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Jiangsu isn’t the only neutral venue in The AFL this weekend. Darwin is also being brought into play, as the Melbourne Demons take the Adelaide Crows for their biannual venture to the NT. Join The Roar from 7:40pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.
Last week the Demons trailed for the entirety of their match against GWS, as they became just the third team to ever lose to GWS at the MCG.
The match looked set for a blowout from the beginning as the GWS’ midfield overran the depleted Demons side. Melbourne did claw back a bit of dignity with a late charge that closed the gap to 26 points.
Adelaide meanwhile blew a 30 point lead early in the third quarter against West Coast, as the Eagles came from behind to win by 12 points at Adelaide Oval.
Despite the loss, the Crows remain in the eight, and are hanging on to seventh by percentage at this stage. A win for them would put a neat gap between themselves and ninth, while a loss could have them falling as low as twelfth if things go really badly.
Melbourne sit 16th on the ladder, which is far from where they would have thought they would be after last year’s strong campaign. A win could see them move up as high as twelfth, and a loss would only drop them back one spot to seventeenth.
Happily for The Demons, there are a number of key ins. Michael Hibberd is set to return after his fractured collarbone is now mended and Christian Salem will come back in after missing last week with concussion. Also in for Melbourne is Mitch Hannan.
Harry Petty hurt his knee in last week’s match and will miss this one. Jay Lockhart and Corey Wagner are the others to make way.
Adelaide too, have much welcome ins. Tom Lynch has recovered from his hamstring injury, though he will have to prove his fitness, and Bryce Gibbs and Josh Jenkins have both been recalled from The SANFL.
It will be interesting to see what kind of an impact spending some weeks in the reserves will have had on both Gibbs and Jenkins, and also what kind of an impact they will have on an Adelaide team struggling for form.
Chayce Jones, Elliot Himmelberg and Riley Knight have come out of the squad.
Adelaide will go in favourites, and understandably so given their ladder position, though this fixture last season in Alice Springs saw Melbourne romp home. An upset wouldn’t be the most surprising thing ever, but Adelaide should get the win here.
Adelaide by 15
Join The Roar for live scores and updates from 7:40pm (AEST) and don’t forget to leave a comment below.
Where: TIO Stadium, Darwin.
When: Saturday, 1st June. 7:10pm (ACST) 7:40 (AEST)
TV: Fox Sports 3, Channel 7, AFL Live Pass.
B: 14. Michael Hibberd – 17. Sam Frost – 42. Josh Wagner
HB: 34. Marty Hore – 28. Oscar McDonald – 29. Jayden Hunt
C: 10. Angus Brayshaw – 7. Jack Viney – 33. Oskar Baker
HF: 2. Nathan Jones – 25. Tom McDonald – 5. Christian Petracca
F: 36. Jeff Garlett – 38. Tim Smith – 4. James Harmes
Foll: 11. Max Gawn – 19. Mitch Hannan – 13. Clayton Oliver
I/C: 3. Christian Salem – 9. Charlie Spargo – 15. Billy Stretch – 31. Bailey Fritsch
B: 15. Kyle Hartigan – 12. Daniel Talia – 16. Luke Brown
HB: 29. Rory Laird – 42. Alex Keath – 33. Brodie Smith
C: 21. Rory Atkins – 2. Brad Crouch – 30. Wayne Milera
HF: 27. Tom Lynch – 13. Taylor Walker – 11. Paul Seedsman
F: 18. Eddie Betts – 4. Josh Jenkins – 44. Lachlan Murphy
Foll: 43. Reilly O’Brien – 6. Bryce Gibbs – 9. Rory Sloane
I/C: 1. Hugh Greenwood – 7. Jordan Gallucci – 8. Jake Kelly – 28 Cameron Ellis-Yolmen