R17 – Melbourne v West Coast – Optimist, Pessimist, Realist Review

It was only six games ago that the West Coast Eagles upset the Dees, and cast some serious doubts over their 2024 credentials.

Since then, Melbourne have had their moments, but most have them seeded somewhere in the sixth through to tenth bracket. Without Christian Petracca, and with their four-time Bluey Truscott Medallist well below his best, Melbourne has had to search for inspiration elsewhere.

As for West Coast, well, their form has been trailing off, dialling up the pressure on Adam Simpson, with many questioning whether he’d lost his players. I always find that harsh when a club is evidently rebuilding.

In the first few minutes of this one, it seemed as though the Dees were determined to erase the Harley Reid-inspired memories of Round Ten. Jack Viney sat him right on his backside with a great hip and shoulder early in the piece, and the young star struggled to have an impact until the second half.

Instead, it was the Melbourne young brigade that stepped to the fore. Koltyn Tholstrup proved that he is more than just the best name in the AFL, whilst Caleb Windsor played the best game of his young career, as well, running the wing like a former club great, and the man our Wingman of the Year Award is named after.

With Jacob van Rooyen doing the work inside 50, it gave the Dees three stars under the age of 22, strutting their stuff on the MCG – bright signs for the future, indeed. Bright signs for right now, as well.

Plenty to get through in this one – let’s jump into The Mongrel’s Optimist/Pessimist/Realist Review of the game.


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