AFL Round 11: Melbourne v Fremantle news, stats and KFC SuperCoach scores

Christian Petracca recorded the lowest possession count of his career, but he has a good excuse. Plus, find out how the Demons will replace an injured star.

Melbourne will turn to Adam Tomlinson as Steven May’s replacement after the All-Australian defender’s first quarter concussion ruled him out of next week’s clash with Sydney.

May’s injury blow compounded what became a rare dirty day for the Demons, who conceded the last 10 goals of the match to blow a 30-point lead to Fremantle at the MCG on Saturday.

The 30-year-old remained on the field for several minutes after Jake Lever’s left shoulder crashed into his head during a marking attempt, before he was officially subbed out early in the second term.

The AFL’s 12-day concussion protocols mean May is automatically unavailable for next Saturday night’s showdown with the Swans.

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Steven May gives the thumbs up on the interchange bench after being ruled out with concussion. He will miss next week’s clash against Sydney. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Steven May gives the thumbs up on the interchange bench after being ruled out with concussion. He will miss next week’s clash against Sydney. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Making Melbourne’s defensive woes worse was that Harry Petty limped off in the third quarter with a left knee issue that could place him in jeopardy for next week.

The 38-point defeat snapped the reigning premiers’ historic 17-match winning streak in stunning fashion, with the Dockers announcing themselves as genuine flag threats.

There was also an explanation for Christian Petracca’s career-worst 10-disposal tally, with coach Simon Goodwin revealing the Norm Smith medallist played despite waking up ill on game morning.

The May and Petracca issues added to Melbourne’s injury carnage in the past week, including losing winger Ed Langdon (ribs) and Tom McDonald (ankle).

“That’s AFL footy. It’s a tough competition and we played a very good side and they played very well, especially in that second half,” Goodwin said.

“There were areas of our game that weren’t up to scratch and they got exposed. When you play a good footy team; you need to be at your best for longer and we weren’t that today, so full credit to them.

Christian Petracca has a career-low possession tally. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Christian Petracca has a career-low possession tally. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

“They were outstanding and got the deserved win.”

Goodwin was comfortable post-match with the decision to play Petracca but said May’s early exit left his much-vaunted defence vulnerable.

“It didn’t help. He’s a pretty important player to us, so to have him out of the game for that period of time; we had to shuffle some things around from a role perspective,” he said.

“Normally we’d have Tommy McDonald, who pulled out of the team (on Friday) … so it ended up being Sam (Weideman) going back halfway through that third quarter.

“But the game and the momentum had shifted at that point. We were able to hold up reasonably well through the second quarter, but it was mainly on the back of stoppage and territory that we were able to do that.

“Under pressure, we didn’t quite go as well behind the ball.”

Tomlinson will play for Casey in the VFL on Sunday, and Goodwin said the tall utility was in his best form since recovering from an ACL setback in May last year.

Purple Demon eater: Reigning premier’s win streak shattered

Fremantle has breathed life into the premiership race and ended Melbourne’s undefeated run thanks in large part to a devastating half hour.

The Dockers looked set to be the reigning premiers’ 18th-straight scalp when they faced a five-goal deficit midway through the second term after frittering away a series of chances in the opening quarter.

But they reversed a concerning trend in the centre with a dominant burst after half-time that the shell-shocked Demons had no answer for.

Fremantle – which arrived at the MCG from back-to-back losses – kicked the final 10 goals of the match and 13 of the last 14 to score a memorable 38-point triumph in an extraordinary turnaround.

The Demons’ winning streak stops at 17 matches, the equal-eighth longest in VFL/AFL history, with Jake Bowey experiencing his first taste of defeat in his 18th game.

Michael Walters celebrates a goal during Fremantle’s second-half surge.
Michael Walters celebrates a goal during Fremantle’s second-half surge.

Melbourne’s famed defence lost All-Australian full-back Steven May to a concussion in the first quarter and partner-in-crime Harry Petty also hobbled off briefly as the dam wall broke.

May’s loss left the Dees starved for height and even saw usual-forward Sam Weideman go down back at one stage but it was the Dockers’ midfield that turned the game.

No team had scored more than 81 points against Simon Goodwin’s side this season until the Dockers, even with Matt Taberner subbed out in the second half, piled on 14 goals – after having two to half-time.

Rory Lobb almost single-handedly kept Fremantle in the game in the first half with a towering performance before his on-ballers came to the party.

Sean Darcy also got on top of Max Gawn after lowering his colours in the second quarter, with the unerringly consistent Andrew Brayshaw and Will Brodie prominent again.

James Aish played a major role as well, limiting the influence of Brownlow Medal fancy Clayton Oliver, who won only 12 of his 36 disposals after the main break.

But Christian Petracca never got going, winning a career-low 10 disposals in a forgettable effort that was his first sub-20 game since round 14 last year.

Lachie Schultz was one of the heroes for Fremantle.
Lachie Schultz was one of the heroes for Fremantle.

All about clearances

It’s readily accepted that modern footy is a turnover game, but Saturday’s wild contest at the MCG was won in the middle.

Melbourne collected five of the six centre clearances in the second quarter to charge to a match-high 30-point lead but Fremantle exacted revenge in brutal fashion in the third term.

Justin Longmuir’s men went 9-1 out of the centre and 17-7 in clearances overall in the quarter to erase the deficit and the final term 17 points up.

Andrew Brayshaw, Blake Acres and James Aish managed two centre clearances each in a brilliant team performance that generated eight goals to the Dees’ one.

Timely performance

Demon Toby Bedford would be excused for being frustrated after earning only two senior games in three years, then spending most of this season as the medical substitute.

But the Indigenous forward kept fronting up and made a huge impression in the first half on Saturday in a rare opportunity to play a full game in the second of the Sir Doug Nicholls rounds.

An exhilarating first quarter run ended with a long-range poster but he exploded into action with two quick-fire goals early in the second term.

The eye-catching display, which included 11 disposals and six score involvements, came a day after Bedford turned 22 and will make it hard for Simon Goodwin not to pick him again.

DEMONS 2.2, 6.8, 7.10, 7.14 (56)

DOCKERS 1.6, 2.7, 10.9, 14.10 (94)

McGOWAN’S BEST Demons: Oliver, Viney, Fritsch, Brayshaw, Jordon. Dockers: Lobb, Brayshaw, Darcy, Aish, Serong, Brodie, Schultz.

GOALS Demons: Fritsch 3, Bedford 2, Jordon, Pickett. Dockers: Schultz 4, Lobb 3, Frederick 2, Taberner 2, Darcy, Walters, Colyer.

INJURIES Demons: May (concussion). Dockers: Taberner (back).

UMPIRES Power, Gavine, Meredith.

VENUE MCG

CROWD 29,812

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

McGOWAN’S VOTES

3 R.Lobb (Freo)

2 A.Brayshaw (Freo)

1 S.Darcy (Freo)

GOODWIN REVEALS HOW DEES WILL COVER MAY ABSENCE

Melbourne will turn to Adam Tomlinson as Steven May’s replacement after the All-Australian defender’s first quarter concussion ruled him out of next week’s clash with Sydney.

May’s injury blow compounded what became a rare dirty day for the Demons, who conceded the last 10 goals of the match to blow a 30-point lead to Fremantle at the MCG on Saturday.

The 30-year-old remained on the field for several minutes after Jake Lever’s left shoulder crashed into his head during a marking attempt, before he was officially subbed out early in the second term.

The AFL’s 12-day concussion protocols mean May is automatically unavailable for next Saturday night’s showdown with the Swans.

Making Melbourne’s defensive woes worse was that Harry Petty limped off in the third quarter with a left knee issue that could place him in jeopardy for next week.

The 38-point defeat snapped the reigning premiers’ historic 17-match winning streak in stunning fashion, with the Dockers announcing themselves as genuine flag threats.

There was also an explanation for Christian Petracca’s career-worst 10-disposal tally, with coach Simon Goodwin revealing the Norm Smith medallist played despite waking up ill on game morning.

Injured Dee Steven May chats to Clayton Oliver after the loss.
Injured Dee Steven May chats to Clayton Oliver after the loss.

The May and Petracca issues added to Melbourne’s injury carnage in the past week, including losing winger Ed Langdon (ribs) and Tom McDonald (ankle).

“That’s AFL footy. It’s a tough competition and we played a very good side and they played very well, especially in that second half,” Goodwin said.

“There were areas of our game that weren’t up to scratch and they got exposed. When you play a good footy team; you need to be at your best for longer and we weren’t that today, so full credit to them.

“They were outstanding and got the deserved win.”

Goodwin was comfortable post-match with the decision to play Petracca but said May’s early exit left his much-vaunted defence vulnerable.

May was crunched in the opening half in friendly fire with Jake Lever.
May was crunched in the opening half in friendly fire with Jake Lever.

“It didn’t help. He’s a pretty important player to us, so to have him out of the game for that period of time; we had to shuffle some things around from a role perspective,” he said.

“Normally we’d have Tommy McDonald, who pulled out of the team (on Friday) … so it ended up being Sam (Weideman) going back halfway through that third quarter.

“But the game and the momentum had shifted at that point. We were able to hold up reasonably well through the second quarter, but it was mainly on the back of stoppage and territory that we were able to do that.

“Under pressure, we didn’t quite go as well behind the ball.”

Tomlinson will play for Casey in the VFL on Sunday, and Goodwin said the tall utility was in his best form since recovering from an ACL setback in May last year.

Originally published as AFL Round 11: Melbourne v Fremantle news, stats and KFC SuperCoach scores

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