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EASIER SAID THAN DONE by The Oracle

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There is no way of getting around the fact that Melbourne is the disappointment team of the AFL competition and, because it came into the season as a big top four fancy and now sits stone motherless last with a 1-5 win-loss record, it is fast becoming a laughing stock. 

The only way in which the Demons can restore any sense of pride, let alone its rapidly diminishing hopes of making the finals is for it to overcome Hawthorn on Saturday in the replay of last year’s preliminary final. 

There can be no further excuses for the Demons;  no claims of a lost pre season, complaints of a long and deep injury list or talk of players in the doldrums having lost the form that got the team ever so close to top billing in 2018.

The club needs to put all those things behind it and start winning games and, in that respect, the fact that they face the Hawks should not present itself as a daunting task any more than facing up to the scars and the mental demons of the past month or so. 

Hawthorn’s form, after all, hasn’t been all that flash either given it has had a draw that has so far included one outing against a top eight team from 2018.

The Hawks have lost to St Kilda and Hawthorn and struggled in their wins against Adelaide, North Melbourne and Carlton against who they were very lucky winners.

For all of Al Clarkson’s genius, he is barely papering over the cracks in his team’s makeup which means they are vulnerable this week if his counterpart, Simon Goodwin, can get his team up and running and in the right frame of mind. 

That’s easier said than done as we’ve seen on a few occasions already this season but, with the with readjustment that we are starting to witness in terms of the way the team was able to tighten up their defensive efforts against Richmond, it might not be all that far away.

It’s hard to fathom that a team that was able to dominate centre clearances and inside 50 entries and turn them into such a potent attack in one season, can continue to lag so badly in the next. 

The Demons look like bolstering their attacking forces this week and I’m tipping them to turn things around against a very shaky Hawks.  Melbourne by 28 points. 

THE GAME  

Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday 4 May 2019 at 1.45pm  

HEAD TO HEAD  

Overall Melbourne 76 wins Hawthorn 87 wins  

At MCG Melbourne 37 wins Hawthorn 46 wins  

Last 5 meetings Melbourne 2 wins Hawthorn 3 wins   

The Coaches Goodwin 1 win Clarkson 2 wins  

MEDIA  

TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.30pm  

RADIO -  Triple M ABC 3AW  

THE LAST TIME THEY MET 

Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Hawthorn 10.11.71 in Semi Final, 2018 at the MCG  

The Demons earned a berth in the Preliminary Final against the Eagles with a resounding 33-point victory on the MCG against Hawthorn in front of 90,152 fans. Jack Viney was in sparkling form on the ball picking up 27 touches and Tom McDonald booted four goals.  

THE TEAMS   

MELBOURNE  

B Jordan Lewis  Sam Frost  Oscar McDonald 
HB Nathan Jones  Tom McDonald  Jayden Hunt 
C James Harmes  Christian Salem  Billy Stretch 
HF Bayley Fritsch  Christian Petracca  Jeff Garlett 
F Alex Neal-Bullen  Declan Keilty Jake Melksham 
FOLL Max Gawn  Clayton Oliver  Angus Brayshaw 
I/C Michael Hibberd  Marty Hore  Jay Lockhart  Josh Wagner 
EMG Harry Petty Tom Sparrow Corey Wagner Sam Weideman

IN Oscar McDonald Josh Wagner 

OUT Jack Viney (shoulder) Tim Smith (back) Sam Weideman (omitted) 

HAWTHORN

B Blake Hardwick  Kaiden Brand  Jarman Impey 
HB Tom Scully  Ben Stratton  Jack Gunston 
C Isaac Smith  Jaeger O'Meara  Daniel Howe 
HF Paul Puopolo  Tim O'Brien  James Sicily 
F Luke Breust  Chad Wingard  Jarryd Roughead 
FOLL Ben McEvoy  James Worpel  Ricky Henderson 
I/C  Shaun Burgoyne  Mitchell Lewis Dylan Moore Liam Shiels   
EMG Jonathon Ceglar Harry Morrison  Conor Nash  Jack Scrimshaw 

IN Shaun Burgoyne Dylan Moore

OUT James Cousins (suspended) Jack Scrimshaw (managed) 

Round 7: Injury List

Alex Neal-Bullen (hamstring) – available 
Braydon Preuss (shoulder) – 1 week
Tim Smith (back) - 1 week
Jack Viney (shoulder) – 2 weeks
Mitch Hannan (knee) – 3-4 weeks
Jake Lever (knee) – 3-4 weeks
Steven May (groin) – 3-4 weeks
Corey Maynard (hip) – 3-4 weeks
Jay Kennedy Harris (knee) – 3-5 weeks
Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – TBA 
Joel Smith (groin) – 6-8 weeks
Neville Jetta (knee) – 10-12 weeks
Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) – TBA 
Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite
Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season

PreviewRd072019.jpg

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