AFL 4 years ago

So, so close.

  • So, so close.

So close Demons. So close.

This has become a team of battlers from a rabble of bottlers. Paul Roos has stamped his fabled Swans hard to beat mentality all over each player. After each and every goal the number of players congratulating the scorer is evidence on a team spirit so lacking for such a long time.

Defensively, the 2014 Demons are unrecognisably strong. There was so much pressure on every Bulldogs' ball, and in contests, the sheer determination of the fearless  Viney and Jones will make any opposition in the competition earn their possessions.

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The rising confidence of the team saw a more open gameplan than the Crows victory, with plenty of inside 50s heading for Dawes and Frawley to work with. It pointed to a team slowly following their coaches masterplan; build an ultra-solid defence to stop the opponents scoring, and then slowly increase the attacking threat as self-belief grows.

The result may have be hard to take, as the ball just wouldn't, couldn't go through the two tallest sticks. Against, across, but just not through. And then, to compliment the Auskick-standard boundary throws in shoddy complacency, the umpire awarded Crameri the killer goal purely because Lynden Dunn had the temerity to stand in the nearby vicinity. 

Demon boo-boys will head straight to Matt Jones profligacy in front of goal, an injustice to the unfathomable amount of running he put in throughout the game. Just a little bit of composure when it mattered and it would have been his best game in the red and blue.

Dom Tyson was outstanding throughout and his consistency belies his 20 years of age. To think how good he's gonna be in 8 years in a scary yet very, very exciting for the Demons. 

James Frawley played his best game as a forward, and Mark Jamar's return to the ruck offers the team so much more offensively than his understudy Jake Spencer.

But ultimately it wasn't enough to see off the Doggies. The chances were there, and on any other day the Demons would have prevailed.

But even in defeat it's still a warm feeling to have a clearly-improving Demons team to be proud of.

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