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Match preview and team selection - Round 4


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OMEN by The Oracle

Melbourne takes on Hawthorn in a crucial match up on Sunday afternoon at the MCG. Both teams are sitting on a 2/1 record so, even at this early stage of the season, a win is crucial because the victor gets a little separation from the main pack challenging for a berth in the competition’s top echelon.

The Demons, who have in the past year or so, made an art form out of letting opportunity slip from their grasp, badly need the win because it has an appointment with reigning premier Richmond coming up on Anzac Eve. Win both games and they are in a rarefied atmosphere for this football the club and off to their best start since 2005.

And, in a similar vein to last week when Melbourne broke a long-standing losing streak against North Melbourne, the club is aiming to overturn a huge disparity between wins and losses in its recent history against Hawthorn. The Hawks have won 14 out of 15 against the Demons, the only exception being their Round 20, 2016 contest when they were top of the ladder and went down in a surprise loss that sent them hurtling from premiership favouritism for what would have been a fourth consecutive flag.

Hawthorn bottomed out remarkably quickly last year and seem to be on the up and up just as quickly off the back mainly of their master stroke in the recruiting of midfielders Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara but Melbourne’s midfield is more multifaceted and adaptable including a wide range of players with varying degrees of size and experience.

One of those midfielders is in form Christian Petracca to who I look for both inspiration and an omen in this game.

The omen is drawn from Petracca’s former basketballing teammate Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons who has been creating a storm in NBA circles. The 76ers were a struggling team until Simmons made his debut late last year. They began their season slowly but suddenly moved into play off contention and now, after their 15th consecutive win yesterday, they are nicely placed in third place on the Eastern Conference ladder. Their latest victim?

The Atlanta Hawks.

THE GAME

Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday 15 April 2018 at 3.20pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Hawthorn 86 wins Melbourne 75 wins 

At MCG Hawthorn 45 wins Melbourne 36 wins 

Last 5 meetings  Hawthorn 4 wins Melbourne 1 win

The Coaches Clarkson 1 win Goodwin 0 win

MEDIA

TV - Fox Sports3, Seven Mate live at 3.00pm

RADIO -  Triple M 3AW

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Hawthorn 14.10.94 defeated Melbourne 14.7.91 in Round 7, 2017 at the MCG

The Hawks skipped away to an early lead  and were never headed although the Demons made a desperate lunge in the latter stages of the game.

After Jeff Garlett’s third goal close to the three quarter time reduced the margin to 1 point, the teams traded goals until Jordan Lewis goaled with less than a minute remaining to reduce the margin to 3 points, but it was all too late.

THE TEAMS  

Screenshot-2018-4-12 AFL Team Line Ups - AFL com au.png

The Hawks caused an upset when these two teams met but, in a way, it was on the cards. 

In the absence of injured big men Max Gawn and Jake Spencer and before Simon Goodwin could work on his ruck plan B, Ben McEvoy dominated the ruck with 53 hit-outs and gave his onballers an armchair ride. 

Even back then, Tom Mitchell was starring as a midfielder and with Jarryd Roughead, on the comeback trail from his illness, able to flush out every ounce of sympathy available from the umpires, the Hawks opened up an early lead that was a smidgeon beyond the Demons’ comeback challenge.

Things are different this time on two major fronts. Firstly, there’s the Max Factor. The Melbourne big man is not only back but he’s showing the same, if not better, standard of mastery of his craft that won him All-Australian honours two years ago. 

Then there’s Jesse Hogan who took place in the equivalent game last year but was in the wrong space, recovery from the recent loss of his father and about to receive a cancer diagnosis. He’s in a much better place this time around and I suspect that he will prove a difficult opponent to overcome for whoever draws the short straw to oppose him. 

And that Hawk midfield might be leading the field in terms of centre clearances at 16.7 (a tremendous achievement given their opposition this year has included the Cats’ triumvirate and the reigning premiers’ on ball combinations) but the Demons are not that far behind at 16.0 with their multifaceforted engine room that includes the experience of Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson and the rapidly coming on Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca who are both in great early-season touch. 

Around the ground, I think the Demons will be too solid for the Hawks who will be missing Shaun Burgoyne (hamstring) as well as a couple of other handy defenders. The result is that Hawks will lower the colours to the Dees for only the second time in a dozen years.

Melbourne by 29 points.

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Surprised to see all of ANB, Harmes and Melksham in the starting 18 and IMO should consider themselves lucky given who the i/change players are.

Tyson out due to illness.

I/change from: Angus Brayshaw, Billy Stretch, Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman, Jayden Hunt, Jeff Garlett, Josh Wagner

You would think that Garlett is definitely in - then ????  Depends on speed needed and match ups.

 

Also, its a replacement for an NT game so members get in free:  Looking ahead to this round’s clash, Goodwin urged the Melbourne faithful to come out in force for what promises to be a fascinating encounter.

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Unfortunate for Tyson that he’s ill. 

But it helps our cause imo against a more dynamic hawthorn midfield. Tyson has been playing wing and is a very average runner and outside player so I hope Brayshaw is the direct replacement.

Also don’t think we need Frost in the side as Hawthorn will only have Roughie and Gunston as talls. Would much rather the Weid to come in as another key forward to keep Hawthorn worried. Hogan can take Frawley up the field and run him around. 

 

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1 minute ago, Jaded said:

What sort of illness on a Thursday is so bad that the club rules you out of a Sunday afternoon game this early? 

Get some vitamin C in you!

When you have a very healthy list and it would seem he would have missed today’s session then it gives them options. 

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Looks like we'll make just the one change at the moment.  Garlett and Wagner won't be dropped IMO, while Fritsch, even though he was a little quieter last weekend, should hold his spot.  

You would think Brayshaw makes sense as an inclusion, as he would play a similar role to Tyson.  The other four could all make a case for being selected, but they'll just have to wait their turn.  So, for me it's:

In:  Brayshaw

Out:  Tyson

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10 minutes ago, Queanbeyan Demon said:

Far out . . . you're the one with the Johnny Young meme!!! hehehe.

 

8 minutes ago, ProDee said:

Um no.

Fake nooz

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On 11/04/2018 at 10:43 AM, BigFez said:

Just had a wander over to the Hawks Big Footy forum.  Came back very annoyed.  Very confident of a win over there, one poster even said Jesse Hogan and Sam Frost aren't great forwards and should be covered easily by Frawly and Stratton.  Really knows his stuff that bloke.

Also found this gem:

"Melbourne a due for a bad loss so I hope we can dish it out. They’re a limited team that’s had a very soft start to the season. They are exactly the kind of team that we need to beat to jump above that logjam of sides trying to improve."

Only one poster out of 10+ pages was concerned about the degree of underestimation going on over there.

Not sure if it's because of the number of smug Hawthorn supporting friends I have, but I can't stand the Hawks.  Really hope we turn up and win this one.

Didn't mind the side last week.  Hoping we play a defensive forward on Sicily, not sure I could emotionally handle him tearing us up.  Cyril is another one that causes us headaches, hoping Nev isn't injured and can go with him, otherwise bring Hunt back.

Don’t let them annoy you, BigFez ......

 just hope we can annoy the hell out of them by giving them a hiding.  

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Brayshaw comes in for Tyson, and for me we bring Hunt in for ANB. 

We've been picking on form and ANB hasn't been good, Hunt deserved to be dropped but sounds like he played well at Casey so he can retur to the team. The other other is Weeds comes in as another tall. 

But what's with us naming Frost in the forward line? He is not a forward. 

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31 minutes ago, Wiseblood said:

Looks like we'll make just the one change at the moment.  Garlett and Wagner won't be dropped IMO, while Fritsch, even though he was a little quieter last weekend, should hold his spot.  

You would think Brayshaw makes sense as an inclusion, as he would play a similar role to Tyson.  The other four could all make a case for being selected, but they'll just have to wait their turn.  So, for me it's:

In:  Brayshaw

Out:  Tyson

Why on earth would Garlett be dropped? He one of the competitions leading small forwards. Wagner played his best game last week and is definitely a favourite of Goodwin's and to his credit has fought back after his woeful first half against Geelong. 

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2 minutes ago, Pates said:

Why on earth would Garlett be dropped? He one of the competitions leading small forwards. Wagner played his best game last week and is definitely a favourite of Goodwin's and to his credit has fought back after his woeful first half against Geelong. 

I said both players wouldn't be dropped.  I'm not sure what you're missing here, Pates.

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32 minutes ago, ProDee said:

Will the multitude of Pedersen lovers finally work out he's not in the coach's plans ?

He's no key forward and Weideman is clearly ahead of him.

Age obviously dictates plans, but I recall this line being said a year ago, until the let down of Weeds first month last year had everyone demanding Pederson be brought in.

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39 minutes ago, Hell Bent said:

Brand and Langford both dropped which surprises me 

Langford is hot and cold at best. He hasn't become what they expected. Players like him and to a lesser extent Sicily are part of the reason the Hawks have dropped away. Frankly I'd rather have Langford in their team.

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