Round 14 – Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne: Robbed

News has just come in that on Monday morning, three men are expected to plead guilty to robbery. Rumour has it, they were wearing yellow.


The umpiring was disgraceful: so bad, it was worse than the traffic heading home via the West Gate. Thankfully, I was on the M1.


26-14 free kicks: I thought the game had been relocated to Perth it was that one sided. The umpiring had been horrific all night and in the final quarter they just needed to put the whistles away and let the game play. But they couldn’t help themselves and instead of Ben Brown kicking the goal to put North in front, a free kick was paid to the Bulldogs along with a 50 metre penalty and then we all know what happened from there.


But I’ve always said, there’s always an issue beyond the umpires and tonight was no different. Early on, North was sloppy and some ugly characteristics that destroyed us last week magically reappeared. Butchering entries inside 50, missing easy handball targets and allowing the Bulldogs to carry the ball down the ground under minimal pressure.


The Dogs were the better side on the night, too. Better use of the footy and much cleaner with their possession but you can’t help wonder what would’ve happened if the free kick count wasn’t 26-14. Also can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if everyone on the ground and not just Jake Stringer heard the umpire call play on when Shaun Higgins was lining up for goal at the end of the 3rd quarter. But that’s footy I guess.


Overall, I thought North played some good footy and finally found the exciting form we were exposed to earlier in the season. They weren’t afraid to take the game on and it was great to watch them play a decent game. Amazing what can happen with some cleaner possession and a bit of run.


Jarrad Waite played an outrageous game. He did everything – he was marking everything, including a one handed grab which may give Jeremy Howe a run for his money. There was also the intercept and sensational goal on the run and that wasn’t all. His defensive pressure and general play around the ground was great, too. He had an influence and it was one of his best performances for the year.


Waite was joined by Ben Cunnington, who in my opinion could just be a nose in front of McDonald and Tarrant for the B&F. When the intensity in a game goes up a notch and you can feel the team starting to lift, Cunnington is leading the charge. Once again, he stepped up and nearly inspired North over the line. Two final quarter goals, a couple of crucial marks and he stood up like he has a number of times this season. It’s great to see him find form again in 2017.


It was so exciting to see Majak back into the side – every time he goes within 20 metres of the ball there’s a buzz from supporters around the ground. He was great and the only way he’ll get better will be game time. Same goes for Declan Mountford. What a player he promises to be. He attacked the ball like his life depended on it and that’s all you can ask from your players.


Now to discuss what I know most will disagree with: Andrew Swallow. I thought he did well – in the first half at least. Up to half time he was leading North’s disposals, tackles and clearances and he made the most of his return to the side. I don’t know if it was enough for him to keep his spot though. Unfortunately I feel as though Swallow can (and will) be replaced at any moment. Rumour has is Ben Jacobs isn’t far off an AFL return and Simpkin should be back from injury in a couple of weeks and either could easily take his place. But after his efforts tonight I personally wouldn’t mind seeing him have another crack next week on the Gold Coast, but I feel like I may be in the minority.


Most North supporters cheered the boys off tonight and I was one of them. I think mainly because I’m happy we proved to people that our best footy is still fantastic and we are very much that side everyone raved about prior to round 11. I wonder if Hutchy will retract the Tasmania bullshit he served up last week, or will he send the reigning premiers to Ballarat after they managed to pull just 28K to Etihad on Saturday night. Bloody idiot.


Next week, North will get on a plane for the first time since defeating Adelaide in Hobart. I suspect Gary Ablett will make a timely recovery from his calf injury and run out in front of a home crowd in game 300, but we’ll wait to hear from the selection panel.


That’s all from me this week, I’m off to drown myself in Malcom Blight highlights #freekickbulldogs


  1. They didn’t even show on tele what the free kick was for? Presumably you were there, what was it for?

    I was really wanting North to win – for selfish reasons, mind you, (Swans to stay higher on ladder and still holding a grudge against the premiers) and, like you, was seething at the 50 metre penalty.

    Not that it means anything, but in the GF the ratio of frees to the Dogs was similar to your game.

    Such is footy!

  2. Yes umpiring in Perth is not something anyone bar West Coast supporters enjoy.

    Losing to the same side twice in the season by under a goal is no fun, yep you’ve lost to the tricolours twice this year by under a goal. I cast my mind back to 1971 when South Melbourne, remember them, lost to Footscray by 6 points , then 2points. What would be even more painful would be losing twice to the same team by a point. This happened to Hawthorn against the team we knew as Fitzroy, back in 1978. Ouch.

    Marnie it can only get better. In a season where there have 21 results by under a goal , you’ve been unlucky in these clashes.


  3. Paul Young says

    Fair comment Marnie. I don’t mind the 50/50 contentious calls that seemed to go the Bulldogs way but gee there were a few closer to 30/70 where the umpire plucked it out for the Bullies but for the same indiscretion the umpire would have called play on if it was North.

    The Higgins shot for goal on 3/4 time was farcical. An absolute disgrace. Surely there has to be an element of the umpire ensuring the player with the ball can hear him calling play on. Stringer was looking directly at the umpire so I assume he moved when he SAW the play on signal. It’s grossly unfair if the umpire is clearly not calling it loud enough and only those who are looking at him get the benefit of the call. In my view it was indicative of the Bulldogs getting the ‘rub of the green.’

  4. North played well and they are definitely on the way back now. I expect a few wins soon.
    Now, MRP…
    Listening to 3AW this morning. about seven thirty, they said Cunnington might be in trouble for some hit blah, blah.Sure enough, he was.
    How would the station know this unless someone within the MRP has leaked information. Who was it?
    This is akin to contempt of court, is it not? By the way, was there any investigation into how Cunnington got a black eye? If not, why not? The MRP is a corrupt group. Something is wrong there, when the media know before the players are told. It cannot continue to act like a media organisation and leak news. It is a totally unreliable group that makes decisions based on reaction, rather than looking at the provocation and lets players off without good reason and the public, like dummies, digests their decisions without debate. What a pathetic joke they are.
    This is absolutely unprofessional and clearly someone within has been giving the news outside.
    If a judge did this in a real court, they would throw him behind bars for contempt of court. I would like some answers from the people who got this information. But, of course, if we all wait a while, it will go away, it’s only the public, and most of them are idiots, right?

  5. Incidentally Marnie, I have no issue at all with Andrew Swallow in the team. I hope he stays in the seniors for the rest of this year and all of next year. He really is a tough presence in the heat of the battle. We really need his experience at the moment and he is a gun midfielder still. Also it was good to see Waite up the field and making an impact. A smart move by the coaches, he has such versatility and can definitely play on next year, as I hope he does. Brown contested brilliantly, Goldy was better as was Dumont, Atley and Williams were better, played with more purpose and the forwards were really putting pressure on. We nearly have got the mix right now, so..lookout, we aint done with yet..Go Roos!

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