Jump to content

  • Podcast:     

  • Podcast:     


Recommended Posts

It wasn’t that long ago when Melbourne held sway in its Anzac Eve matches against Richmond. The early versions of the blockbuster saw the Demons home by 32 points in 2015 and 33 in 2016.

When the turning point came it was dramatic and sudden. The Demons might have been on an upward curve in 2017 under new coach Simon Goodwin but so were the Tigers who had finished a disappointing 13th in 2016. When the teams met in Round 5 under lights in front of a crowd of 85,657 — the highest ever between the two teams — Richmond was unbeaten. Melbourne had comfortable wins against St Kilda and Carlton in the opening two rounds but injury and suspensions to key players cost them winnable games against Geelong and Fremantle.

The Demons went into Anzac Eve without co-captain Max Gawn who had suffered a hamstring tear against the Cats and Jordan Lewis was out suspended. Though Jesse Hogan was back after serving his two weeks, things were not well with his family and with him at the time. Before the half-time break, the Demons had lost their replacement ruckman in Jake Spencer to a shoulder injury, forward Tim Smith to a rib and yet, despite the setbacks, they had outplayed Richmond in all facets of the game to lead by 20 points at ¾ time. But in the final quarter, the wheel turned.

With Christian Petracca and co-skipper Jack Viney sidelined for most of the final stanza with knee complaints, Melbourne was effectively left without rotations. Richmond kicked 5 goals to 2 behinds and hit the front at the start of time on to record a narrow but crucial win, as it turned out, on its way to a premiership. The Dees missed the finals by a narrow margin of percentage after finishing ninth.

This time around, it’s Melbourne that’s undefeated while Richmond has recorded two losses. The Tiges are coming off a massive win with a nine day break compared to six days but the Demons are eager, hungry and healthy. Is this their moment, their turning point?

Richmond has had a touch of the staggers in some of its games but against the Saints, they hit the pressure valve forcing errors all over the ground. They took little time to squeeze the life out of the hapless Saints in a performance that was as good as it gets at this stage of the season. The question is will it be a weaponised Richmond that turns up this week and, if so, can Melbourne muster up the necessary defences to that weaponry? Can it quell the deadly forwards in Martin, Lynch and Riewoldt, the frenetic midfield movement that has seen them to three flags in four years?

To answer these questions in the affirmative it goes without saying that the Demons won’t be able to rely on the efforts of a single quarter as they did last weekend against the Hawks. Max Gawn is always good value in the ruck and he has an up and coming back up in Luke Jackson. The midfield can stand eye to eye with the Richmond mids and their battle will be an intriguing one that could go either way.

There’s also the matter of milestones in this game. Nathan Jones is now well past his best but still has a role to play for the club outside the midfield which he made his own for so long. He’s been a champion bloke for the club, a titan in the team for so long, and the rest of the team should lift for him in his 300th game. For Richmond, Dustin Martin is 50 games behind him and has proven to be a great of the game in the second half of his career and is right at his peak. You can’t blanket him for a whole game but if he’s reasonably covered, it will help the Demon cause.

The expected early return of Steven May gives Melbourne a real chance of holding Richmond’s forward line to a manageable score. Which means the result might well hinge on what happens with the Melbourne forward line. Will Bayley Fritsch manage to get up a little more than a week or so after his hand surgery? Are Sam Wiedeman and Ben Brown ready to come in?

The problem for we tipsters is that the lateness of team selection means that it’s tough to be exact when penning our thoughts but I have a strong feeling that we’ve reached the turning point.

Melbourne by 4 points.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Richmond on Saturday 24 April, 2021 at 7.50pm at the MCG

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 75 wins Richmond 107 wins Drawn 2

At MCG Melbourne 63 wins Richmond 72 wins Drawn 1

Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win Richmond 4 wins

The Coaches Hardwick 4 wins Goodwin 0 wins

MEDIA

TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.

Radio - check your local guides.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Richmond 12.7.79 defeated Melbourne 8.4.52 in Round 5, 2020 at the MCG

The teams were a lot closer matched than it appeared on the scoreboard. The Tigers prevailed in the second term after an even first quarter. Max Gawn dominated the ruck as he usually does with 33 hit outs and 22 disposals. The loss left the Demons languishing somewhat with a 1-3 record but with a game in hand.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: A. Tomlinson 20 S. May 1 T. Rivers 24

HB: C. Salem 3 J. Lever 8 J. Hunt 29

C: E: Langdon 15 Christian Petracca 5 Angus Brayshaw 10

HF: K. Pickett 36 T.  McDonald 25 A. Neal-Bullen 30

F: J. Melksham 18 L. Jackson 6 B. Fritsch 31

Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 J. Viney

I/C: M. Hibberd 14 N. Jones 2 J. Jordon 23 C. Spargo 9

Sub: K. Chandler 37 Emerg: H. Petty 35 T. Sparrow 32 S. Weideman 26

In: K. Chandler B. Fritsch S. May

Out: M. Brown (omitted) H. Petty (omitted) T. Sparrow (omitted)

RICHMOND

B: D. Astbury 12 N. Balta 21 D. Grimes 2

HB: N. Broad 35 B. Houli 14 J. Short 15

C: K. McIntosh 33 T. Cotchin 9 M. Pickett 50

HF: D. Rioli 17 K. Lambert 23 J. Castagna 11

F: T. J. Lynch 19 D. Martin 4 J. Riewoldt 8

Foll: T. Nankervis 25 S. Edwards 10 J. Graham 34

I/C: J. Aarts 16 L. Baker 7 S. Bolton 29 R. Mansell 31

Sub: J. Ross 5 Emerg: C. Coleman-Jones 40 R. Collier-Dawkins 26 M. Rioli 49 

No change 

Injury List: Round 6

Bayley Fritsch (hand fracture) — Test

Steven May (eye socket) — Test 

James Harmes (wrist) — 2 Weeks

Bailey Laurie (eye socket) — 6 Weeks

Joel Smith (knee) — 6 to 8 Weeks

Marty Hore (knee) — Season

Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season

PreviewRd062021.png

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    HOT PIES FREEZE DEES by George on the Outer

    In the Annual Big Freeze game in support of Neale Daniher's fight against MND, it was Collingwood who froze the ambitions of the Demons, and it now challenges them to thaw out their prospects in the second half of the season. Even though Melbourne opened the scoring account, it was quickly countered by Collingwood, as the Demons appeared flat. And even though they held a minor lead at the first break, it was only through a couple of fortunate efforts, but nothing more.  All around

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    FROZEN by Whispering Jack

    Melbourne supporters are an unusual lot. Their lived experiences over years of witnessing their team’s humiliation at the hands of the competition’s bullies have left them suspended in a Bizarro World beset by a cognitive distortion know as 'mental filtering'. This is a phenomenon that occurs when people focus exclusively and blindly on long held belief systems. They refuse to accept that conditions have changed so when the evidence is present before their very own eyes, their minds are frozen.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews 4

    CHANGES: 2021 MID SEASON by The Oracle 

    Since the end of the 2020 free agency, trade and draft period, AFL clubs have had two further bites of the cherry to top up their lists — the supplemental selection period (SSP) and the 2021 mid-season rookie draft (MSD). The main idea behind both was to enable the fulfillment of immediate needs as a result of injuries or unexpected retirements but this year, we have seen the added dimension of straight out recruitment for the future rather than for now. As a consequence, a number of ready

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features

    LION TAMERS by George On The Outer

    In an enthralling game between two top four sides, it was the Demons who tamed the Lions, and propelled themselves into the position of premiership favourite even though the season is barely past the halfway mark. This is because Melbourne keeps on beating those teams around them who might provide a challenge. Not only that, it keeps winning with emphatic displays of resilience and toughness that have not been seen in a Demons side for many, many years. Challenged in the first half of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    DUELING BANJOS by Whispering Jack

    In the classic Australian poem, A B “Banjo” Paterson sought the answer by letter to a question concerning the whereabouts of a drover named “Clancy”. The response from Clancy’s shearing mate was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar: “Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.” Most of us would have felt a little bit that way earlier in the week wondering about the possible whereabouts of the Melbourne team for this week’s encounter against Brisbane. Were th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    DOGGED DEEFENCE by George on the Outer

    “No-one let the Dogs out” was the Demons response for the (former) top side.  The Melbourne defence, capably lead by Steven May and Jake Lever simply suffocated any hopes that the Western Bulldogs might have had about leading the competition at the mid-way point. Instead, it is the Demons who now sit at the top of the ladder, again a game clear, while their supporters are starting to believe that this side is the real deal.  Pity is that those same supporters couldn’t watch their team demol

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    LOOK AWAY DEMON FANS by The Oracle

    Last week I predicted a comfortable Melbourne victory for its game against Adelaide. “Something in the order of 61 points”, I opined. Well, after the game, I checked the wording of my preview very carefully from all angles and I have now concluded that I have to issue an apology to Demon fans. I got it wrong. I’m not bitter and twisted about my error in failing to predict the coaching errors, defensive mistakes, lack of forward pressure and, of course, the complete failure of those officiat

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CALM BEFORE THE CALM by KC from Casey

    The Casey Demons overcame a sluggish first half to run over the Sydney Swans in the second to record an emphatic 40 point victory, maintaining their undefeated record and retaining top spot on the VFL ladder. The game originally listed as part of the Round 4 fixture but delayed due to a Covid19 scare in Sydney and the scrappy way in which the teams approached the contest suggested that the players were still in delay mode. This applied in particular to most of the 12 AFL listed Casey player

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    NOTHING TO CROW ABOUT by George On The Outer

    Melbourne’s nine game winning streak  came to an end in Adelaide with a one point loss to the Crows. Losing to a team that had only won three games for the season, having lost five in a row was certainly nothing to crow about.  All around the ground players collectively put in their poorest performance for the year.  The loss of Christian Salem before the match was critical, as his replacement Nev Jetta is a mere shadow the player he once was. The mind is still willing, but the body no

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    CRYING OVER SPILT MILK by The Oracle

    It had to happen sooner or later. Melbourne has been riding high through the season to date and, with the exception of a small bunch of nuff nuffs who are never satisfied with anything, the club has attracted more positive vibes from the community in these nine weeks than it did in the past decade. So it came as no surprise to see some low grade stirring of the sort which only the media could come up with at a time like this. The on line site Zero Hanger came up with an article that opined,

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CATNIPPED by KC from Casey

    After winning big away from home across the first three rounds of the new look VFL competition, the Casey Demons were forced to dig deep against Geelong VFL at Casey Fields on Saturday. The traditional AFL based teams were evenly matched, fielding ten listed players apiece and this was reflected in the evenness of the game and the final margin which saw the home side leading by a solitary point on the final siren. Casey suffered an early blow when Jake Bowey came off with what ap

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    BLUES IN THE RED by George On The Outer

    While the Demons’ undefeated run continues unabated now at 9-0 their emphatic 26 point victory pushed the Blues to their sixth loss for the season and deeper into the red for the year. While Melbourne opened proceedings with an early goal, the Blues responded with the next two to grab an early lead.  However, as has happened in so many games this year, the Demons fought back to lead by just over a goal come the first break. This narrow lead was part of a streak either side of quarter t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

×
×
  • Create New...