North Help The Premiers Get Back On Track

By Josh Barnstable

Ah it’s Easter. A special day that creeps up on us without as much significance as Christmas, which some kids count down the months towards. It’s the one day that everyone can forget about being guilty when eating chocolate, yet makes us feel guilty if we have any meat. As always, Easter Sunday is full of football and today is no exception. My boys take on Hawthorn in a crucial game for both clubs at the Docklands. The Roos have had their backs to the walls with the whole “chickengate” scandal but that is another story in itself. The Hawks, on the other hand, have had a win-less start to the season with losses to Geelong and Sydney so far for the reigning premiers. A classic rivalry will renew itself today. I settle in to watch the 52 minute delay on TV.

The first quarter begins and the Roos start strongly, kicking the first goal through unlikely goalkicker Michael Firrito after he was given a free kick inside 50. The Hawks answer with the next two goals through Jarryd Roughead after some clever work from the big utility and some clever decoy work by Lance Franklin. Matt Campbell was the recipient of a free kick and a 50m penalty. He converted from 15m out to give North Melbourne back the lead, but not for long as Buddy stole the show with 2 goals to give the Hawks the lead by 12 points at quarter time, 4.1 to 2.1. Sam Mitchell and Cyril Rioli worked hard in the opening quarter to have 10 possessions each for Hawthorn while Adam Simpson was working hard to put a tough week behind him, opening this game with 10 touches. Daniel Wells was missing in action though. He had just a handful of touches and was rarely seen. The Hawks were also hurting, with exciting youngster Xavier Ellis carried off the ground by trainers due to a foot complaint. This was later found out to be a broken foot. Things were looking good for North Melbourne.

The second quarter began and the Roos started with a bang, booting 2 goals through Drew Petrie and Leigh Harding to take back the lead but the Hawks banged on 5 goals in a row through Stuart Dew twice, Franklin, Chance Bateman and Roughead. Roughead’s goal was more painful to see than the others, as the marking contest saw David Hale KO’ed. He did not move an inch as he hit the ground and was taken from the field. The Roos finally replied through Wells after he was struck on the head by a Campbell Brown elbow that should see Brown confronting the tribunal later in the week. The Hawks finished the half with a 4th goal to Roughead from outside 50 to give the Hawks a lead of 29 points at half time, 10.4 to 5.5. I comfort myself with chocolate. Mitchell was playing an outstanding game so far, he had 21 touches while youngster Brendan Whitecross had clocked up 20 disposals. Brady Rawlings and Simpson had 20 and 19 possessions respectively.

The third quarter started and the Roos once again made a good start with the opening 2 goals through Petrie and Scott McMahon. The Hawks once again kicked away from the contest, booting 3 goals from Jarryd Morton, Bateman and Mark Williams. Lindsay Thomas marked strongly against Brent Guerra to kick the Roos’ 8th goal of the match but the Hawks booted the final 2 goals of the quarter through Roughead and Mitchell, Hawthorn going into the last change with a 38 point lead, 15.5 to 8.9.

The final quarter started and I had a lot of doubt that the Roos could get back into the match. The Hawks proved me right, Morton snapping a clever goal and then Williams kicking his second. That goal was hard to swallow with another injury to one of our main players. Leigh Harding twisted his knee and went to ground holding it. I feared the worst. Everyone did. Its painful seeing a player who has done the old ACL injury before, go down to ground clutching his knee. He went off the ground as the medical staff checked it. He was able to return but went off again and things were still not right with his knee. Corey Jones finally did something and goaled after receiving a free kick but the Hawks answered with Buddy kicking his fourth goal after he marked, quickly played on and ran into an open goal. Thomas replied for the Roos but the Hawks had the final say, with Dew slamming home the final goal of the day from outside 50m for his 3rd, a fitting way to end the match, even i must say. The Hawks had smashed us. 54 points. 9 goals. Hamish McIntosh failed to exploit weakness in the Hawthorn ruck division. 19.9.123 to 10.9.69 was the final score. Happy Easter everyone. Hope you had a better one then I did.

North Melbourne 2.1–5.5–8.9–10.9.69
Hawthorn 4.1–10.4–15.5–19.9.123
North Melbourne-Thomas 2, Petrie 2, Firrito, Campbell, Harding, Wells, Jones, McMahon
Hawthorn-Roughead 5, Franklin 4, Dew 3, Bateman 2, Morton 2, Williams 2, Mitchell
North Melbourne-Simpson, Rawlings, Ziebell, Harvey
Hawthorn-Roughead, Mitchell, Guerra, Whitecross, Rioli, Dew
North Melbourne-Hale (concussion) Harding (knee)
Hawthorn-Tuck (groin) Birchall (thumb) Ellis (foot) Renouf (concussion)
34, 893 at Docklands
3 Votes: Jarryd Roughead (HAW)
2 Votes: Sam Mitchell (HAW)
1 Vote: Brent Guerra (HAW

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