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|7.9 (51)||Third Quarter [+]||10.5 (65)|
|3.7 (25)||Second Quarter [+]||6.4 (40)|
|1.4 (10)||First Quarter [+]||3.2 (20)|
For the second time this year, a top-spot playoff between the Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs has been forced to bar crowds due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Follow along with events from an empty MCG right here on The Roar with live scores from 7:25pm (AEST).
Perhaps the most disappointing element of this frustrating year has been that the Demons and Bulldogs, two of Victoria’s smaller clubs, have twice been forced to stage marquee games that would have attracted massive crowds behind closed doors. Both clubs could use the cash injection such matches would have provided, but such is the nature of footy in the COVID-19 world, must press on regardless.
The Dees made a massive statement by taking down the Dogs by 28 points in their Round 11 clash. Luke Beveridge’s team simply couldn’t cope with the Demons’ star-studded midfield, led by ruckman Max Gawn and bulls Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca; or defensive masters Steven May and Jake Lever.
However, the Demons have come off the boil since then, having lost to Collingwood and GWS and drawn with Hawthorn since. Meanwhile, the Dogs have only lost a thriller to the powerful Geelong, and a match to the much-improved Sydney.
Star midfielder Josh Dunkley’s return from a shoulder injury has been put on hold after just one week, when a trip to his local cafe saw him forced into isolation when it became a COVID hotspot. However, clearance specialist Tom Liberatore is straight back in after being managed out of their Suns clash.
The Dogs have rolled the dice at the selection table, recalling one-time number two draft pick Josh Schache as part of a four-pronged key forward line alongside Aaron Naughton, Josh Bruce and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan. Meanwhile, the Dees recall James Harmes from the ear infection which ruled him out against the Hawks.
B: 3 Christian Salem, 1 Steven May, 35 Harrison Petty
HB: 14 Michael Hibberd, 8 Jake Lever, 24 Trent Rivers
C: 23 James Jordon, 5 Christian Petracca, 15 Ed Langdon
HF: 31 Bayley Fritsch, 25 Tom McDonald, 30 Alex Neal-Bullen
F: 9 Charlie Spargo, 50 Ben Brown, 36 Kysaiah Pickett
FOL: 11 Max Gawn (c), 13 Clayton Oliver, 7 Jack Viney
I/C: 4 James Harmes, 6 Luke Jackson, 10 Angus Brayshaw, 29 Jayden Hunt
EMG: 12 Toby Bedford, 26 Sam Weideman, 32 Tom Sparrow, 44 Joel Smith
IN: James Harmes
OUT: Aaron vandenBerg
B: 20 Ed Richards, 42 Alex Keath, 34 Bailey Williams
HB: 15 Taylor Duryea, 12 Zaine Cordy, 31 Bailey Dale
C: 11 Jack Macrae, 6 Bailey Smith, 35 Caleb Daniel
HF: 38 Riley Garcia, 33 Aaron Naughton, 19 Cody Weightman
F: 22 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, 17 Josh Bruce, 7 Lachie Hunter
FOLL: 44 Tim English, 21 Tom Liberatore, 4 Marcus Bontempelli (c)
I/C: 13 Josh Schache, 29 Mitch Hannan, 37 Roarke Smith, 39 Jason Johannisen
EMG: 2 Lewis Young, 9 Hayden Crozier, 28 Anthony Scott, 30 Lachlan McNeil
IN: Josh Schache, Mitch Hannan, Tom Liberatore
OUT: Hayden Crozier, Josh Dunkley, Lachlan McNeil