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MATCH PREVIEW AND TEAM SELECTION - Round 10

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HEART OF THE NATION by Whispering Jack 

It feels as if I’m some form of rarefied atmosphere when previewing the AFL Match of the Round between third-placed Melbourne and fourth-placed Adelaide because it’s been a long time since the Demons have been involved in a game involving two teams in the top four this deep into a season.

And ever since Adelaide skipper Taylor “Tex” Walker busted a gasket over Jake Lever’s decision to leave town and go back home to family, friends and the Melbourne Football Club, this game in the heart of the nation has been one of the made in heaven match ups of the season. It’s a pity that Tex won’t be taking the field at TIO Traeger Park but, as they say in the classics, the ground and the town like Alice isn’t big enough for both of them. 

Adelaide has a sizable injury list which includes a number of pesky characters who have caused Melbourne some grief in the past - Rory Sloane, Mitch McGovern, Brad Crouch and Brad Smith head the list - but our club’s history is studded with stories of opposition teams rising to the occasion and unearthing new stars in circumstances like this. 

In any event, the long injury list did not deter the Crows from demolishing the Bullies and keeping them down to just two goals last Friday night and they have the advantage over the Demons of an extra two days  to recover from the tough rain-soaked match up. 

So when the Demons face off against the  Crows it will be a huge clash for both sides but for Melbourne, it will be the time for it to claim a big scalp after winning four games in a row against some of the competition’s lesser lights.

A victory over one of last year's Grand Finalists would give added credibility to the Demons as the mid point of the season approaches.

THE GAME
 
Melbourne v Adelaide at TIO Treager Park, Alice Springs Sunday 27 May, 2018 at 3.20 pm
 
HEAD TO HEAD
 
Overall - Melbourne 13 wins Adelaide 24 wins
At TIO Treager Park - Melbourne 0 wins Adelaide 0 wins
Past five meetings - Melbourne 2 wins Adelaide 3 wins
The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 1 win Don Pyke 1 win
 
MEDIA
 
TV -   Channel 7, Fox Sports 3, Live at 3.00pm
RADIO -  TBA 
 
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
 
Adelaide 17.14.116 defeated Melbourne 10.10.70 Round 17, 2017 at TIO Stadium, Darwin
 
The Demons fielded a depleted side and were never really in the hunt although they did mount a couple of spirited attempts to come back on either side of the three quarter time siren, a highlight of which was Jayden Hunt’s superb 65 metre torpedo that split the middle. Adelaide however, was too strong on the night and cruised away to a significant 46-point victory which was significant in harming Melbourne’s finals aspirations.
 
THE TEAMS  
 
MELBOURNE 
 
B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB: Bernie Vince, Jake Lever, Jordan Lewis
😄 Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw
HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham
F: Tom McDonald, Tim Smith, Christian Petracca
Foll: Max Gawn, Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver
I/C: James Harmes, Charlie Spargo, Mitch Hannan, Bayley Fritsch
Emg: Dom Tyson, Cameron Pedersen, Jayden Hunt, Jeff Garlett
 
No change

ADELAIDE

B: Jake Kelly , Daniel Talia, Luke Brown
HB: Rory Laird, Tom Doedee, Paul Seedsman
😄 Rory Atkins, Hugh Greenwood, David Mackay
HF: Richard Douglas, Tom Lynch, Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
F: Darcy Fogarty, Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Bryce Gibbs, Matt Crouch
I/C: Jordan Gallucci, Kyle Hartigan, Sam Gibson, Wayne Milera, 
Emg: Lachlan Murphy , Reilly O'Brien, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke

In: Luke Brown, Matt Crouch, W ayne Milera

Out: Lachlan Murphy, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke

The moment has finally arrived for Melbourne to assert itself, not as simply one of a pack of finals contenders, not just as a flat track bully that monsters the lowly and the weak and not as a pretender but as the real deal. 

The Demons have been bathing in glory over the past month but they have been doing so by mauling teams that occupy places among the competition's bottom six. They have won 14 quarters in a row in their past four games, during which time they scored 78.51 to 37.44 at a percentage of close to 200. They have thrown off the bogey of inaccuracy that marred their earlier games, have become the masters of the all-important third quarter (the famous premiership quarter) and have been getting better every week. 

On Sunday they come up against different opposition. Adelaide was for the better part of the 2017 season, the benchmark of the competition. The Crows were the premiership favourite right up until late in the second quarter of last year's grand final when the Tigers got hold of them and took a vice-like grip on the most important game of the season. And to add to the humiliation of their defeat, they were angered by the fact that one of their star young defenders was snatched away from them by those upstart Demons.

How dare they?

That was all a bit rich from a club that was in the process of luring Bryce Gibbs home from Carlton but skipper "Tex" Walker did nothing to hide the anger and angst of this young upstart walking out on them. It's a pity that Tex will be sitting in the stands when his teammates run onto the turf TIO Traeger Park where they have never played before, in a game that kicks off the celebrations for Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round in the following week.

Despite the missing Adelaide stars, we shouldn't get carried away by the fact that an opponent has been hard hit by injury - we've been there before and had our noses severely bloodied. The Crows are not in the top four without reason and, despite their injury woes, they have won four of their past five games and were in front with less than a minute to go in the only defeat in that stretch of matches which included a win over the Swans at the SCG. This suggests that there's a big "beware Melbourne" written all over this game.

And given its location and importance, there is one contest that stands out - the match up between Eddie Betts and Neville Jetta. You can forget the Crows' vendetta against Jake Lever or the doubt about whether Tom McDonald will play, this is the battle that will shape the contest. Eddie Betts has been back in town these past few weeks after a slow start to the season and likewise, Neville is also returning to his best form. This clash could well decide which team wins the battle for the heart of the nation.

Call me biased if you wish, tell me I'm in the dreamtime, but I'm in the Jetta camp and I therefore tip Melbourne to make it five in a row for the first time in almost living memory.

Melbourne by 28 points.

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Big test against a top eight side. 

Hate the crows and really hope we beat them and Lever stars cause that will [censored] off those inbred supporters and players even more. 

Go Dees

Edited by DemonOX
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Tracking well above the Crows right now.

Demons by 6 plus.... running away in the last.  A potential blow out beckons.

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8 minutes ago, Rusty Nails said:

Tracking well above the Crows right now.

Demons by 6 plus.... running away in the last.  A potential blow out beckons.

I like the odds for the Dees over 40 too.

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Just now, hells bells said:

I like the odds for the Dees over 40 too.

The Crows aren't tracking well.  Take no notice of the Doggies game.  If we bring our A game it could get ugly.

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Biggest test so far this year and I think we will pass it by beating the crows by 18 points at NT.

POSSIBLE TEAM

B: JETTA, O.MCDONALD, J.LEWIS

HB: HIBBERD, LEVER, SALEM

C : T.MCDONALD, OLIVER, JONES

HF: PETRACCA, HOGAN, FRITSCH

F: MELKSHAM, T.SMITH, SPARGO

FOLL: GAWN, BRAYSHAW, VINEY

IC: HANNAN, VINCE, NEAL-BULLEN, HARMES

EMERG: GARLETT

 

 

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24 minutes ago, WERRIDEE said:

Biggest test so far this year and I think we will pass it by beating the crows by 18 points at NT.

POSSIBLE TEAM

B: JETTA, O.MCDONALD, J.LEWIS

HB: HIBBERD, LEVER, SALEM

C : T.MCDONALD, OLIVER, JONES

HF: PETRACCA, HOGAN, FRITSCH

F: MELKSHAM, T.SMITH, SPARGO

FOLL: GAWN, BRAYSHAW, VINEY

IC: HANNAN, VINCE, NEAL-BULLEN, HARMES

EMERG: GARLETT

 

 

I can’t believe you went to the trouble of writing out a full “possible team” that is just last week’s team. 

Actually, I sort of can.

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Is it too much to ask for another 100 point win, I do like them

Edited by brendan
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Please Dees smash this mob for us Adelaide folk. My arrogant, puss weak supporters in the league and I need to have a reason to tell the them this.

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A win of any sort will be a big sign we are heading in the right direction.

Matt Crouch likely to be back for Adelaide, who is a very good player.

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I tried hard to have a discussion with a Crows supporter from work yesterday about our upcoming match. He said to me that we have no one that good and Oliver Clayton is overrated. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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42 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

I tried hard to have a discussion with a Crows supporter from work yesterday about our upcoming match. He said to me that we have no one that good and Oliver Clayton is overrated. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Oliver is underrated & your work colleague has no blanking idea.

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The talk of this being the 'real test' is a bit over the top imo given the host of players Adelaide will be missing. 

Walker, Sloane, McGovern, Brad Crouch, Brodie Smith and Riley Knight are all out. That's arguably 4 of their top 6/7 most influential and important players.

Matt Crouch is a test and no certainty yet and if he misses then it's another super important player missing for them. 

We're going into this game at full strength and we should account for them comfortably. That's the reality. 

It all depends on which Melbourne show up. It's all well and good for players like Melksham, ANB and Harmes to find form against lower opposition. The test now is for them to carry on playing at the level they are against tougher sides. 

I expect us to win and not fall over at this elementary hurdle. 

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6 minutes ago, stevethemanjordan said:

The talk of this being the 'real test' is a bit over the top imo given the host of players Adelaide will be missing. 

for mine its partly this that it's a curious test. We've done very well accounting for rubbish teams as was expected. 

Here we have a much more capable team , though somewhat undermanned, they are well coached. Again...we SHOULD win....and thats why this is such a litmus...we should. It's interesting that here a win is de riguer. To lose is not really acceptable. 

Walker, Sloane, McGovern, Brad Crouch, Brodie Smith and Riley Knight are all out. That's arguably 4 of their top 6/7 most influential and important players.

And yet like us they have 6 wins , playing understrength . 

Matt Crouch is a test and no certainty yet and if he misses then it's another super important player missing for them. 

We're going into this game at full strength and we should account for them comfortably. That's the reality. 

A Reality ? A possibility without doubt. No certainty. 

It all depends on which Melbourne show up. It's all well and good for players like Melksham, ANB and Harmes to find form against lower opposition. The test now is for them to carry on playing at the level they are against tougher sides. 

Oh....so it IS a test after all. Thought so.

I expect us to win and not fall over at this elementary hurdle. 

I want us to win...expect 🤔.... we're not that good yet.

Go Dees

 

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1 hour ago, stevethemanjordan said:

The talk of this being the 'real test' is a bit over the top imo given the host of players Adelaide will be missing. 

Walker, Sloane, McGovern, Brad Crouch, Brodie Smith and Riley Knight are all out. That's arguably 4 of their top 6/7 most influential and important players.

Matt Crouch is a test and no certainty yet and if he misses then it's another super important player missing for them. 

We're going into this game at full strength and we should account for them comfortably. That's the reality. 

It all depends on which Melbourne show up. It's all well and good for players like Melksham, ANB and Harmes to find form against lower opposition. The test now is for them to carry on playing at the level they are against tougher sides. 

I expect us to win and not fall over at this elementary hurdle. 

You'e summarised well the likely post - match "narrative" (I love that word)

If we lose it will be they were undermanned, we're at full strength and failed - I can see the headline now.

or, if we win , they were undermanned and we should have anyway. A ho-hum/didn't mean much headline

Then the media will be saying it wasn't really the test  and start looking for another upcoming matching to declare that WILL be the test.

In summary, can't win either way and just get the 4 points and move on and the club just ignores the external  white noise as I suspect they are doing now.

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If we win...we win. The generally expected outcome , but not a foregone conclusion. Shows we ARE on track

If we lose...the "narrative" will return to doubting our bona fide contention of being finals bound.

I would think it not damned if we do, damned if we don't.

We'll just be damned if we don't.

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Evidence for the prosecution:

Adelaide had a really tough contested slog in the wet last week, as evidenced by the extraordinary number of contests.  We had a bit of a waltz around a few witches hats. 

adelaide give it, but wilt when put under sustained pressure.

they have some serious names out injured

they are arrogant overconfident tossers 

their focus is on Lever.

i think they will ruck to Max.  Jacobs has already conceded.

so, they are no pushovers, but we are at least one goal better per quarter.  Dees by 24, with and upside blowout over 40 on the cards.

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Yes, they have injuries but they are a well coached, well drilled team with 22 players who run both ways. Their attack off half back is the best in the league. This won't be a breeze, but we will win by 10 points. Our contest around the drop of the ball will deny them first use. Our midfield need to kick goals. 

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4 hours ago, stevethemanjordan said:

The talk of this being the 'real test' is a bit over the top imo given the host of players Adelaide will be missing. 

Walker, Sloane, McGovern, Brad Crouch, Brodie Smith and Riley Knight are all out. That's arguably 4 of their top 6/7 most influential and important players.

Matt Crouch is a test and no certainty yet and if he misses then it's another super important player missing for them. 

We're going into this game at full strength and we should account for them comfortably. That's the reality. 

It all depends on which Melbourne show up. It's all well and good for players like Melksham, ANB and Harmes to find form against lower opposition. The test now is for them to carry on playing at the level they are against tougher sides. 

I expect us to win and not fall over at this elementary hurdle. 

 

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Can't argue that they're missing some very good players.

Also can't argue that they have some of the best depth in the competition and are coming off playing in a Grand Final last season.  So while it won't be our biggest 'test' for the season, we aren't exactly playing a rubbish side here.  If we win this game then I'll take it as a fair sign that we have more than improved on our output from 2017.  Being 7-3 after 10 rounds will be proof enough of that.

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15 hours ago, Jibroni said:

Please Dees smash this mob for us Adelaide folk. My arrogant, puss weak supporters in the league and I need to have a reason to tell the them this.

LIving in Adelaide, I am surrounded by what you describe, both houses next door, the people over the back fence, the next street across and the four after it. Go to the supermarket and being greeted by: 'Go, Crows!' drives you mad. I wear my Demons cap everywhere, now.

Let me tell you, there is a wall of silence from those who one might regard as 'normal people', well-mannered people and football enthusiasts who normally meet and greet in bucket-loads of conviviality.  No more - particularly this week with the Crows match approaching. 

So, Dees and Dees fans, hellp me give 'em hellfire! 

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3 hours ago, beelzebub said:

If we win...we win. The generally expected outcome , but not a foregone conclusion. Shows we ARE on track

If we lose...the "narrative" will return to doubting our bona fide contention of being finals bound.

I would think it not damned if we do, damned if we don't.

We'll just be damned if we don't.

If we lose it will be a justified questioning of our bona fides

 

My view, for what little it's worth, is we have not proven ourselves yet.

A strong showing against Radelaide will be a step in right direction.

A loss means need to smash pies and dogs.

And to dispel any ambiguity I mean proving to the players not the meeja.

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I have an unnerving sense of confidence about this game.

Doesn`t bode well!

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