Round 13 – North Melbourne v St Kilda: One to quickly forget


Friday night footy. A perfect occasion to catch up with mates, embrace the weekend and see your team win. What could go wrong?


In truth, I didn’t expect North Melbourne to win. St Kilda is at a more advanced stage than us and may just make the finals. We are happy to see consistent effort and growth amongst our young players. I was hoping for a tight contest where the Saints would just overrun us in the final quarter.


However with the game being a special night for Lachie Hansen’s 150th game and Boomer Harvey’s tribute, the possibility of North Melbourne lifting and finding their Shinboner spirit was very real.


I met my good mate Chris outside gate 3 and had a quick chat about the footy before heading in. Chris felt that his Saints would get up, but couldn’t rule out their ability to lose a seemingly very winnable game.


The first half was pathetic. The amount of turnovers by the Kangas was worrying. St Kilda seemed to have at least extra player at every contest which only added to the pressure. I found myself clapping St Kilda’s efforts more than North’s. The brilliant smoother by Mav Weller at the half time siren was inspirational, brave and competitive; the polar opposite of anything North had served up.


Thankfully, I was able to chat to Chris during the game. He was over the moon with the Saints’ performance, while I couldn’t help but shake my head at most of North Melbourne’s efforts.


You know a game has gone to its lowest depth when St Kilda’s Sam Gilbert turns over the ball to Ben Cunnington who in turn kicks it straight back to St Kilda’s Billy Longer. That well and truly signalled the end of interest in the game for me.


At the end of the third quarter, I caught up with an old friend from my party years. Meghan was happy to see me but also because the Saints were convincingly beating my boys. We had an awesome catch up chat about life, goals and a little bit of footy. All while North decided it was time to switch on and start kicking goals.


In the end, it only made it more frustrating to see North Melbourne come back. Why couldn’t they play like that from the start? I honestly would have rather we got thrashed and given the punishment we deserved for such a dismal effort. The scoreline flattered us to say the least. St Kilda blitzed us for the vast majority of the game.


One of the very few positives of the game was the shutdown job by Declan Mountford on Saints gun Jack Steven.


The Saints kept their finals hopes alive. It wasn’t the prettiest performance but it they got the job done. I believe the Saints have a promising list and have the potential to a real contender in the next two or three years.


As for North Melbourne, best of luck trying to find a positive in this one. This was absolutely putrid. Nothing went right and now we can move on and forget about this game forever.


Season 2017 has been a frustrating one for North Melbourne with some truly impressive competitive efforts with a young team. However with youth, and a massive loss of experience and leadership, you get performances like Friday night. Hopefully we can return to form and keep competitive for the remainder of the season.


North Melbourne   2.5   2.6   4.9   10.12 (72)

St. Kilda      5.3   8.8   9.15   12.17 (89)



North Melbourne: Clarke 2, Waite, Goldstein, Ziebell, Mullet, Hrovat, Wood, B. Brown, Turner.

St. Kilda: Billings 2, Steven 2, Membrey 2, Bruce 2, Roberton, Acres, Sinclair, Gresham.



North Melbourne: McDonald, Goldstein, Cunnington, Ziebell, Gibson, Mountford.

St. Kilda: Ross, Roberton, Montagna, Sinclair, Billings.


Umpires: Fisher, Fleer, McInerney, Schmitt.

Crowd: 26,107.

About Matthew Naqvi

Matthew Naqvi is a writer, editor, and writing group facilitator. He is the Web Editor of The Footy Almanac. He has written for numerous sports organisations and teams including Melbourne Victory, AFC (Australian Fighting Championship) and Football Federation Victoria. He loves North Melbourne.


  1. Yes, Matthew, that’s pretty much the game I saw – in bits and pieces. Like you, I found the standard to be woeful. Hard to believe, but even worse than Thursday night. Tha Kangas have some thinking to do. Looking forward to seeing them at Blundstone Arena though in late July – when we have our Almanac lunch down there (all welcome by the way).

  2. Andrew Starkie says:

    No Friday nights in 2018.

  3. Paul Young says:

    I was out on Friday night at my athletic club’s presentation dinner. I recorded the game on Foxtel. (Is Foxtel’s IQ not one of the best innovations in TV history?)

    Normally if I record an AFL game and watch it back, fast forwarding the stop plays and advertisements, I still need over an hour to watch the game, especially to replay the highlights such as a grouse goal or mark.

    This game, I watched in about 40mins. It was pathetic with very few highlights. North took a huge step backwards in this one. We need to get back on the horse this week v the Bulldogs.

  4. John, I am glad you only witnessed bits and pieces. Being there and watching the whole thing was unbearable. I am sure the Kangas will play much better at Blundstone.

    Starkie, that looks a very real possibility. That was an embarrassment and got the second lowest Friday night ratings for the season.

  5. Andrew Starkie says:

    26,000 on a Friday night. They blew it.

    Personally, I didn’t know Boomer was doing a lap until Friday morning. Was it announced in midweek emails? Admit, I rarely read them these days. I arrived just in time to see hi jump out of the car with his kids to check out his jumper hanging from the rafters. Why couldn’t he be presented at half-time with everyone in?

    To be honest, 7.50 is a late start. Waited 30 mins for a train after the game. Walked in the door midnight. Swimming lessons 8am next morning. It’s getting tough; not because they’re losing.

  6. Andrew Starkie says:

    More importantly today – Blighty, you legend.

    Beautiful, beautiful Blighty.

  7. Paul, I couldn’t agree more. 40 mins of watchable footage is probably still a bit generous. We simply have to lift this weekend against the Dogs. I honestly don’t care if win, just as long as the effort is back to where it needs to be.

    Starkie, I heard about Boomer the day before. I have no idea why it wasn’t mentioned more to get more members and supporters to the game. As for the finish time, I was in the same boat. Getting home at midnight after the footy isn’t fun anymore.

    I was happy with Blighty and Stevens getting the recognition they deserve. Hopefully this can lift the spirits of everyone involved with the Kangas.

  8. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    Matthew et Kangas … what comes after Shinboner? Perhaps it’s time for a change in of spirit?!
    My North loving barista doesn’t brew near my work anymore and I miss the North dissections. So thank you.

  9. Nice Report Matthew!
    I don’t like watching the Crows on a Friday night.
    They are normally against hard teams.
    I have had a long week and like being neutral.
    We have 3 friday night games left.
    I am playing for Walkerville in all of.
    Do you like watching the Kangas on a friday?

  10. Luke Reynolds says:

    Surprising that North didn’t promote the Boomer tribute much more. Reckon he’d be still pretty handy running around for the Kangaroos.

  11. Mathilde, I think the Shinboner spirit is very much at the heart of the North Melbourne Football Club. I wouldn’t want to see it disappear. But we definitely need to find it again to show true selves. Thank you, I will undoubtedly have a few more words to say about my North Melbourne throughout the year.

    Aidan, I can understand your pain. A Friday night game usually means your team has pretty tough competition. A loss on Friday night can also put a damper on weekend celebrations and vibes. I do like seeing North Melbourne on the big stage but it is painful when we put on performances like this one.
    I am sure Adelaide will play extremely well in the remaining Friday night games. A top 4 finish beckons for your boys.

    Luke, it is a shame they didn’t. Everyone at North loves Boomer so much for everything he has done for the club. Most North supporters I have spoken to would be over the moon to have him still out there leading the way. He was our best player last year, totally should still be in the team.

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