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TEAM SELECTION AND MATCH PREVIEW - ROUND 5

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ANZAC EVE - THE SPIRIT by The Oracle

The nine day break between Melbourne's unexpected loss at the hands of the Fremantle Dockers and this week's ANZAC Eve blockbuster against Richmond couldn't have come at a better time. 

The result of last week's game raised a number of questions about the team's ability to withstand the sort of pressure it can expect from the stronger clubs in the competition and, make no mistake about it, the Tigers have proven so far this year to be considered just that - a strong club. They have taken on and beaten every foe they've faced to date, their stars are playing at the top of their game and they're brimful of confidence.

One can only hope that the extra day or two between games is used to reflect on this and to learn the lessons of a game in which Melbourne played like millionaires and threw away the four points on offer as if they weren't worth a single cent.

You can hardly say the Demons deserve to be over-confident despite what some might describe as gallant performances with a number of key players missing through suspension and injuries. They have failed this year to produce consistent form throughout games, often inexplicably wavering between brilliance to sheer incompetence seemingly at the drop of a hat. 

The Melbourne that stormed to a 27 point lead late in the second quarter last week could barely be recognised as the same team that conceded goal after goal and barely troubled the scorers in the third. Then, after making a brilliant run to hit the lead late in the game, those final two and a half error-riddled minutes were just awful.

The Demons have had the wood on the Tigers since the ANZAC Eve game became a fixture on the AFL's calendar but this time, they go into the game as the underdogs and rightly so. One hopes that they can summon up some true grit and ANZAC spirit because a loss will send their 2017 hopes spiralling. 

I think they can do it, and once the teams are selected, I will come back and tell you how and why.

THE GAME

Richmond v Melbourne on Monday 24 April 2017 at 7.25pm at the MCG

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Richmond 103 wins Melbourne 75 wins Drawn 2

At MCG Richmond 68 wins Melbourne 63 wins Drawn 1

Past five meetings Richmond 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins

The Coaches Hardwick 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel Channel 7 live at 7.25pm

Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand  

THE BETTING

Richmond to win - $1.71 Melbourne to win - $2.15

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 20.9.129 defeated Richmond 14.12.96 in Round 5, 2016 at the MCG

The Demons led from the start and were clearly the superior team on a stellar night for the club. Leaving aside the Hawthorn victory later in the season, many believed this to be the club's finest performance for the year. Max Gawn starred with 47 hit outs and seven marks while Jack Viney was brilliant with 37 touches and some heroics in the last quarter.

THE TEAMS

RICHMOND

B: Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes
HB: Reece Conca, Bachar Houli, Brandon. Ellis
C: Kamdyn McIntosh, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin
HF: Dustin Martin, Daniel Rioli, Jason Castagna
F: Jack Riewoldt, Todd Elton, Daniel Butler
FOLL: Toby Nankervis, Shaun Grigg, Josh Caddy
I/C: Kane Lambert, Olen Markov, Conor Menadue, Jayden Short
EMG: Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles, Jacob Townsend 

IN: Oleg Markov

OUT: Nick Vlastuin (concussion)

MELBOURNE 

B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham
HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince
C: Billy Stretch, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem
HF: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Alex Neal-Bullen
F: James Harmes, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett
FOLL: Jake Spencer, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver
I/C: 
I/C: Michael Hibberd, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith, Dom Tyson
EMG: Tom Bugg, Mitch Hannan, Oscar McDonald

IN: Michael Hibberd, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Tim Smith

OUT: Tom Bugg, Dean Kent, Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman

CROSSROADS

The 2017 season is one month old and the Demons are already at the crossroads.

After the opening round promise shown by their big victory over the Saints at Etihad Stadium, they seem to have moved from one accident to another. It all started in that game when Bernie Vince incurred the wrath of the MRP thus missing the round two match where the team managed to get of gaol with the four points over the lowly Blues but lost two more key players through suspension. Against the Cats, it was poor kicking and another accident that will eventually cause the club the loss of All Australian ruckman Max Gawn. All of these individual accidents conspired to cause an all mighty smash at the hands of Fremantle at home by two points a week ago when a lack of concentration and fumbling under pressure caused their second successive defeat.

Meanwhile, the normally accident prone Tigers have navigated their start to the season without a hitch, beating all and sundry thanks to an outstanding month from Dustin Martin, their team leadership and their star recruits. Everything has gone right for them from the very beginning and they sit comfortably in the top four, undefeated and with a percentage of 141.5%. The cynics would ask, "but who have they played?", to which I would answer that they have beaten teams better than Fremantle who Melbourne were guilty of succumbing to on the back of a single quarter in which the Dockers booted 7.4.46 to 0.3.3.
 
That is the gist of the problem. Without those three key players and a few subordinates, Melbourne simply has demonstrated an inability to string together four quarters of football and worse still, its poor quarters are simply woeful. To turn that around, the Demons need their leaders to stand up and be counted which is something we have yet to see from the club's leadership which has been stung by a drop off of form, injuries and suspension. 
 
Nathan Jones has been a great leader for the club and I will give him credit for trying last week and the fact that he suffered from a bad knock. I'm not sure whether others noticed but in those crucial moments late in the game last week, he came off the ground, a clear sign that all was not well with him. Jack Viney is miles off the player who won last year's club championship.
 
So it's the leadership to who Melbourne will be looking to turn things around in this crossroads game - and to "Smokin" Jesse Hogan - who also owes his club and teammates a major debt after missing those last two matches.
 
We've already seen some major turnarounds in the past few weeks. It's time for the Demons to do it this week and to make a positive move that will lead them away from those dangerous crossroads where accidents happen.
 
Melbourne by 20 points.

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Well Richmond are favorites, but not by that much. The line is interesting, as its less than a goal.

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It's all about percentage this week

 

 

[joking!]

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We win on the back of our backline standing up. We need good inclusions and I suspect Hibberd will slot in nicely. Even without Spencer we have great hands and great contested ball winners, and so we win the ball back a lot, and we tend to have the ball for longer periods. Hogan and Pederson should he come in straighten us up a lot. Alternatively JKH could cause havoc but I'm unconvinced. Key issue remains in transition, and this is where our defenders really need to stand up. It's going to be much harder with Prestia and Caddy in there. I still think we are cleaner and better ball winners.

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SEN reporting Martin has groin soreness and may not be fully fit.

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Posted (edited)

Can Melbourne supporters sit on level one ponsford near the cheer squad or is there some where else besides the nose bleeds?

Edited by DeeZee

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I wasn't remotely worried about Martin until it was reported he's under a fitness cloud in the lead-up. 

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1 minute ago, Skuit said:

I wasn't remotely worried about Martin until it was reported he's under a fitness cloud in the lead-up. 

You must be kiddin!! A bloke that breaks lines and provides inspiration and your not worried about him??

Wish we had a few more like him!

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20 minutes ago, Wadda We Sing said:

SEN reporting Martin has groin soreness and may not be fully fit.

They had Walters out just before the game last week and he played. 

The Martin story has been all over the media but most are saying he will play.

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Seems that teams won't be announced till Saturday.

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3 minutes ago, bing181 said:

Seems that teams won't be announced till Saturday.

Strange

Dont they usually announce an extended squad that they cull by Saturday?

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3 minutes ago, bing181 said:

Seems that teams won't be announced till Saturday.

Final training is tomorrow bing so that seems entirely likely.

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2 minutes ago, monoccular said:

Strange

Dont they usually announce an extended squad that they cull by Saturday?

I thought they did in the past, not sure if this is a new system in place.

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Posted (edited)

Casey team announced for Saturday.

You can tell who the extended bench is for the dees.

Looks like Hannan, Weid, Tyson, Kent and Bugg plus the guys who played in the VFL last week, including Hibberd.

So there will be at least one change.

No Hogan in the 2s.

Edited by GawnWithTheWind
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3 minutes ago, GawnWithTheWind said:

Casey team announced for Saturday.

You can tell who the extended bench is for the dees.

Looks like Hannan, Weid, Tyson, Kent plus the guys who played in the VFL last week, including Hibberd.

Where do we find this? Thanks. 

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Posted (edited)

17990401_1028893163909664_83904241069560

 

Found it. Hulett and King officially back. Glad we are getting some of the boys back out there

 

So that leaves the Dees starting 18 as: 

Melksham McDonald Hunt 
Jetta Frost Jones
Vince Oliver Stretch
Neal-Bullen Hogan Harmes
Garlett Watts Petracca 
Spencer Viney Salem 

 

Edited by Dee-licious
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Where did Maynard play in Round 1?

He seems to have a very similar physique to Petracca. With his basketball background, his agility is certainly exciting.

His brother is improving (for mine) at Collingwood too. I wonder where they'll look to play Corey at Melbourne.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Redleg said:

They had Walters out just before the game last week and he played. 

The Martin story has been all over the media but most are saying he will play.

Yes they did didnt they, good point. I think he will play, i was more alluding to the fact he may not be as effective.

Edited by Wadda We Sing

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Going off by that it seems Hogan for Weideman and maybe Hibberd for Hannan.

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Seems like it'll be

Out: Weiderman, Hannan

In: Hogan, Hibberd

Happy if those are the changes. Think Kent will have a big game. He's been threatening this year without being able to nail goals. He's the kind of player who willl fire against the Tigers 

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2 minutes ago, chook fowler said:

I'll bet Melksham gets dropped.

He'd be rested then. They'd have to name him in the official VFL line up

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1 minute ago, chook fowler said:

I'll bet Melksham gets dropped.

Will it be like Thomas at Carlton?

General Soreness. 

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2 minutes ago, chook fowler said:

I'll bet Melksham gets dropped.

God a bad feeling he is Goodys pet.  I sure hope not though, as no coach should ever play favorites especially with such an average player coming off a shocker.

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17 minutes ago, picket fence said:

You must be kiddin!! A bloke that breaks lines and provides inspiration and your not worried about him??

Wish we had a few more like him!

Step away from the exclamation-key Picket and take a deep breath. I'll walk you through it. Martin is in blistering form, and, as you say, is 'a bloke that breaks lines and provides inspiration.' Seems strange that an opposition fan wouldn't be at least a little bit worried about him then, right? But even stranger then that the fan has reported a sense of concern only after that player has come under an injury cloud in the build-up. There seems to be some strange reversal of expectations going on. The next step is to challenge your neural connections to conceptually work out an explanation for this apparent anomaly. Something like; in the past, when a star player has been under an injury cloud in the build-up to a game against Melbourne, that player has tended to come out and tear Melbourne what is colloquially referred to a 'new one'. Nick Riewoldt may repeatedly spring to mind. Then you can deduce that the poster was being sardonic in reference to Melbourne's past, perhaps as a coping mechanism. Finally, if you can determine certain patterns in a poster's history,  their 'schtick' if you will, such as multiple exclamation points and a tag-line like sheeeeit for example, you can be reasonably confident in your assessment of a post and know whether to take it seriously or not.

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