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In the mix: round 15

Staff writers   July 2, 2013 3:00 PM

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Will the Bombers opt for Joe Daniher or Scott Gumbleton as a replacement for the injured Stewart Crameri this week?

ADELAIDE
The Crows suffered a big blow on Saturday with a significant shoulder injury to rebounding defender Brent Reilly. The veteran will undergo scans this week, but a reconstruction would prove season ending. His absence opens the door for Richard Tambling, who was an emergency against the Suns and collected 33 disposals in the SANFL the week before. Jared Petrenko is available for selection after recovering from his shoulder injury, while Mitch Grigg was again prolific for Norwood with 34 touches and 10 clearances. Key forward Lewis Johnston could return via the SANFL from a knee injury this weekend. - Harry Thring

BRISBANE LIONS
Daniel Merrett is almost certain to miss a second successive match with a groin injury when the Lions host Gold Coast in Saturday's QClash, but coach Michael Voss has a number of other selection dilemmas following last week's 58-point loss to Hawthorn. Andrew Raines is a chance to return to resume his battle with Gary Ablett, while Josh Green should come into consideration to add some much-needed spark to the Lions forward line after some strong form in the reserves. Rohan Bewick and Patrick Karnezis are also chances. - Michael Whiting

CARLTON
Mick Malthouse's quest to win his first game against his former club Collingwood on Friday night could be boosted by the return of two of the Blues' best players and leaders – captain Marc Murphy and joint vice-captain Andrew Carrazzo. Murphy has missed just one match with a fractured cheekbone, while Carrazzo gathered 21 possessions (12 contested) and five clearances in three quarters in the VFL on Saturday in his return match after being sidelined with a calf injury since round five. Impressive draftee Nick Graham appears to be closing in on an AFL debut after another strong VFL showing, collecting 25 disposals and eight clearances in his third game back from a knee injury. Tom Bell (22 possessions) is also a chance to play. - Ben Collins 







A dazed Marc Murphy leaves the field following a clash with Luke Hodge in round 12. Murphy is a chance to return against Collingwood this week. Picture: AFL Media

COLLINGWOOD
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has hinted a few changes could be in the offing for this week's crunch game against Carlton. Darren Jolly (toe) and Ben Reid (hamstring) should return, while vice-captain Scott Pendlebury said Clinton Young is "fair chance" of making his Magpies debut after playing a starring role in the VFL. Andrew Krakouer is another in the mix following his consistent performances at VFL level. Meanwhile, star midfielder Dayne Beams will most likely play his first game of the year in the VFL this week. - Ben Guthrie

ESSENDON
With Stewart Crameri likely to miss this week's clash against Port Adelaide with an ankle injury, the door opens for one of Scott Gumbleton and Joe Daniher, who each performed well at VFL level last week. Heath Hocking is also set to miss another week with his calf strain, but Dustin Fletcher (groin) could be back from injury. Alex Browne and Travis Colyer are pushing for a chance in the senior side but with the Bombers' good form, it's hard to break in.  - Callum Twomey

FREMANTLE
Ross Lyon said after Saturday night's loss that Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Michael Barlow, and Lee Spurr would all play this week against St Kilda. There will be doubts over Paul Duffield who was subbed out of the Geelong clash with a calf problem. Lyon will welcome back as many senior players as he can get and it may mean that  youngsters like Viv Michie, Tom Sheridan, Hayden Crozier, Jack Hannath and Matt Taberner will have to go back to the WAFL and wait for another opportunity.  - Alex Malcolm 




David Mundy will be one of up to five big ins for the Dockers this week. Picture: AFL Media
 
GEELONG
The Cats are likely to include big man Nathan Vardy and emerging midfielder Billie Smedts in their line-up to play Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday night. Both were important contributors in the VFL last weekend. Two more of Geelong's tallest players, Trent West and Josh Walker, are also in the mix to take on the Hawks. Steve Johnson will be sidelined by suspension again, but Travis Varcoe is likely to make his comeback via the VFL after 12 weeks on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. - Adam McNicol

GOLD COAST
Expect some changes when the Suns travel to the Gabba to play the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night. Silky midfielder Harley Bennell has played one game in the reserves following a hamstring injury and will be considered, as will defender Seb Tape who has played a month in the twos following a knee reconstruction. Guy McKenna also hinted last week Jared Brennan was not far away from a recall, and the former Lion has a knack for lifting against his old team. Charlie Dixon (ankle) has been close for a number of weeks recently and remains a chance to play.  - Michael Whiting

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
There was some good news for the Giants on the weekend with Jonathan O'Rourke named best on ground in the reserves' big win over Queanbeyan. The second pick in last year's draft, O'Rourke has been limited by injuries this year, but performed strongly off half-back and through the midfield as he pushes towards his senior debut. Co-captain Phil Davis also made a welcome return following eight weeks out with a stress fracture in his back. Nathan Wilson, Kurt Aylett and Gerald Ugle are also putting pressure on for a recall for Saturday's trip to Canberra to face the Western Bulldogs.  - James Dampney

HAWTHORN
The Hawks say they're yet to decide whether to bring star small forward Cyril Rioli (hamstring) straight back into the seniors after nine weeks out, or send him to the VFL to gain some match fitness. On Monday, midfielder Brad Sewell said he would be "very surprised" if coach Alastair Clarkson chose the latter option. Brent Guerra (back), Max Bailey (knee soreness) and Paul Puopolo (quad) could all be available to face Geelong, making for a tough week at the selection table.  - Mark Macgugan 







Paul Puopolo could return for Hawthorn in the 'Kennett Cup' clash against Geelong this week. Picture: AFL Media 
 
MELBOURNE
The inclusion of Jack Grimes is a huge bonus for the team as it attempts to build on the confidence gained from its win over the Western Bulldogs. It also has tough inside midfielders Jack Viney and Jordie McKenzie facing tests before being available for selection while speedster Sam Blease, who was subbed off with an ankle injury on Saturday night will be tested. Rohan Bail hurt his knee in the VFL and will miss a few weeks. - Peter Ryan

NORTH MELBOURNE
North doesn't have an obvious replacement for suspended small forward Lindsay Thomas so might rejig its existing attack to cover his absence. This would allow defender Scott McMahon to return to the Roos' team after overcoming the ankle injury that sidelined him for the past two rounds. Midfielder Ben Cunnington (family reasons) will almost certainly return if available, but team balance is likely to count against North's best players in the VFL last weekend. Daniel Currie and Majak Daw were among Werribee's best players in its 29-point win over Essendon last Saturday, while key defenders Luke and Cameron Delaney impressed in North Ballarat's 14-point win over Sandringham.  - Nick Bowen

PORT ADELAIDE
The club is awaiting results on scans of Dom Cassisi's injured hamstring, but the former skipper will certainly miss this Sunday's game against Essendon. Travis Boak (ankle) is right to go though, while Kane Mitchell (ankle) and Sam Colquhoun (hamstring) will both be monitored during the week. Paul Stewart was impressive in the SANFL with a game-high 26 disposals, 14 marks and two goals. Lewis Stevenson was serviceable for Norwood with 22 disposals and nine marks and teammate Matt Thomas managed 30 possessions and nine marks. John Butcher, who has played well against the Dons previously, was good with three goals and eight marks. - Harry Thring

RICHMOND
Nick Vlastuin will probably play after being a late withdrawal against St Kilda with a corked shin while David Astbury (ankle) is expected to be available. The Tigers will test Ivan Maric (groin) throughout the week. Shane Tuck had 31 touches in his VFL return from a shoulder injury on the weekend and Ricky Petterd had 29, Robin Nahas 24 and Sam Lonergan 22, but after the Tigers' 64-point win over the Saints, competition for spots is hot. - Jennifer Phelan





Young gun Nick Vlastuin should be fit to face the Roos on Sunday at Etihad Stadium. Picture: AFL Media 
 
ST KILDA
The Saints have a decision to make on Justin Koschitzke, who is due to play his 200th game: take him to Perth for the milestone or hold off one week and play the out-of-form forward in round 16 against Carlton. Should he be left out this week, Tom Hickey (foot) and Tom Lee (Achilles tendon) are both available after returning from injury through the VFL. Lenny Hayes (calf) also made a cautious return from injury with Sandringham, playing half a game and winning five possessions. Ahmed Saad, Josh Saunders and rookie Tom Curren all put strong cases for selection with the Zebras. - Nathan Schmook

SYDNEY SWANS
The premiers suffered yet another injury blow with the news that Adam Goodes faces six weeks on the sidelines following knee surgery. He adds to a lengthening list that still includes Rhyce Shaw, Lewis Roberts-Thomson and Lewis Jetta. The latter will miss at least one more week with his shin injury that is taking considerable time to improve. The good news is that Sam Reid (quad) and Shane Mumford (cheekbone) are both considered strong chances of returning to the fray against Melbourne this week.  - James Dampney

WEST COAST
Luke Shuey was a late withdrawal against Essendon and will miss another one to two weeks with a hamstring injury. Sharrod Wellingham is close to a return from his second ankle injury but is likely to come back via the WAFL. Josh Hill could be in line for a return after missing the last two with injury. Jacob Brennan, Ashton Hams, Blayne Wilson, Scott Lycett and Cale Morton all continue to show strong form in the WAFL and any one of them could be considered as John Worsfold tries to find an answer to the Eagles' indifferent form. - Alex Malcolm 





Josh Hill will be considered for selection for the under-performing Eagles this week. Picture: AFL Media
 
WESTERN BULLDOGS
Several AFL-listed players had solid games for Williamstown over the weekend, including Dylan Addison, who booted four goals in the Seagulls' win over Box Hill. The Bulldogs are looking for a more potent forward line, and Lukas Markovic showed he can find the big sticks, with three goals in the twos, while Jarrad Grant kicked two. Daniel Cross was once again in the best, and could be an option as the Dogs prepare to take on Greater Western Sydney. - Jacqui Reed