AFL Round 4 – Sydney v North Melbourne: Triple Bogey

A battle hardened, mature, defensively oriented bogey team.

Now featuring the bloke who kicked 13 on us.

Interstate.

In the rain.

A triple dose of kryptonite for Brad Scott’s Roos. He hasn’t managed to bring home the bickies from an interstate trip other than Hobart or against expansion teams in the whole of his time at North. Famously lost his cool about the roof being open at the Docklands against Geelong. Hasn’t beaten a Lyon-, Roos- or Longmire-coached side. Oh, and the captain, vice-captain and first two choices for third tall forward are all injured. We’re hanging our hopes on late inclusion Robin Nahas and Spud Firrito coming in for the injured Jamie Macmillan.

I’ll spare you the suspense. Bugger me if we didn’t win!

By 43!

Less than a month after that desultory performance in round 1 where club and supporters alike got a bit ahead of themselves, we knock over 3 bogeys in one week!

Gee, that Cunnington kid can play, can’t he? The rest of the footy world seems to be finally taking notice. Fearless, so clever with his hands, a better contested mark than he has a right to be. Could improve on the outside a bit I guess. But we got a good ‘un didn’t we?

I honestly never paid that much attention to Dal Santo at the Saints. Didn’t quite see the point of chasing him so hard in the off season. Good player, but overshadowed a bit by the likes of Lenny and Joey when that midfield was at its best maybe? Guess I thought he was probably a bit soft. Nup. Doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty if he has to and damn, he Just. Never. Panics. I thought we were probably a year away from being good enough to need to top up with a free agent, but what a great pickup so far.

Blacky hasn’t been in great form to start the season. I reckon he misses the luxury of the third best defender and the space that three hard-running talls who understand each other make in the forward line. I never thought I’d miss Robbie Tarrant’s agility, but for all the feelgood factor of his debut Dan Currie has managed But wow, did you see that goal? The one where he slipped, fell flat on his face, bounced up to scoop the pill off the ground one handed and snap over the shoulder? That might have been the point where I started to believe we’d win. So good at ground level for a 6’4″ bloke and created three goals out of thin air when the game was up for grabs.

And Nahas, eh? Depth small forward picked up off Richmond’s discard pile. In everything. Not always the most polished but gave it all he had and snagged a goal. Said all the right things in his post game interview. If he plays 3 or 4 games here and there where we need him he’s done exactly what we picked him up for. Good on him for grabbing his second chance.

Scotty Thompson. I’m running out of superlatives for Scooter. And at times like this week, when we’re flying and and they’re all fit and in form, there might not be a better trio of tall defenders than Thompson, Grima and Hansen. All with their own complementary strengths, the whole more than the sum of its parts. Even Spud had a brain-fade-free day. Maybe finally being allowed to play on someone his own size  helped keep his head in the right space.

It’s a relief more than anything. After feeling like we’d fallen for the same old lines again after round 1, it’s getting tempting to believe again. They look to be showing a bit more resolve. A bit more maturity. Three times in a row now they’ve smashed teams on the inside for three quarters and run away in the last. A tiny part of me misses the helter skelter kamikaze attack of the last couple of years, but I could get used to this.

And just to rub it in to Buddy, he was kept goalless with 13 touches (and a report), while North’s final score was 13.13. If only Anthony Hudson had been commentating.

SYDNEY SWANS 2.1 3.7 4.9 6.12 (48)
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.4 4.7 7.10 13.13 (91)

GOALS
Sydney: Laidler 2, Grundy, Jack, McVeigh, O’Keefe
North Melbourne: Black 3, Wells 3, Mullett 2, Petrie, Thomas, Nahas, Adams, Goldstein

BEST
SYDNEY: Kennedy, McVeigh, Smith, Laidler
NORTH MELBOURNE: Thompson, Black, Cunnington, Wells, Dal Santo, Adams, Atley

UMPIRES: Chamberlain, Meredith, Ryan

CROWD: 25,505 at SCG

OUR VOTES:
3. Scott Thompson
2. Ben Cunnington
1. Aaron Black

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