North Melbourne v Carlton

29 July 2011

Friday night has started well.

My four-year old daughter has been to swimming lessons. In the warm ups she was keeping pace with me as we kicked our first laps. This means that either I am slow, or she is quick. I’m putting my money on a combination of the two.

We got home to hot pizzas, lemonade and a nice bottle of 2009 Chateau Jolys Jarançon Sec, courtesy of the girls at Les Vaches du Tour, the cow spotters of the Tour de France.

The Supercoach team, Kanga’s Commandos, have had a last minute reshuffle and Heath Shaw has finally been traded out (for Broughton for all those playing along at home).

This week’s episode of The Match Committee has been viewed and I was impressed with Sam Pang’s blossoming acting skills yet again.

A few articles on Footy Almanac have been devoured and I was equally impressed to see the Tour feature amongst many of them.

To tonight’s game.

Traditionally I have never liked Carlton. There was something about their arrogance that never sat well with me. However, lately I am starting to enjoy their footy.  Even despite them stealing Judd from my Eagles. Their young blokes, who incidentally are always “coming through”, are exciting to watch and they seem to lack the attitude/tattoos of many others. Is “clean cut” an apt description?

North should be sponsored by Foxtel. I think I have not seen them on the box yet this year. There are so many players that I have no idea who they are. I feel as though I need a footy record to consult.

It is now 8:40pm and I am finally ready for the first bounce. I’ve tipped North, because in the early 90’s, they were the Friday night specialists. That’s enough for me.

The first piece of play that stands out is when Judd is gang tackled early in the last line of defence. Three Kangas are clinging to him like their lives depend on it. Is this an early sign? I’m sure it is, I just don’t know what it means.

Campbell misses on the run from 30 metres out with no one chasing. One bounce and he could have spat it through. Is it he or Thomas that have the yips?  Dennis is on the same wavelength. Although his suggestion of the ensuing domestic violence from the Thomas household as they watch the coverage takes the idea in direction I hadn’t contemplated.

With 5 minutes remaining, we finally have a goal. Yarran (or is it Garlett?) centres it to Betts and he doesn’t let the team down.

Walker misses a long bomb from the boundary line. Is that the Old Spice guy goal umpiring at that end?

North’s first goal comes on the rebound. Bruce instructs us to “listen to the roar here”. No offence Bruce, but the roar for the Walker point was decidedly louder.

Finally, it looks like this game has woken up. There are a number of North players who are starting to get their hands on the ball and they seem to be winning the clearances. I just don’t know who they are.

Ziebell then kicks an inside out 45 metre pass to an open Cunnington. He turns and unselfishly passes to Harvey, which would always be a good idea for a youngster. Harvey catches Garlett (or is it Yarran?) napping and wheels around for some bread and butter.

Dennis let us know that “momentum is now wearing blue and white”. I scratch my head and am happy to move on.

Another Carlton long bomb into the forward 50 sees Walker leap for another Toyota. I have kept an eye on him ever since he had 124 possessions on debut against the Eagles at Princes Park. When he was dangled as trade bait last year, I secretly hoped they would pounce on him with the theory that they always bring the best out of him. Since he was rejected by all and sundry, he has become a very good player.

NM      3.2.20

CAR     1.4.10

Early in the second, Yarran takes off and takes four bounces before kicking it as far as he can, in the feint hope it won’t come back. Turnover and North rebound. A “good kick”, as described by Bruce, turns out to be a direct turnover back to Yarran who sends it back and eventually it ends up with a Gibbs goal. Soon after, he waltzes into goal and kicks another and the Blues edge in front.

North respond with another goal that is “coast to coast” and is worked through a wide-open forward line. As the ball heads into the forward line, for a moment everyone is behind it. It has a real rugby feel to it. I can’t help but think that it’s a tactic that is pretty easy to stop.

Yarran is still running and bouncing.

Petrie leaps from the same spot that Walker tried in the first and holds the grab. It is a great mark, but doesn’t really rate amongst the high-flying class of 2011 that includes Walker, Naitanui, et al. The resultant goal is very important though.

The shrugged tackle from Cunnington on McLean is embarrassing. Especially considering McLean was recruited to the Blues to give their midfield more grunt. An Edwards goal puts serious doubts on McLean’s future at the Blues. If I were him, I would be selling my soul to the Giants.

Who is on Gibbs? Who is on Yarran? And, who is on Swallow? Perhaps they are all playing on each other.

NM      6.2.38

CAR     3.9.27

The second half starts at 10:00pm and I am battling. Unless this game heats up, I am going to struggle to see it out.

Early chances to Richardson and Gibbs are both snapped wide while Pedersen’s set shot also misses. These are not helping me to stay awake.

Finally Kruezer lopes on to a loose ball to hack through an ugly goal and the Blues draw within a kick.

When Swallow comes off for a breather, I notice that he has room for only half a cheek on the bench. There is an old timer in a tracksuit top who is taking up more than his fair share and I think he needs to be spoken to.

A goal to Walker equals the scores and although they can’t hit the side of a barn, they appear the stronger side. All they need to do is stop Swallow.

A noticeable change in tactics sees Yarran try a torpedo out of defence and the resultant inside 50 hits Gibbs in the goal square for his third. The Blues have kicked the last three and now have the lead.

According to Lethal a Kade Simpson long shot on goal “certainly hit the post I’m pretty sure”.  I definitely agree, I think.

An errant boot connects with Swallow and he comes off feeling groggy. I am feeling this is the most decisive move the Blues have made all night.

The points keep raining at both ends as neither team takes the ascendency.

The Kangas break from half back and Harvey’s side step around Judd is a highlight. As they break into the forward line, Swallow marks on the goal line. He must have run straight from the bench to get there. Scores are back to level.

The Ziebell fist to the boundary line is indicative of the game. I’ll see your turnover and raise it a mistake.

NM      7.6.48

CAR     6.12.48

The last quarter begins with an early goal to Walker to give Carlton the lead and it feels as though they are scoring from a more conventional manner. North are relying on turnovers, which there seem to be a lot of, and fast breaks to set their scoring shots up.

Bruce pulls out the “next goal will be important” call with 14 minutes remaining. I think it is a little early, but then Petrie kicks another from the goal square. Perhaps the next, next one will be even more important.

All of sudden it seems as though some bloke called Tuohy is having an impact. Perhaps if you don’t quite understand the game, it makes it difficult for your opponent to predict what you are doing.

The Old Spice man gives Judd the “next goal” from a set shot outside 50 and North seem under the pump. Every time they repel an attack it comes back even quicker.

Now Thornton kicks a goal and North have no chance. Game over.

Not much else happens for the rest of the game. Judd swears at an umpire, possibly costing him the three votes, Garlett kicks one under pressure and Gibbs kicks his fourth while giving us all a clinic on how to play the greatly underutilised, loose man in offence role.

North show me that it is no longer the early 90’s and Carlton ease away to a pretty comfortable three goal win.

Then it dawns on me just how much I miss the Tour.

NM      9.8.62

CAR     11.14.80

Votes from the couch:

3 A Swallow, 2 M Murphy, 1 B Gibbs with apologies to H Scotland (but I don’t like his tattoo).



About Shane Kennedy

An Eagles supporter living near Geelong. Thankful the Cats have tasted recent success as it means supporters forget '92/'94. My footy intake is restricted to Channel 7 (with no wide screen) and ABC radio. I may not know the score, quarter or time remaining, but I know I hate Brian Taylor's commentary on Saturday nights.


  1. Hit the nail on the head. I thought many of the same things reagrding the commentary. While I prefer the 7 team to 10 or Foxtel, I am finding the general reliance on cliche ‘challenging’…

    I enjoyed the non-partisan approach!

  2. Alovesupreme says

    Good report, Shane!
    I was protected from the commentators’ defects, because I was at the match. Generally speaking when I’m watching at home, I don’t bother with the commentary either, because I have poor hearing. I can generally figure out most of what is going on to my own satisfaction, although these days with teams like North, I find myself needing to more frequently consult the newspaper listed numbers to find out “who that bloke is.”
    I was frustrated by Carlton’s inaccuracy, but I offer what I think is a more satisfying metaphor than the “barn-door.” There’s an expression common in the north of England “He couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo”, which certainly describes some of my Blueboys’ errant goal attempts two nights ago.

    Notwithstanding other posters’ cynicism about Juddy’s unique ability to secure Brownlow votes, I think that they had left the station without him, by the time of his succumbing to his disappointment with an umpiring decision – perhaps exacerbated by lack of sleep. From our side, I’d think Kade Simpson and Scotto were worth a shout. In defence of Heath and his tat, you do have to understand that he reached Princes Park by way of Collingwood.

  3. John Butler says

    Nice work Shaken

    I doubt the Carlton brains trust missed the McLean tackling attempt. Or his inability to break into anything faster than a dog-trot. Perhaps the Dees need some ‘leadership material’ back?

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