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NO COMEBACKS by The Oracle


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Q:  How do the Hawks come back after being 32-0 early, leading at every interval and then conceding nine goals in the last quarter to lose to the Swans by 41 points in the comfort and safety of their second home down in Launceston?

A:  If they’re playing the Demons at the G off a five-day break, there are no comebacks.

They simply won’t come back!

That’s the short form preview of the Melbourne v Hawthorn match up at the Home of Football this weekend. That is not to dismiss the young Hawks’ prospects but the way each team’s ANZAC Round games unfolded does not bode well for them.

The Demons’ general play against the Tigers matched their dominant form from their previous game against the Giants in most aspects. The glaring distinction was in their shooting accuracy for goal which plunged from 76% to 29% in the course of a week.

Part of the explanation for that was in the defensive set up they faced from Richmond but you can be sure that Simon Goodwin and his coaching team (to be led this week by Adem Yze sitting in the chair - and who better than an ex-Hawk to fill in for Goody while he rehabs?) will have been working on the necessary adjustments to counter such tactics should anyone try to use them again.

Similarly, Melbourne should be ready for a three-peat of Hawthorn’s frenetically rapid start to games which saw them score three goals in six minutes before Geelong got a touch of the footy on Easter Sunday, then the first five against the Swans on ANZAC Day.

I have a gut feeling that these opening bursts from the Hawks are restricted to public holidays and to when they play teams other than Melbourne. They can try to take the game on but they won’t get away with it this week and it wouldn’t help them either way because the effort required would see the life sucked out of them much earlier than usual.

More bad news for Hawthorn is the fact that Jake Lever and Jack Viney have been declared available for the game after sitting out last week due to health and safety protocols, meaning that two of the club’s strongest weapons one defensive and the other attacking, will come into the side well rested and up for the fight. Handy replacements for Luke Jackson, Harry Petty, Kysaiah Pickett and Tom Sparrow who miss this week after testing positive for Covid19. And Jake Melksham should be highly motivated now that he’s been called in to replace Nibbler.

The other factor that needs to be remembered is that while the statistics of last week’s Melbourne game were well below par because of the poor shooting for goal, the optics remained a high point in terms of the work rate, the system and the endeavour.

All of these things will operate on Saturday evening to ensure that, for the Hawks, there will be no repeat of their late 2021 heroics and no comebacks.

Melbourne to win by 23 points.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Saturday 30 April, 2022 at 4.35pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 79 wins Hawthorn 87 wins 1 draw

At the MCG Melbourne 39 wins Hawthorn 46 wins 1 draw

Last 5 meetings Melbourne 4 wins Hawthorn 0 wins 1 draw

The Coaches Yze 0 wins Mitchell 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

Melbourne 11.13.79 drew with Hawthorn 12.7.79 in Round 18, 2021 at The MCG

Early in the game it looked as though the Demons were going to blow their lowly opponent right out of the park but the plucky Hawks fought back, persisted and caused a major upset even if they didn’t come out of the contest with all four points. Melbourne’s midfielders in Oliver, Petracca and Viney all managed 30+ possessions but they were trumped by Tom Mitchell who almost got his team over the line.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: T.Rivers 24 S.May 1 J.Smith 44
HB: J.Jordon 23 J.Lever 8 J.Bowey 17
C: A.Brayshaw 10 C.Petracca 5  E.Langdon 15
HF: T.McDonald 25 S.Weideman 26 B.Fritsch 31
F: T.Bedford 12 B.Brown 50 J.Harmes 4
Foll: M.Gawn 11 C.Oliver 13 J.Viney 7
I/C: L.Dunstan 27 J.Hunt 29 J.Melksham 18 C.Spargo 9 
Sub: K.Chandler 37 Emerg: O.Baker 33 M.Brown 38 A.Tomlinson 20 

In: K.Chandler J.Lever T.McDonald J.Melksham J.Viney 

Out: L.Jackson (H & S Protocols) A.Neal-Bullen (H & S Protocols) H.Petty (H & S Protocols) K.Pickett (H & S Protocols) T.Sparrow (H & S Protocols) 

HAWTHORN

B:  J.Scrimshaw 14 S.Frost 8 B.Hardwick 15
HB: F.Maginness 32 J.Sicily 6 W.Day 12 
C: J.O'Meara 10 T.Mitchell 3 L.Shiels 26
HF: C.Nash 11 L.Breust 22 C.Macdonald 31 
F: D.Moore 13 J.Gunston 19 J.Impey 4
Foll: M.Lynch 18 J.Newcombe 44 J.Worpel 5
I/C: L.Bramble 16 J.Callow 45 C.Wingard 20 J.Koschitzke 23
Sub: D.Howe 17 Emerg: D.Grainger-Barras 24 K.Hartigan 28 N.Long 27

In: L.Bramble J.Callow D.Howe

Out: D.Grainger-Barras (managed) H.Morrison (injured) J.Ward (managed)

Injury List: Round 7

Michael Hibberd - Calf | Available
Jake Lever - H & S Protocols | Available
Jack Viney - H & S Protocols | Available
Simon Goodwin - H & S Protocols | 1 week
Luke Jackson - H & S Protocols | 1 week
Alex Neal-Bullen - H & S Protocols | 1 week
Kysaiah Pickett - H & S Protocols | 1 week
Tom Sparrow - H & S Protocols | 1 week
Daniel Turner - Foot | 2 weeks
Christian Salem - Knee | 3-4 weeks
Blake Howes - Foot | TBC

PreviewRd072022.png

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