Melbourne tonight have rested several key players (Slater and Smith among others). The game is essentially a dead rubber, so the result is irrelevant, but I’m curious to know people’s thoughts on this. In my opinion it is a bad move, they beat the Knights next week they get a week off anyway, and if that happens then come week 3 of the finals Slater and Smith will have played 1 game each in just under a month. In the opening 20 of their prelim it is possible that their timing may be a little off with little match fitness, and that could be the difference between winning and losing, if they’re that worried about them they could just play them for 60 minutes and give them a rest at the end.
I do agree with the concept of resting a player if it means they won’t miss a game further on down the track but then you’d be doing it a month out from the finals. Round 26 seems a little conservative especially playing for a week off in your next game, and I’m predicting that it’ll come back to bite them on the bum.