Tuesday 10 May 2005


Or a blessing in disguise? I report, I decide.

Melbourne's potent forward line will be without two of its key members in Brad Miller and David Neitz for the clash with Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday.

Miller has accepted a two-game suspension for rough conduct while skipper Neitz faces a similar period on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring during the 24-point victory over Adelaide on Friday night.

Miller - who has already received a reprimand for rough conduct on Geelong's Brad Ottens and had another charge on St Kilda's Andrew Thompson thrown out - was cited by the AFL's Match Review Panel for engaging in rough conduct against Crow Ken McGregor during the third quarter.


Joining Miller on the sidelines will be Neitz, who will miss up to a fortnight with what the club describes as a mild hamstring strain.

Now, apart from his CHB stint against Barry Hall at the SCG I think it's fair to say that Miller has been decidedly average this season. I'd have probably dropped him anyway but that's just the kind of harsh bastard that I am. That said I'd prefer two weeks at Sandringham rather than a fortnight of sitting on his arse.

Can Ben Holland play three good games in a row? Will every MFC forum on the net implode as people try to edit their posts about him being the worst player ever? I'll admit I wasn't exactly thrilled last year but he killed it when he went to CHF against St. Kilda in Miller's abscence. Surely... SURELY he can do the same this week against Hawthorn.

Then there's the Neitz dilemma. Of course I'd have him in the team given the option but we've shown this year that we can win without him. Not only that but every game is another step towards the end of his career - and who's going to play FF when he's gone? Time to find out.

As for Hawthorn we should.. SHOULD win, but after the Jeff Farmer debacle a fortnight ago I don't trust us to contain Mark Williams. Cross your fingers and everything else you've got. If we lose this one we're for the tip.

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