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BEATING CROW by George On The Outer


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Melbourne went within four points of eating Crow on the MCG on Sunday. That was the margin that saw them breathing sighs of relief as they got across the line to beat Adelaide. In doing so, they put four more important points inside the winning column for their season.

 

The banking of those four premiership points was vital, as it now leaves the Demons two games + percentage clear of fifth place on the ladder. This gives the coaching staff the opportunity to “manage” players over the coming weeks, because it is unlikely that they will finish higher than fourth. Although not yet set in stone, the chances are they will finish in no different position to where they are today — facing the first round of the finals against Collingwood at the MCG.  

 

Like last week, this was a game of huge momentum swings. Up by five goals in the third quarter, up by four midway through the last only to see scores levelled with 15 minutes to play. Then opening up another two goal plus lead, and finally getting over the line by four points.

 

Make no mistake, Adelaide are a good, yet erratic side. They have recorded wins against Port and Brisbane this year, and lost to Collingwood twice by a point and then by two points at the MCG less than a month ago so Melbourne’s narrow win was still an exceptional one.

 

Fortunately, the Crows struggled to kick straight from set shots, something with  which Melbourne supporters would be truly familiar.  The half time score line of 3 goals 9 behinds which turned into 6.13 at the ¾ time bell kept them out of the game and they only found their kicking boots in the final quarter putting 7 majors through from nine shots at goal.  

 

There were mixed performances from the Melbourne players, with Jack Viney, once again leading the positive column. Thirteen contested possessions, with nothing in the stats sheets for the number of times he simply willed himself to contests to deny the Crows free range.

 

Christian Petracca also threw his hat into the ring with 26 touches of which 14 were contested. Unlike last week he couldn’t find his straight kicking boots, and he failed to bother the goal umpire.  

 

However, it was Kade Chandler who made a welcome return to the forward line. He created space again and again to sail the ball truly over the goal umpires hat three times. It was also pleasing to see Kysaiah Pickett return to his devastating self both when he was in the middle and also the forward line.  Even the captain got in on the act and kicked two long bombs to record majors.  

 

The Demons new “super sub” Joel Smith came on in the final quarter and scored at an absolutely critical time with his first foray into the action. He would have had a second major, but was denied by a touched call from the umpire.  However, he then centred the ball from tight in the pocket next time to ensure a mark to Taj Woewodin who scored what was probably the match winner. Smith might find himself in a more long lasting role up forward next week.

 

In the absence of Clayton Oliver, the Sparrow, Angus Brayshaw, Viney, Petracca, James Jordon and Pickett filled the gap in the middle matching it with Adelaide in the centre, but outplaying them around the ground 24:19.  

 

And while the forwards had plenty of marks to their name i50, the fact that they could only record a single tackle in the same area, should be a cause for concern, especially since rebound 50’s are the major source of scoring for top four sides in 2023.  

 

For the Melbourne fans beating Adelaide is a far more enjoyable situation than falling to them, because eating Crow with a defeat, would have been  just too unbearable to stomach at this time of the year.  

 

Down Rundle Mall way, they regard Pie floaters as a delicacy so we will just have to leave the Crow eating to them …

 

MELBOURNE 2.2.14 6.4.40 11.7.73 14.13.97

ADELAIDE 1.4.10 3.9.27 6.13.49 13.15.93

GOALS

MELBOURNE Chandler 3 Gawn Melksham Pickett 2 Neal-Bullen Smith van Rooyen Viney Woewodin

ADELAIDE Walker 4 Rankine 3 Fogarty Keays Murphy

BEST

MELBOURNE Pickett Viney Brayshaw Gawn Chandler Petracca

ADELAIDE Rankine Walker Hinge Dawson Milera Crouch 

LATE CHANGES 

MELBOURNE Nil

ADELAIDE Ned McHenry and Patrick Parnell (illness) replaced in selected side by Luke Nankervis and Lachlan Murphy

INJURIES

MELBOURNE Nil

ADELAIDE Murray (knee) Rankine (hamstring)

REPORTS

MELBOURNE Nil

ADELAIDE Nil

SUBSTITUTIONS

MELBOURNE Joel Smith (replaced Ben Brown in fourth quarter)

ADELAIDE Jackson Hately (replaced Jordon Butts in third quarter)

UMPIRES Leigh Haussen Curtis Deboy Mathew Nicholls Craig Fleer

CROWD 33,122 at the MCG

ReportRd192023.png

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