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LIVE IN THE MOMENT by Meggs


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The final home and away match of Season 7, sees the mighty Dees at Fortress Casey hosting the 16th placed West Coast.  
 
A win assures the Dees of a Top-2 finish, with the ultimate placings dependent upon the previous night’s result between Brisbane and Collingwood and the relative percentages.
 
As our match is anticipated to be one-sided, interest may turn to monitoring the live ladder to see whether or not Melbourne has secured the minor premiership.  
 
The Demons (Lions and Crows) were handed the hardest draw this season according to AFLW gurus Sarah Black and Gemma Bastiani.  The bizarre analysis determined a ‘fixture difficulty’ rating but notwithstanding the unabashed handicapping by AFL House, Melbourne and Brisbane have managed to be the best performed teams of Season 7.  
 
Our opponents this week, the West Coast Eagles, have a developing list but have won only two games this year — against Port Adelaide and GWS.  
 
Captain Emma Swanson has been very consistent and would almost certainly be leading her club’s best and fairest.  Swanson is ably supported in the midfield by Isabella Lewis, Irish and ex Bulldog Aisling McCarthy and the experienced Dana Hooker.  
 
Our super strong midfield of Hanks, Purcell, West and Paxman will certainly challenge them, and it was great to see Loz Pearce return following that head clash.
 
With so much of the play in their defence this year young defender Charlotte Thomas and the capable Belinda Smith are gaining valuable experience and racking up possessions.  But they come up this week against the in-form firepower of Harris, Hore, Zanker, and Bannan.  Look out.
 
The Eagles have some developing young talent in their forward group, and their coach will be hoping for some better defensive efforts this week with only 2 tackles last week.  
 
Melbourne has conceded a miserly 9 points a game for the last three weeks.  Expecting Birch and our newly minted rising star nominee Tahlia Gillard to continue the strong defensive form.  
 
Our core playing group is balanced, with no obvious deficiencies plus we have shown good depth.  Mick Stinear has the gameplan humming. We are such an entertaining team to watch.  
 
There is real momentum heading into the final few weeks.  Our players continue to improve their skills in and out of seasons but there is also definite improvement in their footy awareness and game sense.  A credit to everyone at the Club.  
 
Hopefully the Casey wind is manageable this week so that (1) @Deearmy has no issues raising their wonderful banner and (2), we knock the Eagles out of the park and secure a commensurate increase in our percentage.
 
History has seen these teams play only once, in 2020 at Casey Fields, with the Demons winning easily by 59 points. That year was the Eagles inaugural season in AFLW.
 
Michael Prior, the Eagles Senior Coach, said his team is really looking forward to taking on the Dees.  He wants to bring a competitive mindset and see where it takes them.  He will be accompanied in the box by his midfield coach, Hamish Brayshaw.
 
Mick Stinear said he wants his team to take their chances, play for each other, live in the moment and if, in the end, the scoreboard reflects a percentage boost, that’s a bonus.  It’s beyond our control, he said.
 
Possible ins this week include Maddi Gay, Jordy Ivey and Sabreena Duffy.  If Maddi is fit, you would expect that Charlotte Wilson will make way.
 
We should be too strong but by how much and will it be enough?  
 
Melbourne by 45 points
 
THE GAME

Melbourne v West Coast at Casey Fields, on Saturday 29 October 2022 at 1:10pm (Melbourne time)
 
HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 1 win West Coast 0 wins
At Casey Fields Melbourne 1 win West Coast 0 wins
The Coaches Stinear 0 wins Prior 0 wins
 
MEDIA

TV - live on 7 and Kayo. Check your local guides.
Radio - check your local guides.
 
THE LAST TIME THEY MET  

Melbourne 10.6 (66) defeated West Coast 1.1 (7) at Casey Fields, 8 March 2020
 
The Demons smashed the Eagles by 59 points in Sarah Perkin’s first game in the red and blue. Karen Paxman was a driving force behind the big win, Elise O’Dea and Zanker were busy, while Irish duo Goldrick and McEvoy had 27 disposals and a goal between them. Sarah Lampard scored her first goal in AFLW and Tex Perkins her first for the Dees on debut.
 
GOALS

Melbourne: Zanker 2, Lampard, Hore, McEvoy, Scott, Emonson, Cunningham, Parry, Perkins

West Coast: Collier
 
BEST

Melbourne:  Paxman, Goldrick, Zanker, O’Dea, McEvoy, Scott

West Coast:  Hooker, Atkins, Swanson, Bowen, Radan, Laurie

TEAM SELECTION 

In: Gay

Out: Wilson

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