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BATTLE OF MORDOR by Meggs


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Shadows form over Middle-Earth as the two oldest football clubs in the land Melbourne and Geelong take battle for the very first time for 4-points, down at Kardinia Park (aka Mordor).

If you dare, come venture down the highway and support our talented team.

Melbourne’s Season Eight form line is 4 zip and we’ve been playing some scintillating footy.  The fanbase is growing.  

It needs to be said that our opponents so far have hardly been top shelf:

Collingwood sits 12th on the ladder with one win and a percentage of 74.7%, Hawthorn (15th, 1 win, 56.5%), Western Bulldogs (16th, 0 wins, 58.3%) and GWS Giants (17th, 0 wins, 45.0%).

Geelong on the other hand have beaten Western Bulldogs, the Swans and Power (both good wins away), and only lost to North at Mordor after leading well at half time.

Lord Dan Lowther has his charges coming out breathing fire, they are fast starters.  No team has scored a goal against the Cats in first quarters this season.  Let’s spoil that party on Thursday!

In comparison, no team has scored a last quarter goal against the Demons this season (actually not since Round 4 Season Seven, 2022).  

Meggs was pleased to see that Libby Birch, who has been building slowly this season, was named in the backline for the Round 4 Team of the Week.  Other TOTW Melbourne inclusions were our superstar leaders Tyla Hanks and Kate Hore.  Nice recognition girls.

It’s Maddison Gay’s 50th this week (including 7 games for Carlton).  Congratulations and Happy Birthday Maddi!  

Selection this week

Gaby Colvin will play her first game back since her ACL and Maddi Gay was rested lasted week to be primed for this vital clash. Maeve Chaplin and the injured Tayla Harris (hamstring soreness) will make way.
 
Meggs expects Tahlia Gillard (190 cms) to help Loz out in the ruck against the Cats beanpole Erin Hoare who is 194 cms.  Tahls played well in the ruck during the 2023 VFLW season.

Geelong reported no injuries last week.

Our opponents, Geelong

The Cats have elite young midfielders in Georgie Prespakis and Nina Morrison who have great support from the bullocking Becky Webster and Amy McDonald.  Bowen and Crockett-Grills provide speed and pressure from the wings.

The Cats’ defence is led brilliantly by Meg McDonald, with support from former Dee Chantel Emonson who takes the kickouts using her neat skills.  Watch out for defenders, Claudia Gunjaca, a strong intercept mark, and Georgie Rankin.  

Chloe Scheer is equal second on the AFLW goalkicking table with 10 goals, equal with Captain Kate.  While Ex Dee Jacqui Parry is equal 4th with 8 goals, alongside our girl Eden Zanker.

Meggs view

Expectations are high for an entertaining twilight match and a much closer contest than the Demons have seen so far in Season Eight. The Cats' home ground is narrow like last week at Frankston so hopefully that experience helps us. They are strong on every line and have several match winners.  

However, in their Round 4 top of the table clash against North only nine Cats players managed more than 10 possessions.  

Stopping Prespakis and Scheer would surely be gameday planning considerations.  Heathy and or Hanksy to Georgie P, maybe Goldie runs with Chloe Scheer.  

Birch a likely option for the one-paced Parry or even the super competitor Gaby Colvin now that she’s back.  

Mick Stinear has shown us the power of versatility with this playing group.  If gameday demands action, then expect Mick to shuffle his team and conjure moves.

Our forward line is our ace.  We have clever, talented goalkicking players everywhere you look.  It will challenge the Cats backline, especially given our mid field support and trademark quick ball movement.  

It won’t surprise if Geelong lead at some point but our resilience and trust in #demonspirit is strong.  

Let’s bring the pressure over four full quarters like we have each game this season and, if so, Meggs is confident we can win the Battle of Mordor.  

Go Dees!

Melbourne by 13 points
 
THE GAME

Melbourne v Geelong at GMHBA Stadium, Wadawurrung, on Thursday 28 September 2023 at 6:15pm (Melbourne time)
 
HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 0 wins Geelong 0 wins
At GMHBA, Geelong Melbourne 0 wins Geelong 0 wins
The Coaches Stinear 0 wins Lowther 0 wins
 
MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy, Kayo.  
Mobile – AFL Live Official App
Radio - check your local guides.
 
THE LAST TIME THEY MET

This is the first meeting between the two clubs.
 
THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE 

B L. Birch T. Gillard 
HB S. Goldrick M. Gay S. Heath
C B. Mackin T. Hanks E. McNamara
HF C. Sherriff O. Purcell A. Bannan F E. Zanker K. Hore
FOLL L. Pearce P. Paxman L. Mithen 
I/C G. Campbell G. Colvin S. Lampard A. Mackin EMG M. Chaplin M. Fitzsimon J. Ivey 

IN G. Colvin M. Gay

OUT M. Chaplin (omitted) T. Harris (hamstring)

GEELONG

B M. Bragg C. Gunjaca
HB C. Emonson M. McDonald G. Rankin 
C M. Bowen G. Prespakis N. Morrison
HF K. Surman J. Parry D. Moloney 
F C. Scheer A. Moloney
FOLL E. Hoare R. Webster A. McDonald
I/C J. Crockett-Grills K. Darby Z. Friswell R. Garing Ab. McDonald EMG G. Featherston I. Houtsma B. Plummer

IN J. Crockett-Grills Ab. McDonald


OUT R. Kearns (knee) B. Plummer (omitted)

Injury List: Round 5

Sammie Johnson - calf | Test 
Tayla Harris - hamstring | 1 Week

AFLWPreviewRd052023.png

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