Jon Pierik August 01, 2012
Melbourne's James McDonald gets ready to handball in the round 18 game against Richmond in 2009. The Demons lost by four points. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Fresh allegations of tanking have turned the spotlight on Dean Bailey's 2009 Demons
TWO matches during Dean Bailey's tenure, in particular, have been under the spotlight: the Demons' four-point loss to Richmond in round 18, 2009, thanks to Jordan McMahon's post-siren goal; and a 47-point loss to St Kilda in round 22, 2009.
The Age was one of several media outlets to highlight odd coaching moves in both matches.
Against the Tigers, these included defenders James Frawley and Matthew Warnock playing forward, key forward Brad Miller thrown into the centre bounces, ruckman Paul Johnson used at full-back on small forward Nathan Brown and midfielder James McDonald sent deep into defence, while a centre-bounce set-up featuring flankers Ricky Petterd and Matthew Bate also raised eyebrows.
The Demons made just 47 interchanges - a record low for the season and nearly half the club's 2009 average of 92 - even though they had three players who were unable to take the field by the final siren.
The Demons had also left their best player, Colin Sylvia, in the VFL in a decision Bailey cited at the time as punishment.
The clash against the Saints was notable for Frawley being shifted off Nick Riewoldt in the second term when he had kept the Saints' skipper to just one touch. Riewoldt responded with three quick goals on new opponent Lynden Dunn. While Frawley returned to Riewoldt later in the game, the damage had been done.
Key forward Liam Jurrah, dangerous early, was shifted to a flank and wing. He kicked two quick goals in the third term but was benched and did not return to the field until late in the final quarter.