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PREGAME: Rd 03 vs Sydney


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2 hours ago, Roost it far said:

Last I checked we were the big boys

Thats a great point Roost.  When we become the hunter we more often than not crunch the oppo 💪🏼

Having May back will be a big boost this week as he makes others stand a bit taller.

Balls out for Clarry pls boys.  They all need to play as if it's their last game for mine to honour this bloke and all that he gives this club.

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FB: Hibberd May McVee
HB: Bowey Petty Lever
C; Brayshaw Oliver Hunter
HF: Langdon J. Smith ANB
FF: Fritsch Brown Chandler 
Foll: Grundy Petracca Sparrow
Int: Rivers, Viney, JVR, Spargo 
S: Harmes 

Do I except Tommy Mc to be dropped - no. But geez I’m sick of watching him and we need athleticism. Smith doesn’t have talent or forward craft but he hits up hard on a lead and chases with intensity. I’d love a look at him across half forward to see if he can be a viable option. I’d keep it simple for JVR, some ruck minutes, some time deep and not too much work as the down the line target up against a pair of McCartin’s.

Midfield really need to crack in properly and just get the balance right between handballing and kicking to advantage. Don’t panic, find the runners and kick to advantage and things will look better. Gus back to wing/5th on baller, mostly to get him out of the backline but also to use his ability to find possessions between the arcs.

Backline needs Hibbo’s defensive ability and his willingness to run to the fat side and take the game on. Our defenders don’t trust each other or themselves to actually run and take the game on. Hibbo has never had that problem. 

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7 hours ago, Lucifers Hero said:

Not sure about dropping Harmes.  We may need a 'run with' player in the middle for Warner, Parker or Heeny.

Warner is really dangerous and went under the radar a bit last year.  The only swan to really stand up in the GF so potentially their most dangerous.  Not sure what happened vs Hawks this week but he was very ineffective.  Reckon Mitchell may have put a hard tag on him.

It is really hard to tell how good Sydney are as their two big wins have been vs GCS and Hawks.  And their end to 2022 wasn't super brilliant:  an ok win vs an injury depleted Dees, a one point win vs Pies and thrashed in the GF.

My lack of confidence for a win is driven more by our inability to beat Sydney in the past than belief that they really good...

There's no point saving him for that role if he's not performing. We tried using Harmes in a run with role vs the Dogs but it didn't really do anything.

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1 hour ago, DeeSpencer said:

FB: Hibberd May McVee
HB: Bowey Petty Lever
C; Brayshaw Oliver Hunter
HF: Langdon J. Smith ANB
FF: Fritsch Brown Chandler 
Foll: Grundy Petracca Sparrow
Int: Rivers, Viney, JVR, Spargo 
S: Harmes 

Do I except Tommy Mc to be dropped - no. But geez I’m sick of watching him and we need athleticism. Smith doesn’t have talent or forward craft but he hits up hard on a lead and chases with intensity. I’d love a look at him across half forward to see if he can be a viable option. I’d keep it simple for JVR, some ruck minutes, some time deep and not too much work as the down the line target up against a pair of McCartin’s.

Midfield really need to crack in properly and just get the balance right between handballing and kicking to advantage. Don’t panic, find the runners and kick to advantage and things will look better. Gus back to wing/5th on baller, mostly to get him out of the backline but also to use his ability to find possessions between the arcs.

Backline needs Hibbo’s defensive ability and his willingness to run to the fat side and take the game on. Our defenders don’t trust each other or themselves to actually run and take the game on. Hibbo has never had that problem. 

Does Joel Smith really get a run this week? 

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13 minutes ago, Roost it far said:

Does Joel Smith really get a run this week? 

Was emergency last week and took 8 marks and consistently hit up well at Casey. It’s unlikely but the point remains we need athleticism in the front half and JVR will have his plate full if he’s in the ruck even 5 mins a quarter 

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I reckon a team has about one, or at the most 2, crunch games per year (not including finals).

This is Melbourne's.

Sydney have not been beaten in 16 of their last 20 games against the Dees.  They massively have the wood over this club.  Yes, we won in 2021, but we and they both know that that doesn't change the fact that they have our measure as a football club.  It's in their psyche and ours.

If Melbourne want to reinstate some authority, demeanor, or aura over the competition, they must win this game on their home ground.  Not many will agree with my next comment, but I believe if we can't beat this younger and less experienced side on our home ground then we're not winning the premiership in 2023.  It's a must win.  It's that important.

They'll be smarting from their last game on the 'G, but our imperatives are equally important.

Am I confident ?  A resounding no.  But they must find a way.

It's never easy to break a dominance, because they're there until they're not.  And they can last a very long time.

I sense there's still a slight fragility about this team.  The flag notwithstanding.

I'll learn a heap by Sunday night.

It's as crunch as you get.

Edited by Gator
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31 minutes ago, Gator said:

If Melbourne want to reinstate some authority, demeanor, or aura over the competition, they must win this game on their home ground.  Not many will agree with my next comment, but I believe if we can't beat this younger and less experienced side on our home ground then we're not winning the premiership in 2023.  It's a must win.  It's that important.

I don’t 100% agree because I think Gawn and Pickett are 2 huge inclusions that both make us a lot better and help us play the way we want to play.

That said, Sydney move it fast and spread teams out. If we look completely incapable of defending against that style of play as we did at times late last year it’s a bad sign.

We also have to be able, or at least willing, to take the game on and move the ball. 

Funnily enough if we flame out playing the right way I’ll be more confident about our future than if we grind out a narrow loss.

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6 hours ago, fr_ap said:

Not sure I entirely agree with this logic (bolded part)

If we had come out and smashed two middling/lower teams we'd be loving life and super confident right now. Fact is - only the very good/best teams consistently smash the teams they should. What would make it more difficult to get a read on their form is if they beat both by 10-20, which would indicate they weren't functioning at a top 4 level. But that's not what happened. 

As it is, the magnitude and manner of their wins are indicative of their quality - which is that of a top 4 side. It's not hard to tell how good they are - they're clearly very good, as they were last year. They may even be better now, as a young side with continued growth and very few veterans getting to the feared 31/32 mark other than Buddy (who they were without in any case). Without Buddy, Mcdonald and Amartey combined for close to 10 goals. We know how tough, dynamic and accountable their midfield is. 

We should not be taking any confidence from them 'only' smashing GCS and Hawthorn. It's what the best teams do.    

Separately on us - I have a niggling concern that something we have changed - game plan or mindset wise - has resulted in far less accountability from our mids both at stoppage and in transition. I thought it was very obvious in the Dogs game that Treloar/Mcrae/etc were running relatively unchecked in transition. Repeatedly. It was extremely obvious during the period they were on top. For whatever reason, it ultimately didn't hurt us too badly as the Dogs were hesitant with the ball.  

It then clearly happened again vs the Lions - even worse - the Brisbane midfield appeared to play entirely unchecked for the majority of the night. At clearance, at stoppage and in transition. 

At different times, neither felt like Dees games and I felt more uncomfortable (yes, including the Dogs game even though we got on top) than I have since 2020. 

I can't quite put my finger on it but I wonder if in trying to have a little more dare and respond to the flavour of the month - attacking footy, Collingwood etc. -  we've lost the balance that's served us well now for some time. 

If I'm right, the Swans (who have the most accountable midfield going round) will be a big reality check (and potentially, a really sizable loss). 

Don't hate on this btw - sky is not falling, far from it - but I can just feel something is a little awry... 

I reckon you are dead on here.  We got away with it against the Doggies. Lions have a different set of weapons up forward and sliced us up.  The silver lining is it did in fact happen. Coaches and players will watch the tapes and you'd hope wont let it happen again so irresponsibly against the Swans.  

As an aside no wonder midfielders win Brownlows these days. Most of them run around unchecked post stoppage.  Funny how its harder to do well when you have an opponent eh. 

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7 hours ago, Stu said:

Against the Hawks, the Swans used Ladham's as primary ruck and McLean as the chop out. I know this can be a useless stat but Ladham's (17) lost the hitout count to Meek (19) for the Hawks and McLean had five. Hickey and Reid are both out for a few more weeks with injury. 

Grundy managed to get 45 hit outs compared to the Lions 42 (25 for McInerney and 17 for Fort), so the stats at least imply that he should win against Ladhams. It will be up for our mids to make use of that advantage. 

Given that McLean is a forward first and a ruck second, bringing in JVR for his debut seems like it offers a few additional opportunities with minimal risks (to team structure). He and TMac can be used to give Grundy a rest, so both only spend 5-10% of the game as the primary ruck on the ground. They can also rotate their own rests, so that one of them is available to ruck inside our F50 when Grundy is back on the ground (to allow him to sit a kick behind the play). 

It also gives the Swans an unknown player to consider and the additional forward pressure JVR brings will change the dynamic of our forward line while he is in there. Having TMac in the side allows us to swing him into defence if we're trying to close out a quarter, slow momentum, or a KPD goes down during the game, without losing too much from our attack.

If we don't bring in another tall, we will need to use Brown for our F50 ruck contests when TMac is off the ground, which means we lose him as an additional forward threat (and his goals from open play have been great in both games). Alternatively, we have Grundy come up into the F50 and we lose him from competing for a contested ball down the line.

We'd also be down a tall forward when Grundy is having a rest and TMac goes into the ruck. This will allow Paddy M to intercept more easily.

 

 

I am wondering how the gawn/grundy tag team will be effected and by who?

Could Van Rooyen be the man who plays the role in this combo?

Why not have bowser or spargo for a few CB's?

Would be nice to see there kicks hitting targets I50!

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13 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

I haven't read this whole thread, so this question may have already been asked and answered, but if May and Petty both play is using Tomlinson as Grundy's relief a viable option? I'm not averse to van Rooyen playing, but we have to recognise that Grundy needs support for up to 6 weeks, not just one. Is it feasible for van Rooyen to be second ruck for 6 weeks?  

Your question has merit but I think we need to remind ourselves who we are playing and at what level despite the relatively unknown factors as to how good Sth Melb are this year. So indoctrinating JVR in this game I think is not a wise move. I would therefore seek experience in the form of JJ and / or Tomlinson. Save JVR for a lower / lesser team indoctrination . We cannot afford to gamble and also lose 4 points. But we need Maysie back for sure.

Edited by David-Demon
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9 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

I don’t 100% agree because I think Gawn and Pickett are 2 huge inclusions that both make us a lot better and help us play the way we want to play.

That said, Sydney move it fast and spread teams out. If we look completely incapable of defending against that style of play as we did at times late last year it’s a bad sign.

We also have to be able, or at least willing, to take the game on and move the ball. 

Funnily enough if we flame out playing the right way I’ll be more confident about our future than if we grind out a narrow loss.

Gawn played one of his all time best games against them last year.  Result ?  We lost.  Our system didn't hold up despite his individual brilliance.

Great teams can cover one or two great players.

We can't cover Gawn against Peter Ladhams even though we have Grundy ?  I don't buy it.

Pickett is a significant loss, but he's one player.  I'm not confident we'll win this game but I am confident it's a must win despite a 21 year olds absence.

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Seems to be a lot of not so confident people here. I'm not so confident myself but surely there's some hope? We get a shot at this mob on our deck and hopefully we've seen how this team has beaten us in the past and will make the appropriate adjustments this time. 

If we don't win it won't be the end of the world but what will matter is how we lose. 

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11 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

Was emergency last week and took 8 marks and consistently hit up well at Casey. It’s unlikely but the point remains we need athleticism in the front half and JVR will have his plate full if he’s in the ruck even 5 mins a quarter 

Having not watched him play more than a hand full of times I’ll take your word for it. Clearly the club sees value in him. I’m with the poster who sees this as a crunch game for us. I’m prone to hyperbole though! If we win I’ll be back to predicting us the Premiers but if we lose I’ll be calling for Goodwins head. The truth lies in the middle 🤓

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8 hours ago, defuture15 said:

I am wondering how the gawn/grundy tag team will be effected and by who?

Could Van Rooyen be the man who plays the role in this combo?

Why not have bowser or spargo for a few CB's?

Would be nice to see there kicks hitting targets I50!

Am I the only who who read this post and for a fleeting moment thought the poster was suggesting that Bowey or Spargo be Grundy's relief ruckman?

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Am I the only one that scrolls straight past any post that puts up their entire proposed team line up but doesn't actually specifiy who is in and who is out?  

Edited by Vipercrunch
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12 hours ago, Gator said:

I reckon a team has about one, or at the most 2, crunch games per year (not including finals).

This is Melbourne's.

Sydney have not been beaten in 16 of their last 20 games against the Dees.  They massively have the wood over this club.  Yes, we won in 2021, but we and they both know that that doesn't change the fact that they have our measure as a football club.  It's in their psyche and ours.

If Melbourne want to reinstate some authority, demeanor, or aura over the competition, they must win this game on their home ground.  Not many will agree with my next comment, but I believe if we can't beat this younger and less experienced side on our home ground then we're not winning the premiership in 2023.  It's a must win.  It's that important.

They'll be smarting from their last game on the 'G, but our imperatives are equally important.

Am I confident ?  A resounding no.  But they must find a way.

It's never easy to break a dominance, because they're there until they're not.  And they can last a very long time.

I sense there's still a slight fragility about this team.  The flag notwithstanding.

I'll learn a heap by Sunday night.

It's as crunch as you get.

I agree with this other than your comment we're not winning the flag if we don't win Sunday. I think we still can and not just because Gawn and Pickett are out but it is a long season and I'd rather we hit our straps in Aug/Sept than round 3.

Swans are the bogiest of all bogey sides for us! I still remember losing to them in 92 or 93 after they'd lost 26 on the trot, and losing to them at the G with Dermie leading the way in 94.

They've had our measure for too long, I would love to see a win on Sunday but I don't think it will happen. They are a smart team and a smartly coached team, they love crowding and harassing us then getting us on the rebound. I would be more confident playing them at the SCG rather than the MCG, I have a feeling their small mid/forwards like Papley, Gulden and Mills will get us but if we bring the heat we have more than enough firepower in the middle to do the job.

I still think we can win the flag this year regardless of Sunday's result though.

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There are four teams in the comp who I think probably have our measure; Cats, Pies, Swans and Lions. 

Wasn't shocked at the result at the Gabba (especially with no May and not much Gawn). This weekends game will help to show us where we're at in 2023 imo. 

Time for JVR for sure

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