It was with a great deal of confidence that I selected North Melbourne in the various tipping comps in which I am involved. I didn’t even stop to give a second thought to St. Kilda getting up. How could I have been so stupid?

The signs were all there:

  1. Riewoldt being skewered by the commentators all week: the knee’s no good; his best is behind him; he needs to reinvent his style of play. By Saturday, I was actually glad the Saints had selected such a liability.
  2. Brad Scott confidently proclaiming all week that the Kangas were ready to step up to the plate: did I detect our normally conservative and thoughtful coach subconsciously showing St. Kilda a bit of disrespect? It certainly felt like it to me.
  3. Garry Lyon on Footy Classified: stating that he would be selecting North “with confidence” while Grant Thomas just sat there with a smug look on his face. In his Saturday Age column, G Lyon said that North would be paying close attention to Goddard and would not let him off the chain. Hmmm.
  4. The North players embracing “media street”: the rarity of a feature story in Saturday’s Herald-Sun with the “mosquito fleet” goofing around in numerous photos. At the time, I did think that it was un-North-like article, but I was prepared to embrace it as we stormed toward the finals. There were also a couple of other positive articles during the week.
  5. Team selection: St. Kilda went taller, but North resisted the temptation to play big Hamish. It was the first indicator that our coach would be out-thought by the wily R Lyon. And so it came to pass.

The match turned out to be a most humbling and humiliating experience. Coming on top of so much expectation, it was North’s worst loss for the season. The Ziebell and Greenwood incidents were undisciplined.

And this week I am a disillusioned and disappointed Kangaroos supporter. Where to now?

This week we play the Tigers. One thing is for certain: I won’t fall for the same trap as last week. When I fill out my tipping cards, I will be selecting “Richmond”. With confidence.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Disappointing day for the Blue and White all round Smokey.

    We’ll be unstoppable in a few years. Harper is an absolute gun.

  2. Smokie – keep the faith. I tipped the Roos as well. I thought they had more to play for. Maybe I under estimated the Saints.

    I like your coach.

  3. Josh,
    We have some real talent coming through, but also plenty of journeymen who are never
    going to be top-liners. For example, guys like Edwards, Grima, Hansen, Thomas, are all
    battlers (who are also prone to brain-fades!).
    I also realise that the constant mid-table finishes have prevented us from “bottoming-out”
    and securing priority picks etc.
    I am a huge fan of B Scott, but he has been completely out-coached by R Lyon twice now.
    (As have many younger coaches, I suspect). The first time we played St. Kilda, the Roos
    went tall at selection and it virtually cost us the game (as many pundits said prior to the
    match). Granted, there was not a lot he could do last Saturday sitting up in the stand.

  4. Trent Dimitriou says

    Great article Darren!

    You deserve a column in the Sunday Age or Herald Sun.

  5. Trent first you say its a great article. Then you condemn the author to the Hun or the stale Sage. That sounds like 10 years in the salt mines as the reward for thoughtful prose. Almanackers know their reward is a discerning readership, that can reguritate other writer’s views as their own carefully developed opinion over a Friday night beer without much risk of being accused of plagiarism. A persipicacious and select audience has its own rewards. Well done Darren – never mind the width, feel the quality.

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