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GETTING THE HEAVE HO by Bananabender



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The ute barely made it up to Cairns in time for us to check into the motel, fling a cane toad out the bathroom. and head over to Cazaly’s Stadium where we took up our position on the wing.

There, we saw a completely different Melbourne to the one we watched on the screen only a few nights earlier from Alice Springs. This lot wore similar colours and Maxy dominated the ruck but the similarities ended there - the Demons were simply dreadful against the Swans. They started sluggishly, were spectators for most of the first half and then they wasted opportunity after opportunity with sloppy play and appalling kicking for goal in the second when they blew plenty of chances for a famous comeback victory. In the end, they didn’t even come close.

And now, I’m expected to come up with reasons why Melbourne is going to come up trumps against Freo just a few weeks after the Dockers kept the same Swans down to just two goals for an entire game.

No way Jose - it ain’t gunna happen!

Fremantle showed a fair amount against Richmond the night before and, despite the fact that they only managed four goals for the game, they were up for the fight and showed more determination and more heart in their game than Melbourne did against Sydney. Remember, it was the Demons who had all the incentive in the world in fighting to consolidate their place in the finals after their disappointing 2019.

Melbourne’s season is now on the line and their second game in four days at the same location and conditions - the heat and humidity of Cairns has the word “danger” written all over it.

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about the conditions in tropical, coastal Cairns would be aware that you need to field teams with players with young legs who can run. The Swans did that and it paid dividends in the first half. The same can be expected from the Dockers who will come into this game with the boundless enthusiasm of a young team with nothing to lose against an opponent that constantly struggles under the pressure of expectation. The also have Jesse Hogan who has done nothing for two years but cause them angst, but watch him explode this week against his old side.

There seems to be a feeling at the club that the selection process involves the repeat inclusion of players up forward who don’t chase and won’t tackle while respecting opponents is out of the question. That policy came home to roost in Cairns on Thursday evening and will put an end to their finals aspirations for 2020 on Monday night when the Dockers give them the heave ho.

Fremantle by 25 points.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Fremantle at Cazaly's Stadium Monday 7 September 2020 at 7.10pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 16 wins Fremantle 22 wins 
At MCG Melbourne 0 wins Fremantle 0 wins 
Last five meetings Melbourne 3 wins Fremantle 2 wins
The Coaches Goodwin 0 wins Longmuir 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel live at 7.00pm
Radio - TBA

LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 13.7.85 defeated Fremantle 11.5.71 at the MCG, Round 14, 2019

Max Gawn dominated the rucks with 46 hit outs and gave the midfield an armchair ride and they took full toll on the Dockers. Tom McDonald and Tim Smith each kicked three goals 

THE TEAMS 

MELBOURNE 

FB Michael Hibberd Steven May Joel Smith
HB Trent Rivers Jake Lever Christian Salem
C Ed Langdon Christian Petracca Adam Tomlinson
HF Alex Neal-Bullen Sam Weideman Aaron vandenBerg
FF Kysaiah Pickett Bayley Fritsch Jake Melksham
FOL Max Gawn Jack Viney Clayton Oliver
I/C Oskar Baker Toby Bedford Jayden Hunt Braydon Preuss
EMG Mitch Brown Neville Jetta Jay Lockhart Charlie Spargo

IN Oskar Baker Bedford Michael Hibberd Jayden Hunt Kysaiah Pickett Braydon Preuss Aaron vandenBerg

OUT Angus Brayshaw (foot) Mitch Brown (omitted) James Harmes (hamstring) Nathan Jones (quad) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Charlie Spargo (omitted) Josh Wagner (omitted)

FREMANTLE 

FB Brennan Cox Reece Conca Nathan Wilson
HB Taylin Duman Luke Ryan Ethan Hughes
C Adam Cerra Nat Fyfe James Aish
HF Michael Walters Matt Taberner Mitch Crowden
FF Lachie Schultz Rory Lobb Jesse Hogan
FOL Sean Darcy David Mundy Andrew Brayshaw
I/C Blake Acres Michael Frederick Stephen Hill Caleb Serong
EMG Connor Blakely Travis Colyer Luke Valente Tobe Watson

NO CHANGE 

Round 17: Injury List

Michael Hibberd (ankle) — available 
Marty Hore (quad) — available 
James Harmes (hamstring) — test
Tom Sparrow (collarbone) — 1 week
James Jordon (finger) — 1-2 Weeks
Luke Jackson (hamstring) — 1-2 Weeks
Angus Brayshaw (foot) — 2-3 Weeks
Nathan Jones (quad) — 2-3 Weeks
Harry Petty (groin) — season 
Aaron Nietschke (knee) — season 
Kade Kolodjashnij (head) — indefinite 

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