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PATTERNS by Whispering Jack

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Halfway through the second quarter at StarTrack Oval last Saturday, the Demons were seemingly cruising through their game against the Giants. Leading by five goals and having kept their opponents down to a solitary goal, they loosened their hold on the game after Jeff Garlett had goaled at the ten minute mark. They allowed GWS too much latitude and it was only their poor finishing that kept them at bay.

Late in the quarter and against the run of play, Ben Newton goaled to give his team a game high lead of 33 points in the shadows of half time. The game's defining moment however, came a minute and a half later when Cam McCarthy was provided with the opportunity to reply before the half time siren, the first of fourteen unanswered goal before Newton chimed in with his second and his team's last in a humiliating stanza of play.

The pattern that was set late in the second term was familiar. Melbourne fans saw it some weeks ago during the NAB Challenge match in Ballarat against the Bulldogs when the team let slip an even larger lead standing by helplessly as that game was almost lost to another avalanche of goals.

In other games, we have seen the team also commit dramatic lapses in play - in the first round at home, they were good enough to come back from these on three occasions but the question now is whether the pattern set at grounds far from home will be repeated and what can the coaches and players do to arrest a disturbing situation in which opposition teams are able to cut the team like butter through a knife.

It won't be easy this Saturday against an in-form Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval because the Crows have established a pattern of their own which is to destroy all that comes before them.

THE GAME

Adelaide v Melbourne v at the Adelaide Oval Saturday 18 April, 2015 at 2.10 pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Adelaide 21 wins Melbourne 12 wins

At Adelaide Oval Adelaide 0 wins Melbourne 1 win

Past five meetings Adelaide 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins

The Coaches Welsh 0 wins Roos 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2:00pm (live)

RADIO - SEN

THE BETTING

Adelaide to win - $1.05 Melbourne to win - $7.25

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 11.4.70 defeated Adelaide 9.13.67 Round 7, 2014 at Adelaide Oval

The Demons hadn't won in Adelaide for more than a decade but the got the early jump on the Crows to lead by 28 points at the main break. Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes courageously led the side home and despite a second half fightback from the home team to cause a major upset.

THE TEAMS

Adelaide Crows

B: Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Rory Laird

HB: Jake Kelly, Kyle Hartigan, Brodie Smith

C: Ricky Henderson, Scott Thompson, Matthew Jaensch

HF: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Taylor Walker, Charlie Cameron

F: Eddie Betts, Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Lynch

FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Nathan Van Berlo

I/C: Richard Douglas, Josh Jenkins, David Mackay, Matthew Wright

EMG: Matt Crouch, Mitch Grigg, Jarryd Lyons

IN: Jake Kelly, Scott Thompson

OUT: Kyle Cheney (hamstring), Mitch Grigg

NEW: Kelly

Melbourne

B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe

HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem

C: Daniel Cross, Heritier Lumumba, Sam Frost

HF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Bernie Vince

F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts

FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones

I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Ben Newton, Aaron vandenBerg

EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Jake Spencer

IN: Jay Kennedy-Harris

OUT: Jack Viney (leg)

Over the past fortnight, the full force of the Adelaide Football Club has been unleashed upon North Melbourne and Collingwood, two clubs that were far more highly fancied this season than Melbourne. On that basis what are the chances of the Demons producing a second consecutive upset win over the Crows on their own home turf?

Not much, say the pundits who include those who frame the odds and have decided that that the home side has seven times Melbourne's chances of winning.

Much of this is due to the meltdown of the Demon midfield from the middle of the second term of their game against the powerful engine room of the Greater Western Sydney Giants who ran them off their feet at StarTrack Oval last week. Given that one of the few shining lights of that defeated Melbourne on ball brigade will be missing in action at Adelaide Oval, the negativity about their chances is understandable.

And that's before one considers how the visitors will contend with the likes of Tex Walker and Paddy Dangerfield. They certainly need a major turnaround in form from the likes of Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince if they are to get to within 10 goals.

Adelaide by 61 points.

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