Demons Dare To Redeem

Where and When: The Gabba, Sunday 1 July, 3:15 pm

One potentially interesting clash this round is being held at the Gabba, as Brisbane host Melbourne.

The former will come off the back of a demolition job on the Western Bulldogs at Etihad last week as do the latter, thumping the GWS Giants at the MCG.

Both teams are well and truly resting in the bottom section of the ladder, but that could result in a closer and therefore more interesting contest than most think.

Brisbane

The Lions have been a bit of a rollercoaster all year, with some huge wins and embarrassing losses, but last week, they strung it all together.

Even with Jonathan Brown going goalless, the Brisbane midfield was brilliant, with Tom Rockliff leading a fantastic and highly-promising group.

When players such as Jack Redden, Pearce Hanley, Daniel Rich, Simon Black and Dayne Zorko turn it on, Brisbane are brilliant to watch, and it gives their forwards a lot of opportunity.

It allows for Ash McGrath (who kicked five goals last week), Daniel Merrett and James Polkinghorne to kick goals, not to mention Brown who has a tough task but is due for a bag.

Despite being arguably inconsistent, and despite also missing Matt Maguire, who was in very good form this year, on paper Brisbane have a lot a class.

Melbourne

Melbourne come in this week having won two of their last three – over Essendon and GWS – and will be looking to make up for their loss in round one when these teams met.

Since then, however, there’s been noticeable improvement, with ball magnet Nathan Jones leading the way through the midfield.

With Mark Jamar, James Sellar and Stefan Martin playing tall, Melbourne have the ascendancy in the ruck, and it could pay dividends giving their midfield first use.

The absence of Mitch Clark hurts, but Colin Garland and Jared Rivers also impressed as forwards.

Although sitting third-last on the ladder, they’re a much-improved side than the one Brisbane walked over in Round 1 and should make this a contest.

Players to Watch

Ben Hudson: One out against Melbourne’s ruck trio, Hudson has a huge task ahead. Brisbane’s midfield is great as it is, but they need him doing all he can to help them through the ruck.

Jordie McKenzie: Melbourne’s best stopper, who he mans up on is a tough decision but given his form in doing so this year, it could prove vital. His tackling needs to really help to nullify Brisbane’s contested ball.

Prediction

Brisbane thumped Melbourne in Round 1, but Melbourne’s form at the Gabba has been okay recently, and they’ve made steps forward since then.

In saying that, Brisbane are too classy in comparison and at home should get over the line comfortably.

Brisbane by 32 points

Squads:

Brisbane

B: Josh Drummond, Joel Patfull, Ryan Harwood

HB: Mitchell Golby, Niall McKeever, Jed Adcock

C: Ryan Lester, Daniel Rich, Pearce Hanley

HF: Simon Black, Jonathan Brown, Dayne Zorko

F: James Polkinghorne, Daniel Merrett, Ash McGrath

R: Ben Hudson, Tom Rockliff, Andrew Raines

I/C: Jack Redden, Jared Polec, Josh Green, Rohan Bewick

Emg: Patrick Karnezis, Elliot Yeo, Jack Crisp

In: Jared Polec

Out: Matt Maguire

Melbourne

B: Tom McDonald, James Frawley, Jared Rivers

HB: Daniel Nicholson, Jack Watts, Jack Grimes

C:  James Magner, Jordie McKenzie, Joel Macdonald

HF: Jack Trengove, James Sellar, Nathan Jones

F: Jeremy Howe, Colin Garland, Luke Tapscott

R: Mark Jamar, Brent Moloney, Colin Sylvia

I/C: Matthew Bate, Lynden Dunn, Stefan Martin, Rohan Bail

Emg: Jake Spencer, Sam Blease, Jamie Bennell

In: Stefan Martin, Rohan Bail, Luke Tapscott

Out: Aaron Davey (hamstring), Sam Blease (omitted), Mitch Clark (foot)

Milestones: Jordie McKenzie (50 games), Jack Trengove (50 games)

BigFooty Team Board Previews:

Brisbane

Melbourne

Follow it live on BigFooty’s Game Day Thread

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