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MATCH PREVIEW AND TEAM SELECTION - Round 16

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HOW MUCH CAN BRISBANE BEAR? by JVM

If you think life's tough for Melbourne fans then spare a thought for those who follow Brisbane. The Lions have been down and out in 2015, suffering from lots of injuries to important players and winning only two matches for the season to date. As a consequence, they are deemed irrelevant by the football world and, with their fellow Queenslanders, the Suns, they hold up the AFL ladder from its bottom reaches.

Lately, they have shown much improved form against strong opposition as some of their injured players have started returning. On Sunday, they are likely to get suspended ruckman and former Demon Stephan Martin back in the team and this week, their luck could just be turning because they come across an opponent in Melbourne that is well versed in losing games when they are favoured to win.

And for the second week in a row, Melbourne is the favourite to win a match even though nobody in recent history can remember them saluting in such circumstances (if you discount games against franchise teams in their early days). The Demons couldn't crack it for a win last week when they played against the injury-depleted Bombers even after dominating the ruck duels and centre clearances, particularly in the first half of that game. And it was the second time this year that Essendon had visited humiliation on them because they couldn't beat the Dons' non-injected by any mysterious unknown substances "B" team during a NAB Challenge game in March.

So now it's on to Brisbane in an MCG game which is also a rarity because, in the past decade or so, a number of Melbourne home games against them have been played at many venues elsewhere - like the Gabba, TIO Stadium Darwin and at Etihad last year.

The last MCG home game against the Lions was however, a case in point on the issue of favouritism. The club ushered in the Mark Neeld era in 2012 with an season opener opposed to Brisbane and was strongly supported by the bookies and betting agencies. However, after a reasonably even first half, the team was blown off the park by ¾ time with the home crowd starting booing their team well before the game was over.

The good news for Demon fans is that the Mark Neeld introduction game was the only occasion since 2000 that Brisbane has beaten their team at the G. If they can maintain that

domination then it might be too much for Brisbane to bear and would put an end to their hoodoo of losing games after starting out as favourites.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Brisbane at MCG Sunday 19 July, 2015 at 1.10pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall: Melbourne 21wins Brisbane 20 wins

At MCG: Melbourne 11 wins Brisbane 3 wins

Last Five Meetings: Melbourne 0 wins Brisbane 5 wins

The Coaches: Roos 0 wins Leppitsch 1 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel at 1.00pm (live)

Radio - Triple M 3AW

THE BETTING

Melbourne $1.57 to win Brisbane $2.40 to win

LAST TIME THEY MET Brisbane 11.8.74 defeated Melbourne 6.15.51 at Etihad Stadium, Round 19, 2014.

Melbourne was promising to finally break its Etihad Stadium hoodoo when it held a lead of more than two goals early in the final term when a surge by the Lions saw them kick six goals to one to record a comfortable victory under the roof.

Stefan Martin was best on ground and picked up the three Brownlow votes in this game against his old side

TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta

HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Billy Stretch

C: Daniel Cross, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba

HF: Aaron vandenBerg, Chris Dawes, Jeff Garlett

F: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts

Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney

I/C: James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson

EMG: Jack Grimes, Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley

No change

BRISBANE LIONS

B: Justin Clarke, Daniel Merrett, Harris Andrews

HB: Daniel Rich, Marco Paparone, Sam Mayes

C: Dayne Zorko, Dayne Beams, Lewis Taylor

HF: Jack Redden, Daniel McStay, Allen Christensen

F: Stefan Martin, Brent Staker, Jed Adcock

Foll: Matthew Leuenberger, Tom Rockliff, Pearce Hanley

I/C: James Aish, Ryan Harwood, Nick Robertson, Mitch Robinson

EMG: Hugh Beasley, Rohan Bewick, Mitch Golby

IN: Ryan Harwood, Stefan Martin, Mitch Robinson

OUT: Rohan Bewick (omitted), Jordon Bourke (omitted), Darcy Gardiner (shoulder)

Let's face it.

Let's face it.

Melbourne was poor last week when it was expected to beat Essendon with ease given the Bombers' capitulation to St Kilda by 110 points a week earlier. The Demons could have won but the excuse was poor kicking for goal which was in fact the case but the game should never have been close had they taken advantage of the early ruck dominance of Max Gawn. It's a mystery how, despite the enormous advantage in clearances at centre bounces and the other stoppages, that the scores were locked at 1.3 apiece at quarter time. That came before the really woeful kicking for goal that transpired later.

This week's opponent has been hit hard by injury but observers would have probably noted that as the date for their game against Melbourne approached, there were some sudden and dramatic changes happening. The Lions form rose from ordinary to respectable as a number of their key players have begun turning. A win on the MCG would have been virtually unthinkable a month or so ago, but now it's on the cards.

In their past three games, they have extended Adelaide, Fremantle and Sydney for three quarters. With their midfield building up to close to their best, they will threaten the Dees even on their home turf. They have Tom Rockliff back and in form and Pearce Hanley is ready to provide the run and carry they have lacked for most of the season. The Demons will be relying on Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince to provide the drive and movement forward to nullify them. Hopefully, the youth around them will add to the blend of hard work and running necessary to bring home the four points.

Melbourne - just.

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I think ,JVM,I will be taking some Brisso at $2.40 .Thanks for the summary of the position but i cannot trust this side nor their absolute desire to win.

Hope Grimes is in for Howe and they drop Dawes

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It appears I chose two glorious games to come over and watch. Not exactly looking forward to this one, things will be very Joe Daniher if we lose this one as well. Just like last week it's a must win.

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We would need Brisbane to kick 7.18 for us to be a decent chance. We will get smashed in the middle, and they have some awkward forwards for us to match up on.

If our forwards decide to put in this week we could cause them some problems, but I can't see us getting enough inside 50s to win.

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Reasons for not playing out 4 quarters:

"It's usually fitness or leadership, and it could be a bit of both," he said…
"When you say fitness, it doesn't just mean someone can't run, maybe they're not ready for the rigours of four quarters of AFL footy.
"The other part is leadership.
"If you have young men, they can't organise themselves quickly for long periods of time, they get disorganised around stoppages and things like that.
"That's a sign of leadership, which again could be an age issue, or a bunch of older players that aren't delivering on those leadership issues."

That is quite true of us!

But it was said by Leppitsch about the Lions. Leppitsch went onto say: “Sunday's match against Melbourne presented his team with its best chance in a month to win...”

He will have them primed...we better turn up for 4 qtrs and our leaders do their part.

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Reasons for not playing out 4 quarters:

"It's usually fitness or leadership, and it could be a bit of both," he said…

"When you say fitness, it doesn't just mean someone can't run, maybe they're not ready for the rigours of four quarters of AFL footy.

"The other part is leadership.

"If you have young men, they can't organise themselves quickly for long periods of time, they get disorganised around stoppages and things like that.

"That's a sign of leadership, which again could be an age issue, or a bunch of older players that aren't delivering on those leadership issues."

That is quite true of us!

But it was said by Leppitsch about the Lions. Leppitsch went onto say: “Sunday's match against Melbourne presented his team with its best chance in a month to win...”

He will have them primed...we better turn up for 4 qtrs and our leaders do their part.

Guarantees a Melbourne win. I've assumed, of course, that Brisbane plays just like Melbourne when expected to win.

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Reasons for not playing out 4 quarters:

"It's usually fitness or leadership, and it could be a bit of both," he said…

"When you say fitness, it doesn't just mean someone can't run, maybe they're not ready for the rigours of four quarters of AFL footy.

"The other part is leadership.

"If you have young men, they can't organise themselves quickly for long periods of time, they get disorganised around stoppages and things like that.

"That's a sign of leadership, which again could be an age issue, or a bunch of older players that aren't delivering on those leadership issues."

That is quite true of us!

But it was said by Leppitsch about the Lions. Leppitsch went onto say: “Sunday's match against Melbourne presented his team with its best chance in a month to win...”

He will have them primed...we better turn up for 4 qtrs and our leaders do their part.

If I was Roos, I'd be posting this quote on the pinboard and making every player look at it. 'This is what the opposition thinks of you. No respect. There's no respect. We have to earn it. Start earning it today.' There we go. That'd be my pep talk.

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If I was Roos, I'd be posting this quote on the pinboard and making every player look at it. 'This is what the opposition thinks of you. No respect. There's no respect. We have to earn it. Start earning it today.' There we go. That'd be my pep talk.

YEAH!! (punches computer screen)

Sorry got caught up in the peep talk.

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Rockliff and Hanley will tear us a new one.

Lions by 6

(goals).

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Rockliff and Hanley will tear us a new one.

Lions by 6

(goals).

Vince and Viney can contain those two

It will be RIch, Beams and Zorko that we will really need to plan hard for

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Vince and Viney can contain those two

It will be RIch, Beams and Zorko that we will really need to plan hard for

You might be right there HH, but Rockliff in particular is exceptional at making an impact despite a hard tag - almost as good as one D Swan in his hayday.

Agreed about the other 3 being a big danger. Fortunately Zorko and Rich can both be inconsistent - let's hope they have a down day.

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Being Melbourne, it is more probable that we will win this game, given we lost last week -- than the other way around.

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YEAH!! (punches computer screen)

Sorry got caught up in the peep talk.

I should really charge coaching fees for that pep talk. I'm occasionally available if you need me, Roosy. I suspect you're okay at it yourself though. :P

Edited by AdamFarr

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when a surge by the Lions saw them kick six goals to one to record a comfortable victory under the roof.

The roof was open, I remember cause McStay came down from the heavens for Lions supporters and had a breakout game.

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Would not be surprised if they go with the same 22. Treat last week as an aberration.

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We will be thrashed. The Bears have been highly competitive against some top sides recently.

Really? Seems to me they have lost 7 on the trot and only won 2 for the year

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YEAH!! (punches computer screen)

Sorry got caught up in the peep talk.

I hope not. There might be consequences.

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Would not be surprised if they go with the same 22. Treat last week as an aberration.

An aberration??? sheeit, we are getting to be veerry consistent with it!

About 51 years worth!

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This will show if we are a bottom 4 side or not. Im really hoping we learnt from last week.

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Really? Seems to me they have lost 7 on the trot and only won 2 for the year

That has never been a restricting factor for our losses in the past C and B

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Whoever plays in our lineup, can anyone trust the Demons anymore?

Sad truth....no.

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Whoever plays in our lineup, can anyone trust the Demons anymore?

Sad truth....no.

Correct Mon!

If we lose this game, you can quote whatever stats you like or make whatever arguments you like but it will clearly demonstrate that we have not improved.

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I hope not. There might be consequences.

I've been to the odd peep show Dr. There are no consequences provided you use the rear entrance.

God there's some Freudian stuff in that comment!

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