news, AFL360, Dermott Brereton questions Melbourne Demons, Max Gawn, Brayden Maynard hit on Angus Brayshaw, Semi Final against Carlton Blues

Five-time Premiership player Dermott Brereton has put the acid on Melbourne, questioning their “soft underbelly” ahead of their Semi- Final against Carlton on Friday night.

The Demons are staring down the barrel of a second straight year of exiting the finals in straight sets, which if it comes to pass, will be the first team to do so in consecutive seasons.

Despite having finished comfortably in the top four and entering the finals as one of the most in – form teams in the competition, Brereton has identified moments and mannerisms throughout the year from the Demons that could leave them vulnerable in a crunch knockout final.

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Speaking on AFL 360 Plus, Brereton said he was “torn” between being upset and angry at Melbourne following their Qualifying Final loss to Collingwood.

Brereton observed the game and voiced an alarming pattern that he believes has given opposition teams an edge coming up against the 2021 champions.

“We saw 12 weeks ago Port Adelaide beat Melbourne and they had a second gamer Ollie Lord dished it up to Max Gawn and physically got into him. Then Zak Butters got into them,” Brereton said on Fox Footy.

“There is a belief that Melbourne have a bit of a soft underbelly.

“Last week, Collingwood came out and attacked them, and apart for that 20-minute period, Melbourne probably had the better of the night, they just couldn‘t peg it on the board.”

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Brereton then posed the question as to who the Demons ‘natural aggressor’ was in their team, particularly in the wake of collision that left their beloved teammate Angus Brayshaw concussed after the hit from Brayden Maynard.

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“When you go back over time, Melbourne had recruited Jordan Lewis, great football analyst, nasty piece of work on the field. They went for Michael Hibberd, very good Backman, nasty piece of work,” he said.

“Who’s Melbourne‘s nasty piece of work?

“Do they have a natural aggressor? Do they have somebody who in September goes, not on my watch.”

Former captain and hard nut Jack Viney was the first to engage with Maynard following the collision with Brayshaw, which sparked a melee as Brayshaw was getting carted off the ground on a stretcher.

Brereton implored the Demons to find a ruthless side quickly, otherwise he feels Carlton might sense the opportunity and “steamroller them.”

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“I can‘t do anything by the old rules but on my watch, you will be made to pay in some small way, shape or form.

“If they don‘t bring it angry, teams will keep doing this too them, and if they’re not prepared to get down and dirty tomorrow night, I reckon they (Carlton) will try and steamroller them. I reckon they’ll physically try and get into them.

“That‘s what finals does. You find the slightest chink in the armour, and you attack someone.

“It sounds cruel, and it sounds like bullying, but if someone is a little bit off in that area, you attack them, and you pull that tiny hole into a big, gaping wound.

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