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MATCH PREVIEW AND TEAM SELECTION - Round 9

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER by The Oracle

The AFL's Indigenous Round takes the Demons right into the heart of the country - to Alice Springs where almost to the day, twelve months ago they fought tooth and nail again a top four aspirant in Port Adelaide but ultimately fell agonisingly short.

In that game, the Power were off to a flyer and led 4.2.26 to 0.0.0 by the mid point of the opening quarter but the young Demons fought back to hold a narrow lead with 15 minutes left in the game after Christian Salem goaled. It was Port, on its way to a Preliminary Final appearance, that held sway with the last three goals and again, two months later in the return game at Adelaide Oval, they kicked the final goal two minutes before the end to stave off another Melbourne comeback and win by the narrow margin of three points.

It was not that the win meant all that much to the Demons in the grand scheme of things in season 2014 but the heart of the matter was that it was one of a handful occasions in recent years when a truly big scalp was there for the taking and the opportunity to take it was missed.

And if the club is to truly raise itself up from the group of also rans of the competition and into its middle tier from which it can launch future campaigns into finals class, it has to take scalps like that of Port Adelaide which right now, has about it an air of vulnerability.

And that is at the heart of the matter this week.

THE GAME Melbourne v Port Adelaide on Saturday 30 May, 2015 at 2.10pm (AEST) at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 11 wins Port Adelaide 17 wins

At TIO Treager Park Melbourne 0 wins Port Adelaide 1 win

Past five meetings Melbourne wins Port Adelaide wins

The Coaches Roos 0 wins Hinkley 1 win

MEDIA

TV - Fox Sports 3 at 2.00pm (live)

RADIO - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand

THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.30 Port Adelaide to win - $1.32

THE LAST TIME THEY MET Port Adelaide 10.12.72 defeated Melbourne 10.9.69 Round 18 at the Adelaide Oval

Port Adelaide was going through a bit of a slump but seemed in control for most of the first half until a rear guard action led by Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones in the midfield saw Melbourne hit the front in an exciting final quarter. The Demons had their chances but a late rally for a goal to Jay Schulz saw the Power hold on to the final siren.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes

HB: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta

C: Daniel Cross, Aaron vandenBerg, Heritier Lumumba

HF: Rohan Bail, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Watts

F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Fitzpatrick

FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince

I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Matt Jones, Jimmy Toumpas, Jack Viney

EMG: Max Gawn, Ben Newton, Aidan Riley

IN: Jack Viney, Neville Jetta

OUT: Ben Newton (omitted), Aidan Riley (omitted)

PORT ADELAIDE

B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jarman Impey

HB: Nathan Krakouer, Tom Jonas, Jasper Pittard

C: Matt White, Travis Boak, Brad Ebert

HF: Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard

F: Karl Amon, Jay Schulz, Angus Monfries

FOLL: Matthew Lobbe, Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines

I/C: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Sam Gray, Paul Stewart

EMG: Andrew Moore, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young

IN: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Clurey, Paul Stewart

OUT: Jackson Trengove (ankle), Patrick Ryder (Achilles), Kane Cornes (retired)

IT FIGURES by Sam the Stats Man

When the Demons jubilantly took the honours and caused a minor upset in the first round of the season against the Gold Coast Suns, they had almost a full list of players fit and available for action. Jack Trengove was the only player with senior AFL experience on the injured list. The two others - Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca are kids with their careers ahead of them. Progressively, from that day onward, the injuries began to kick in (as they do at most clubs) leading the club to a position where a lack of player depth was exposed in successive weeks in games against the leading teams in the competition. It all started when one of the stars of the Gold Coast win, Jack Viney who subdued an injured Garry Ablett Junior, broke his leg and a swag of others from that opening game win are missing - most of them with injuries extending beyond a couple of weeks. Here's hoping for a better run from here on in but from a statistical point of view, the run of injuries has certainly not helped the club's quest to rise from the depths of the AFL ladder.

On a more positive note, the contributions of the new faces at the club have been significant to this point in time, a testament to the excellent recruiting at the club since the advent of Paul Roos as coach.

BAIL, Rohan MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 3 games 3 goals - on the outer until the last couple of games coming in to fill the need for a little speed.

BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 8 games, 2 goals - exciting debut season from this highly rated youngster.

CROSS, Daniel MFC 8 games, 0 goals - continues to inspire and lead the team.

DAWES, Chris MFC 5 games, 3 goals - hampered by a calf injury and yet to hit his straps.

DUNN, Lynden MFC 8 games, 0 goals - solid as a leader in the back line.

FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 0 goals - impressed in his new role in defence in his first game of the season last week.

FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace suffered an injury in round three that will keep him out for some time yet.

GARLAND, Colin MFC 8 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable in defence.

GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 8 games, 16 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking.

GAWN, Max CSFC 6 games 8 goals - showing some form at Casey but hasn't been able to break into the AFL team this year.

GRIMES, Jack MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games 1 goal - struggled early but back in the team and starting to show form.

HARMES, James ® CSFC 6 games, 5 goals - promising rookie developing nicely as a utility player with the Scorpions.

HOGAN, Jesse MFC 7 games, 14 goals - the talk of the town as the next big thing in power forwards.

HOWE, Jeremy MFC 8 games, 1 goal - has been somewhat subdued in defence but showed some spark up forward in his last game.

HUNT, Jayden CSFCDL 3 games, 0 goals - on the comeback trail in the Casey development side after a long term injury.

JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - lion hearted early but has seemingly fallen out of favour lately and suffered a head knock in his last game at Casey.

JETTA, Neville MFC 4 games, 0 goals - the Demons are taking great care with Jetta after a few bouts of concussion.

JONES, Matthew MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 4 games, 1 goal - just broke back into the team and did well in curtailing the Bulldogs' skipper in the last game before being subbed off with concussion.

JONES, Nathan MFC 8 games, 4 goals - has had one or two quiet ones but overall continues to set the example of courage through great leadership.

KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 5 games, 1 goal - showed promise as a crumbing forward before his injury.

KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - was stepping up into a regular forward role before he tore a hamstring in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers.

KING, Max ® CSFCDL 5 games,14 goals - the big man is waiting in line in the Casey development team where he is regularly kicking goals.

LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 8 games, 1 goal - showing great passion and leadership and you get the feeling that he's due for a big game at any time.

McDONALD, Oscar ® CSFC 4 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 2 games, 0 goals - following in his older brother's footsteps, Oscar is learning the ropes at Casey.

McDONALD, Tom MFC 8 games, 1 goal - raised his game to a new level and regarded a real chance for All Australian honours if he can keep up his current form.

McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal looks like keeping him out in the cold despite some good form in the VFL.

MICHIE, Viv MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - one of a number of midfielders working hard to establish a place in the side.

NEAL-BULLEN, Alex CSFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor in development phase who is impressing with the Casey seniors.

NEWTON, Ben MFC 7 games, 7 goals - one of the Demons' impressive midfield imports.

PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 4 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - has come back with a vengeance in his last two games as a forward/ruckman.

PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster.

RILEY, Aidan MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games, 2 goals - spent most of the season so far in the VFL but impressed when he came on as a sub in his last game.

SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - there were no second year blues for the youngster who was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out until the middle of next month.

SPENCER, Jake MFC 3 games, 0 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 percent goals - grabbed his opportunity after some good form in the ruck at VFL level.

STRETCH, Billy MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CSFC 2 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season.

TERLICH, Dean CSFC 6 games, 1 goal - an injury interrupted pre season meant a late start and he has yet to break into AFL ranks this year.

TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 4 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 1 goal - starting to show some signs as to why he was so sought after in his draft year.

TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out indefinitely.

TYSON, Dom MFC 7 games, 2 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and is currently out with a knee injury.

VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 8 games, 3 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder.

VINCE, Bernie MFC 7 games 3 goals - warming up in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason.

VINEY, Jack MFC 2 games, 0 goals - it took a break in his foot to stop this young hard nut.

WATTS, Jack MFC 7 games, 4 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - continues to be an enigma with fluctuating form lines.

WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot.

ONE MORE WEEK by The Oracle

Driving home from last week's win over the Bulldogs, I was listening to the Port Adelaide v Richmond game and simply couldn't believe the pain that Port were suffering as they struggled to get among the goals against the Tigers. What the hell was happening with them? Was this the same team that monstered Hawthorn in the first half of their game a month earlier? I have absolutely no answer but I hope their current poor form persists for one more week and they allow Melbourne for the first time in four years to go back to back in the heart of the country.

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This is a very strange season so far... if we manage to win this one, we are essentially just one win and percentage out of the 8 (and no, I'm not daring to dream we could make the finals...just making an observation). With this week's fixture, there is every chance that from 9th position down to 13th position will all be on 16 points and one game out of the 8 (positions 6, 7 & 8 all on 20 points).

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This is a very strange season so far... if we manage to win this one, we are essentially just one win and percentage out of the 8 (and no, I'm not daring to dream we could make the finals...just making an observation). With this week's fixture, there is every chance that from 9th position down to 13th position will all be on 16 points and one game out of the 8 (positions 6, 7 & 8 all on 20 points).

And we've had a tougher draw so far than some of those around us.

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Come on!.......wheres the team........???...cant wait......

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Come on!.......wheres the team........???...cant wait......

thntllofflvprojqh9ct.jpg

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Oh dough

Tomorrow night.

Oh dough....my bad...long day today!!

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Viney and Jetts both available for selection!!! Yew.

I'd leave Tyson out until after the break to give him time to heal.

Edited by Cards13
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Viney and Jetts both available for selection!!! Yew.

I'd leave Tyson out until after the break to give him time to heal.

yeah but id love him to be available for QB though!

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yeah but id love him to be available for QB though!

Only if he is fit HB, would love him out there but not at his current out put. Let him rest it is a long long season.

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Always interesting to see what the opposition thoughts are. This is the Match Preview on Big Footy in the Port Adelaide forum:

Sup.

This week we play Melbourne at TIO, in a game which I am sure they are licking their lips over. We’ve been shown up the last 2 weeks, both West Coast and Richmond took the corridor away from us, and forced us wide, and our forwards out of the 50 looking for kicks. Our biggest issue however has been footskills, our gameplan is reliant in hitting targets (often under pressure), and we just haven’t been able to execute well enough. Melbourne have been very hit and miss over the course of the year, going from losing by over 100 points against Hawthorn, to last week beating the Bulldogs by 40 points.

The Last Time We Met



And on the back of that, our game against Melbourne was awful. In a similar vein, we were playing down the wings, slowly. We were kicking long and deep to the pockets when entering the forward 50. Our footskills were deplorable. We kept emptying our forward line. Sound familiar? I’d actually managed to wipe this game from my memory, and although we were all expecting big things this year, maybe this is a taste of perspective. We went through the same thing last year. Though, that doesn’t make it any less disappointing, and if we want to be a true premiership threat this shouldn’t happen twice. Anyway, O’Shea, Hombsch and Gray were our best, the 2 former for their ability to both resign their forwards to having no effect all day, as well as launching our rebound footy. Gray for winning the hard ball all day, and being the only midfielder to do so. Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones were prolific for Melbourne, both ending up with over 30 disposals each.

Battle of the Gameplans

I shouldn’t have to spend long outlining Paul Roos footy. A contested slog, a war of attrition. A gameplan that is the antithesis of the footy we want to play. They are, however, becoming more exciting, kicking bigger scores. They have a key forward they can pin their hopes to, and a small fleet of exciting players such as Howe and Garlett. We need to continue from where we left off last week with winning contested ball. However, we were awful once we got our hands on it, which is where we let ourselves down. We also need to stop emptying out the forward line. We looked our best last week when we had Ryder or Schulz or Westhoff as a marking target with Wingard, Gray and Monfries at their feet. We need to play bold and exciting footy, and execute basic skills. We need to move quickly, and not give Melbourne a chance to set up defensive structures.

Key Match Ups

Boak v Vince

Vince has been deployed as a run with player this season, and can be very physical in doing so. I fully expect him to go to our skipper, however he may also go to Gray. He’ll be focussed on not letting Boak gut run on the outside, or to do so with minimal effect. We saw how he stopped Dangerfield, he held him back at contests, scragged, stopped him running. We may see similar this weekend.

Wines v Jones

These two play the same role. Get in, get the footy. Problem last week was that Wines used it awfully. I expect these two to go head to head, and I expect both to be doing the hard stuff, and both to rack up plenty of possessions. The winner will be who does the most with it, who can hit clean targets, who can give teammates clean use, who can sneak forward and kick a goal.

McDonald v Schulz

Schulz has been well down on form. Not leading well, not getting to the right spots, not clunking marks, missing routine set shots. We need him back and kicking goals. We need him working well with Westhoff and Ryder. McDonald massacred Tom Boyd last week, who had 4 possessions and a hit-out for the day. We need Schulz to break free of him.

Prediction

I have no idea which way this game will go, which is an indictment on our playing group at the moment. Port by 15.

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Titus O'Reilly's (i find him humorous and on point) preview. The last line nailed it for me, ahah:

Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide (TIO) 2.10pm

Demons supporters will be surprised to learn their team is playing in somewhere called ‘Alice Springs’ this week.

It’s an exciting time for Melbourne supporters. Their team is just ‘not very good,’ a big step up from ‘an embarrassment to all involved.’

Last week, Jesse Hogan showed he could live up to the hype. The Demons should be offering him an embarrassing stupid amount of money right now, like Tom Boyd money.

What’s happened to Port? They were once the talk of the AFL with their new stadium, loud crowd and INXS intro. Hang on, none of these things relates to the team on the field. Oh, I see the problem.

Port to win this one, only because winning two games in a row is something Melbourne hasn’t done since Scandal’Us were in the charts.

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If there's no changes to either team (which i realise is highly unlikely).....

Players with over 100 Games

Demons 7 / Port 10

Players with less than 50 Games

Demons 10 / Port 4

Team Averages

Games Played

Demons 77 / Port 104

Height

Demons 189 / Port 187

Weight

Demons 88.5 / Port 85.5

Age

Demons 25.5 / Port 25.6

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Kochies wunderkinds can go eat a Yarra floater.

We rule Darwin.

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Kochies wunderkinds can go eat a Yarra floater.

We rule Darwin.

Games at Alice though Biff!
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Kochies wunderkinds can go eat a Yarra floater.

We rule Darwin.

Hope you're not going to the game this week Biff.

You'll be approximately 1500 km too far north if you end up in Darwin.

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Kochies wunderkinds can go eat a Yarra floater.

We rule Darwin.

What about Alice Springs?

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What about Alice Springs?

It's in the RED centre. We win

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Oh god, Scandal'Us. That memory was long buried.

Biggest game of the season so far. Up for grabs: two in a row for the first time since Adam was a lad, a win in front of a developing fanbase, momentum into QB, and a general statement to the competition that last week was no fluke.

Port will be up for this one, but bring the same effort as last week and we can roll them.

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Hope you're not going to the game this week Biff.

You'll be approximately 1500 km too far north if you end up in Darwin.

Alice is known as Far North-West Burwood in Biff's universe ... :lol::lol:

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Hope you're not going to the game this week Biff.

You'll be approximately 1500 km too far north if you end up in Darwin.

Seems like Biffen's short of cash this week and on the cheap dope.

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Seems like Biffen's short of cash this week and on the cheap dope.

New signature? Rather Bitter, don't you think?

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Total 50 50 game this one. Very tempted to tip us and regain my lead in the tipping comp.

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