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  1. The Saturday afternoon picnic atmosphere of Casey Fields was filled with expectations for this top of the ladder clash of AFLW heavyweights Melbourne and Adelaide. The majority of supporters present were dee-voted red-and-blue patrons, but everyone had to endure the blaring announcements and music. Thankfully the notorious wind was manageable. In the first quarter the visiting Crows failed to score while the Demons put 16 points on the board. Everyone around us seemed quietly content at quarter time. Season Eight business as usual? It could have been more had Edo not hit the post from a set shot and Lampy (who had scored two goals the last time Melbourne played Adelaide) missed a golden opportunity. At quarter time Matthew Clarke, the Crows Coach, must have said something inspirational as his charges visibly amped up their pressure to have scores level by half-time. As we walked around the ground the Dees supporters appeared ominously quiet, possibly sensing an upset (or maybe going deaf from the PA). It was a third quarter domination by Adelaide to which Mick Stinear commented afterwards had rattled his Dees. The bigger Crows bodies and pressure around the contest caused our defensive systems to break down and enabled them to kick six unanswered goals during this period. It was reminiscent of how the Demons lost both games to the Crows in Season Six. Mick tried Goldie, Blaithin Mackin and Kate Hore in the middle at times trying to stem the flow. Maddi Gay was one winner for us in defence but overall, we seemed overwhelmed and just couldn’t find the footy. Deep in the third quarter and against the run of play, Eliza McNamara kicked a desperately needed running goal which lifted the collective spirits of Demon hearts around the ground. Melbourne’s reputation as fourth quarter specialists was again on show, delivering a strong comeback to get within three points. But it wasn’t enough. The Crows kicked two goals in the last quarter to win by 10 points and ended our 14-game winning streak. The last 4 games of the Season are WCE away, North at Ikon, Freo at Casey, and Brisbane away. The match was a quality contest and highly entertaining. Despite the disappointment of losing this clash, we have laid a very good foundation for Season 8. We should remain ambitious for a Top 2 finish from where we can launch our premiership defence. In terms of the game: Q1 A centre clearance from the opening bounce leads to an inside 50 mark and conversion by Eden Zanker. Off to a flying start. Unfortunately, Edo hits the post on a set shot from a contested mark. She then kicks her second goal off the ground with under 5 minutes to play. We see Aimee Mackin has gone off with an ankle injury. ¼ time: Dees 2.4.16 Crows 0.0.0 Q2 Ponter marks in front of her opponent and converts. Crows pressure is coming this quarter and Ebony Marinoff kicks a nice goal from a scrimmage. A couple more points from the Crows and we are all square at half time. ½ time: Dees 2.4.16 Crows 2.4.16 Q3 Tremendous physical pressure coming from the Crows, and the Dees can’t get hold of the footy. Hatchard takes a strong contested mark in the goal square against Blaithin Mackin and converts. A strange holding the ball decision against Goldie in the forward pocket is taken by best on ground Marinoff and she duly converts. Nice goal Ebony. Adelaide’s Caitlin Gould marks on the point post and is able to pass off to Eloise Jones who was unmarked, and she kicks truly. Melbourne’s defence is shaky. The Dees fail to clear the ball and it comes back so quickly with the dangerous Ponter taking full advantage of a bouncing ball to kick the Crows’ 6th goal in a row to lead by a game-high 25 points. With less than 30 seconds left to play in the quarter, a Lampy smother allows Kate Hore to grab the footy and launch an inside 50 where some Demon teammates get the ball to Eliza McNamara who kicks a wonderful goal on the run. A crowd and team lifter for sure. ¾ time: Dees 3.4.22 Crows 6.5.41 Q4 Melbourne, the 4th quarter specialists, have a goal inside the first minute after a contested mark by Eden Zanker directly in front. The home crowd enjoyed that one. Next Harris bombs it long inside 50 and Zanker does it again. Edo is a star, her 4th goal today. 14.26 left on the clock. Hopes are rising before a Tayla Harris overzealous bump on Marinoff results in a down field free kick to Hatchard who goals. Melbourne’s day is not done yet. Goldie, who is playing really well today, takes a loose ball and bombs it inside 50 where Hore, and then Zanker pass it to the running McNamara who kicks her second brilliant running goal. Go Lize! We see later that Lize’s game time was only 51%. Not sure why? When Eden Zanker wins a free kick, goes back and slots it, it’s a three-point game! The crowd is going bananas. However, with less than 2 minutes to play from a throw up on the grandstand wing, Marinoff knocks it out to Adelaide’s advantage and the ball eventually ends up with Gould running into an open goal. Colvin, Birch, and Gillard watch on, unable do anything to stop it. The Crows generated eight more inside 50s, laid 13 more tackles, and won 10 more intercept possessions for the match to be too strong in the end. Our last quarter effort showed real self-belief. It just wasn’t our day. Dees 7.4.46 Crows 8.8.56. Coaches and next week Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear stated that the Crows pressure spiked in the middle part of the game which created trouble when exiting our defensive half. Adelaide had plus 40 possessions in that third quarter. But he was pleased with how his team played out the final quarter. The Crows taught us some lessons today he said. He referenced the similar loss in Round 4 loss to Brisbane last season and hopes to take away some more learnings. Crows coach Matthew Clarke said it was a great game and ended up a bit closer than he would have liked. A sluggish start but the way his team worked their way into the game was outstanding, particularly the third quarter to which he referred to the ‘stand out feature’. Melbourne has been the leading team of Season 8, and their forward efficiency is a real strength. He praised Zanker’s 5 goal game as outstanding. Next week we travel to Perth to take on the West Coast Eagles at 5:05pm Sunday 15 October 2023. Mick said he has 3 or 4 players pressing for selection and that Paxy is recovering from her home concussion accident. Aimee Mackin (ankle injury), Casey Sherriff, and Gaby Colvin were quiet and there weren’t alone. Twelve Demon players had less than 9 possessions for the afternoon. MELBOURNE 2.4.16 2.4.16 3.4.22 7.4.46 ADELAIDE 0.0.0 2.4.16 6.5.41 8.8.56 GOALS MELBOURNE Zanker 5 McNamara 2 ADELAIDE Hatchard Marinoff Ponter 2 Gould Jones BEST MELBOURNE Zanker Hanks Hore Purcell Gay ADELAIDE Hatchard Marinoff Allan Ponter Kelly Newman INJURIES MELBOURNE A. Mackin (ankle) ADELAIDE Nil REPORTS MELBOURNE Nil ADELAIDE Nil UMPIRES Adams Clamp Nippress VENUE Casey Fields
  2. Big Guns, Melbourne and Adelaide, the two remaining undefeated teams in Season Eight, take battle on Saturday afternoon at Casey Fields, with the winner to go four points clear at the top of the ladder. We can’t wait to see how this potential grand final preview unfolds. Melbourne has been rocketing along this season as the highest points scorer and has the best percentage. Some questioned its opponents to date, but putting Geelong to the sword by 49 points at its home ground last week was super impressive. Offensively in the five games this season, the Demons have scored 58 goals kicked by 16 different goal scorers and the Crows have 49 goals from 14 different players. Defensively this season each have had 18 goals kicked against so there’s not that much in it. Over the nine matches played between the Demons and the Crows since 2017: • Total points scored - 285 to 289. • Wins – 5 to 4 • Finals – 1 to 2 • Casey Fields – 2 to 1 (combined scores 15.17.107 to 16.11.107, equal points) Again, not much in it. Mick Stinear has coached the Dees since inception in 2017 and Matthew Clarke joined the Crows from 2019. Adelaide has 3 premierships (2017, 2019, Season 6, 2022) and Melbourne has 1 (Season 7, 2022). Two teams 5 zip and in ripping form, it’s going to be a cracker of a game. Hopefully the notorious Casey wind will behave more akin to a zephyr this week. More recognition during the week for Demons skipper Kate Hore who made the Round 5 Team of the Week. Kate leads the Season 8 goalkicking tally on 14 goals and heads the all-time AFLW scorers on 67 goals. Selection this week Tayla Harris is a test this week on her hamstring. They won well last week without Tay but her first 4 weeks were full of team first contributions. Sammie Johnson also has a test, on her calf. Adelaide has defensive duo Steve-Lee Thompson returning and possibly Najwa Allen who has a hamstring test. Our opponents, Adelaide Any team that can win well when missing 3 quality premiership defenders in Sarah Allan, Steve-Lee Thompson and Najwa Allen, has great depth. In their absence Adelaide has shown us the defensive abilities of Zoe Prowse, Chelsea Biddell and Sarah Goodwin. While the Demons have such a dangerous quality and breadth of forward talent, the Crows possess a really strong defensive group and so the matchups will be critical to who wins this match. Usually, it starts in the middle and Adelaide have the outstanding Ebony Marinoff (10) and Anne Hatchard (33) who dominate contested footy but have ruck depth in Jessica Allan, Montana McKinnon and Caitlin Gould and a host of fast smalls in Martin, Waterhouse, Charlton and Kelly. Forward-wise the dangerous Danielle Ponter, winger Eloise Jones, ruck Gould and Rachelle Martin have been snagging majors this year. Our defenders will have their work cut out. Meggs view Thankfully no rain is forecast for Saturday. He is heading down the Monash and hoping for a super contest and senses a big margin this week is unlikely. It will be likely we won’t see the recent higher scoring due to sustained four quarter pressure. Both teams are super fit. On matchups Meggs thinks that, if Tayla Harris is available, we can better stretch the capable Crows defence. Gold Coast’s Lucy Single lined up on Marinoff and kept her quiet somewhat. Heath has been great at executing all tasks set her so maybe another ‘run with’ role awaits. A key power of our playing group is versatility, it’s such a strength. Expect Mick to confidently make positional moves during a match to improve outcomes. Edo Zanker and Kate Hore were super last week. Liv Purcell, Tyla Hanks, Lily Mithen and Eliza West were strong in the contest and will need to be physical again versus Adelaide. Watch out for the run of Paxy, Lize and the Mackins and our trademark handball chains. Another four full quarters please. Let’s smoke ‘em in this season defining top of the ladder battle of the Big Guns. Go Dees! Melbourne by 8 points THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at Casey Fields, on Saturday 7 October 2023 at 3:05pm (Melbourne time) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 5 wins Adelaide 4 wins At Casey Fields Melbourne 2 wins Adelaide 1 win The Coaches Stinear 3 wins Clarke 4 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy, Kayo. Mobile – AFL Live Official App Radio – Casey Radio 97.7 fm from 2:35pm. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 7.6 (48) defeated Adelaide 4.3 (27) at Ikon Park, 4 November 2022 The Dees convincingly overcome the fast-starting reigning-premiers Adelaide to win by 21 points in a fiery Qualifying Final match at Ikon Park. Adelaide jumped out of the blocks in the first quarter kicking their first goal inside 20 seconds and finished with 3 goals to nil. At the quarter time break Mick moved Shelley Heath to the dangerous Ponter and Sarah Lampard to a wing. Great moves. Lampy impressed everyone with her 2 goals and Heath was in everything laying 7 hard tackles, as she does. He matched up Goldie on 4-time AFLW most courageous player award winner, Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall and kept her to 7 possessions for the game. A highlight of the second quarter was Bannan’s 6-bounce sprint down the wing while midfield ace Liv Purcell (BOG) and Tayla Harris were outstanding. Blaithin Mackin had 15 disposals and, along with Banno, sold lots of candy during the match. The Dees kicked the last 3 goals of the match to put the result beyond doubt. The final goal by Eden Zanker was a nice way for her to finish her ‘50 dazzling games’. MELBOURNE 0.2.2 3.4.23 4.6.30 7.6.48 ADELAIDE 3.2.20 3.2.20 4.2.26 4.3.27 GOALS MELBOURNE L Bannan Lampard 2 L Pearce Purcell Zanker ADELAIDE Gould 2 Ponter, Woodland BEST MELBOURNE Purcell Lampard Bannan Mithen Hanks Harris ADELAIDE Marinoff Allan Gould Ponter Hatchard INJURIES MELBOURNE Nil ADELAIDE Randall (head knock) REPORTS MELBOURNE Nil ADELAIDE Nil CROWD 2555 at Ikon Park THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B L. Birch T. Gillard HB S. Gillard M. Gay S. Heath C B. Mackin T. Hanks McNamara HF A. Bannan L. Mithen C. Sherriff F T. Harris E. Zanker FOLL L. Pearce O. Purcell K. HoreI/C G. Colvin M. Fitzsimon S. Lampard A. Mackin E. West EMG G. Campbell M. Chaplin J. Ivey IN M. Fitzsimon T. Harris OUT G. Campbell (omitted), P. Paxman (concussion) ADELAIDE B C. Biddell Z. Prowse HB S. Thompson N. Allen S. Goodwin C N. Kelly A. Hatchard M. Newman HF Y. Bonner C. Randall E. Jones F C. Gould D. Ponter FOLL J. Allan E. Marinoff T. Charlton I/C A Ballard R. Martin K. Mueller H. Munyard J. Waterhouse EMG M. McKinnon B. Smith B. Tonon IN N. Allen S. Thompson 
OUT M. McKinnon (omitted) B. Tonon (omitted) Injury List: Round 6 Tayla Harris - hamstring | Test Sammie Johnson - calf | Test
  3. 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
  4. The last round clearly demonstrated how unpredictable season 2023 has become. Port Adelaide crashed to Carlton who were considered a basket case last month. The Swans got up against the Bulldogs who looked a top four proposition a fortnight ago, the red hot Bombers were disposed of in less than 20 minutes by the Cats who were recently facing a calamitous fall out of finals contention. And the Giants have come from nowhere to become finals challengers after delivering a huge hit on the Crows on their own turf in Adelaide where they were considered almost invincible. It’s hard to figure out the Crows. They were looking finals bound after beating the Lions and coming close (twice) to beating the Magpies but their recent form has been very ordinary. But all things considered, you can’t entirely write them off in this topsy turvy season, even in this week’s match up with the Demons at the MCG. After all, despite their twelfth place on the ladder, Adelaide’s best form in 2023 has been pretty good. In fact, its percentage is the fifth highest in the competition, slightly higher than cross-town rivals in second-on-the-ladder, Port Adelaide who they beat early in the season. They were unlucky to lose to top placed Collingwood when they last ventured onto the MCG so their season’s record against top sides is excellent. And they are desperate for a win to stay in the finals race. Melbourne hasn’t been a picture of consistency either, having dropped games to teams like Freo and the Giants who are out of the eight — games they should have won. It has however, shown some admirable traits over the past couple of matches. Simon Goodwin has covered the loss through injury of midfield superstar Clayton Oliver and leading medium forward Bayley Fritsch, strengthened its defence and rejigged its rucks by reverting to Max Gawn’s almost solo ruck status with occasional chop outs from young key forward Jacob van Rooyen. His willingness to experiment and boldness in team selection is bearing fruit. The omission of Brodie Grundy and sending him to the VFL to hone his forward play. Much the same as the way Ben Brown was given the opportunity to get his body right at Casey for the team assault on the flag in 2021. The compelling aspect of last week’s win over Brisbane is the way the players rallied together late in the game and the camaraderie and energy that was in evidence among the team. Within a fortnight they have transformed their mindset from the hunted to the hunter again, reminiscent of the Melbourne of two years ago as the club commenced its run towards the finals and a premiership. Adelaide’s cause has not been assisted by the loss through injury of Rory Laird and the suspension of Josh Rachele. They can barely afford to lose players of such calibre to a prospective top four side and whilst Melbourne also has key players missing, it has the depth to cover such loss. The Crows don’t and for this reason, they will be eaten alive. The Demons to win by 49 points. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday 23 July, 2023 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Melbourne 18 wins Adelaide 26 wins At MCG - Melbourne 8 wins Adelaide 7 wins Past five meetings - Melbourne 3 wins Adelaide 2 wins The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 3 wins Matthew Nicks 1 win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 14.10.94 defeated Adelaide 10.5.65 at Adelaide Oval, Round 16, 2022 With both Max Gawn and Luke Jackson missing through injury, this was a danger game for Melbourne. The Crows were tenacious and things were tight at half time before the Demons established their authority on the game through the dominance of the midfield combination of Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver, a brilliant performance from Ed Langdon on a wing and a powerful defence. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B C Salem S. May J. Lever HB J. Bowey A. Tomlinson J. McVee C L. Hunter J. Viney E. Langdon HF K. Pickett J. Van Rooyen T. Sparrow F A. Neal-Bullen B. Brown T. Woewodin FOLL M. Gawn A. Brayshaw C. Petracca I/C K. Chandler J. Jordon J. Melksham T. Rivers SUB J. Smith EMG B. Grundy M. Hibberd B. Laurie IN K. Chandler A. Tomlinson OUT H. Petty (ribs) C. Spargo (omitted) ADELAIDE B B. Smith N. Murray J. Butts HB M. Hinge J. Worrell W. Milera C C. Jones J. Dawson B. Cook HF B. Keays D. Fogarty S. McAdam F L. Pedlar T. Walker I. Rankine FOLL R. O'Brien H. Schoenberg M. Crouch I/C L. Murphy L. Nankervis R. Sloane R. Thilthorpe SUB J. Hately EMG E. Himmelberg IN B. Cook M. Crouch L. Murphy L. Nankervis H. Schoenberg OUT R. Laird (shoulder) N. McHenry (illness) M. Michalanney (managed) J. Rachele (suspension) L. Sholl (omitted) Injury List: Round 19 
Harry Petty - Ribs | Test Clayton Oliver - Hamstring | 3 - 4 Weeks Tom McDonald - Ankle | 3 - 4 Weeks Bayley Fritsch - Foot | 5 - 6 Weeks
Daniel Turner - Hand | 5 - 6 Weeks Kye Turner - Groin | TBC
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