I’m as frustrated as anyone else at the ground, watching the game.
The umpiring in the first half prevented us having a 3+ goal lead at half time.
Ambrose down 40 minutes into the game would consign us to a very high likelihood for a loss due to a lack of rotation - then both Myers and Stringer spent almost of the second half injured and trying to stay out there. We looked dead on our feet and this allowed Pendelbury and co to waltz out of the centre.
Ambrose loss caused structural issues too as he is actually the ideal physical match-up for De Goey. It forced McKenna to full back on De Goey for a period which did not make sense - if De Goey is playing out of the goal square, Hurley had to go to him. McKenna going full back meant Guelfi - who was good all day and simply outstanding in Q4 - had to leave the midfield and go to HB. Guelfi is an inspired pick and seems to get better with every game. He does the basics well and always puts his head over the ball. Hats off to Dodoro and the recruiting staff for picking him.
We have been destroyed by virtually one-sided umpiring 3 games straight and the club needs to make some public comment like this. I’ve never seen a team lose umpiring 17-33 (WCE), 11-21 (NM) and 17-27 (Pies) in 3 consecutive weeks playing as well as we have. Collingwood had a monumental 18 free kicks at HT which was only 10 short of their score.
We can’t control injuries (would love just one “big” MCG game where we don’t lose 1-2 players before HT) or umpires but we can control team selection, coaching decisions and decision-making/skill errors.
Dea out made sense as he cannot go with a Stevenson or De Goey and Hurley can cover Mihocek. McNiece offered little today by way of run (at least he wasn’t putrid like was against Melbourne). With inclement weather forecast a Clarke or Mutch in and Guelfi to HB (where, due to injures , he ended up) would have made more sense and rewarded players with superior form.
Up forward McKernan was wasteful but caused his opponent headache and Brown useful. We missed Fantasia’s skill.
Father Time is rapidly catching Goddard and he looked sluggish again today and made poor decisions (e.g. spotting, but ignoring, Baguley out wide for an easy pass at HB and handballing instead to Long up the corridor surrounded by opponents…who proceeded to try and do too much instead of simply kicking the ball wide to space. He repeated the error in Q4 to gift Adams a goal. But Long wasn’t half bad and he had some impact; unlike Colyer who played like someone after a long layoff.
Injuries and umpiring conspired us to lose by 16 points in the end against the second top team after being in a winning position early in Q4.
To put things in perspective: since we turned the corner, we are 5-2 playing nearly all the teams above us except Brisbane. The 2 losses are against the top 2 teams in the comp and today’s was a strange loss as nothing went our way injury or umpiring wise. Our early season malaise will cost us a Top 8 spot.
The test next week is bring the right intensity and attitude to a young, inexperienced Gold Coast side who will probably lose May to suspension (hit Higgins) which robs them of both bookends.