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Pickett bump threatens to sour tough Dees win, May's strong return from fractured ribs

Jarred Cross -

Kysaiah Pickett looks certain to come under the microscope of the Match Review Officer for a high bump in Melbourne’s Gather Round opener against the Crows on Thursday.  

The Demons did enough to hold off a fourth quarter fightback to make it two from two in the South Australian capital 10.18 (78) - 8.15 (63) winners. 

Pickett, who sat out the start of 2024 with suspension, could miss more football after making contact with Melbourne’s Jake Soligo's head in a mistimed attempt to interrupt a handpass in open play late late in the second term.

The 22-year-old has previous experience with the MRO for similar incidents. 

He would have missed a preliminary final had Melbourne got past Carlton in last year’s semi final for a hit on Blues captain Patrick Cripps, and missed earlier rounds for a hit Bulldog Bailey Smith at the start of the year.

Any sanction offered on Friday would sour an otherwise strong outing against the Crows. 

Pickett kicked two goals and had three score involvements as the Dees survived a late fightback from the home side for their third win on the season. 

Steven May, on return from rib fractures and vertebrae damage suffered against the Hawks less than a fortnight earlier, worked his way into a solid performance down back after looking ginger early on. 

May finished with around 20 touches, and told Sean Burgoyne post-match “I’d be lying if I said it (body) felt amazing” on a quick turnaround from injury.

“It definitely feels a lot better after the win,” he said.

“They're a high octane forward line. It’s not easy coming in not feeling too good and playing on Tex (Taylor Walker) and (Darcy) Fogarty…but the boys did a great job helping me out. 

“It's huge (back-to-back wins). We came over here with a mission. It’s a business trip…To take on two Adelaide powerhouses and get the two wins and get back home, it’s exactly what we wanted."

Izak Rankine will regret inaccuracies in front of goals in the tight loss. 

Rankine had a team-high nine score involvements to go with 1.3 in front of the sticks, after getting his side going with a silky piece of work. 

With a 15 point margin in front of them as the clock ticked under three minutes, Rankine would have had a chance to set up a manic dying stages if he was met with a better kick on the edge of the boundary 40 metres from goal. 

Pickett sprayed a chance of his own to extend the difference a short time later, who will learn his fate from the MRO on Friday.

Melbourne are three on the trot after falling short against Sydney in Opening Round.


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