MELBOURNE v NORTH MELBOURNE – Preseason Match Report

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In what is possibly a sad reflection of my Saturday, I not only volunteered to watch and do the writeup of the North v Dees match, I actually enjoyed doing so. The 2018 JLT Series kicked off at the very windy Kingston Twins Oval in Hobart and by gum it sure put them on the map!

NOTABLE ABSENTEES: North – Mason Wood, Taylor Garner, Jy Simpkin, Sam Wright, Paul Ahern, Jamie Macmillan

NOTABLE ABSENTEES: Dees – Nevile Jetta, Jack Viney, Dom Tyson, Harley Balic

Match Report

North – 11. 5. 71 v Melbourne 19.10. 124

It could be a long year for North fans as their (lack of) midfield really struggled to get into the game. Honestly the scoreline flattered them. In better conditions against a team with a more potent forward line setup they are going to get absolutely flogged

The windy conditions did make it tough to have meaningful disposals, but the fact the North struggled to get the hands on the ball in the first place is a bigger concern.

Melbourne’s pace through the middle and their ability to chain together handballs stood out.


SuperCoach watch: North Melbourne

  1. Jack Ziebell – 493,600 MID – 102SC

Zee-bull stuck his tackles (10) well but other than a decent 3rd quarter wasn’t influential. Pass.

  1. Luke McDonald – 461,100 DEF – 30SC

Would love to tell where he predominately played but he only got 9 possessions from 73% TOG so it was pretty tough to get a read of him. A midprice option needs a strong preseason in my books, he’s fallen down the pecking order a bit.

  1. Marley Williams – 396,300 DEF – 78SC

Led the possession count for North with 18 but he’s at a really awkward price for mine. A POD pick but I wouldn’t expect much from him.

  1. Todd Goldstein – 521,400 RUCK – 82SC

My current R1 did nothing to suggest that I should rethink his selection. Was soundly beaten by Gawn in the ruck after half time as his work rate around the ground wasn’t like the Goldy of old.

Note that there was no Preuss today. Keep and eye and ear on any quotes from Scott regarding the over the next few weeks.

  1. Shaun Higgins – 505,000 MID – 44SC

A favourite of Patch’s, I will be encouraging him to pick him so I can beat him for head-to-head contests this year. For everyone else, he’ll have his moments but not in the long form of Fantasy. Stuck 5 tackles.

  1. LDU – 189,300 MID – 51SC

Luke Davies-Uniake is the poster boy for North’s midfield rebuild. Wasn’t afraid to put his head over it which I liked. However in a year where we’ve got a handful of standout high priced rookies pushing for a R1 starting berth you’d best get all the JLT data available before you go locking anyone in

  1. Mitch Hibberd – 169,300 DEF – 26SC

My MVP as a captains loophole last year. Didn’t get much of a shot at it today with 6 touches from 41% TOG. Keep him on your watchlist for JLT2

  1. Alex Morgan – 123,900 DEF – 35SC

Moved from Essendon seeking greater senior footy opportunity with North. Might not get it after that game. Wasn’t a stand out with 6 touches from 68% TOG

  1. Shaun Atley – 373,800 FWD – 61SC

The preseason king is here to suck you in again but don’t be fooled. Had a super first quarter but didn’t do much after that.

  1. Billy Hartung – 402,600 MID – 75SC

Hooooooo boy, the boy can moooooove. He’s very outside though, a better daily fantasy pick against weaker midfields rather than having him for a full season.  

  1. Majak Daw – 327,300 RUC/FWD – 41SC

Maybe his best position at North is in the two’s. Looked lost in defence, gave away a holding the man free on Petracca and made panicky mistakes. Easily pushed out of contests which is pretty average for a guy that is just shy of the 100kg mark

SuperCoach watch: Melbourne

  1. Jake Lever – 434,300 DEF – 98SC

First competitive hitout in a Dees jumper. Jake was okay without being outstanding. Honestly he didn’t have a lot to do anyway. 15 touches and 3 marks. You’d be brave to take him in SC

  1. Michael Hibberd – 545,200 DEF – 121SC

In many teams at F1-3, Hibbo did pretty much what he wanted and did it well. Leading possession winner on the ground with 27 and 74% d.e, which is a pretty solid effort when you consider how little the ball was down his end.

  1. Clayton Oliver – 612,800 MID – 108SC

Was bent over by Ben Jacobs and Ben didn’t even buy him dinner first. The Ben Jacobs tag is something we’ll need to consider when selecting our VC/C options because he completely blanketed him. Had a stronger second half when the tag was relaxed. 22 touches (15 handballs)

  1. Tom McDonald – 465,800 DEF/FWD – 99SC

May have slid his way onto my pre-watchlst, which is the watchlist for my watchlist. His stats weren’t huge (12 possessions, 5 marks) but the conditions weren’t the best for big men. Played predominately up forward with Hogan and had stints in the ruck when Gawn was off the field.

      1.  Jesse Hogan – 383,200 FWD – 107SC

Speaking of Hogan, the one-two punch with TMac could be a real thing. Kicked 3 and gave another one off. Ran a bit through the midfield as well but full forward is obviously his best position.

  1. Christian Petracca – 433,300 MID/FWD – 82SC

Giving me the eyes across the bar. Started on the wing but got his touches all over the ground.

Five contested in the first quarter and finished with 11 contested among 19 disposals. Five clangers and a d.e% of 57 isn’t great though, you can blame that on the weather but keep an eye on that before you pull the trigger.

  1. Max Gawn – 503,700 RUCK – 145SC

The People’s Beard did nothing to suggest you should move him from your ruck line. Do you really care about his stats? 145SC for 503k! The key to lock got thrown out the window

  1. Alex Neal-Bullen – 414,900 FWD – 129SC

ANB did this on occasion last year. 19 possessions and two goals playing high half forward. Flick through his games last year though and he follows up these sort of games by laying an almighty brick. Lovely kick for goal though.

  1. Jordan Lewis – 479,800 MID – 30SC

Pity he’s not defence eligible because fans of the experience Kade Simpson would look at Lewis as well. Would be surprised if he wasn’t available as a defender in Daily Fantasy. Played the first quarter and swept up the crumbs with aplomb, after that he put his feet up

  1. Angus Brayshaw – 316,700 DEF/MID – 35SC

Sorry, Gus. I just put a big ol’ line through your name. 13 touches at 69% d.e from 71% TOG.

  1. Bayley Fritsch – 117,300 FWD

Kicked 3.2 (should’ve been 4), but two of those came when the game was dead. That’ll be enough for some but I’m a bit concerned about his presence around the footy. His defensive pressure was questioned during the telecast and it showed. Dees have a few that can play his role so if he’s not kicking them he may find his job security shaky. 11 possession and a mark.

  1. Jake Melksham – 357,900 FWD – 119SC and 4. James Harmes 402,600 FWD – 116SC

These two are the ones I liked the look of that could give a shake to Fritsch’s job security. Took 9 marks and kicked 3 between them, Melbourne are developing some nice mid range forwards.

What did you take out of the game today community? Who caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

Follow Kev on Twitter.


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Shaun Higgins locked away. Just stinking it up in the preseason to scare everyone away, just the way I like it.

In all seriousness, Maxy Gawn <3 anyone who doesn't have it has no clue what they're doing. Lock. Him. In.


It's a three-pronged attack: sub-liminal, liminal and super-liminal.

Next week I’ll be yelling at you to pick him and you will 😁


Agree Patch, without Gawn you're gaawwn


Gawn and Hibberd locked.

No idea why people are so keen on Brayshaw.



Yep both Locked BB


Think I'd rather take the punt on Seedsman BB.


It's going to be a long long rebuild for North. I'll be focusing on players that play them twice. Majac Daw must have conceded 7 goals in a short match. He & most of his mates are rubbish. Goldy has no one to hit it to. And I mean no one. Can't recall seeing a list of SC scores so one sided. And it will be regular this year


Very hard to get excited about them, INP. We are talking early days GWS type floggings here. Chuck a $20 on them for the spoon


More than $20. And this is the year to finish bottom 4. There are 4 generational Key position players in the upcoming draft. Tanking will start early this year. Playing Majac Daw in defence has signalled North's intentions. To give you an idea of how good the next draft is Cam Rayner might have made the top 10


Agree with you Pieman and i'm not even convinced with UDL as a rookie


Cooling ON LDU warming on Brodie, Dow or Brayshaw.

Happy with my Devon Smith pick.
Might have to rethink Dusty.


They are a shambles. I don't care how much money they have to offer players during free agency, who in their right mind would wanna play there?


They need to do what SOS did. Start from scratch & turf all the duds


That would be turfing probably everyone except Tarrant, Brown, Goldstein, Cunnington and Ziebell !




Jump in INP 193465, Brownlow Boys league.


Please do not jump in if not invited. Pieman and Ocker you are both welcome. Just let me know your team names please.



Can I join BB?


Jump in mate, just let me know your team name. May have to kick you though… trying to get Pieman and Tophawk in there


It is the Lloyd Pope XXII


16 in there with me included so can probably just squeeze us all in


Sry BB, some people just can't seem to help themselves from jumping in uninvited (not you Fin)


Good call mate.


Not sure if Petracca is a lock John, Viney and Tyson to come back and Petracca didn't spend a lot of time in the midfield compared to the 70/30 he should of.


Oh sorry John my mistake. Oliver is also in my side. Don't remember a time when I had so many Dee's in my side.


Bonza Kev.
I want another glance or two at Brayshaw and Tracca.
Noted this was a walkover which will nudge some scores and impact some defenders.


That’s a very good point, lost


Looks like Devon Smith is a lock now .. Considering the crap the bombers are dishing up against the tiges


Wouldn't throw away the key yet. They have been blown away


Also important to note that Merrett was off from the start of the match and Heppell from half time – so his centre bounce attendances will be inflated.


Agree Finnius. Heppell had almost as many as he did in a half. And Zerrett disappeared early. They also kicked stuff all goals. They might need him up front more than the midfield. I'd say his score was 25% inflated. Still good but don't expect 120's. Probably closer to 90

Shake n bake

Lets see how many go cold on McDonald.


Surely you don't rate him Shake? His haircut alone is enough to not warrant selection. Looks like roadkill on his head.

Shake n bake

Not me Brownlow. Just a bit of chatter in the community with his name being thrown around.


He is a bit expensive and needed to do more than he did today.


Agree Brownlow. As soon as I saw Luke McDonald's mullet he was scratched. Worse than a man bun

The Ranger

Yep. Put a line thru him and Stringer based purely on their head dressings.


If we are talking Luke, then yes. He’s gone. My paper thin structure and team getting blown around by any sniff of an autumn breeze. Yup, one practice game yields validation or exclusion. Not sure why I research for two months and be so easily influenced by trending opinion and or one outing


Know what ya mean Keen, you're just keen for it all to get going again :)…remember though, JLT games don't really mean much in the context of the whole season as to how a player's going to perform.


Lock In Devon Smith!

neil Demons Delight

wouldn't get too carried away with Fritsch. Tyson and Viney to come back .It's gonna be hard to get a game


Agree, NDD. Dees don’t really have spots open for a new draftee this year. Built a bit of depth


Proceed with caution Neil. The scars of Brett Eddy are still fresh


Does anybody really take any notice of these JLT games or whatever they are called?
STATISTICS of previous seasons is what counts for senior players.
JLT is only to get an idea of how a rookie can fit into a team and IS THERE A SPOT FOR THEM?
ALWAYS look at the TEAM as a whole and not INDIVIDUAL player when setting up your initial team to start the year.
ALWAYS start the season with your best team and work backwards as to how you are going to achieve that.
Good Luck Everybody.


Goldy is currently my R1, score wasn't too bad but the lack of midfield will make it hard for him to score points from hit outs. But there aren't a lot of options other than Gawn that are really exciting. What other rucks are worth considering?


Sauce for safety. Ryder if you willing to take a round 10 donut. And Lycett if you have huge balls


My concern for Sauce is that he already gets a huge amount of hitouts, so can't see his score increasing. Thoughts on Kruezer?


Top dollar for Kruezer. No one has backed up number 1 ruck since Dean Cox in 2009. If he can stay on the park he's probably a good pick. Not sure I'm willing to pay over 600k for him. Sauce very durable & solid scorer


So you would take Jacobs over Goldy? With Jacobs, you know what ya gonna get, while Goldy has a lot more room for improvement this year, but the uncertainty around Pruess is an issue.


Not sure at this stage Tommy. My concern with Goldy is who's he tapping to? Rubbish midfield. And what happens when they put the queue in the rack & play Preuss. Sauce is a safer option


Kruezer is flying on the track, looks to be number 1 ruck again (SC gods permitting). Spend 80K more to get an extra 15 SC points per week, is that worth it??


Tommy do yourself a favour, lock in Kruezer and Gawn.


600k is a hefty pricetag


It is Tommy but when Gawn is a bargain at $500K it balances things out nicely IMO.

The Far Canal

I think the Lobbe factor needs consideration. Is the talk on the street about playing 2 rucks at the blues this year?


Any love for Zac Smith – potentially serving it up to a more potent midfield than last year?


Would love some help. Who would you pick out of J Kennedy (WC), R Gray, or L Dahlhaus ?? and why..


Dahlhaus as he is more likely to run through the midfield


Dahl is my first choice, cheers


Robbie gray – huge ceiling and will definitely be averaging at least 90+ by the end of the season, which cannot be said about the other 3


Gray threw in some awful scores last year & is sure to crash in price. Post his bye might be a good time. You have to cover him in round 10 as well


Hi all league to join if you want all welcome.607433


Curnow, Sicily or Tracca?


I am on sicily atm