AFL Round 9: Kangas fight back

by Josh Barnstable

Saturday’s are about sleeping in and enjoying a nice day at home in the warmth of the lounge room watching the footy. Not for me though. Up at seven today after a late night of watching the footy. I really don’t feel like playing footy as I would rather go back to bed. After a freak accident while reading the paper (I stood up too quickly from the table and banged my head on the corner of a cupboard) saw me with a massive headache for the rest of the day, I see myself getting more enthusiastic about the game ahead.

Well after a 169 point thumping at the hands of Dookie United, I return home to listen to the coverage of the game from Etihad Stadium, North and Fremantle. The Roos, captained today by Daniel Wells due to Round 9 being the Indigenous Round, win the toss and kick to the Lockett end. Leigh Harding kicks the first goal of the game with a kick out of mid-air in the goalsquare from the same spot Drew Petrie kicked a freak goal against Collingwood in Round 6. The Dockers reply though with goals through Paul Haselby, Luke McPharlin and Matthew Pavlich to take the lead out to 2 goals. The Roos are inspired by Petrie though. After a run along the wing, a dummy against a Freo opponent, a loose-ball gather and a kick to Ben Warren, the Roos get their second through Warren. The Dockers answer with 3 goals through Brett Peake from outside 50, Pavlich after receiving from Paul Duffield and a goal to Roger Hayden in his 100th match. The Dockers led by 26 points after an impressive quarter, 6.5 to 2.3. Steven Dodd has 9 disposals for the Dockers while Gavin Urquhart is also on 9 touches.

After absolutely dominating the clearances and hard-ball gets, the Roos came out after being given a spray by Dean Laidley. They kicked the first 3 goals through David Hale, Petrie and Daniel Wells to cut the margin to 7 points. The Dockers replied through McPharlin but a kick from outside 50 by Brady Rawlings sailed through for a rare goal for the hard-nosed tagger. Warren bobbed up for another goal to draw scores level before McPharlin kicked his 3rd then a goal to Haselby from a Roos clanger saw the Dockers out to a handy buffer again. Hale goaled with a lucky free kick with just 15 seconds remaining in the half to cut the margin to 5 points at half time, 8.8 to 9.7.

The third quarter began and, after a Hale goal, the Roos trailed by a point. Des Headland entered the fray and kicked a long, running goal before goals to Aaron Edwards after Dodd rushed a behind and was penalized and Sam Wright snapping a high goal from 15m out saw the Roos in front by 6 points. Todd Goldstein extended that lead after marking near the goalsquare, the Roos leading by 13 points at three quarter time after kicking 3 goals in the final 4 minutes of the quarter, 12.11 to 10.10. Haselby has racked up 21 disposals for the Dockers while Garrick Ibbotson is on 20 possessions. For the Roos, Adam Simpson and Urquhart are on 19 touches each.

The final quarter began and, I was unusually calm. The Roos started well with a goal to Hale after a strong mark and the margin was out to 19 points. Pavlich bought it back after a free kick and then McPharlin kicked a long, running goal and the margin was 7 points. I was still calm though. As the final minutes ticked by, I grew more tense before those feelings fell away after Hale marked and goaled from an acute angle for his 5th, sealing the game. The siren sounded not too long after and the Roos had prevailed by 13 points, 14.14.98 to 12.13.85. Rawlings finished with 24 possessions for the Roos while Simpson and Sam Power ended up on 23 and 22 touches respectively. For Fremantle, Haselby finished on 26 disposals while Ibbotson ended up on 23 possessions.

So after a long day nursing a very sore head, I can relax knowing the North Melbourne boys have won. They now have a 4-5 record so far in 2009 and a possible win next week will see a 5-5 win-loss record, something I didn’t think was possible. As for Freo, dump Ryan Murphy now Mark Harvey! Just 2 handballs today is not anywhere near as good enough. As soon as Hayden Ballantyne is ready to go, he will come into that Freo forward line and liven it up some, something Murphy has the potential to do, but just can’t seem to do it.

North Melbourne 2.3—8.8—12.11—14.14.98

Fremantle 6.5—9.7—10.10—12.13.85


North Melbourne-Hale 5, Warren 2, Harding, Petrie, Wells, Rawlings, Edwards, Wright, Goldstein

Fremantle-McPharlin 4, Pavlich 3, Haselby 2, Headland, Peake, Hayden


North Melbourne-Firrito, Rawlings, Simpson, Hale, Petrie, Urquhart, Gibson, McMahon, Harding

Fremantle-Haselby, Ibbotson, McPharlin, Pavlich, Dodd, Sandilands


15,436 at Etihad Stadium

3 Votes: Michael Firrito (NM)

2 Votes: Brady Rawlings (NM)

1 Vote: Paul Haselby (FREM)


  1. Very poor crowd. We may lose 100k but I think its our own fault for not having members actually show up for the game.

  2. neilbelford says

    Well written and well commented Josh. The AFL is not about having 15,000 people turn up to a game. That is the SANFL, the WAFL, and possibly the NTFL. It’s not stadium deals, it is attendances that are the problem. The Melbourne clubs are making an art form of passing the buck, the same game at Subi would have attracted over 30,000 people to a home club that was not on life support from the AFL. Beat the drum North because when the footy media decides to stop gushing about the club and turns on you, you are going to need to man the barricades.

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