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Match Preview and Team Selection - Round 5


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SPEECHLESS by The Oracle

There has been very little to say about the Melbourne Football Club since its meek capitulation in those final three quarters against Hawthorn last Sunday.

Perhaps it’s just as well then that there are still a few days to go before the team fronts the Tigers (and its own supporters) on Tuesday night at the MCG to enable us to find our voices again after such a fiasco.

Demon fans have been scratching their heads in wonder seeking answers, trying to understand what happened but I suspect that it’s all fairly simple - they were outplayed and out coached, cornered by a superior strategist who had only to watch the game they played a week earlier against the Kangaroos to work out a way to exploit the team’s limitations.

It isn’t hard to envisage Alastair Clarkson sitting back watching the North Melbourne game and noticing that his team’s next opponent had only one ruck option and a sole key forward who also had a license to roam and was being played further up the ground. Clarkson is adept at taking such a situation and exploiting it to his own advantage so that once overcome, the game can take one direction only.

That’s where the Demons stand with a few games to go before they take on the Tigers on Anzac Eve on one of the few occasions when they are allotted to the big stage - they have an immediate need to produce a team that is adaptable and not so predictable in its set up, otherwise they might well leave their supporters speechless yet another time.

I look forward to team selection to provide some insights.

THE GAME

Richmond v Melbourne on Monday 24 April 2018 at 7.25pm at the MCG

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 75 wins Richmond 104 wins Drawn 2

At MCG Melbourne 63 wins Richmond 69 wins Drawn 1

Past five meetings Melbourne 2 wins Richmond 3 wins

The Coaches Hardwick 1 win Goodwin 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Seven Mate Fox Sports Live at 7.00pm

Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Richmond 12.16.88 defeated Melbourne 11.9.75 in Round 5, 2017 at the MCG

Melbourne controlled the game for much of the evening but fell down late in the game under the weight of injuries which left them with barely a fit player and limited rotations in the final term. In the end, they did well to hang on, only to be overtaken in the time on period.

THE TEAMS

Screenshot-2018-4-23 AFL Team Line Ups - AFL com au.png

So much water has passed under the bridge that it seems like half a life time ago that Melbourne played its last game at the G against Hawthorn.  Fourteeen other clubs have already packed up their bags and are looking forward to Round 6. Joel Selwood has been hit with a one-match suspension, Port Adelaide’s Lindsay Thomas and James Sicily are fronting the Tribunal and half the country is setting itself for the public holiday and, until a few minutes ago, the Demons hadn’t even picked their sides for the Anzac Eve blockbuster.

How is a bloke supposed to pick a winner under these circumstances? 

One way might be to look at the tone that’s been set for the round in the games that have already been completed. From what we’ve seen to date, this has been a round for upsets and reversals. Adelaide weren’t expected to get the better of Sydney away from their own home game after such a poor effort a week earlier against Collingwood on their own patch. The Saints weren’t considered to be in the Giants’ ball park on their form, the Dockers thrashed the Doggies and how on earth could North have gotten up against Hawthorn?

There’s only one logical conclusion that one candidate reach - the trend will continue on Anzac Eve and the Tigers are doomed. 

This might sound somewhat ridiculous in view of the almost forgotten most recent games played by the two protagonists. After all, Richmond kept Brisbane goalless for almost three quarters last Saturday week while Melbourne kicked one solitary goal after the first term against Hawthorn. 

However, the Demons have been able to match up well against the Tigers in recent years. They have  won three out of their past five meetings against Richmond and only lost their last encounter by 13 points after leading for most of the game and only succumbed as they struggled with limited rotations after losing three players through injury; their ruck stocks decimated when Max Gawn’s replacement after his hamstring injury, Jake Spencer’s  hurt the AC joint in his right shoulder in the first quarter and his right knee in the second term. 

This time round, Gawn is close to his best form in the ruck and whilst his direct opponent Toby Nankervis has been serviceable for the Tigers, the big, bearded Demon is the key to this game. The Hawks were able to negate his 66 hit out dominance by winning the ball in midfield and outrunning their opponents all over the ground after the first quarter. I’m not expecting this to happen again as the Dees will be keen to respond to last week’s embarrassing loss to the Hawks.

The key to the Demons’ success in this game will be their capacity to make the most of their I nside 50 entries. They lead the competition with an average of 59.8. Last week they managed 53 inside 50s to Hawthorn’s 54 but managed only 6 goals to 18. In their other defeat for the season in the opening round, they lost by 3 points to Geelong despite a 64-41 advantage in inside 50s. 

The Melbourne selectors have swung the axe and added forward line height and pace into the equation. I expect those changes to turn things around dramatically.

Melbourne by 5 points

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I think we'll lose, not because we're Melbourne, but because Richmond is just better than us atm. I'll be ecstatic if we win but I just can't see it. We were so far off it last week. I'm not angry anymore, just disappointed. 

I don't think Richmond will lose games like these anymore for a while.

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13 minutes ago, praha said:

I think we'll lose, not because we're Melbourne, but because Richmond is just better than us atm. I'll be ecstatic if we win but I just can't see it. We were so far off it last week. I'm not angry anymore, just disappointed. 

I don't think Richmond will lose games like these anymore for a while.

I think you are correct and Me too only add "very"

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Last Sunday was definitely a massive kick in the  guts for us supporters. Maybe from here on we can generate some positive discussion on how we can beat the Toiges. 

IMO,  we should look at trying to stop Cotchin and his influence rather than putting all our eggs in the one basket with Dusty.

Selection will be interesting and it looks like we might have an idea of the changes when Casey play on Sunday. The below is from an article on the MFC website earlier in the week.

Both clubs will submit teams on Monday night and won't be required to publicise squads of 25 in the lead up to that deadline.

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Can this be the Shut up game.  Every 3-4 weeks after a game like we played v Hawthorn our players and officials face the media, with the same garbage, Not Melbourne Football, we went away from structure, we let of supporters down, hurt our Brand, mentally beaten.

Shut up, its ok if you hear that once a season, we have heard it every 4-5 weeks for the past 11 years.  I know we have to do media, some of our players have media contracts but enough excuses, shut up and perform

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3 minutes ago, drdrake said:

Can this be the Shut up game.  Every 3-4 weeks after a game like we played v Hawthorn our players and officials face the media, with the same garbage, Not Melbourne Football, we went away from structure, we let of supporters down, hurt our Brand, mentally beaten.

Shut up, its ok if you hear that once a season, we have heard it every 4-5 weeks for the past 11 years.  I know we have to do media, some of our players have media contracts but enough excuses, shut up and perform

Doubt it, it’s a marquee game.

We often complain that we don’t get the big Friday/Saturday night matches, but we also don’t get the spotlight and blowtorch that goes along with it.

I have not doubt the Carlton coaches and players would rather be playing Sunday afternoon matches this year and having their losses going under the radar.  However they, like us this week, face intense media attention as a consequence of their ‘big matches’.

Expect to be hearing a lot about the MFC after Sunday afternoon.

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Demons to win by 31 points in-front of a 80K+ crowd - we understand the Tigers game plan, we know how to beat it. 

Now its a matter of taking our opportunities and beating the 2017 AFL premiers on this great day - Anzac Eve. 

Huge thank you to the Tigers for allowing us to be their partners and create this blockbuster game ... but Go Dees. 

Edited by DaveyDee
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I haven't tipped the Dees, but it will not surprise me to see us win, Melbourne probably has a better 'recent' record over Richmond than any other club in the league. If not for injuries last year I think we should have beaten them last year as well.

The difference I see however is that they are playing a much more mobile and smaller forward line now, and if we push up as high in defense as we have been in the first few weeks, they will kill us out the back. Plus several of the players in our defense is a little out of form...

TMac's absence is still a big hole in our 22,  and we need to bring a tall forward in. 

Tipping a crowd of maybe 72k!

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1 hour ago, TeamPlayedFine39 said:

Doubt it, it’s a marquee game.

We often complain that we don’t get the big Friday/Saturday night matches, but we also don’t get the spotlight and blowtorch that goes along with it.

I have not doubt the Carlton coaches and players would rather be playing Sunday afternoon matches this year and having their losses going under the radar.  However they, like us this week, face intense media attention as a consequence of their ‘big matches’.

Expect to be hearing a lot about the MFC after Sunday afternoon.

Playing in big matches makes no difference, when a team delivers garbage on the field they cop it regardless.  Both Melb and Carlton were expected to improve this year and both are well behind on what they delivered in 2017.  The Bulldogs copped it for a couple of weeks and bounced back, Essendon copped it, we cop it regularly because we show so much then let ourselves down with insipid performances.

We all can cop losing it is part of the game, but the way we lose on a regular basis is like we give up when it gets hard.  All I want is players/coaches and officials to shut up and perform, we talk to much and this goes both ways.

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11 minutes ago, drdrake said:

Playing in big matches makes no difference, when a team delivers garbage on the field they cop it regardless.  Both Melb and Carlton were expected to improve this year and both are well behind on what they delivered in 2017.  The Bulldogs copped it for a couple of weeks and bounced back, Essendon copped it, we cop it regularly because we show so much then let ourselves down with insipid performances.

We all can cop losing it is part of the game, but the way we lose on a regular basis is like we give up when it gets hard.  All I want is players/coaches and officials to shut up and perform, we talk to much and this goes both ways.

Yes, but what I'm saying is if you're wanting them to 'shut-up', it's not going to happen.  We are going to be all over the media Monday and Tuesday.  Players are going to have mics shoved in their face at every turn and every question will revolve around 'How will you respond after the Hawthorn match?'

Of course we want to see it on the field, but brace yourself, because you're going to be forced to hear a lot about it before the ball is bounced on Tuesday night.

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47 minutes ago, TeamPlayedFine39 said:

Yes, but what I'm saying is if you're wanting them to 'shut-up', it's not going to happen.  We are going to be all over the media Monday and Tuesday.  Players are going to have mics shoved in their face at every turn and every question will revolve around 'How will you respond after the Hawthorn match?'

Of course we want to see it on the field, but brace yourself, because you're going to be forced to hear a lot about it before the ball is bounced on Tuesday night.

Easy response

Hawthorn smashed us and showed us how to play wet weather football, plain and simple we where shocking.  We have an opportunity next week to show our response on the ground, our supporters don't want words they want action and we need to deliver week in week out. 

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20 minutes ago, Petraccattack said:

That cant be right.

I don’t think it sounds right either. You would assume we would announce a squad after Saturday’s training session or at least by the time the Casey squad is finalised for Sunday’s game.

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4 hours ago, Demon77 said:

Last Sunday was definitely a massive kick in the  guts for us supporters. Maybe from here on we can generate some positive discussion on how we can beat the Toiges. 

IMO,  we should look at trying to stop Cotchin and his influence rather than putting all our eggs in the one basket with Dusty.

Selection will be interesting and it looks like we might have an idea of the changes when Casey play on Sunday. The below is from an article on the MFC website earlier in the week.

Both clubs will submit teams on Monday night and won't be required to publicise squads of 25 in the lead up to that deadline.

It's like they don't even care about Fantasy Football!

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13 minutes ago, drdrake said:

Easy response

Hawthorn smashed us and showed us how to play wet weather football, plain and simple we where shocking.  We have an opportunity next week to show our response on the ground, our supporters don't want words they want action and we need to deliver week in week out. 

Isn't that what the players have been saying..?

 

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I hope Outs

BUGG, MILKSHAKE, HARMES, LEWIS, NEAL BULLEN  ( GARLETT poor last week but has some credits)

I HOPE Inns

PEDO , TYSON, HUNT, HANNAN, AND ANYONE ELSE WITH PACE !!!! time to blood one ! And NO Billy Stretch aint up to it!! Yet

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10 hours ago, Wiseblood said:

I bloody loved 'Dutchy' Holland.  Could be a horrible kick of the footy but always did his job week in, week out to best of his abilities.

He was a good get, a nice decoy that actually allowed us to play a more consistent brand of footy going forward. We could use a player like him now actually.

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