Reported by Paul Amy
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THE winning margin was predictable. The result wasn't.
..The VFL's top team, Casey Scorpions, came up against the 11th-placed Northern Blues at Casey Fields on Saturday and suffered only its third loss of the season.
Jumped early by a team featuring familiar Carlton names such as Bret Thornton, Nick Duigan, Matthew Watson and David Ellard, the Scorpions never recovered and in the end did well to avoid a heavier defeat.
Halfway through the third quarter the Blues' lead puffed out to 52 points as players like Ellard and draft prospects Kane Lambert and Adam Marcon made merry in the midfield.
Blues ruckman Nick Meese, described by one Casey assistant coach as the John Nicholls of the VFL, mauled the Scorpions with 53 hit-outs and a staggering 21 tackles.
"We didn't give a yelp," a Casey diehard said after the match.
But the coaches probably did when they realised there would have to be eight changes from the team that defeated Frankston in the previous round.
Just seven Melbourne players took the field, including Josh Tynan, who played only the first half.