representative to see the Wizard of Oz, and when he asks what they want he can indicate toward the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion, and say “the three things those guys got”.

Brad Scott

I don’t necessarily disagree with his argument regarding the roof. It’s more the timing of it. He can protest otherwise as much as he likes, but it does come across as a whinge. If his boys hadn’t let slip a 41 point lead he probably wouldn’t have brought it up, or at least not as strongly as he did.

By making such a big deal out of it, he makes himself look like a man who decided to cling onto something and make an issue of it rather than address the fact his side lost yet again against quality opposition, and this is what it appears to be regardless of whether that is his intention.

During the fourth the Cats were rampant in every facet but putting it between the big sticks. Scott can take solace in how well his charges fared in the opening half, but playing well in spurts has never been a problem for the Roos. Playing well consistently against the best sides is. Scott is within his rights to be annoyed with the roof situation, but getting vocal with ground staff and talking about it the way he did during the post game gives off a poor message.

Carlton and West Coast

Two highly touted pre-season picks who have started the season with back to back losses.

Carlton’s lesser lights were poor. Bootsma was eviscerated by the similarly inexperienced Jamie Elliot, while Casboult was barely sighted up forward. In fact very few Blues can claim to have played to their usual standard. Kreuzer took advantage of Jolly’s absence, dominating the ruck and giving his side the advantage at stoppages. Garlett scored three goals, had eight tackles, and nine inside fifty entries., while Yarran and Walker both matched Garlett’s goal tally. Their cream in Judd and Murphy had solid but unspectacular outings. Everyone else was below average. As a group they struggled to get their hands on the footy, with only the Demons having less touches in round two.

But despite all this they led the Pies for the majority of the afternoon. They just couldn’t break away, and were overran in the last.

The Eagles have faced two tough opponents in the Dockers and Hawks, but there are some concerning signs regardless to come out of both. Last year the Eagles were slightly above average clearance winners and were similarly positioned when it came to forward entries. So far in 2013 the Eagles have won the clearance count both times, but have been massacred in terms of forward entries. Fremantle sent the ball inside the forward fifty 23 more times in round one, and the Hawks beat them by 25 on Sunday. Last season their defence, and their ability to restrict the opposition’s ability to create chances, was at an elite level. We haven’t seen anything close to that in the opening weeks.

Ricky Henderson

Now that is just unfortunate.

About Adam Ritchie

My name is Adam. I started watching football with two fellow parapsychologists in an abandoned firehouse. When we’re not watching footy, we’re running our own pest control business. What do you mean I stole that from Ghostbusters?


  1. Adam, Winners and Losers one of my favorites on the site. Love your take on Brad Scott, exactly what I was thinking while watching on TV. I bet he wishes he had his time again. Cranky at the AFL official? When your team has coughed up a 7 goal lead? Come on

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