Three takeaways from round eight

Melbourne head onto Metricon Stadium before their game against the Gold Coast. (Photo by: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Melbourne’s season is alive but on life support

With 30 seconds left on the clock in their game against the Gold Coast Suns, the Demons trailed by six points and were on the verge of their sixth loss of the season.

A goal by Marty Hore shortly after followed to level the scores, before Tom McDonald hacked a kick forward in the dying seconds to hand the Demons the point they needed to scrape over the line.

Two consecutive wins by under a goal has kept the Demons alive in season 2019, but they are still a long way off of the team that made a preliminary final in 2018.

Friday night they face reigning premier West Coast, the team that bundled them out in that same preliminary final, and the Eagles themselves are still trying to find their best form.

The Demons will head to Perth as underdogs on Friday night, a backs to the wall victory on could see them breathe life into an incredibly underwhelming season, but a loss could almost pull the plug on their finals hopes this year.

The genius of Alastair Clarkson ensures that you can never write Hawthorn off

 Alastair Clarkson knows how to rally his troops just as well as anyone in the AFL. Four premierships and many finals appearances are evidence of this, and Hawthorn’s 33-point win over premiership threat Greater Western Sydney on Saturday was another victory orchestrated by the master coach.

The Hawks won ugly and strangled the well-fancied Giants to a score of 38 points, a huge upset in the scheme of things, yet one we should have entertained when you consider the man at the helm and his ability to turn his side around.

Following their disappointing loss to Melbourne a week prior, Clarkson made one of the biggest selection statements possible; dropping favourite son and club champion Jarryd Roughead back to the VFL.

It signalled to all players at Clarkson’s disposal that ‘no one is safe’ no matter their reputation or stature.

Clarkson last year turned a Hawthorn side that wasn’t expected to make finals, into a team that finished in the top four at the end of the season.

His ability to get the best out of his troops ensures that the Hawks will always be competitive.

The AFLs rules are almost impossible to grasp

 Friday’s night circus revolving around the Dane Rampe goal-climbing incident was just another instance of the AFLs rules being unclear and difficult to interpret.

Essendon fans have a right to feel aggrieved, the huge ‘no call’ was the difference between a win and a loss against the Swans, yet it’s just another example of the AFLs rules causing too much confusion.

Holding the ball feels like a lottery these days, incorrect disposal is sometimes paid and sometimes isn’t, whilst the new ‘100 meter penalty’ rule isn’t a great look for the game.

A whole separate issue is the inconsistency of what is a suspendable offence and what isn’t; unfortunately there is way too much grey area.

The only consistent aspect is the inconsistency every weekend; with interpretations seemingly changing from week to week.

None of it is ever going to be 100%, but when it starts effecting the results of a game as it did last Friday night, then it becomes dangerous.

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