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MATCH PREVIEW AND TEAM SELECTION - Round 17



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GOLDEN by The Oracle

I am not sure that it's a good idea for Melbourne players to spill their guts out when talking about the coming week's opposition.

I still carry the painful memories of Chris Dawes' comments before the Hawthorn game in Round 7 to the effect that the Hawks were "really gettable".

It sounded good at the time because Hawthorn was sitting on a 3-3 record, had suffered a shock 10-point loss to GWS Giants, and had yet to win two games on end during the season so Dawes opined:

"The Hawks are really gettable. They're not at their best yet, definitely, so I'm going to be planning to win this week and be expecting to win on Saturday."

Great expectations but he was 106 points out for the match because that's what it would have taken to win that day and which proves the old adage about silence being golden.

However, not to be deterred, young Demon tough nut Jack Viney came out saying that Melbourne "owes St Kilda" after Melbourne lost the Saints by two points when the teams met a little over a month ago.

I feel like we owe St Kilda one. I feel like we shouldve won last time we played them and they ended up sneaking over the line in the end, he said.

Personally, I feel like we owe them one and Im going to be going out there to try and take it off them.

Melbournes closest loss of the season was pretty devastating because the team lost so late in the game but it will be even more devastating if we simply expect that the game at the MCG this weekend is going to be a repeat of the toe to toe slugfest that could easily have gone Melbourne's way had the players kept their wits in that ¾ of a minute after Jeremy Howe put them in front in the dying stages of that fateful round 11 clash at Etihad Stadium.

Had they done that, the club would have wiped out two long standing hoodoos - the Etihad curse that goes back to 2007 and the 11 game losing streak against St. Kilda that goes back all the way to the elimination final of 2006.

The reason for the trepidation is that since that game, the Saints form has been far more impressive. A few weeks ago they prevailed over Essendon by 110 points and a week later Melbourne lost to the same opposition by nine. Even in defeat, the Saints were impressive in almost running down Richmond last Sunday as compared with the lacklustre way in which the Demons performed in the last half against the Brisbane Lions.

If Melbourne gets up this week, it will be the end of a long march in to a victory against St. Kilda, almost as long as the one it broke last month against Geelong at the Cattery.

THE GAME

Melbourne v St. Kilda at the MCG Sunday 26 July, 2015 at 3.20pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 118 wins St. Kilda 88 wins 1 drawn

At MCG Melbourne 58 wins St. Kilda 34 wins

Past five meetings Melbourne 0 wins St. Kilda 5 wins

The Coaches Roos 0 wins Richardson 2 wins

MEDIA

TV Fox Sports 3 at 3.00pm (live)

RADIO SEN, ABC, ABC Grandstand

THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $1.92 St. Kilda to win - $1.92

THE LAST TIME THEY MET St. Kilda 12.13.85 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 in Round 11, 2015 at Etihad Stadium

In a game that ebbed and flowed all day, the Saints were narrowly in front for most of the final quarter until Jeremy Howe goaled with a mere 47 seconds left on the clock. The Demons will forever rue their failure to get numbers down back which resulted in Leigh Montagna's winning goal kicked some 20 seconds before the final siren.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE


B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta
HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe
C: Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson, Heritier Lumumba
HF: Aaron vandenBerg, Chris Dawes, Angus Brayshaw
F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Watts
Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney
I/C: Jack Grimes, James Harmes, Viv Michie, Billy Stretch
EMG: Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Alex Neal-Bullen

IN: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie

OUT: Jay Kennedy-Harris (omitted), Alex Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted)

ST. KILDA

B: Jarryn Geary, Sam Gilbert, Sean Dempster
HB: Shane Savage, Sam Fisher, Dylan Roberton
C: Jack Newnes, David Armitage, Leigh Montagna
HF: Luke Dunstan, Nick Riewoldt, Jack Sinclair
F: Jack Lonie, Josh Bruce, Paddy McCartin
FOLL: Billy Longer, Jack Steven, Maverick Weller
I/C: Hugh Goddard, Adam Schneider. Eli Templeton, Jimmy Webster

EMG: Tom Hickey, Tim Membrey, Farren Ray

IN: Adam Schneider

OUT: Farren Ray

THE SEASON SO FAR - 40 PLUS 4 by Sam the Stats Man

It's that time of year again when I look at the facts and figures around Melbourne's primary list of 40 players plus the 4 rookies:-

BAIL, Rohan MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CSFC 7 games 6 goals - in and out of the team and currently just going at Casey.
BRAYSHAW, Angus MFC 15 games, 4 goals - the highly rated youngster is having an exciting debut season but was slowed by a neck injury a couple of weeks ago against the Eagles.
CROSS, Daniel MFC 15 games, 0 goals - a steadying influence and a great team leader.
DAWES, Chris MFC 9 games, 5 goals CSFC 1 game 1 goal - season interrupted due to a calf injury and probably played his best game on Sunday against the Lions.
DUNN, Lynden MFC 15 games, 0 goals - continues to be solid as a leader in the back line.
FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 3 games, 2 goals, CSFC 9 games 0 goals - being groomed as a key defender.
FROST, Sam MFC 3 games, 0 goals - versatile tall man with pace broke his toe in round three and is unlikely to return until next year.
GARLAND, Colin MFC 13 games, 1 goal - solid and reliable defender.
GARLETT, Jeffrey MFC 15 games, 29 goals - goal sneak who adapted well at the club and leads the goal kicking.
GAWN, Max MFC 6 games, 29 goals CSFC 6 games 1 goal - has risen to the occasion in the ruck after struggling to break into the team in the early going.
GRIMES, Jack MFC 5 games, 0 goals, CSFC 5 games 3 goals - struggled to hold a place but has been showing good form at Casey recently.
HARMES, James ® MFC 2 games, 0 goals CSFC 10 games, 5 goals - worked hard to win an AFL berth after showing good fork with the Scorpions.
HOGAN, Jesse MFC 13 games, 28 goals - hard to keep a lid on this exciting young key forward.
HOWE, Jeremy MFC 15 games, 8 goals - has been inconsistent among speculation that he may play elsewhere next year.
HUNT, Jayden CSFC 3 games, 9 goals CSFCDL 5 games, 1 goal - youngster making his mark at Casey on the comeback trail after a long term back injury.
JAMAR, Mark MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CSFC 9 games, 5 goals - the lion hearted ruckman was good early but has seemingly fallen out of favour while playing well in the VFL.
JETTA, Neville MFC 11 games, 1 goal - missed a few games after a few bouts of concussion but has regained confidence in recent weeks.
JONES, Matthew MFC 6 games, 4 goals, CSFC 7 games, 3 goals - another who has struggled to maintain his place in the AFL team.
JONES, Nathan MFC 15 games, 7 goals - despite one or two quiet ones he continues to set the example of courage through great leadership.
KENNEDY-HARRIS, Jay MFC 7 games, 1 goal, CSFC 1 game, 2 goals, CSFCDL 1 game, 0 goals - seems tentative on coming back from injury.
KENT, Dean MFC 4 games, 2 goals - suffered a bad hamstring injury in the Anzac Day eve game against the Tigers and returned in the VFL development league at the weekend.
KING, Max ® CSFC 4 games, 7 goals, CSFCDL 6 games, 17 goals - after regularly kicking bags of goals in the Casey development team, he booted five goals in his first game with their seniors. Will take time.
LUMUMBA, Heritier MFC 14 games, 2 goals - showing great passion and leadership without starring at any time.
McDONALD, Oscar CSFC 10 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 15 games, 5 goals - after producing All Australian form in defence in the early part of the season, his form dropped off and recently he has been playing up forward.
McKENZIE, Jordie MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CSFC 10 games, 3 goals - restricted to only one AFL game, his questionable disposal has kept him in the cold despite some good form in the VFL.
MICHIE, Viv MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFC 8 games, 3 goals - struggling to establish himself in senior midfield ranks.
NEAL-BULLEN, Alex MFC 5 games, 5 goals, CSFC 5 games, 0 goals, CSFCDL 2 games, 1 goal - a hard nut midfield extractor who has played the last five games at Melbourne and looks a player.
NEWTON, Ben MFC 8 games, 7 goals, CSFC 4 games, 3 goals - looked good in the midfield early but now back at Casey.
PEDERSEN, Cameron MFC 7 games, 6 goals, CSFC 2 games, 5 goals - played some handy games as a forward/ruckman before breaking his hand. Out for the season.
PETRACCA, Christian - an ACL put paid to an AFL debut in the 2015 for this boom youngster.
RILEY, Aidan MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CSFC x games, 3 goals -hard at it player on the fringe of selection.
SALEM, Christian MFC 7 games, 1 goal - was in outstanding form before a hamstring injury put him out two months ago.
SPENCER, Jake MFC 6 games, 3 goals, CSFC 7 games, 4 goals - had a purple patch in the ruck but now back at Casey.
STRETCH, Billy MFC 7 games, 2 goals, CSFC 3 games, 0 goals - father-son pick who has shown some promising signs in his debut season.
TERLICH, Dean CSFC 11 games, 1 goal - had an injury interrupted pre-season and has been unable to break into AFL ranks this year.
TOUMPAS, Jimmy MFC 9 games, 4 goals, CSFC 5 games, 1 goal - still unable to establish himself in the AFL and needs to lift.
TRENGOVE, Jack - unlucky to have a recurrence of the break in his foot and is out until 2016.
TYSON, Dom MFC 12 games, 5 goals, CSFC 1 game, 0 goals - has not recaptured last year's stellar form and has also missed time with a knee injury.
VANDENBERG, Aaron ® MFC 12 games, 4 goals - the revelation who came off the rookie list and cemented his spot in the team as a big-bodied midfielder.
VINCE, Bernie MFC 14 games 7 goals - has been outstanding in a tagging role after an interrupted preseason.
VINEY, Jack MFC 9 games, 2 goals - it took a broken foot to stop this young hard nut earlier in the season but has come back with some solid, tagging performances.
WATTS, Jack MFC 14 games, 5 goals, CSFC 1 game, 1 goal - lifted in recent weeks with some consistently good efforts.
WHITE, Mitch ® CSFC 10 games, 1 goal, CSFCDL 1 game, 1 goal - promising rookie with a penetrating left foot.

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I'm driving 1400 km to see us win, so nothing less than a win is acceptable. Dees by a couple of goals, I reckon

You cannot discount where these two clubs have been in recent history though. One played in Grand Finals in the last five years and still has a core of players from that team playing, so a strong cult

And I don't agree with Viney about the St Kilda game. We may have had the lead with 40 seconds to go, but we only held the lead for 20 seconds in that whole last quarter and the ball barely left their


Two in a row would be very nice indeed thank you. Could be a great momentum builder for the Coll game

True but I have learnt to expect nothing from games like this - Essendon and Brisbane were pretty disappointing.

I am willing to except skill errors (for the time being) but we have to at least look like we are giving 100% (chasing, tackling, shepherding etc).

Would have taken 6 wins at the start of the year - now im hoping for 7 or possibly 8.

Edited by Young Dee
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Those Chris Dawes comments send a shiver up my spine. You can just imagine Clarko pinning that article to the change room wall like he did against Essendon, and noting how Melnourne of all teams are expecting to beat us.

I am all for being positive, but that's just crazy.

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And I don't agree with Viney about the St Kilda game. We may have had the lead with 40 seconds to go, but we only held the lead for 20 seconds in that whole last quarter and the ball barely left their forward 50. They deserved to win that game more than us.

Edited by Forest Demon
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Unless I'm mistaken, JV's comments were made to DeeTV, as opposed to a media conference where Dawes made those infamous remarks, ensuring the Hawks caught wind of it. The setting in which the comments are made is important. JV is mainly addressing the supporters. Dawes was addressing the football world.

Agree with Forest. We would've been the ones to pinch the game, had we held on. Our best footy will be needed to bag the 4 points. The Saints can be hard to stop when they get a run on.

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God we are a weak mob.. with people prefering that our players do not speak confidently about taking on the opposition.. cos we're scared that if we provoke them they will smash us harder when presumably they were going to go easy on us before.. cos you know, we're Melbourne and just pitiful and not worthy of effort or requiring any motivation to beat... so a player like Dawes gets villified for doing exactly what he is supposed to do which is try to lead and inspire a young side against a clearly superior opponent... our players should just say publicly that we absolutely stink and have no chance against the top sides, so prepare yourselves for another miserable belting

fmd this place never fails to amaze

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Don't think the comments are comparable in any regard. I hope the whole team has Viney's mindset and the Saints know we're out for retribution.

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Why do I have the same feeling I had before we played Essendon?

I feel like we could win but have that slightly sickening feeling we will screw it up.

We dominated in almost every stat in round 11, tackles, free kicks and insided 50's excluded.

We need to dominate the Saints with pressure, tackle hard and pressure them when they have the ball and a will win.

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Don't think the comments are comparable in any regard. I hope the whole team has Viney's mindset and the Saints know we're out for retribution.

They're not comparable because Viney is young enough to still be beloved around here, while Dawes is on the whipping boy list. Same exact act, different reception. Same thing happens with regard to dropped marks, clangers etc.. some players are excused and others aren't.

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They're not comparable because Viney is young enough to still be beloved around here, while Dawes is on the whipping boy list. Same exact act, different reception. Same thing happens with regard to dropped marks, clangers etc.. some players are excused and others aren't.

Nah I reckon what Viney said was fair enough,. What Dawes said was silly and like a pipsqueak talking about a bully. He poked the bully. Don't think Viney did that.

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They're not comparable because Viney is young enough to still be beloved around here, while Dawes is on the whipping boy list. Same exact act, different reception. Same thing happens with regard to dropped marks, clangers etc.. some players are excused and others aren't.

Dawes commented on the ability of another team. Viney commented on us and our determination. It's professional football - neither should make a difference, but if one was to provoke it would be the Dawes comment. Not that I believe it did or remotely care that he said it.

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It will be significant for us if Reiwoldt doesn't pull up for Sunday.

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surely not playing at shizenhad is worth 5 goals

us by 4 goals then

I reckon we are more chance with some space to fumble.

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Further to that point - They're the reigning wooden spooners, we shouldn't be relying on injuries to get over the line. Only way to truly improve is by beating teams that we should beat whilst they're at full strength.

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God we are a weak mob.. with people prefering that our players do not speak confidently about taking on the opposition.. cos we're scared that if we provoke them they will smash us harder when presumably they were going to go easy on us before.. cos you know, we're Melbourne and just pitiful and not worthy of effort or requiring any motivation to beat... so a player like Dawes gets villified for doing exactly what he is supposed to do which is try to lead and inspire a young side against a clearly superior opponent... our players should just say publicly that we absolutely stink and have no chance against the top sides, so prepare yourselves for another miserable belting

fmd this place never fails to amaze

Then he went out and backed up his words with 6 possessions.

Get the ball and kick goals, that's how he will inspire a young side.

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