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JLT: Dees too strong for Blues

JLT Highlights: Melbourne v Carlton The Demons and Blues clash in Week 2 of the JLT Community series.

Melbourne's ruthless pre-season has continued, with the Demons motoring towards round one with a 54-point win over a disappointing Carlton at Casey Fields on Saturday.

Excitement about the Demons' prospects under new coach Simon Goodwin only grew, with young stars Jesse Hogan and Christian Petracca both prominent in the 0.17.14 (116) to 0.9.8 (62) win.  

Hogan booted three goals despite spells in the midfield at centre bounces, while Petracca was lethal around half-forward, using the ball faultlessly to kick four goals from his 19 possessions.  

After opening the JLT Community Series with a six-point win over the Western Bulldogs, the Demons made another statement against the Blues. 

Their big win on Saturday – and the depth of their performers in a 26-man line-up – could make it more difficult for out-of-favour forward Jack Watts to break into the team ahead of Round 1.

A versatile forward line worked well for the Demons, with midfielder Jack Viney and ruckman Max Gawn spending significant time forward to each kick two goals. 

Half-back Christian Salem, slated for more midfield time in 2017, also drifted forward effectively to kick two goals in a bright sign as he looks to rebound from an interrupted 2016.


While the Demons attacked Saturday's clash at full-strength with the allotted 26 players, Carlton chose to use only 22 in the first half to replicate regular season conditions.    

Zac Fisher, Daniel Gorringe and Simon White all sat out the first half, while Harry McKay, Dylan Buckley and Jarrod Pickett had their game time managed.

The Blues' loss was further soured by a lower leg injury to Gorringe in the third quarter, while a lack of organisation in defence saw them concede five goals in a one-sided first quarter. 

Carlton's best quarter was the third when it settled to kick 4.1, including a pair to recruit Pickett.  

Brendon Bolton's team included seven new players after an aggressive off-season, with former Greater Western Sydney defender Caleb Marchbank the pick of them in a hard-working performance.

Captain Marc Murphy also opened his campaign after a serious ankle injury ruined his 2016, getting through unscathed with 20 possessions.

The Blues managed exciting young forward McKay's game time, with the rangy goalkicker finishing with just three possessions and one mark.

"We had some inconsistencies in the game but it was a really good opportunity to try some different things," Bolton said. 

"We gave some first-years an opportunity today – young (Zac) Fisher and (Kym) Lebois got an opportunity.  

"We moved (Jacob) Weitering up forward for a quarter and put Marc Murphy on a wing … that's what the JLT Series is about." 

MELBOURNE        0.5.4   0.9.5   0.12.10   0.17.14 (116)   
CARLTON             0.1.2   0.3.5   0.7.6   0.9.8 (62) 


Melbourne: Nil
Carlton: Nil


Melbourne: Hogan 3, Petracca 3, Vandenberg 2, Viney 2, Gawn 2, Salem 2, Neal-Bullen, Kennedy-Harris
Carlton: Casboult 2, Pickett 2, Weitering, Thomas, Lebois, Curnow, Cunningham


Melbourne: Petracca, Hogan, Viney, Jones, Gawn, Salem, Vince   
Carlton: Simpson, Gibbs, Marchbank, Kreuzer, Docherty, E.Curnow


Melbourne: Nil
Carlton: Gorringe (leg)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Schmitt, Ryan, McInerny, Glouftsis