Dees lead attack but radar off
MELBOURNE has the most well-fed forward line in almost 18 years as the club steams towards a record number of inside-50s this season.
The Demons’ huge investment in their midfield in recent drafts has paid rich dividends this year, with the club averaging a league-high 62 inside 50m entries per game.
According to Champion Data, it is the most number of looks inside the attacking arc since Essendon won the 2000 flag with an average 64 entries.
And the curve is trending north, as the club desperately battles to lock-in its first finals appearance in 12 years. The Dees have upped the ante over the mid-part of the season, averaging a whopping 66 entries per match over the past nine weeks.
It ensured the Demons have racked up the most number of disposals inside 50m in the league, underlining coach Simon Goodwin’s plans to lock the ball in its scoring zone.
The Dees are also ranked No.1 for goals (229), scoring and goal assists, and contested possessions in 2018.
But despite this incredible amount of forward supply, a question mark hangs over their capacity to turn these opportunities into goals.
Melbourne has also booted the most number of behinds (168) this season.
Against Fremantle last weekend, Melbourne racked up 50 more entries than the Dockers but blew their chance to inflict a punishing defeat, slotting a wasteful 13.24.
And it could cost the club dearly, with the Demons set to fall out of the top eight if they cannot topple the up-anddown Western Bulldogs at the MCG today.
Goodwin said he was pleased with his forwards’ performance this year, but admitted it was a huge challenge to score when the forward line was flooded with players.