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Possible ins: West, Wilson, and tests pending, Colvin and Watt. Lampard would be an extreme outside chance and would be under done regardless. Realistically, Gall or Johnson aren't getting a go.

I agree with others that we need West for physicality. Aside from that, I don't think changes are necessarily going to solve anything.

It's smart to be reactive, a bit defensive and absorb pressure early in a final (though perhaps we were just flat). But it felt like took ages to get out of that mode against the Roos. What I really want is for us to control the footy and keep it in our hands, just for a few minutes here and there, without necessarily going all-out attack handball-chain-happy. But that very clearly doesn't mesh with the game plan we're trying to execute...

Anyway, lots of players needing a big lift. Looking for Harris, Gay and Paxman to improve with some continuity after being in and out this season.

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44 minutes ago, Dees_In_October said:

It's smart to be reactive, a bit defensive and absorb pressure early in a final (though perhaps we were just flat). But it felt like took ages to get out of that mode against the Roos. What I really want is for us to control the footy and keep it in our hands, just for a few minutes here and there, without necessarily going all-out attack handball-chain-happy. But that very clearly doesn't mesh with the game plan we're trying to execute...

 

I think your “handball-chain-happy” comment is a very insightful one.  Last year we were, statistically, the best defensive team in the history of the comp.  This year we are, statistically, the best offensive team in the history of the comp.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  I think we have become way too obsessed with the pretty, flashy looking ball movement that, to be honest, even on a really good day if all goes well, comes off leading to a goal about two or three times.  Last year we were as tough as nails and swung into the flashy stuff when it was suitable.  Now we try to artificially manufacture it all the time, even when it’s clearly just not on.  And teams are of course ready for it, and the good ones are making us pay.

Also, we nearly always start slowly and find ourselves under the pump.  Again, it’s us not playing hard, percentage football when the heat is on at the start of the game, but trying to dazzle with flair.  And how often when we do start to move the ball forward by hand do we have to stop, run in circles, and go sideways because all our forwards have come too far up the ground and there’s no one to kick to?

Yesterday at the ground I said early in the game to my friend that the Kangas were going with a quick kick from the clearances strategy, just get the ball forward by foot.  If that is the team plan, and everyone is ready for it, then it's a good, basic plan.  You'll be in front and take marks from the inevitable short kicks.  Melbourne did not adapt to deal with this.  Conversely, when we tried to occasionally break from the handball game and hack it forward (usually as the handball chain wasn't working) it was so unexpected that no one was ready.  The ball was coming into the forward line with no consistency, and the forwards didn't seem to be helping by failing to lead which meant "passes" were basically either going nowhere near them or landing on their heads, giving the north defenders an easy task to fist it away.

I'm looking for positives, and for those who are too here is one.  The last time were in this position was in 2021, after losing to the Dogs when we outplayed them but kicked 2.12 and lost, and then followed that up with a performance against Collingwood that was appalling, showing all the signs of a team that was still suffering from the hangover of kicking 2.12 the previous week.  The next week Mick made a few changes (Daisy forward, Zanker onto the ball, etc.), and we got things going again against St. Kilda.  But here's the good bit.  Our next three matches were against probably the then three best teams in the comp - Adelaide, Freo in Perth, and Brisbane.  And we beat all three.  It was done with absolute grit and commitment mixed with belief in team mates.

We can do it again.

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Ok. I've got yesterday's horror show out of my system now.

We can and will beat Geelong. No way this team meekly surrenders again this week. Make a statement about what this team stands.

I'd throw Zanker into the middle. She's strong and agile and played there before to good effect. Bring West back in. Leave Harris forward. Campbell and Pearce to do the rucking.

We may not go much farther this year but if we are going to lose can we at least die with our boots on.

come on girls. you can do it.

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5 hours ago, BDA said:

Ok. I've got yesterday's horror show out of my system now.

We can and will beat Geelong. No way this team meekly surrenders again this week. Make a statement about what this team stands.

I'd throw Zanker into the middle. She's strong and agile and played there before to good effect. Bring West back in. Leave Harris forward. Campbell and Pearce to do the rucking.

We may not go much farther this year but if we are going to lose can we at least die with our boots on.

come on girls. you can do it.

Zanker appeared to move into the middle in the 4th quarter and immediately started getting possessions against North. Too little too late though.

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7 hours ago, Melbournepotter said:

Zanker appeared to move into the middle in the 4th quarter and immediately started getting possessions against North. Too little too late though.

Yes Mick often moves players into the middle eg Tayla and Zanker to get them into the game but also I guess to provide some physicality in there because we were getting smashed. The problem there though is that Campbell and Pearce are not forwards so we are robbing Peter to pay Paul. Hopefully this week we see some changes around that with West back in to provide some contest / clearance work and also start Purcell on the ground. Second week in a row now she has started on the bench. We need to make a statement and get off to a good start.

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22 hours ago, Craig T said:

 Now we try to artificially manufacture it all the time, even when it’s clearly just not on.

And how often when we do start to move the ball forward by hand do we have to stop, run in circles, and go sideways because all our forwards have come too far up the ground and there’s no one to kick to?

Conversely, when we tried to occasionally break from the handball game and hack it forward (usually as the handball chain wasn't working) it was so unexpected that no one was ready. 

Agree with all this and I think that not being able to adapt mid-game, which is something we became really good at in 2022 despite it being quite hard to do in short quarters, was something really striking as missing in this game. Aside from a lack of physical energy in covering the ground, it looked like a lack of mental energy as well, in how we wanted to play, to be able to change things up, shift the angles, re-set. And like you said, when players tried a different approach, or Mick shifted players around, everyone else seemed so bewildered that it ended in some horrific turnovers.

22 hours ago, BDA said:

I'd throw Zanker into the middle. She's strong and agile and played there before to good effect.

I like Zanker on the ball, especially with Harris back in the side. I just think it needs to be done more proactively rather than as a back-up to resort to. I think we can safely call her a confidence player - give her the task and get her involved early.

9 hours ago, Dee Viney Intervention said:

We need to make a statement and get off to a good start.

So many times I've thought to myself, "Death, taxes and us leaking the first goal". Sometimes it can't be helped due to a wacky umpiring decision or whatever, but as we saw on the weekend, the longer the scoreboard stays empty... Even in our most dominant games this season, without actually checking, I feel like we've given up a lot of early goals.

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INS – West, Watt, Wilson, Johnson   
OUTS – Campbell 

BACK Libby Birch Tahlia Gillard   
HALF-BACK Sinead Goldrick Maddi Gay Shelley Heath
CENTRE Blaithin Mackin Tyla Hanks Aimee Mackin
HALF-FORWARD Megan Fitzsimon Paxy Paxman Eden Zanker
FORWARD Tayla Harris Kate Hore  
FOLLOWERS Lauren Pearce Olivia Purcell Lily Mithen
INTERCHANGE Maeve Chaplin Eliza West Eliza McNamara
  Alyssa Bannan Jordan Ivey Rhi Watt
  Charlotte Wilson Samantha Johnson   
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Melbourne v Geelong at Ikon Park, 3.05pm AEDT

MELBOURNE

In: E.West
Out: G.Campbell (omitted)

Milestone: Olivia Purcell (50 games), Mick Stinear (75 games coached)

GEELONG

In: K.Darby, G.Featherston 
Out: C.Scheer (collarbone), M.Bragg (omitted)

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30 minutes ago, Demonland said:

Melbourne v Geelong at Ikon Park, 3.05pm AEDT

MELBOURNE

In: E.West
Out: G.Campbell (omitted)

Milestone: Olivia Purcell (50 games), Mick Stinear (75 games coached)

GEELONG

In: K.Darby, G.Featherston 
Out: C.Scheer (collarbone), M.Bragg (omitted)

We almost let Liv’s milestone go uncelebrated on this week’s banner because when we were looking at future milestone games we knew we’d be playing in a QF and we assumed we’d win it so we pencilled in Liv’s 50th for the Prelim. 😑

Brightside: should we make the GF it’ll be Banno’s 50th that day, instead of round one next season (hopefully not round two! 😑).

Edit: so pleased to see Westy back in the side. ❤️💙

Edited by WalkingCivilWar
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Geelong against the Final Six:

Nth (-9), Melb (-49), Ess (-10), Syd (+27), Ess (EF +18).

Goals for: 26 (8 Scheer*, 5 A.Moloney, 4 Parry, 2 Bowen, A.McDonald, Morrison, Prespakis, 1 Crockett-Grills).

Points conceded: 208.

Melbourne against the Final Six:

Geel (+49), Adel (-10), Nth (+23), Bris (-25), Nth (QF -41).

Goals for: 28 (8 Zanker, 6 Hore, 3 Hanks, 2 McNamara, Paxman, Sherriff*, 1 Bannan, Campbell*, Gay, Harris, Mithen).

Points conceded: 198.

Avg. games (avg. finals) experience selected teams: Melb 47.4 (6.9); Geel 38.1 (2.5).

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Oh how I’d love for Sydney to beat Adelaide tonight. To see the Crows go out in straight sets would be 🤌

But should the Crows win tonight and we win tomorrow, since I can’t attend our prelim vs Brisbane in Brisbane, I for one will be at Ikon barracking hard for North in their prelim. I’m even gonna sit in their cheer squad. I did it for the Suns in their VFL grand final and they won. Who knows… I might be the lucky charm! 😂

PS: We’ll win tomorrow. ❤️💙

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If we are over our reported health issues from last week we should win and reasonably comfortably.  However the pessimist in me can't but help worry that a full recovery in a week is questionable for everyone with this particular illness.  @WalkingCivilWar's reassurances about how they appeared at training is heartening, but the pressure and intensity of a final will really test their fitness.

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