Demons, Lions and Suns bag one win each
The devil is in the detail for Demons coach Mark Neeld, it seems.
On paper, Melbourne began the AFL pre-season competition with a three-point loss to the Gold Coast and a three-point win over the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
But Neeld admitted he would have to examine the match video to determine just how encouraging life had begun under his reign.
Certainly Neeld would be forgiven for not following some of the action with torrential rain at times sweeping across the sodden venue.
And there certainly wasn’t much to note in their first half of their second clash against the Lions, when they went scoreless.
However, Neeld reckoned he would have to hit the game tapes before preparing for their next pre-season cup clash against Collingwood on March 3.
“I just said to the players I won’t individualise,” Neeld said.
“I want to go home and – first get out of this weather – and watch the game again – but it was a good solid effort.
“We wanted to go out and play four consistent quarters, play the sort of footy that this weather lends itself to.
“It was pleasing to win the second game in the manner that we did but of course the weather ensured a close battle.
“But I think our structures held up, players played to a plan – it was a good start.”
Melbourne suffered a 0.4.2 (26) to 0.3.5 (23) loss to the Suns in the round robin opener but Neeld still saw positives – namely big-name recruit Mitch Clark who was strong up forward, kicking their first goal.
The Demons somehow bounced back from a scoreless first half to hit back against the Lions in their second clash 0.2.1 (13) to 0.1.4 (10).
The Lions completed the round with a 0.2.6 (18) to 0.2.4 (16) win over arch rivals the Suns.
The long-awaited clash between Clark and his former Brisbane side became a fizzer with the WA-product well held by Matt Maguire in a cameo performance.
The only hint of controversy in the Demons-Lions game came midway in the second half when Brisbane young gun Pat Karnezis appeared to kick a goal, only for it to be overturned by the Video Review System.
Captain Jonathan Brown emerged unscathed from his first serious hit-out for the Lions since overcoming horrific head fractures, grabbing five disposals against the Demons and another four against the Suns.© AAP 2014