Sports

Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions, Collingwood Magpies vs Fremantle Dockers selection


All eyes this week will be on the fitness of Melbourne and Collingwood’s biggest names after qualifying final injury scares.

Plus selection squeezes loom at Brisbane and Fremantle.

Catch up on the latest selection and injury news ahead of the semi-finals in AFL Team Whispers!

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MELBOURNE v BRISBANE LIONS

Second Semi-Final, Friday September 9, 7.50pm AEST at the MCG

BRISBANE could overlook midfielder Jarryd Lyons for Friday night’s semi-final against Melbourne as Darcy Fort looks set to return to the senior line-up.

The Lions are expected to make multiple changes for the clash, with star Cam Rayner and defender Noah Answerth set to return after serving their respective one-match bans.

No. 1 ruck Oscar McInerney will miss due to concussion protocols, meaning Fort will likely be re-called to the senior side despite Dan McStay’s career-best outing as the fill-in ruckman. Lions coach Chris Fagan in the aftermath of Thursday night’s win said he thanked his list manager for recruiting Fort, who was held back from playing in Brisbane’s VFL win over Carlton on Saturday.

But Lyons appears no certainty to return, despite playing all 22 home and away games this year, finishing in the top four of the Lions’ past three consecutive club champion counts and being part of the 2021 All-Australian squad.

Lyons missed Brisbane’s thrilling elimination final win over Richmond after a nagging groin injury flared up. Instead he played in for the VFL side against Carlton on Saturday, but had just 16 disposals and four clearances for the match.

The 30-year-old has been one of the Lions’ most dependable players in their previous three finals campaigns, but has struggled since Brisbane’s mid-season bye this year, averaging 19.0 disposals from nine games – well below his 2021 average of 28.1.

Callum Ah Chee, Darcy Wilmot and Deven Robertson were the three inclusions for Rayner, Lyons and Answerth for the elimination final. Ah Chee kicked a goal but was the lowest-rated player on the ground against the Tigers, while Wilmot played with maturity beyond his years in his AFL debut match and Robertson curtailed the influence of Dion Prestia then Trent Cotchin in an excellent run-with performance.

MELBOURNE is confident superstar on-baller Christian Petracca will be fit to face Brisbane, despite suffering a hairline fracture of his right fibula as well as a corked calf.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin conceded after the qualifying final loss to Sydney that Petracca’s output was affected by the knock he copped to the leg during the second term.

“Clearly it limited his movement for the majority of the night and had a bit of an impact on his game, but he’ll get that right, reset and hopefully be clear and ready to go next week,” Goodwin told reporters.

The Norm Smith Medallist then had scans on Saturday, confirming he’d suffered a “minor” leg fracture.

Despite the scan results, the Demons indicated they were more concerned about the corked calf, with Demons football boss Alan Richardson saying the club’s medical team had indicated the fracture “poses no further risk to Christian and will not impact his ability to play”.

“Obviously Christian will need to tick some boxes throughout training this week but we are confident that he will be ready to go come Friday,” Richardson said.

After lamenting his side’s inefficiency forward of centre, Goodwin said key forward Tom McDonald would be part of a “big session” on Saturday that would determine his availability for the semi-final against the Brisbane Lions.

Forward duo Jake Melksham and Kysaiah Pickett both had quiet nights against the Swans and were the two lowest-rated players on the ground.

COLLINGWOOD v FREMANTLE

First Semi-Final, Saturday September 10, 7.25pm AEST at the MCG

COLLINGWOOD remains hopeful star midfielder Jordan De Goey will be fit to face the Dockers on Saturday night despite a shoulder scare against the Cats.

De Goey on Sunday underwent scans after hurting his AC joint during the early stages of the thrilling loss to Geelong.

Despite the first-quarter collision, De Goey played on and was the No. 1 rated player on the ground, booting two fourth-quarter goals to go with 26 disposals, 12 contrasted possessions, nine tackles, eight clearances and seven score involvements.

“The doctors said to me before it looks like he is OK,” Pies coach Craig McRae told reporters post-game.

“It is one of those ones you assess during the week and look after these guys.”

The Magpies will assess De Goey on Monday to determine whether he’ll need a light training week to give him the best chance of facing Fremantle on Saturday.

Collingwood will do everything to ensure De Goey plays considering fellow on-baller Taylor Adams has been ruled out for the rest of the season after appearing to suffer a nasty adductor injury against Geelong.

The Magpies have an array of midfield options to replace Adams, including Finlay Macrae – who played against Carlton in Round 23 – as well as Callum Brown, Josh Carmichael and Trent Bianco — who all played in the Round 22 loss to Sydney.

Exciting forward Ash Johnson, who kicked two goals against Geelong, is expected to play in the semi-final despite copping a corked thigh on Saturday night.

FREMANTLE faces a key-position selection conundrum for Saturday night’s sudden-death final against Collingwood.

In just his second AFL game, tall forward Jye Amiss played a crucial role in the Dockers’ elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs, booting 2.1 from seven disposals and six marks.

But Matt Taberner, Fremantle’s leading goalkicker in 2020 and 2021, has given the club’s match committee ample to think about after an impressive return from a calf injury via the WAFL.

Taberner emerged unscathed from Sunday’s clash for Peel Thunder and booted 2.2 from 13 disposals.

The 29-year-old was on managed minutes during the second half but was a headache for the Swan Districts defence, having a hand in ample Peel Thunder scores.

Several other Fremantle players put their hand up for selection during Peel’s big win.

Sam Sturt booted 4.3 from 13 disposals and eight marks, while ruck Lloyd Meek – who was omitted for the elimination final to make way for Rory Lobb – dominated with three goals from 22 disposals, six marks and 29 hit-outs.

Ethan Hughes, Neil Erasmus, Travis Colyer and Liam Henry also stuffed the stats sheet in the WAFL win.



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