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Match Preview and Team Selection - Round 21

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THE WEIGHT by Whispering Jack 

Boy, you gotta carry that weight  
Carry that weight a long time  
Boy, you gonna carry that weight  
Carry that weight a long time” ~ Paul McCartney [Carry That Weight - Abbey Road]    

When Paul McCartney wrote these words in the twilight of the 1960s, the greatest force in modern popular music was at the point of disintegration. 

McCartney knew the Beatles were breaking up from the perspective of their personal relationships, their creativity and as a business. John Lennon had already privately left the group by the time the Abbey Road album was released and McCartney publicly quit in 1970. The weight of greatness was sitting heavily on his shoulders and he knew it would do so for a very long time.  

The parallel event in the world of sport always struck me as being the story of the fall of the Melbourne Football Club earlier in that decade when both were at the height of their powers. The Demons lost Ron Barassi, the club’s on-ground spiritual leader when he defected to Carlton in December of their premiership year, 1964, then in the middle of the following season, their committee sacked and quickly reinstated Norm Smith who coached them to six flags in a decade.

The disintegration came swiftly; the weight of the club’s golden era remains hanging oppressively over the club to this day, despite some brief periods of respite over the past half century and more.

And in the current decade, the one foe that seems to have forced Melbourne into a state of submission more than any other is Sydney. Ironically, this period began well for the Demons with a 73 point victory over the Swans at the MCG in Round 17, 2010. It was coach Paul Roos’ biggest defeat whilst at the helm of the visitors. 

The opening round of the following season saw John Longmire's first game as the Sydney Swans coach end in a draw against Melbourne, with both teams scoring 11.18.84 each. From there, things went awry for the Demons - the record has been:-

• Round 8, 2012 Sydney Swans 21.12.138 defeated Melbourne 5.7.37 at the SCG

• Round 15, 2013, Sydney Swans 16.20.116 defeated Melbourne 13.7.85 at the MCG  

• Round 6, 2014, Sydney Swans 9.15.69 defeated Melbourne 5.8.38 at the MCG  

• Round 6, 2015, Sydney Swans 12.16.88 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 at the MCG  

• Round 13, 2016, Sydney Swans 12.14.86 defeated Melbourne 4.7.31 at the SCG  

• Round 15, 2017, Sydney Swans 11.19.85 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 at the MCG  

The raw figures of battles of the recent past don’t stack up well for Melbourne and understandably, many of the club’s supporters are looking at the game with fear of another impending defeat. They’ve carried the weight for a long time but they don’t quite understand the 2018 difference.

This is the first time since that losing run began that the Demons go into a game against the Swans ahead of them on the ladder and well ahead of them in terms of recent form. It’s not all that long since Sydney lost at home to the Gold Coast. A week later, they meekly capitulated to the Bombers at Etihad and last Saturday night, they barely scraped in against a crippled Collingwood that was forced to play a first gamer on Lance Franklin. Compare and contrast that with Melbourne winning by 16 goals against the Suns and its performances in hostile territory against the Cats and the Crows.

The writing’s on the wall. The weight is about to be lifted.

THE GAME  

Melbourne v Sydney Swans at the MCG Sunday 12 August, 2018 at 3.20pm    

HEAD TO HEAD   

Overall Melbourne 92 wins Sydney Swans 112 wins 2 drawn   

At MCG Melbourne 49 wins Sydney Swans 43 wins 2 drawn   

Last 5 meetings Melbourne 0 wins Sydney Swans 5 wins

The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Longmire 1 win

MEDIA    

TV - Channel 7 Fox Sports 3 - Live at 3.00pm   

RADIO - Triple M (Regional) 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand     

THE LAST TIME THEY MET    

Sydney Swans 11.19.85 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 in Round 15, 2017 at the MCG   

Melbourne’s run came to an end under the weight of its fourth six-day break in a row. The Demons looked flat from the start and things were not helped by Tom Bugg’s punch on Callum Mills or skipper Jack Viney’s injury early in the game.      

THE TEAMS    

MELBOURNE    

B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis
HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, James Harmes
😄 Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw
HF: Charlie Spargo, Jesse Hogan, Aaron vandenBerg
F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, Bayley Fritsch
Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca
I/C: Jayden Hunt, Jay Kennedy Harris, Alex Neal-Bullen, Cameron Pedersen
Emg: Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Bernie Vince, Sam Weideman,

In: Jayden Hunt, Cameron Pedersen

Out: Joel Smith (collarbone), Bernie Vince (omitted)

SYDNEY SWANS

B: Nick Smith, Aliir Aliir, Jake Lloyd
HB: Dane Rampe, Alex Johnson, Jarrad McVeigh
😄 Isaac Heeney, Josh P. Kennedy, Harry Cunningham
HF: George Hewett, Lance Franklin, Oliver Florent
F: Will Hayward, Tom McCartin, Ben Ronke
Foll: Callum Sinclair, Kieren Jack, Luke Parker
I/C:Jordan Dawson, Dan Hannebery, Nic Newman, Tom Papley
Emg: Darcy Cameron, Daniel Robinson, Gary Rohan, Dean Towers

In: Dan Hannebery

Out: Daniel Robinson (omitted)

I am not normally one to ignore the past and its lessons but in this instance, I will do exactly that in declaring the Demons will overturn history and win this game comfortably.

Consider Melbourne’s record in its past four outings against Sydney which have yielded a mere 23.31.169 or an average of just over 42 points per game. Last week against Gold Coast the team exceeded that figure within the first twenty-five minutes of play and, before anyone downplays the Suns entirely, they did beat the Swans a few weeks back.

In other words, the Dees have turned things around considerably in 2018 and they are no longer the boring, low scoring outfit that can be pushed around by the bullies of the recent past. Nowadays, they are the highest-scoring team in the competition having booted a total of 295 goals this season, a tally that is 30 greater than the next best in the Tigers and 61 more than the Swans who are equal ninth with 234 goals. Such is their forward line power this season that they lead in inside 50s and for marks inside 50 by a fair margin. And ominously for the Sydneysiders, they are improving their rate of conversion into goals from those inside 50 entries.

The Swans have most of their forward eggs in one basket - the man who they go to most times despite the fact that he’s hardly trained at all this year if you believe their coaches. But Buddy Franklin can’t do everything for them every week and he has struggled for consistency this year. He’s always the danger man but I’m not so sure that he has it in him to produce two dominant performances in a row and nor am I certain that even if he does, that it would be enough to get them home. Their winning score of 11.7.73 against a depleted Collingwood of last week would in all likelihood, not be anywhere near enough to get them over the line this time.

In defence, the Swans have Aliir Aliir in a rare vein of form down back and he does have a few good lieutenants down there but it won’t be enough to dampen the multifaceted Demon fire power that is fed by the best young midfield in the competition.

The times have changed, the wait is over and the weight is off our shoulders.

Melbourne by 36 points.

 

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Just had a look at the odds for the flag and the bookies have us equal 2nd favourites...

Win this weekend and we'll be more popular than jesus.

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Besides GWS and GCS is there a club we enjoy a higher win loss ratio against in the AFL? Thought we might have been ahead of Sydney/SMFC 

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Shouldn't it be Clarry thst weight?

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I picked up my bags, I went looking for a place to hide
When I saw old Carmen and the Devil, walking side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, c'mon, let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go, but my friend can stick around"

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2 hours ago, Fifty-5 said:

I picked up my bags, I went looking for a place to hide
When I saw old Carmen and the Devil, walking side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, c'mon, let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go, but my friend can stick around"

 

 

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We're building, we're better, and I expect a comfortable win.

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The Band. Truly one the great bands. In terms of synergy few come close - from that era perhaps only the Who and early Beatles 

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Posted (edited)

One of the biggest games for the club in 12 years. We should get over them but each week I worry about how young our star mids are to carry the load.

 

Edited by Cards13
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22 minutes ago, binman said:

The Band. Truly one the great bands. In terms of synergy few come close - from that era perhaps only the Who and early Beatles 

am a great Robbie Robertson fan .. Lot of great stuff from that "Band" ...and later

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6 hours ago, Juicebox said:

Just had a look at the odds for the flag and the bookies have us equal 2nd favourites...

Win this weekend and we'll be more popular than jesus.

Either that's plain crazy, or my MFCSS just took a severe turn for the worse.  Regardless, I hope our players don't see it and believe it.

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The Redsocks are killing them in the MLB. The Redlegs to do the job here!!!

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Keep Franklin relatively quiet and we win.  To me it is that simple.  We easily match them all over the ground, but Franklin is the X-factor.  Let him get off the leash and we have a serious game on our hands.  Keep him out of the action most of the time and I fail to see how they can kick a winning score against the best offense in the league.

Dees by 5 goals.

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10 hours ago, Demonland said:

THE LAST TIME THEY MET    

Sydney Swans 11.19.85 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 in Round 15, 2017 at the MCG   

Melbourne’s run came to an end under the weight of its fourth six-day break in a row. The Demons looked flat from the start and things were not helped by Tom Bugg’s punch on Callum Mills or skipper Jack Viney’s injury early in the game.      

That 4th 6 day break in a row with travel to WC royally screwed us. The boys had nothing left and I honestly believe it was the beginning of the end for us last year. Given the way they manufacture the fixture to give other teams armchair rides, to give us such a BS draw was a disgrace.

This year should be different, we're missing some key players but the ones that are available are showing good form. I'm feeling good about this week.

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6 hours ago, binman said:

The Band. Truly one the great bands. In terms of synergy few come close - from that era perhaps only the Who and early Beatles 

A nice homagè from a fellow Canadian Luke Doucet - to Rick Danko

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pates said:

That 4th 6 day break in a row with travel to WC royally screwed us. The boys had nothing left and I honestly believe it was the beginning of the end for us last year. Given the way they manufacture the fixture to give other teams armchair rides, to give us such a BS draw was a disgrace.

This year should be different, we're missing some key players but the ones that are available are showing good form. I'm feeling good about this week.

If I recall, we were playing that night for the record of most games won (4) in 16 days or something ridiculous like that. Not to mention it was our first Friday night game in eons. Not to mention the Swans were flying. Not to mention Tomas Bugg.

Our season came to a screeching halt that night and honestly we did well to get as close to finals as we did.

Edited by Chook
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Win this game. We go all the way.

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8 hours ago, beelzebub said:

am a great Robbie Robertson fan .. Lot of great stuff from that "Band" ...and later

At the risk of derailing the thread...

Ego got the better of him, totally full of his own self importance. Boat anchor of the highest order.

Could write a tune though...

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10 hours ago, binman said:

The Band. Truly one the great bands. In terms of synergy few come close - from that era perhaps only the Who and early Beatles 

The Doors, The Kinks, Steppenwolf, Cream et al say hi!!!

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4 hours ago, Wiseblood said:

Keep Franklin relatively quiet and we win.  To me it is that simple.  We easily match them all over the ground, but Franklin is the X-factor.  Let him get off the leash and we have a serious game on our hands.  Keep him out of the action most of the time and I fail to see how they can kick a winning score against the best offense in the league.

Dees by 5 goals.

Im expecting nothing less than a double team on Franklin, They went to him 90% of the time against the pies. If this doesn't happen its total incompetence from Goodwin and his coaching goons.

I want to pack these A holes up for the year and make statement of intent sunday

Im call this #NoExcuseSunday

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bingers said:

The Doors, The Kinks, Steppenwolf, Cream et al say hi!!!

Great bands all. But none, not even the stones had the same synergy as the band

Edited by binman
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9 minutes ago, binman said:

Great bands all. But none, not even the stones had the same synergy as the band

I’m no expert but I love their performance in the Bob Dylan 66 world tour show at Royal Albert Hall. Think they were the hawks back then. 

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5 hours ago, alpha33 said:

The Redsocks are killing them in the MLB. The Redlegs to do the job here!!!

Please, not the Redsox. They had their own curse and it lasted 86 years. 

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We will win this game and make believers of plenty who still dont rate us because "we havent beaten anyone".

Those same people will jump off us again when we drop one to the Eagles, and will jump back on when we beat GCS in rd23.

I bet my scarf on it.

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Uh oh, we've been talked up, it's a big high profile game being broadcast everywhere, and there's a lot to gain.

I must not panic. I must not panic. I must not panic.

By the way, if all the right results happen this round, we can actually be two games and 15% points ahead of 9th (Geelong), with obviously only two rounds to go. For once we'd be on the good side of the 'only really a mathematical possibility' saying.

In fact, in a show of how mad this season is, all but the Richmond - Gold Coast and the Carlton - Fremantle games matter to our final position.

Best Case - The right results in seven games, and we are not just in the 8 at the end of the season, but secure in at least 7th with any chasers needing to win all remaining possible games and gain at least 15 percentage points, just to catch us even if we lose both remaining games. We would also only need one more win, specifically against GWS in the final round, to guarante a top-4 finish.

Worst Case - We finish the round as one of four teams on 12 wins, two inside the 8 and two outside, with another two teams on 11 wins. And we'd have by far the toughest draw of the four teams on 12. Of course, we'd also still only be one win out of the top 4.

I've been annoying people for weeks saying over and over each week that 'this is the most important game for the Demons in almost 12 years', but, well, this is the most important game for the Demons in almost 12 years.

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