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Back on 'Trac': Gun Demon impresses in match sim

Steven May eyes second JLT game after hurting hammy Melbourne recruit discusses hamstring scare

EMERGING Demon Christian Petracca shook off a recent knee issue to complete the entirety of Melbourne's bruising session at a wintry Casey Fields on Saturday.

Many Demons remain on modified programs after the club's late start to the pre-season, but Petracca was one who managed to take part in everything, including match simulation.

Co-captains Nathan Jones (hamstring/back tightness) and Jack Viney (ankle/foot), Steven May (hamstring), Jake Lever (knee), Clayton Oliver (shoulders) and Jake Melksham (hamstring) were among those who ran laps.

 

Aaron vandenBerg (shoulder), Oskar Baker (hamstring), Corey MaynardJoel SmithTim Smith (foot) and Category B rookie Guy Walker (shoulder) were also on limited duties for at least part of training.

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Oliver, who had post-season surgery on both of his shoulders, and vandenBerg later joined match simulation and went through the middle, where Petracca also spent most of his time.

 

The heavy and consistent rain made it difficult to assess match simulation, especially for Melbourne's taller players, but forwards Sam Weideman and Tom McDonald still had their moments.

 

McDonald stationed himself further afield, while Weideman, who had a strong finish to 2018 and is set to assume significant responsibility since Jesse Hogan was traded, was typically the deepest option inside 50.

The Dees' best 'game runner', Alex Neal-Bullen, was a workhorse across half-forward and beyond, with Angus BrayshawCharlie Spargo – all over the ground – and no-nonsense defender Neville Jetta also revelling in the wet.

Jetta and Oscar McDonald were the pick of Melbourne's backmen.

 

The Demons generally took the short option with their kick-ins and first-year player Marty Hore shared those duties with Christian Salem, who continued his half-back role, for their side.

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Dual All Australian Max Gawn and newcomer Braydon Preuss went head-to-head in the ruck throughout the scratch match in what was a pretty even battle.

Worth noting was how regularly Gawn pushed deep into attack after playing an intercepting role in the second half of last year after Lever's season-ending knee injury.

The two-hour session ended with some intense, stop-start running drills.