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  1. Melbourne stormed to its twelfth win for the 2022 season after finally putting the Crows away in the final quarter of their clash at Adelaide Oval. The 29-point victory was by no means an easy one for the Demons who went into the game without a recognised ruck and a forward line with a solitary tall. With a patched-up structure of Sam Weideman and Mitch Brown in the ruck, it was not surprising to see Adelaide dominate these contests. However, despite 48 hitouts alone to Adelaide’s Reilly O’Brien, only 16 were to advantage as the Melbourne midfield bulls of Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney well and truly made up for this disadvantage. Once again they put together a staggering 95 disposals between themselves, which is becoming standard operating procedure. Petracca, in particular, returned to some of his best form, having also rediscovered his kicking boots in front of goal, putting three through the big sticks after failing to bring up the goal umpires two fingers in his past five games. It was indeed a welcome change. The makeshift forward line, was similar. Ben Brown once again found himself double and tripled teamed at times, so while it was not surprising he could only manage three marks, he still hit the scoreboard with two majors and even Mitch Brown kicked a couple, despite only 62% game time, most of which was in the back-up ruck role. For the second week, the side depended upon the input from the mids, so eight of the 14 goals came from within that area. Things looked doubtful for the Demons at times and even in the final quarter the Crows came within five points, but they prevailed in the end with Fritsch marking strongly and nailing the resultant chance to put the game beyond doubt. The backs were in trouble early with Tex Walker having a quarter out, courtesy of a number of dubious umpiring calls. Steven May then responded well, and buried him for the rest of the game, ably helped out by the intercepting trio of Lever, Brayshaw and Petty. Incredibly between the four they amassed 43 intercepts, which simply broke the Crow hearts again and again. Yes the Demons walked away with the four points and their twelfth victory of the season to guarantee another finals appearance. But to take full advantage of the season, more than that is required. They need to hold on to top four and ultimately top two position. Next week against Geelong, who have a dream run into September with five of their last 8 games at home in Mordor, otherwise known as Kardinia Park or GMHBA Stadium, the task will not be an easy one. Certainly, without a proper ruck offering, the Demons would be facing a monumental task. They got away with a Weideman/M. Brown combination this week, but Stanley and Blicavs are a much more formidable combination not to mention the physical mismatch when Hawkins takes the forward ruck role. It is therefore hoped that Gawn and Jackson overcome their injuries in quick time. The Cats will remember the damage done to them in R23 and the finals last year, when they thought they had the wood over the Demons. If that happens again, then it will be the Bakers dozen (13) of wins for the MFC as it marches onward to the end of the 2022 season.  MELBOURNE 5.1.31 6.3.39 9.9.63 14.10.94 ADELAIDE 4.0.24 6.2.38 7.4.46 10.5.65 GOALS MELBOURNE Petracca 3 B Brown M Brown 2 Bedford Fritsch Harmes Langdon Pickett Sparrow Viney ADELAIDE Keays Walker 2 Dawson Fogarty Laird Milera Rachele Thilthorpe BEST MELBOURNE Petracca Oliver Langdon Brayshaw Harmes Viney ADELAIDE Laird Dawson Walker Keays Doedee O’Brien INJURIES MELBOURNE Luke Jackson (knee) replaced in selected side by Mitch Brown ADELAIDE Fogarty (finger) REPORTS MELBOURNE Nil ADELAIDE Nil SUBSTITUTES MELBOURNE Adam Tomlinson (unused) ADELAIDE Lachlan Sholl (unused) UMPIRES Chris Donlon Jamie Broadbent Paul Rebeschini CROWD 30,702 at the Adelaide Oval
  2. For those of us who were at the Adelaide Oval to watch Melbourne’s first defeat for the year on that fateful evening in May of last year, the moment at which the final siren blared is still seared into our collective memory. A victory stolen away by a combination of factors including our own hubris, a frenzied crowd that seemed to control the minds of the umpires, some dreadful kicking for goal and a touch of plain bad luck. Perhaps it might have been the team’s training regimen that provided for loading in preparation for the lead up into the finals or was it simply lack of respect for the opponent? Whatever the reason for the defeat, the team hardly needs any reminders now of the lesson they were taught about how to approach a lowly opposition. While the Crows are no longer scraping at the bottom of the table as they were at this time last year, they remain a team that could easily be underestimated by a team like Melbourne which has its eyes firmly set on a top four finish. Even the beautiful Adelaide Oval which has been such a friendly and happy hunting ground for the Demons in recent times can turn hostile as we learned in 2021, so it’s important that last year’s lesson about never underestimating your opponent rings loud, clear and often in the mind of every player. Certainly, they atoned somewhat in the return match up in front of no crowd at the MCG but that was absent the club’s bogey man in Tex Walker who is back and currently in form. So is Darcy Fogarty - between the two of them, they notched up ten goals down in Tassie against the Kangaroos at the weekend. Which makes it important for the Demon defence of May, Lever, Petty, Salem, Hibberd, Bowey and Brayshaw to work diligently to place the necessary pressure from the very first bounce of the game. Of course, the ferocious Demons midfield stood up last week even in the absence of maestro Max Gawn so the Crows’ forwards should not be expecting the quality of disposal which they got against the Shinboners. Hopefully, they will be buoyed by the announcement that Clayton Oliver has joined Christian Petracca in a long term commitment to the club. This is exactly the sort of thing that is emblematic of a strong club. It's true that our 18 team competition brings up its challenges and every time we look at the fixture for the remainder of the home and away season, there’s a reminder there of the tough run that the Demons face in the lead up to the finals but it's exactly because of this that I regard it unlikely that this group will allow a repeat of history by failing to bring home the four points from the City of Churches. Melbourne to win by 38 points. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday 2 July, 2022 at 4.35pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Adelaide 26 wins Melbourne 17 wins At Adelaide Oval - Adelaide 2 wins Melbourne 4 wins Past five meetings - Melbourne 3 wins Adelaide 2 wins The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 2 wins Matthew Nicks 1 win MEDIA TV - live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel - Check your local guides. Radio - check your local guides. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Adelaide 9.9.63 in Round 22, 2021 at the MCG Melbourne extracted a heavy revenge against Adelaide for its upset victory earlier in the season. The 41 point victory was however, somewhat flattering because it came off the back of a late goalfest from Bayley Fritsch who finished with seven goals straight for the game including four in the final term. THE TEAMS ADELAIDE B: T.Doedee 39 J.Butts 41 C.Jones 1 HB: Smith 33 N.Murray 28 J.Dawson 12 C: J.Hately 6 R.Laird 29 M.Hinge 20 HF: J.Rachele 8 D.Fogarty 32 J.Soligo 14 F: L.Murphy 4 T.Walker 13 J.Rowe 31 Foll: R.O'Brien 43 B.Keays 2 S.Berry 21 I/C: W.Milera 30 P.Parnell 37 H.Schoenberg 26 R.Thilthorpe Sub: L.Sholl 38 Emerg: T.Newchurch 42 M.Crouch 5 L.Gollant 44 In: L.Murphy L.Sholl R.Thilthorpe Out: W.Hamill (concussion) S.McAdam (ankle) N.McHenry (knee) MELBOURNE B: S.May 1 H.Petty 35 M.Hibberd 14 HB: J.Bowey 17 J.Lever 8 C.Salem 3 C: A.Brayshaw 10 C.Oliver 13 E.Langdon 15 HF: J.Harmes 4 B.Fritsch 31 A.Neal-Bullen 30 F: K.Pickett 36 B.Brown 50 T.Bedford 12 Foll: S.Weideman 26 C.Petracca 5 J.Viney 7 I/C: J.Jordon 23 C.Spargo 9 T.Sparrow 32 M.Brown 38 Sub: A.Tomlinson 20 Emerg: J.Hunt 29 J.Melksham 18 J.Van Rooyen 21 In: M.Brown A.Tomlinson Out: J.Hunt (omitted) L.Jackson (knee) Injury List: Round 16 Max Gawn - Ankle | 1-2 Weeks Daniel Turner - Face | 2-3 Weeks Blake Howes - Foot | 2-4 Weeks Joel Smith - Ankle | 2-4 Weeks Tom McDonald - Foot | 10-12 Weeks
  3. This was our return match after the surprise defeat at the hands of the Crows ended our winning streak earlier in the season. MELBOURNE B: C. Salem 3 J. Smith 44 J. Lever 8 HB: T. Rivers 24 H. Petty 35 J. Bowey 17 C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Petracca 5 E. Langdon 15 HF: Neal-Bullen 30 J. Melksham 18 B. Fritsch 31 F: K. Pickett 36 B. Brown 50 C. Spargo 9 Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 J. Harmes 4 I/C: M. Hibberd 14 L. Jackson 6 J. Jordon 23 T. Sparrow 32 Sub: A. vandenBerg 22 Emerg: T. Bedford 12 S. Weideman 26 IN: M. Hibberd J. Smith OUT: J. Hunt (ankle) S. May (general soreness) ADELAIDE B: N. Murray 28 J. Butts 41 J. Kelly 8 HB: A. McPherson 36 T. Doedee 39 C. Jones 1 C: B. Cook 15 B. Keays 2 P. Seedsman 11 HF: D. Mackay 14 E. Himmelberg 34 L. Murphy 4 F: N. McHenry 25 R. Thilthorpe 7 D. Fogarty 32 Foll: K. Strachan 45 R. Laird 29 R. Sloane 9 I/C: B. Davis 40 T. Lynch 27 S.McAdam 23 H. Schoenberg 26 Sub: L. Sholl 38 Emerg: S. Berry 21 B. Frampton 22 L.Gollant 44 In: S.McAdam L. Sholl K. Strachan Out: B. Smith (concussion) W. Hamill (concussion) R. O'Brien (knee)
  4. Melbourne’s nine game winning streak came to an end in Adelaide with a one point loss to the Crows. Losing to a team that had only won three games for the season, having lost five in a row was certainly nothing to crow about. All around the ground players collectively put in their poorest performance for the year. The loss of Christian Salem before the match was critical, as his replacement Nev Jetta is a mere shadow the player he once was. The mind is still willing, but the body no longer reacts to the instructions, and he spent the whole game behind and conceding to his opposition. He wasn’t alone, as Sam Weideman, with a must perform asterisk next to his name did nothing of the sort, and has once again put his position in the side in jeopardy. The rest of the forward line weren’t much better, with Tom McDonald well down on his performances, while Bayley Fritsch and Jake Melksham yet again failing to record a single tackle each for the whole game. Others managed 14 tackles inside 50m, but not them. Small wonder there was little defensive pressure save for Charlie Spargo and Kozzie Pickett. Even Max Gawn in the ruck was well below his best, for despite multiple marks and outscoring on the hitout stat, his dropped marks cost the side multiple goals. To top it off, his attempt to take the ball out of the ruck contest in the dying seconds was not so smart. The team only needed a point with the goal-mouth 10m away, so a hit forward surely would have resulted in at worst, a scrambled point and a drawn game. When Luke Jackson was rucking in the middle of the final quarter, the side hit the front, because he not only got the ball to our mids, but provided an extra mid with his athleticism. When he moved the momentum swung Adelaide’s way again. Clayton Oliver nearly single-handedly brought the side back from their malaise with 27 contested possessions, and 12 disposals in the third quarter and 38 overall. Sadly he was let down by others around him not stepping up to the plate. James Harmes opened his account with 5 critical errors and didn’t improve. His opponent had 21 touches to ½ time. He is not the tagger of 2018 any more. Christian Petracca performed at his best again, with 32 touches, but we cannot expect a miracle effort every week. And we can’t expect he and Oliver to do all the work. This week we won clearances thanks to that pair, but lost the game. Still with Oliver working his heart out and the side leading by up to 16 points deep in the final quarter, the errors just kept coming from the Demons and with more passengers than the No.59 tram on a Friday night, they couldn’t muster the will to get over the line. It wasn’t helped by some flaky umpiring decisions, particularly in the dying minute with an obvious deliberate out of bounds by Adelaide not paid (compare the one paid against Jake Lever earlier in the game that resulted in a goal to the Crows), but the Demons should not have been in that situation in the first place. This week the coaches had problems about which players to select. Next week against the Bulldogs, it will be who to drop. The forward line did not work, and not working was their hallmark in this game. Ben Brown will likely be an easy inclusion, but he won’t be the only one. The backs failed to gel, and the critical nature of structure and roles was broken when only one player can’t perform that role. There will be changes there as well. Salem when available will slot back in easily. This game was nothing to Crow about. We were beaten comprehensively, even though only losing by a solitary point. Surely these players and the Club should know the difference between winning and losing can come down to just a couple of single efforts. It can be the difference between finals or not. It can be the difference between top 4 or not. But when too many don’t make that effort, the result goes the other way MELBOURNE 5.1.31 8.4.52 11.8.74 14.11.95 ADELAIDE 4.2.26 8.4.52 11.5.71 15.6.96 GOALS Melbourne Oliver 3 Langdon 2 Fritsch Gawn Harmes McDonald Petracca Pickett Rivers Spargo Weideman Adelaide Walker 3 Fogarty Keays Rowe Thilthorpe 2 Berry McAdam Mackay Seedsman BEST Melbourne Oliver Petracca Langdon Gawn Lever Adelaide Keays Seedsman Laird Walker Mackay INJURIES Melbourne Salem (soreness) replaced in selected side by Jetta Adelaide Nil REPORTS Melbourne Nil Adelaide Walker (reported for dangerous tackle on Oliver), Fogarty (reported for striking Lever) SUBSTITUTES Melbourne Tom Sparrow (unused) Adelaide Ronin O’Connor (unused) Umpires Curtis Deboy Hayden Gavine Jacob Mollison Official Crowd TBC at the Adelaide Oval
  5. It had to happen sooner or later. Melbourne has been riding high through the season to date and, with the exception of a small bunch of nuff nuffs who are never satisfied with anything, the club has attracted more positive vibes from the community in these nine weeks than it did in the past decade. So it came as no surprise to see some low grade stirring of the sort which only the media could come up with at a time like this. The on line site Zero Hanger came up with an article that opined, “When will the Demons’ first loss come?” It must have been a quiet week for the good folk at ZH who would have spent some time scratching their heads to provide their audience with something of substance to write about the sport. This sort of vapid, speculative exercise is an embarrassment to journalism. But what about the brouhaha in the Herald Sun about the Melbourne team’s “bizarre post-game antics following Sunday afternoon’s victory over Carlton.” “Footage from within the sheds showed rookie small forward Kade Chandler covered in milk during the Demons team song, with the 21-year-old struggling to get the liquid out of his hair and face.” This was the earth-shattering news item that changed the course of journalism in this country and my life as well. The first time I opened my fridge, my perceptions had changed. I could hardly look the milk bottle in the eye. And that’s what this year is all about — perception. Despite, the media’s earnest attempt to distract our attention, the Demons are unapologetically sitting on top of the AFL table at 9-0 and aiming at a double digit opening to the season. The vibe from the club is that the team is focused on doing the job this week against the Crows at the Adelaide Oval and the perception is that they will win, and win comfortably. I might well have been thinking much differently had this game been put down on the fixture for Round 2. Back then, the Crows were being hailed as one of the season’s up and comers after their victory over the Cats who were coming off a grand final appearance. On the other hand, the jury was well and truly out about the Demons. After all, they had just opened the season with an unconvincing win over the Dockers who don’t travel well. The weeks to follow saw the Dees build upon that opening with win after win after win and the Crows’ first month wasn’t too shabby either as they went to a 3-1 win/loss record to take a seat among the top eight. History tells us that since then, Adelaide’s wheels fell off big time. Our perception of the club changed it proceeded to amass five losses on end. There are statistics that back up the perception and show that the Crows, known for their offensive pressure in the opening rounds, have tailed off considerably in that area. They have gone from a #1 ranking in scores when going inside their forward 50 (51.8% in Rounds 1 to 4) to #18 (at 33.8%) over the subsequent rounds. The result has been a string of heavy losses. It’s not a good time for them to come up against a team known for its application of pressure all over the ground, particularly in their defence. Moreover, the form of their main forward weapon in Taylor Walker has dropped off after a stellar start and he’s likely to be matched up against in-form defender Steven May who has plenty of tall back ups, all well equipped to lend a hand. As a result, things doesn’t augur well for the home town Crows coming up against a team that has a record of 4 wins to 1 at the Adelaide Oval. Indeed, the perception is that the Demons love this ground. Indeed, I fancy they might have even preferred hub life the in City of Churches to the Sunshine Coast last year but that’s another story. I haven’t yet mentioned the merits of the Melbourne midfield that includes a number of potential All Australians led by Max Gawn in the ruck. Adelaide’s Rory Laird is doing a good job in his conversion to the midfield but he would have to be at his best to deal with the Demon brigade this week. With fine weather expected on Saturday afternoon, they should provide their forwards with plenty of scoring opportunities. They are going to be difficult to stop. Adelaide remains a young side with very few aces and, as the season rolls on, they are tiring and playing with reduced enthusiasm. They don’t appear to be enjoying themselves. That’s precisely the opposite to Melbourne, a team that’s loving life, loving the game and having fun celebrating after every win rather than crying over spilt milk. I can’t perceive of any other result than a comfortable Melbourne victory this week. Something in the order of 61 points. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday 22 May 2021 at 4.35pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Adelaide 25 wins Melbourne 16 wins At the Adelaide Oval - Adelaide 1 win Melbourne 4 wins Past five meetings - Adelaide 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches - Matthew Nicks 0 wins Simon Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides. Radio - check your local guides. THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.10.88 defeated Adelaide 5.7.37 in Round 10, 2020 at the Adelaide Oval The Demons were on top all day but made hard work of it for three quarters before the dam walls burst and they scored a vert creditable 7 goals to 1 in the final term. Clayton Oliver was unstoppable. THE TEAMS

 ADELAIDE B: T. Doedee 39 J. Butts 41 N. Murray 28 HB: B. Smith 33 C. Jones 1 L. Brown 16 C: L. Sholl 38 B. Keays 2 P. Seedsman 11 HF: N. McHenry 25 T. Walker 13 S. Berry 21 F: J. Rowe 31 R. Thilthorpe 7 D. Fogarty 32 Foll: R. O'Brien 43 R. Laird 29 R. Sloane 9 I/C: J. Kelly 8 S. McAdam 23 D. Mackay 14 H. Schoenberg 27 Emerg: B. Frampton 22 W. Hamill 17 A. McPherson 36 R. O'Connor 37 In: N. McHenry N. Murray T. Walker Out: B. Frampton (omitted) W. Hamill (omitted) A. McPherson (omitted) R. O'Connor (omitted) MELBOURNE B: M. Hibberd 14 S. May 1 J. Lever 8 HB: N. Jetta 39 H. Petty 35 J. Hunt 29 C: A Brayshaw 10 C. Petracca 5 E. Langdon 15 HF: J. Jordon 23 T. McDonald 25 A. Neal-Bullen 30 F: C. Spargo L. Jackson 6 B. Fritsch 31 Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 K. Pickett 36 I/C: J. Harmes 4 J. Melksham 18 T. Rivers S. Weideman 26 Sub: T. Sparrow 32 Emerg: B. Brown 50 K. Chandler In: L. Jackson N. Jetta T. Sparrow Out: B. Brown (omitted) K. Chandler (omitted) C. Salem (groin) Injury List: Round 10 Jake Bowey (ankle) — Available Luke Jackson (finger) — Available Nathan Jones (hamstring) — Available Christian Salem (groin) — TBA Aaron vandenBerg (quad) — 2 Weeks Jack Viney (toe) — 2 Weeks Joel Smith (knee) — 5 Weeks Bailey Laurie (eye socket) — 5 Weeks Marty Hore (knee) — 10 to 12 Weeks Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season Adam Tomlinson (knee) — Season
  6. These teams last met in the corresponding round ten at Adelaide Oval last year but that game was played in early August, not late May. Still, we’d all be happy with the same result ? THE TEAMS ADELAIDE CROWS FB Luke Brown Daniel Talia Jake Kelly HB Rory Laird Tom Doedee Will Hamill C Brodie Smith Matt Crouch Paul Seedsman HF Ned McHenry Fischer McAsey Tom Lynch FF Elliott Himmelberg Taylor Walker Lachlan Murphy FOL Reilly O'Brien Ben Keays Chayce Jones I/C Darcy Fogarty David Mackay Harry Schoenberg Lachlan Sholl EMG Rory Atkins Ben Crocker Bryce Gibbs Kieran Strachan IN Tom Doedee Darcy Fogarty Fischer McAsey Ned McHenry David Mackay Harry Schoenberg Lachlan Sholl Taylor Walker OUT Rory Atkins (omitted) Bryce Gibbs (omitted) Kyle Hartigan (managed) Riley Knight (omitted) Shane McAdam (managed) Andrew McPherson (managed) Tyson Stengle (managed) Kieran Strachan (omitted) MELBOURNE FB Jay Lockhart Steven May Michael Hibberd HB Christian Salem Jake Lever Nathan Jones C Ed Langdon Clayton Oliver Adam Tomlinson HF Jake Melksham Sam Weideman Angus Brayshaw FF Bayley Fritsch Luke Jackson Harley Bennell FOL Max Gawn Christian Petracca Jack Viney I/C James Harmes Alex Neal-Bullen Tom Sparrow Aaron vandenBerg EMG Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Trent Rivers Charlie Spargo IN Harley Bennell Alex Neal-Bullen Adam Tomlinson Aaron vandenBerg OUT Mitch Hannan (omitted) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Tom McDonald (omitted) Kysaiah Pickett (ankle)
  7. Your votes for today's game please - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  8. THE TORRENS THUMPING - LEAVING THE DEMONS BEHIND That headline might lead a reader to think that Melbourne had lost badly in Adelaide but no! It was actually the MFC which left it’s demons from the previous week behind as it applied the blowtorch to the Crows in the final quarter of their match at the Adelaide Oval and went on their merry way to record a 51 point win before their biggest crowd of the year (even if they were mainly hostile). Much had been made in the media about the comments of Chairman Glen Bartlett and Coach Simon Goodwin following the team’s disastrous performance against that other team from South Australia, Port Adelaide. However, coming up against a side that had lost their first nine games in a row this season, made nine changes for the game and was sitting stone motherless last on the ladder, this result was exactly what was needed. A loss was obviously out of the question but the team had to do more than just get over the line - it had to be a thumping but, for a good part of the game, it was looking as if it was going to be anything but. Barely a goal separated the two sides at ¼ and ½ time, while the final change saw the Demons leading by a mere two goals. And that was when the thumping started. Six successive centre clearances, courtesy of Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca saw the ball heading into the forward line again and again. There was little the Adelaide defence could do as the Demons forwards made the most of the opportunities and, for a change, they even kicked straight and true. The final quarter score of seven goals three behinds was emphatic, and showed what this side is capable of doing. The mids were the ones who turned the game, and kept the side in the game when the going was tougher. Clayton Oliver completely dominated around stoppages, with 34 disposals and backing it up with 6 tackles. Importantly, he changed the way he played from previously, using his leg speed and mixing up both kicking and handball. Ably assisted by Jack Viney, who right from the first bounce showed to everyone that he was serious about the game and the result. 22 touches and 8 clearances for the game, was on the back of a first quarter blitz from him. Angus Brayshaw could have been heading for oblivion after his first half, but what a change in the second! Finally, put into the middle, he showed his wares and simply took over where others had left off. Seventeen touches for the game, after having only two to half time, was a complete turnaround and a not so subtle way to send a message to the coach about where he needs to be played. Down back, the defenders simply destroyed the Adelaide forwards. Steven May was a rock and held a cumbersome Taylor Walker to only five touches for the game, and nothing to show on the scoreboard. Importantly, he was the general who marshalled the troops and came to the defence of them when Adelaide tried to bully his team-mates. This left Jake Lever to do his thing spoiling the incoming attacks, while between May and Lever they intercepted the opposition ball 15 times. A further flow-on effect was that Christian Salem was able to get the ball into his hands, and use his lethal kicking leg to best effect. Twenty-six touches off the half-back line provided the team with attacking moves, while Michael Hibberd, Jay Lockhart and even Nathan Jones provided that final desperation at the contest when needed. Up forward it was a much satisfying outcome. 13 goals 10 behinds was a better accuracy rate than we have been accustomed to for most of this year in front of goal, and the straight kicking kept destroying any momentum that Adelaide built during the game. Luke Jackson was magnificent, particularly when he relieved Max in the ruck, as his basketball background and athleticism enables him to keep his feet and recover quickly in the contested situation. He was rewarded with a couple of goals of his own, and the Demon fans have much to look forward to from him in the future. Two successive games in Adelaide - one down and one to go. The team should know what is required against North, who have plenty of their own problems. But once again a convincing win is needed; another thumping on the banks of the Torrens is what the fans want to see to put the side back in contention for the finals. It is the only way to exorcise those past Demons! MELBOURNE 3.2.20 5.4.34 6.7.43 13.10.88 ADELAIDE 2.4.16 4.5.29 4.7.31 5.7.31 GOALS Melbourne Weideman 3 Fritsch Jackson Melksham Viney 2 Bennell Oliver Adelaide Seedsman 2 Crocker Fogarty Himmelberg BEST Melbourne Oliver Viney May Petracca Salem Lever Adelaide M Crouch Brown Keays Laird Seedsman INJURIES Melbourne vandenBerg (eye socket) Adelaide Smith replaced in selected side by Crocker, Hamill (concussion) REPORTS Melbourne Alex Neal-Bullen for careless conduct, severe impact and high contact on Will Hamill Adelaide Nil UMPIRES Donlon, Gavine, Rebeschini CROWD 12,022 at Adelaide Oval
  9. Another weekday game, another early start for Josh. -3 at the moment and will get a bit colder before the sun comes up, better go make sure all the pigs are tucked in it's freezing! (Literally) Feel like we're on a hiding to nothing tonight, win by 10 goals and "it's only Adelaide", and God help us if it goes the other way. Adelaide will be looking at us as an opportunity, this will require professionalism, fly in get points fly out.
  10. Melbourne’s circus caravan rolls into Adelaide on Wednesday night, an event that will put shivers up the spine of every Crows’ supporter as they look directly into the face of disaster. The flakey Demons left their home town a month ago and proceeded to rough up the Gold Coast Suns and Hawthorn in Sydney before moving on to the sunny Queensland where they missed by a bee’s diaphragm against the more or less local second-on-ladder Brisbane Lions. Then, they had to butter up against the top team Port Adelaide smarting after a rare defeat at the hands of a team that kicked 12.1 the week before while Melbourne was coming off a four day break and looked completely bereft of petrol tickets from the very start. When the side that represents the capital city of a State underperforms in the way they did, it’s no wonder that Premier Dan Andrews took little time to declare it a disaster. We all know a disaster when we see one but when a team looks completely insipid and is outclassed by the best performed side in the competition, the proper authority to deal with the issue is the coaching panel. We didn’t really need the club president however, to lash out at them less than 24 hours after the final siren sounded. Over the course of the previous five days, the team had lost to the two best performed sides in the AFL. Even Eddie McGuire has kept relatively shtumm over the Magpies’ abysmal capitulation in Perth to the Eagles and the bottom four placed Dockers in the course of a week. Where does all this leave Glen Bartlett in the event that his spray backfires and the team goes down in flames to the Crows? Thankfully, it’s unlikely that he’ll be called upon to answer that question because Adelaide is in a world of despair. It capitulated last week by 69 points to an out of form North Melbourne that had lost six games on end and is now in the middle of its own record losing streak. At the back of its minds would be the fact that those losses include games against all of their fellow cellar dwellers so the game against the Demons on their home turf is virtually the last chance saloon for 2020. The Adelaide Oval doesn’t hold much fear for the Dees who hold a 3/1 winning record against the Crows and that reflects a period during which the home side was faring so much better than it is at the present time. At the time of writing, there is some doubt as to whether skipper and the competition’s leading ruckman based on Champion Data’s rankings, Max Gawn, will be taking his place in the team as a result of a soft-tissue strain. Given that the midfield has been struggling to win clearances from Gawn’s ruck dominance, it might not hurt them to work that extra bit harder to win possession at the stoppages. At least Simon Goodwin seems to have accepted that three talls on the forward line doesn’t work in the team’s set up and they might also appreciate playing against a defence that applies a significant degree of pressure less than that of the competition’s top side. The club has also decided to follow the state’s premier who this week said when bringing in his stage 4 restrictions: “This cannot be more serious. If we don’t make these changes, then we’re not going to get through this.” And changes will be made including the promised return of Aaron vandenBerg who gave the team a massive lift in the club’s back to back wins until fracturing his cheekbone against the Hawks. His strength and courage always inspires and should lift it out of a potential state of disaster. Melbourne by 37 points. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday 5 August 2020 at 8:10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Adelaide 25 wins Melbourne 15 wins At Adelaide Oval - Adelaide 1 win Melbourne 3 wins Past five meetings - Adelaide 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches - Matthew Nicks 0 wins Simon Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Fox Footy Channel Live at 7.30pm RADIO - TBA THE LAST TIME THEY MET Adelaide 14.6.90 defeated Melbourne 12.16.88 in Round 11 2019 at TIO Stadium, Darwin Melbourne started strongly with a six goal opening quarter and by half time had the game well within its control leading 9.4.58 to 5.3.33. When Mitch Hannan goaled at the nine minute mark of the third term, the Demons held a game-high lead of 31 points which was slowly whittled away to 16 points at the final break. In the last quarter, the Crows came back thanks to their accuracy and Melbourne’s abysmal kicking for goal. The Crows hit the front late in the game but Sam Weideman had the opportunity to atone when he marked strongly in front of goal 30 metres out. His kick after the siren missed. The Demons kicked 1.8 to 5.2 in the final term. THE TEAMS ADELAIDE CROWS FB Luke Brown Daniel Talia Jake Kelly HB Rory Laird Tom Doedee Will Hamill C Brodie Smith Matt Crouch Paul Seedsman HF Ned McHenry Fischer McAsey Tom Lynch FF Elliott Himmelberg Taylor Walker Lachlan Murphy FOL Reilly O'Brien Ben Keays Chayce Jones I/C Darcy Fogarty David Mackay Harry Schoenberg Lachlan Sholl EMG Rory Atkins Ben Crocker Bryce Gibbs Kieran Strachan IN Tom Doedee Darcy Fogarty Fischer McAsey Ned McHenry David Mackay Harry Schoenberg Lachlan Sholl Taylor Walker OUT Rory Atkins (omitted) Bryce Gibbs (omitted) Kyle Hartigan (managed) Riley Knight (omitted) Shane McAdam (managed) Andrew McPherson (managed) Tyson Stengle (managed) Kieran Strachan (omitted) MELBOURNE FB Jay Lockhart Steven May Michael Hibberd HB Christian Salem Jake Lever Nathan Jones C Ed Langdon Clayton Oliver Adam Tomlinson HF Jake Melksham Sam Weideman Angus Brayshaw FF Bayley Fritsch Luke Jackson Harley Bennell FOL Max Gawn Christian Petracca Jack Viney I/C James Harmes Alex Neal-Bullen Tom Sparrow Aaron vandenBerg EMG Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Trent Rivers Charlie Spargo IN Harley Bennell Alex Neal-Bullen Adam Tomlinson Aaron vandenBerg OUT Mitch Hannan (omitted) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Tom McDonald (omitted) Kysaiah Pickett (ankle) Injury List: Round 10 Kysaiah Pickett (ankle) – 1 week Marty Hore (toe and quad) – indefinite Harry Petty (groin) – indefinite Kade Kolodjashnij (head) – indefinite Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season
  11. They stole this one ... THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B Michael Hibberd Sam Frost Josh Wagner HB Marty Hore Oscar McDonald Jayden Hunt C Angus Brayshaw Jack Viney Oskar Baker HF Nathan Jones Tom McDonald Christian Petracca F Jeff Garlett Tim Smith James Harmes FOLL Max Gawn Mitch Hannan Clayton Oliver I/C Bayley Fritsch Christian Salem Charlie Spargo Billy Stretch EMG James Jordon Jay Kennedy Harris Corey Wagner Sam Weideman IN Mitch Hannan Michael Hibberd Christian Salem OUT Harrison Petty (knee) Jay Lockhart (knee) Corey Wagner (omitted) ADELAIDE CROWS B Luke Brown Daniel Talia Kyle Hartigan HB Brodie Smith Alex Keath Rory Laird C Wayne Milera Brad Crouch Rory Atkins HF Paul Seedsman Taylor Walker Tom Lynch F Lachlan Murphy Josh Jenkins Eddie Betts FOLL Reilly O'Brien Bryce Gibbs Rory Sloane I/C Cameron Ellis-Yolmen Jordan Gallucci Hugh Greenwood Jake Kelly EMG Elliott Himmelberg Chayce Jones Riley Knight David Mackay IN Bryce Gibbs Josh Jenkins Tom Lynch OUT Elliott Himmelberg (omitted) Chayce Jones (omitted) Riley Knight (omitted)
  12. A five goal lead at ¾ time; now with a minute to go in the last, eight points the difference and Eddie Betts breaks his tag to kick the ball goalward for Adelaide. The Demon fans could see another Geelong-like result coming ... their collective hearts stop. It couldn’t happen again, could it? The ball curls inward toward the uprights, the hearts now aching for relief, but the shot grazes the post and Melbourne hangs on to win, after scoring another major for itself before the final siren. There remains a heartbeat again for the Demon faithful. Not only a win, but combined with other favourable results in other games, the lure of September action is now within grasp. The fans have booked themselves in to see the cardiologists this week, as this sort of pressure cannot have good outcomes, especially since it seems to be becoming a regular event for Melbourne in 2018. Or are the cardiologists seeking to do some scientific study on the ability of MFCSS sufferers to get up week after week? Make no mistake, there was plenty at stake in this match. Another season of effort depended upon the outcome. The players needed to show their resilience after the heart-breaking result from the previous week. A rejuvenated Adelaide at their home ground, also seeking finals action themselves. But the hearts of the Melbourne players were bigger, like their fans. Big Max Gawn must have a heart the same size as Phar Lap’s with a monstrous 66 hitouts, 24 of which were to advantage. Max now has 303 to advantage in Season 2018, with no CLUB to yet reach the 250 mark collectively! Clayton Oliver having just turned 21 racked up another 31 touches and blew away the previous record for 1,000 handballs in only his 53rd game, leaving behind such greats as Greg Williams, and surpassing Patrick Cripps by 10 games. And in those dying minutes the willingness and heart of the players shone out, as they battled physical injury to hold on gallantly to their lead. Christian Petracca with a shoulder injury, Jetta with a knee complaint, after hitting the goal post, Jesse Hogan with groin and knee problems, Angus Brayshaw with a cut to the head, James Harmes with a broken hand. The fact that Hogan and Harmes could even put themselves on the ground this week showed the size of their commitment and heart, with Harmes not only playing with a plate in his hand but completely shutting down Sloane, to a meagre 17 touches while getting 23 touches himself. He has turned into a first class tagger, but also a mid-field threat with 13 contested possessions to top out his day. The first half of the match was an even affair, even though Adelaide opened up a 3 goal lead early in the first quarter. In the past, particularly at a venue like Adelaide Oval with its raucous crowd, that would have signaled the end of the game, since the Crows with their tails up have been virtually unstoppable. But the Demons stopped giving the likes of Greenwood and Gibbs freedom to move, and the source of supply dried up. By the end of the first quarter, a goal the difference resulted and a similar margin was there at half-time. Then the heart of Melbourne really got beating. Gawn completely overpowered Jacobs in the ruck, Oliver, Brayshaw and Nathan Jones took full advantage around the packs, and just kept putting the ball forward. Although Hogan was barely able to move or jump, he just kept willing himself to contests, and although he wasn’t to benefit from the fruits of his labour, others like Jeff Garlett, Bayley Fritsch and Jake Melksham were. Jordan Lewis in his 300th game chipped in with a couple of truly telling long-range goals which broke the backs of Adelaide at critical times. Should anyone doubt the value of his positioning and game sense, then this was the game to witness a master in action. Tom McDonald became the target up front and finished with 3 goals, again from his strength and running capacity - he covered 15.3 km in the game - extraordinary for such a big man and while he is doing exactly this the opposition have no answers. After missing the first 5 games he has now scored 40 goals for the season with a conversion rate far better than anyone in the competition. Down back the defenders were magnificent. Marshalled by Lewis, Sam Frost and Oscar McDonald held the main Adelaide forwards in Walker and Jenkins to a single goal, and that from a free kick in the dying minutes! Neville held the dangerous Betts to a couple, while Lynch had little to no effect on the game as Joel Smith matched him in the air. Smith had a few anxious failures, but the kid has only played nine games. We all had similar feelings about Oscar in his first couple of seasons, but the coaches are now getting games and experience into him, which will put us in a better position come September and next season. At ¾ time, the margin had blown out to 31 points and the game was all but over. Until Adelaide started their run and threatened to snatch an unlikely victory. The rain came down mid-way during the quarter, and made Melbourne’s job easier, as it turned into a contested ball scenario, which Melbourne love. Time and time again bodies were thrown without abandon to stop the forward thrusts of the Crows. Eddie’s last throw of the dice could have stolen the game, as the ball would have been returned to the centre with a minute to go. In the event, the kickout went well down the line and Jones, Petracca, Oliver and Brayshaw made sure it wasn’t going back. Petracca continued bullocking to get it forward and with Hogan willing himself to create the contest, got it back to Christian, who fed Alex Neal-Bullen the ball to seal the match. All heart! With the body still alive after this match, and the heart beating true, the Red and the Blue now have the chance to put into action what they have hoped for in the past, yet failed. While other results can improve the situation, the players seem to now know that their future lay in their own hands and whether they have the heart to succeed when the going gets tough ... which is what finals action demands. Melbourne 3.1.19 5.7.37 12.11.83 13.12.90 Adelaide 4.4.28 6.8.44 7.10.52 10.17.77 Goals Adelaide Betts Greenwood 2 Atkins Gallucci Gibbs Murphy Seedsman Walker Melbourne T McDonald 3 Fritsch Lewis Melksham 2 Hogan Jetta Kennedy Harris Neal-Bullen Best Melbourne Oliver T McDonald Petracca Gawn Harmes Lewis Adelaide M Crouch Milera Laird Gibbs Atkins Injuries Melbourne Nil Adelaide Seedsman (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Stevic, Meredith, Harris Official crowd 45,880 at the Adelaide Oval
  13. HEARTBEAT by George on the Outer A five goal lead at ¾ time; now with a minute to go in the last, eight points the difference and Eddie Betts breaks his tag to kick the ball goalward for Adelaide. The Demon fans could see another Geelong-like result coming ... their collective hearts stop. It couldn’t happen again, could it? The ball curls inward toward the uprights, the hearts now aching for relief, but the shot grazes the post and Melbourne hangs on to win, after scoring another major for itself before the final siren. There remains a heartbeat again for the Demon faithful. Not only a win, but combined with other favourable results in other games, the lure of September action is now within grasp. The fans have booked themselves in to see the cardiologists this week, as this sort of pressure cannot have good outcomes, especially since it seems to be becoming a regular event for Melbourne in 2018. Or are the cardiologists seeking to do some scientific study on the ability of MFCSS sufferers to get up week after week? Make no mistake, there was plenty at stake in this match. Another season of effort depended upon the outcome. The players needed to show their resilience after the heart-breaking result from the previous week. A rejuvenated Adelaide at their home ground, also seeking finals action themselves. But the hearts of the Melbourne players were bigger, like their fans. Big Max Gawn must have a heart the same size as Phar Lap’s with a monstrous 66 hitouts, 24 of which were to advantage. Max now has 303 to advantage in Season 2018, with no CLUB to yet reach the 250 mark collectively! Clayton Oliver having just turned 21 racked up another 31 touches and blew away the previous record for 1,000 handballs in only his 53rd game, leaving behind such greats as Greg Williams, and surpassing Patrick Cripps by 10 games. And in those dying minutes the willingness and heart of the players shone out, as they battled physical injury to hold on gallantly to their lead. Christian Petracca with a shoulder injury, Jetta with a knee complaint, after hitting the goal post, Jesse Hogan with groin and knee problems, Angus Brayshaw with a cut to the head, James Harmes with a broken hand. The fact that Hogan and Harmes could even put themselves on the ground this week showed the size of their commitment and heart, with Harmes not only playing with a plate in his hand but completely shutting down Sloane, to a meagre 17 touches while getting 23 touches himself. He has turned into a first class tagger, but also a mid-field threat with 13 contested possessions to top out his day. The first half of the match was an even affair, even though Adelaide opened up a 3 goal lead early in the first quarter. In the past, particularly at a venue like Adelaide Oval with its raucous crowd, that would have signaled the end of the game, since the Crows with their tails up have been virtually unstoppable. But the Demons stopped giving the likes of Greenwood and Gibbs freedom to move, and the source of supply dried up. By the end of the first quarter, a goal the difference resulted and a similar margin was there at half-time. Then the heart of Melbourne really got beating. Gawn completely overpowered Jacobs in the ruck, Oliver, Brayshaw and Nathan Jones took full advantage around the packs, and just kept putting the ball forward. Although Hogan was barely able to move or jump, he just kept willing himself to contests, and although he wasn’t to benefit from the fruits of his labour, others like Jeff Garlett, Bayley Fritsch and Jake Melksham were. Jordan Lewis in his 300th game chipped in with a couple of truly telling long-range goals which broke the backs of Adelaide at critical times. Should anyone doubt the value of his positioning and game sense, then this was the game to witness a master in action. Tom McDonald became the target up front and finished with 3 goals, again from his strength and running capacity - he covered 15.3 km in the game - extraordinary for such a big man and while he is doing exactly this the opposition have no answers. After missing the first 5 games he has now scored 40 goals for the season with a conversion rate far better than anyone in the competition. Down back the defenders were magnificent. Marshalled by Lewis, Sam Frost and Oscar McDonald held the main Adelaide forwards in Walker and Jenkins to a single goal, and that from a free kick in the dying minutes! Neville held the dangerous Betts to a couple, while Lynch had little to no effect on the game as Joel Smith matched him in the air. Smith had a few anxious failures, but the kid has only played nine games. We all had similar feelings about Oscar in his first couple of seasons, but the coaches are now getting games and experience into him, which will put us in a better position come September and next season. At ¾ time, the margin had blown out to 31 points and the game was all but over. Until Adelaide started their run and threatened to snatch an unlikely victory. The rain came down mid-way during the quarter, and made Melbourne’s job easier, as it turned into a contested ball scenario, which Melbourne love. Time and time again bodies were thrown without abandon to stop the forward thrusts of the Crows. Eddie’s last throw of the dice could have stolen the game, as the ball would have been returned to the centre with a minute to go. In the event, the kickout went well down the line and Jones, Petracca, Oliver and Brayshaw made sure it wasn’t going back. Petracca continued bullocking to get it forward and with Hogan willing himself to create the contest, got it back to Christian, who fed Alex Neal-Bullen the ball to seal the match. All heart! With the body still alive after this match, and the heart beating true, the Red and the Blue now have the chance to put into action what they have hoped for in the past, yet failed. While other results can improve the situation, the players seem to now know that their future lay in their own hands and whether they have the heart to succeed when the going gets tough ... which is what finals action demands. Melbourne 3.1.19 5.7.37 12.11.83 13.12.90 Adelaide 4.4.28 6.8.44 7.10.52 10.17.77 Goals Adelaide Betts Greenwood 2 Atkins Gallucci Gibbs Murphy Seedsman Walker Melbourne T McDonald 3 Fritsch Lewis Melksham 2 Hogan Jetta Kennedy Harris Neal-Bullen Best Melbourne Oliver T McDonald Petracca Gawn Harmes Lewis Adelaide M Crouch Milera Laird Gibbs Atkins Injuries Melbourne Nil Adelaide Seedsman (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Stevic, Meredith, Harris Official crowd 45,880 at the Adelaide Oval
  14. TOOTH AND NAIL by The Oracle Two months ago when Melbourne comprehensively demolished Adelaide in the heart of the country, the club was seemingly on its way to a top four berth and regarded in many quarters as a genuine premiership contender. Since that game, the Demons have won three times and lost once against lowly sides in the competition and dropped all three games against fellow finals contenders in Collingwood, Port Adelaide and Geelong. Three of their losses in this period have been by ten points or less. It is arguable therefore that with a little more application on their part, they would have been a lock in to make the finals. The reality however, is otherwise. The losses are mounting and with four of the remaining five games against finals contenders, Melbourne has a major fight on its hands to gain a place in the eight at the end of the home and away season. Despite the last gasp defeat when they ventured to the Cattery last Saturday night, the Demons at least proved that they can hold their own in hostile territory. The home team needed everything to go right to win in those dying moments and with a 100% conversion rate in the last quarter (80% for the game), the blood rule and a few very lucky breaks to get them home - and they did just that with a kick for goal after the siren. Melbourne has to overcome that heartbreak. When the Demons venture to an equally hostile ground at Adelaide Oval this Saturday night, they will be under no illusions as to the task ahead of them. The Crows will not be the easy pickings they were back in May in Alice Springs and they will have to fight tooth and nail if they want to keep its finals aspirations alive. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Saturday 28 July, 2018 at 7.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Adelaide 24 wins Melbourne 14 wins At Adelaide Oval - Adelaide 1 win Melbourne 2 wins Past five meetings - Adelaide 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches - Don Pyke 1 win Simon Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Live at 7.30pm Fox Football Channel Live at 7.20pm RADIO - Triple M (regional) 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 23.8.146 defeated Adelaide 8.7.55 Round 10, 2018 at Treager Park, Alice Springs Melbourne stamped itself as a premiership contender when it ruthlessly demolished an injury hit Adelaide in Alice Springs. The knockout blows were delivered early and the Demons kept up the pressure for a full four quarters to record a comprehensive 91 point victory. THE TEAMS ADELAIDE B: Alex Keath, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown HB: Paul Seedsman, Kyle Cheney, Rory Laird ? Wayne Milera, Bryce Gibbs, Rory Atkins HF: Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Lachlan Murphy F: Mitch McGovern, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts Foll: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Rory Sloane I/C: Jordan Gallucci, Hugh Greenwood, Jake Kelly, Riley Knight Emg: Cameron Ellis-Yolmen, Paul Hunter, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke In: Taylor Walker Out: Tom Doedee (concussion) MELBOURNE B: Joel Smith, Sam Frost, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis ? Tom McDonald, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw HF: Jake Melksham, Jesse Hogan, Bayley Fritsch F: Jay Kennedy Harris, Christian Petracca, Charlie Spargo Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson Emg: Cam Pedersen, Aaron vandenBerg, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman NO CHANGE The last time the two sides met, Melbourne announced an unchanged line up from its previous game and proceeded to massacre an injury-depleted Adelaide to the tune of 91 points. Ten weeks later, it has also come up with no change to the side but the difference is that last time it was coming off an overwhelming victory while this time, it is following up a heartbreaking result, losing by dint of a goal kicked after the siren. The question is how will the Demons react in the face of the the disappointment of the outcome at GMHBA Stadium in what is a massive game for their finals aspirations. You can’t dismiss the fact that they capitulated in the face of the great pressure applied by the Cats in their run towards victory but it should also be recognised that they succumbed against a team with far superior experience in tight finishes and one for which everything went right in those spine-tingling final few minutes. Despite that result, the fundamentals don’t change. Melbourne has the competition’s leading ruckman who this week will not be coming off a head cold as he was last week and who hopefully, won’t be missing vital moments as a result of the blood rule. Working with him is a fine young midfield that matched it last week with one of the competition’s best and will be steeled to atone for last week’s disappointing result. They have the psychological advantage of overwhelming this opposition just ten weeks ago and won’t be deterred by the fact that they are in enemy territory. The Demons have Angus Brayshaw fresh from signing off on a new deal, playing against the team that kick-started his stellar run of this season in Alice Springs earlier this year. They lead the pack in scoring, inside 50s and marks inside 50 and are not likely to come up against an opponent that goals with 80% of its shots at goal as it did last week. Melbourne by 25 points
  15. One week at a time, that's all we can do now. A win tonight and we continue to march towards finals. A loss and we will have to beat the good sides they are all saying we can't. Dees by 59. Hogan BOG.
  16. Two months ago when Melbourne comprehensively demolished Adelaide in the heart of the country, the club was seemingly on its way to a top four berth and regarded in many quarters as a genuine premiership contender. Since that game, the Demons have won three times and lost once against lowly sides in the competition and dropped all three games against fellow finals contenders in Collingwood, Port Adelaide and Geelong. Three of their losses in this period have been by ten points or less. It is arguable therefore that with a little more application on their part, they would have been a lock in to make the finals. The reality however, is otherwise. The losses are mounting and with four of the remaining five games against finals contenders, Melbourne has a major fight on its hands to gain a place in the eight at the end of the home and away season. Despite the last gasp defeat when they ventured to the Cattery last Saturday night, the Demons at least proved that they can hold their own in hostile territory. The home team needed everything to go right to win in those dying moments and with a 100% conversion rate in the last quarter (80% for the game), the blood rule and a few very lucky breaks to get them home - and they did just that with a kick for goal after the siren. Melbourne has to overcome that heartbreak. When the Demons venture to an equally hostile ground at Adelaide Oval this Saturday night, they will be under no illusions as to the task ahead of them. The Crows will not be the easy pickings they were back in May in Alice Springs and they will have to fight tooth and nail if they want to keep its finals aspirations alive. **** Scroll for Prediction **** THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Saturday 28 July, 2018 at 7.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Adelaide 24 wins Melbourne 14 wins At Adelaide Oval - Adelaide 1 win Melbourne 2 wins Past five meetings - Adelaide 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches - Don Pyke 1 win Simon Goodwin 2 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Live at 7.30pm Fox Football Channel Live at 7.20pm RADIO - Triple M (regional) 3AW ABC ABC Grandstand THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 23.8.146 defeated Adelaide 8.7.55 Round 10, 2018 at Treager Park, Alice Springs Melbourne stamped itself as a premiership contender when it ruthlessly demolished an injury hit Adelaide in Alice Springs. The knockout blows were delivered early and the Demons kept up the pressure for a full four quarters to record a comprehensive 91 point victory. THE TEAMS ADELAIDE B: Alex Keath, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown HB: Paul Seedsman, Kyle Cheney, Rory Laird ? Wayne Milera, Bryce Gibbs, Rory Atkins HF: Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Lachlan Murphy F: Mitch McGovern, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts Foll: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Rory Sloane I/C: Jordan Gallucci, Hugh Greenwood, Jake Kelly, Riley Knight Emg: Cameron Ellis-Yolmen, Paul Hunter, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke In: Taylor Walker Out: Tom Doedee (concussion) MELBOURNE B: Joel Smith, Sam Frost, Neville Jetta HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis ? Tom McDonald, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw HF: Jake Melksham, Jesse Hogan, Bayley Fritsch F: Jay Kennedy Harris, Christian Petracca, Charlie Spargo Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince I/C: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson Emg: Cam Pedersen, Aaron vandenBerg, Josh Wagner, Sam Weideman NO CHANGE The last time the two sides met, Melbourne announced an unchanged line up from its previous game and proceeded to massacre an injury-depleted Adelaide to the tune of 91 points. Ten weeks later, it has also come up with no change to the side but the difference is that last time it was coming off an overwhelming victory while this time, it is following up a heartbreaking result, losing by dint of a goal kicked after the siren. The question is how will the Demons react in the face of the the disappointment of the outcome at GMHBA Stadium in what is a massive game for their finals aspirations. You can’t dismiss the fact that they capitulated in the face of the great pressure applied by the Cats in their run towards victory but it should also be recognised that they succumbed against a team with far superior experience in tight finishes and one for which everything went right in those spine-tingling final few minutes. Despite that result, the fundamentals don’t change. Melbourne has the competition’s leading ruckman who this week will not be coming off a head cold as he was last week and who hopefully, won’t be missing vital moments as a result of the blood rule. Working with him is a fine young midfield that matched it last week with one of the competition’s best and will be steeled to atone for last week’s disappointing result. They have the psychological advantage of overwhelming this opposition just ten weeks ago and won’t be deterred by the fact that they are in enemy territory. The Demons have Angus Brayshaw fresh from signing off on a new deal, playing against the team that kick-started his stellar run of this season in Alice Springs earlier this year. They lead the pack in scoring, inside 50s and marks inside 50 and are not likely to come up against an opponent that goals with 80% of its shots at goal as it did last week. Melbourne by 25 points
  17. Ah ... memories MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Bernie Vince, Jake Lever, Jordan Lewis C: Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham F: Tom McDonald, Tim Smith, Christian Petracca Foll: Max Gawn, Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver I/C: James Harmes, Charlie Spargo, Mitch Hannan, Bayley Fritsch Emg: Dom Tyson, Cameron Pedersen, Jayden Hunt, Jeff Garlett No change ADELAIDE B: Jake Kelly , Daniel Talia, Luke Brown HB: Rory Laird, Tom Doedee, Paul Seedsman C: Rory Atkins, Hugh Greenwood, David Mackay HF: Richard Douglas, Tom Lynch, Cameron Ellis-Yolmen F: Darcy Fogarty, Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts Foll: Sam Jacobs, Bryce Gibbs, Matt Crouch I/C: Jordan Gallucci, Kyle Hartigan, Sam Gibson, Wayne Milera, Emg: Lachlan Murphy , Reilly O'Brien, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke In: Luke Brown, Matt Crouch, Wayne Milera Out: Lachlan Murphy, Andy Otten, Myles Poholke
  18. A MURDER OF CROWS by George on the Outer The collective noun for a flock of Crows is a “murder” (please don't ask me why) and MURDER was exactly what the Demons did to the top-of-the-ladder Adelaide Crows by playing the type of emphatic and decisive football that coach Simon Goodwin has been talking about since his inauguration. The “type of football we want to play … our brand …” Well it all came together on a near balmy Adelaide night as Melbourne ran out 41 point victors to send a deathly silence around the Adelaide Oval among the 47k+ people who attended the game. The poor locals were witnessing murder committed right in front of their eyes as a relentless, aggressive and committed Demons put their beloved Crows to the sword. Murder happened, but it was the team of assassins that kept killing any hope or resurgence that the Crows may have mounted. None more so than 200 gamer Bernie Vince who was assigned a tagging role on the dangerous Rory Sloane who probably heads the voting to date in the Brownlow. Our man Vince held him to a miserable three possessions to ¾ time! For the final quarter he was taken from the middle of the ground and relegated to half back, where he managed to pick up a further 8 touches, but only because Bernie was no longer tagging him. Meanwhile, Vince accidentally took out one of the umpires for good measure but hopefully nothing should come of that. In the middle, Clayton Oliver was intimidating and causing mayhem with the remainder of the Adelaide midfield racking up another 30 possession game. Critically he kicked a goal from an impossible angle in the pocket when the Crows were within a goal. Another dagger to the heart, as Melbourne then piled on nine unanswered goals from late in the second quarter to the end of the third. But they didn’t stop there with a five goal final quarter effort including two early in the term to put the game beyond any doubt. Yet this was the Adelaide side that came into the game with only a solitary defeat for the season. The Adelaide side that had two tall rucks in Jacobs and Jenkins (with another in Lynch if needed ) against Melbourne’s Cam Pedersen standing at a mere 193cm. Jacobs managed 74 hit outs yet Pedersen nullified his direction and forced him to drop the ball close to his feet where the Demon mids feasted. The result - Melbourne won the clearances both in the middle and around the ground. Pedersen topped off his gargantuan effort with three goals of his own and he had some willing helpers in Tom McDonald and Jack Watts when he needed a rest. They caused enough trouble on their own as Tom moved forward and finished with two goals, showing his strength in marking and contesting by beating his opponents comprehensively when challenged. It was a day on which coaching was truly a stand out for Melbourne. The Vince tag was critical and it denied the Crows much drive. Atkins as another mid was left unmarked for the whole night. The coaches had obviously determined that he was not as much of a threat and it was preferable to have that additional Melbourne player around the contest. No ruck, no full-forward for the game, and yet this was probably a game performance equal to and probably better than the win against Hawthorn last year. In Simon Goodwin, it looks like we have a “good-un” Tom up forward, Oscar left down back to take on Jenkins was another piece of brilliance as he simply ran off him and spoiled, Jenkins having really “soft” hands in marking contests. When that wasn’t happening Frost and Hibberd, in particular, had a dream run and we are now seeing the same insights that Goodwin had when he convinced Hibberd to leave the Bombers. Twenty-eight touches to ¾ time and 34 for the game from half-back was incredible. But it is his reliable left foot that hits targets 50+ metres away and in tight situations that simply changes the momentum of the game. Then the backs have Salem and Jetta to clean up any scraps. Jetta assigned Betts for the night gave him a miserly nine touches. Not too many others can claim a record like that. Salem with 31 touches deep in defence was another stalwart and also with a lethal foot and surety of hand never wastes a disposal. Have I mentioned Jack Viney? Well, he was back to his best with 31 touches including 15 contested, and when you check that Oliver had 15 contested, as well as Petracca with 15 of his own, then Jones with 11, it is easy to understand the absolute dominance that Melbourne had around the ball. This all combined to turn Adelaide Oval into a crime scene and come the end of the gamea message had been sent to the rest of the competition. If Melbourne sustains the same level of intensity and game style in coming games, in the absence of its AA ruckman and one of the best up and coming forwards, then more murders might occur in the future including a long-awaited Kangaroo cull next week. Melbourne 2.2.14 5.3.33 12.5.77 17.5.107 Adelaide 1.4.10 6.7.43 7.8.50 9.12.66 Goals Melbourne Pedersen 3 Bugg Garlett Jones Kent T McDonald 2 Hannan Oliver Petracca Viney Adelaide Betts Jenkins Walker 2 Atkins Laird Smith Best Melbourne Oliver Viney Hibberd Jones Salem Lewis. Adelaide Jacobs Laird Smith M Crouch B Crouch Atkins Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (illness) replaced by Sam Weideman Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Jayden Hunt (concussion) Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Kamolins, Fleer (replaced in second quarter by Hundertmark), Ryan. Hundertmark then left the ground in the final quarter, leaving only two umpires ... this should be tried more often! Official crowd 47,882 at Adelaide Oval
  19. The collective noun for a flock of Crows is a “murder” (please don't ask me why) and MURDER was exactly what the Demons did to the top-of-the-ladder Adelaide Crows by playing the type of emphatic and decisive football that coach Simon Goodwin has been talking about since his inauguration. The “type of football we want to play … our brand …” Well it all came together on a near balmy Adelaide night as Melbourne ran out 41 point victors to send a deathly silence around the Adelaide Oval among the 47k+ people who attended the game. The poor locals were witnessing murder committed right in front of their eyes as a relentless, aggressive and committed Demons put their beloved Crows to the sword. Murder happened, but it was the team of assassins that kept killing any hope or resurgence that the Crows may have mounted. None more so than 200 gamer Bernie Vince who was assigned a tagging role on the dangerous Rory Sloane who probably heads the voting to date in the Brownlow. Our man Vince held him to a miserable three possessions to ¾ time! For the final quarter he was taken from the middle of the ground and relegated to half back, where he managed to pick up a further 8 touches, but only because Bernie was no longer tagging him. Meanwhile, Vince accidentally took out one of the umpires for good measure but hopefully nothing should come of that. In the middle, Clayton Oliver was intimidating and causing mayhem with the remainder of the Adelaide midfield racking up another 30 possession game. Critically he kicked a goal from an impossible angle in the pocket when the Crows were within a goal. Another dagger to the heart, as Melbourne then piled on nine unanswered goals from late in the second quarter to the end of the third. But they didn’t stop there with a five goal final quarter effort including two early in the term to put the game beyond any doubt. Yet this was the Adelaide side that came into the game with only a solitary defeat for the season. The Adelaide side that had two tall rucks in Jacobs and Jenkins (with another in Lynch if needed ) against Melbourne’s Cam Pedersen standing at a mere 193cm. Jacobs managed 74 hit outs yet Pedersen nullified his direction and forced him to drop the ball close to his feet where the Demon mids feasted. The result - Melbourne won the clearances both in the middle and around the ground. Pedersen topped off his gargantuan effort with three goals of his own and he had some willing helpers in Tom McDonald and Jack Watts when he needed a rest. They caused enough trouble on their own as Tom moved forward and finished with two goals, showing his strength in marking and contesting by beating his opponents comprehensively when challenged. It was a day on which coaching was truly a stand out for Melbourne. The Vince tag was critical and it denied the Crows much drive. Atkins as another mid was left unmarked for the whole night. The coaches had obviously determined that he was not as much of a threat and it was preferable to have that additional Melbourne player around the contest. No ruck, no full-forward for the game, and yet this was probably a game performance equal to and probably better than the win against Hawthorn last year. In Simon Goodwin, it looks like we have a “good-un” Tom up forward, Oscar left down back to take on Jenkins was another piece of brilliance as he simply ran off him and spoiled, Jenkins having really “soft” hands in marking contests. When that wasn’t happening Frost and Hibberd, in particular, had a dream run and we are now seeing the same insights that Goodwin had when he convinced Hibberd to leave the Bombers. Twenty-eight touches to ¾ time and 34 for the game from half-back was incredible. But it is his reliable left foot that hits targets 50+ metres away and in tight situations that simply changes the momentum of the game. Then the backs have Salem and Jetta to clean up any scraps. Jetta assigned Betts for the night gave him a miserly nine touches. Not too many others can claim a record like that. Salem with 31 touches deep in defence was another stalwart and also with a lethal foot and surety of hand never wastes a disposal. Have I mentioned Jack Viney? Well, he was back to his best with 31 touches including 15 contested, and when you check that Oliver had 15 contested, as well as Petracca with 15 of his own, then Jones with 11, it is easy to understand the absolute dominance that Melbourne had around the ball. This all combined to turn Adelaide Oval into a crime scene and come the end of the gamea message had been sent to the rest of the competition. If Melbourne sustains the same level of intensity and game style in coming games, in the absence of its AA ruckman and one of the best up and coming forwards, then more murders might occur in the future including a long-awaited Kangaroo cull next week. Melbourne 2.2.14 5.3.33 12.5.77 17.5.107 Adelaide 1.4.10 6.7.43 7.8.50 9.12.66 Goals Melbourne Pedersen 3 Bugg Garlett Jones Kent T McDonald 2 Hannan Oliver Petracca Viney Adelaide Betts Jenkins Walker 2 Atkins Laird Smith Best Melbourne Oliver Viney Hibberd Jones Salem Lewis. Adelaide Jacobs Laird Smith M Crouch B Crouch Atkins Changes Melbourne Jesse Hogan (illness) replaced by Sam Weideman Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Jayden Hunt (concussion) Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Kamolins, Fleer (replaced in second quarter by Hundertmark), Ryan. Hundertmark then left the ground in the final quarter, leaving only two umpires ... this should be tried more often! Official crowd 47,882 at Adelaide Oval
  20. HAMSTRUNG by JVM The way things are panning out, it would appear that Melbourne's season started and ended when Max Gawn's hamstring gave way at Etihad Stadium against Geelong in Round 3. That loss was compounded a little over a fortnight later when his understudy Jake Spencer suffered his shoulder injury during the game against the Tigers leaving the club with only two young ruck talls on its list, both of them a long way away from being ready to take on the AFL's giants. In place of a big ruckman, the 193cm Cam Pedersen has battled manfully against taller opposition and the Demons have conscripted key players away from their normal positions to give him the chop out when he needs a rest but the result has really been a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Nothing was more obvious than last week in the heat of battle when the game was there to be lost and won and Hawthorn's 200cm Ben McEvoy amassed 53 hit outs to Pedersen's 16 and took some telling marks virtually uncontested up forward and kicked two goals. That would never have happened had Max Gawn been playing. So this week, with the Melbourne selectors as hamstrung as their big ruckman who won't be back for another six to eight weeks, the team will travel across to Adelaide to face a home side that had the perfect start to its season until it ran into an ill wind in the first quarter against North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena in Hobart. The pride of the Crows was well and truly dented but they are not badly wounded as are the Demons. They have the likes of Sloane, Betts, Walker and a bevy of others, not to mention their tall timber in Jacobs and Jenkins intact. On top of that, their style of play is positive, attacking and direct and if Adelaide can force Melbourne into a pattern whereby it overuses the football as badly as it did for most of last week's game, then the Demons' season could unravel even further than it has to date. THE GAME Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval Saturday 13 May, 2017 at 7.40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Adelaide 23 wins Melbourne 12 wins At Adelaide Oval Adelaide 1 win Melbourne 1 win Past five meetings Adelaide 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Don Pyke 0 wins Simon Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3 Live at 7.30pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING Adelaide to win - $1.12 Melbourne to win - $6.50 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Adelaide 18.12.120 defeated Melbourne 15.8.98 Round 15, 2016 at the MCG At half time Melbourne led by 11 points after a sensational second quarter inspired by Max Gawn's dominance in the ruck and a typical hard nosed effort from skipper Nathan Jones. The Crows came out fighting in the third quarter with a four goal burst in the opening six minutes and controlled the game from then on to finally run out 22 point winners. THE TEAMS ADELAIDE B: Jake Kelly, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown HB: Rory Laird, Kyle Hartigan, David Mackay C: Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas, Brodie Smith HF: Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Wayne Milera F: Andy Otten, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Rory Atkins, Matt Crouch I/C: Charlie Cameron, Brad Crouch, Curtly Hampton, Troy Menzel EMG: Jordan Gallucci, Hugh Greenwood, Reilly O'Brien IN: Wayne Milera Troy Menzel OUT: Riley Knight (corked gluts) Jake Lever (hamstring), MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Clayton Oliver F: Jeff Garlett, Sam Weideman, Mitch Hannan FOLL: Cameron Pedersen, Jordan Lewis, Dom Tyson I/C: Tomas Bugg, Dean Kent, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner EMG: Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Sam Weideman IN: Dean Kent Sam Weideman OUT: Jesse Hogan (ill) Jay Kennedy-Harris (omitted) The Demons decided to take two emergencies over to Adelaide which was a good idea, especially after word filtered out on Friday at mid-afternoon that Jesse Hogan was not on the team flight and had been ruled out of the game due to illness. More bad luck and the worst of it all is that it's happening when the team is up against a Crows side that is expected to be on the rampage after losing to North Melbourne in such emphatic fashion just last week. Adelaide has been virtually unstoppable all season to date and unless the Demons can conjure up a 10 goal breeze for the home team to kick into first up, they will be in big trouble in the City of Churches. At least they are in the right place for them to hope and to pray but I fear that it will do them very little good this week. Adelaide by 45 points
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