Game Chat – PF1 – Melbourne v Geelong

Written by Motts on September 10 2021

Where and when: Perth Stadium at 7:50pm (AEST)

Last time they met: Round 23, 2021: Geelong 12.5 (77) DEF BY Melbourne 12.9 (81) at Kardinia Park.

The Demons delivered an epic comeback to secure the minor premiership for the first time since 1964. It took a goal after the siren from Max Gawn to complete the victory, as the Cats had skipped away to a 44-point lead in the third term before the Demons stormed home. Clayton Oliver (37 disposals, two goals) and Gawn (25, one) starred for the victors, while Tom Hawkins kicked four goals for the Cats.

Last five: Melbourne 5-0, Geelong 2-3

Match Preview: 

After a classic clash in round 23 to decide the minor premier, Melbourne and Geelong meet just three weeks later to determine which team will progress to the Toyota AFL Grand Final. The Demons got through their qualifying final unscathed and have had a week off to rest and recover. They now have the option to add Jayden Hunt as the speedster has recovered from an ankle injury, while Nathan Jones, Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham will also be hoping for a recall. The Cats need to replace Brandan Parfitt after his season was ended by a hamstring injury in the semi-final. Shaun Higgins, Luke Dahlhaus and Sam Simpson were dropped last week but could return to the starting 22, while the Cats might instead look to add a spark with Quinton Narkle.

Mottsy Watch – Melbourne: 

A midfield led by Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney can batter opponents and has helped the Demons top the League for contested ball (ave 148). But like the Demons, the Cats have only lost the contested battle four times and the count was even at 140 each in round 23. Whether the Demons can rely on their ability to win the ball at stoppages and especially around the ground again looms as a crucial area of the game.

 Mottsy Watch – Geelong: 

Last week was the first time this season the Cats selected all of Tom Hawkins, Jeremy Cameron, Esava Ratugolea and Gary Rohan in the forward line, with Mark Blicavs in defence and Rhys Stanley in the ruck. It’s a towering set-up that could stretch the Demons’ defence and ensure their intercept marking masters Jake Lever (ave 4.3, most in the League) and Steven May (2.6) are more accountable rather than focused on turning defence into attack.

Mottsy’s Tip: Melbourne by 5 (tipping record 46.5/67).

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