AFL Round 18: Sadly, Roos fail to send Simmo out with a win

by Roseann Testagrossa

Early last week, former North Melbourne captain and dual premiership player, Adam Simpson, announced his retirement, effective after the round 18 game against Carlton.  When I first heard I was disappointed, because I thought he still had plenty to contribute as a player.  The consensus among North supporters seemed to be that he would be in the top three players in this year’s best and fairest.  The game would be an emotional one for the team.

Adam Simpson also incurred an injury at his last training session, so there were rumours circulating that perhaps he would not even play.  Hardly. Simmo is tough.  Just ask Luke Hodge, who collided with him early in the year and took awhile to recover.

It was great to be at Etihad Stadium on a Friday night under the lights.  North pioneered Friday night footy, and yet in recent times it ‘s been possible to count the Friday night games featuring North on one hand.  I arrived at the ground early, and I thought it was a good omen to have the victorious 1999 Grand Final being replayed on the big screen – Wayne Carey, Mick Martyn, David King, Corey McKernan, a very young Cam Mooney, and Adam Simpson, all celebrating that marvellous win against the Blues. My observation was, “The game has changed so much in ten years”.

Adam Simpson came through the banner with his children and the club song was played twice! Unheard of!

Scotty Thompson did his best to annoy Brendan Fevola, pinching him all over.  Craig Kelly had been resurrected. Lindsay Thomas marked in the forward line and scored the first goal of the game.  The yellow wiggles decided to be party-poopers, stopping a certain goal for Adam Simpson, and no-one around knew why.  Obviously some alleged infringement.

Bryce Gibbs scored the Blues first goal, and I didn’t recognise him.  He looked like something out of Romper Stomper.  Fev received a free paid against young Gav Urquarht, which was questionable, and he hit the post to our delight in the cheer squad.

Two Carlton players, Bower and Thornton, collided in front of us, and it looked bad. Shortly afterwards, Nick Stevens kicked a soccer goal.

Marc Murphy demonstrated his pace by outrunning Firrito, and kicking a goal.  The lolly bucket passed through the cheer squad, just as Fev missed his second shot at goal, and we cheered this just as loudly as Turtle Harding’s goal moments later.  Scores level at quarter-time, 3.4 (22) apiece.

Scotty Thompson did well against Fev, stopping all attempts at the forward from getting near the footy.

O’hAilpin kicked a toe-poke goal, which was annoying, but nowhere near as annoying as umpire No.3 getting in the way of North sending the footy into the forward line.  The yellow wiggles had become the yellow peril.  A collision between Corey Jones and Nick Stevens left both players dazed briefly.

North’s bad kicking at goal continued …  points to Andrew Swallow and Matt Campbell, and both could easily have been goals.  Thankfully Turtle kicked truly, but then he went off the ground hurt.

My request for the upcoming week : goal-kicking practice for the ENTIRE TEAM, not just the forwards, because in the probable event that Gibbo ends up in the forward-line, he too will need to know how to kick goals.

Big Hamish McIntosh kicked a fabulous goal, and the Big H chant is sung in the cheer squad. Score 6.9 (45) to North, while Carlton is 4.4 (28).  I ducked but the Sherrin hit me.  That hurts.

Fev and Scotty Thompson elbow each other, and Fev must be a very amorous person as he planted a kiss on him!   Shades of Allen Jakovich. Goal to Fevola towards the half-time siren bounced through several times without anyone able to stop it.  Corey Jones nearly went over the boundary fence into the crowd, and North had an 11-point lead at half-time.

My motorsport friend Juliane came to catch up with me at half-time.  She’s a Carlton supporter and had arrived from the track at Sandown.  A rumour circulated that American singer Pink was present at the ground, in one of the corporate boxes.

Goals traded between Drew Petrie and Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and Boomer Harvey, made the third quarter entertaining to watch. Scotty Thompson was all over Fev like a rash, and gave away what looked like a questionable free kick, allowing Fev to put the Blues in front 65-63.  Goal for goal, first Swallow and then Fev for his third, and the lead changed several times in the third quarter.

I thought it was funny when Fev marked right in front of the dodo sign – interesting parallel.  His shot at goal duly missed.

Lindsay Thomas kicked his fourth goal, and the three-quarter time margin was only 4 points in Carlton’s favour.

The cheer squad’s weekly raffle was drawn and the prize was a signed and framed caricature of Adam Simpson.  I hoped the boys would be able to win the game and send him off in style.

Points to Toddy Goldstein, Lindsay Thomas, Daniel Pratt and Liam Anthony did little to reassure me.  Eddie Betts hit the post as well, and that made me feel a little better.  The scoreboard revealed 38,554 people had come to the game.  Not bad.  If only that happened every week.

Marc Murphy proved a headache all evening and his shot at goal landed in the second tier of Etihad Stadium.  He kicked 4 goals to cap off a great night for him, four goals too many for my liking, though.

Hamish McIntosh, Andrew Swallow both kicked points, and Carlton’s lead was 6 points.

Lachie Hansen sprayed the footy out on the full, and memories of the Richmond game came flooding back.  Adam Simpson dropped an easy mark and the look of disappointment on his face was evident.

The North backline played a little game of keepings off Fev and did well enough, but they couldn’t stop Bret Thornton’s goal, which increased the margin to two goals.

Umpiring decisions really do leave a lot to be desired.  Not allowed to swear in the cheer squad, or the whistle blowers would have copped plenty from all of us.  Umpiring – worse than what the cricket has been going through during the Ashes.

Points to Corey Jones and Todd Goldstein ensured the goal-kicking inaccuracy continued in the last quarter. As the saying goes,  “Bad kicking is bad football”.

Siren imminent and the team just cannot win.  Another loss.  That’s 8 losses and one draw since Round 9.

Simmo deserved a win for his final game, but North has not been able to farewell club champions with a win – Anthony Stevens (slaughter against Brisbane); Glenn Archer and Leigh Colbert (two separate schellackings against Port Adelaide); Shannon Grant, Nathan Thompson  and Jess Sinclair (a huge loss against the Swans).  Only Jason McCartney had a win in his final game, which his comeback game after the Bali bombings, against Richmond.

The cheer squad stood proud in saluting Adam Simpson’s long career, despite the 10-point loss.  Timmy Watson interviewed Adam, and then Brady Rawlings and Corey Jones chaired him off the ground.  Both teams lined up and applauded a wonderful career of a dual premiership player and club captain.

The end of an era at North, and once again no song to sing at game’s end.

About Roseann Testagrossa

Footy tragic, North Melbourne supporter and cheersquad member,but don't totally hate other clubs, except Carlton of course. Have a strong liking of Hawthorn, and hope to see my Roos improve in upcoming seasons.


  1. Don’t worry Roseann, we will be singing the song many times in 2010, the future is looking bright. Jack Ziebell, Liam Anthony and Ben Cunnington are the new Anthony Stevens, Adam Simpson and Shannon Grant. The backline is settled and has skill, while we have plenty of options up forward, we just can’t seem to grasp those opportunities. This game was a major disappointment, i left school halfway through to make the drive to Melbourne only to see the Roos blow the game in the last quarter with 10 misses. Like i said, the Roos will improve, and i will bet any money i have that we will make the finals next season.

  2. Steve Healy says

    hahaha a bit late Josh

  3. Well it takes me a while to notice some reports on this site

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