Round 10 – Carlton v North Melbourne: From Rounds 2, 4 and 5, to Now

 

On the final siren today, North fans around Etihad celebrated win number four of the season. There were plenty of happy faces, loud singing voices (mine included) and there was just a lot of love under the roof.

 

But the happiest man sitting in the coaches box was Brent Harvey. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he walked around the ground and into the rooms. You could see was just beaming with pride. There are still too many people who can’t let go of what happened, but in the win against Carlton it was the youth once again leading the way to victory. We’ve finally justified the end.

 

We’re almost ready to confirm Mason Wood’s “clutch player” status. For the second week in a row he has played the final quarter like his life depended on it. He was an enormous presence against the Dees in the last and kicked a big final quarter goal to steady the ship. Against Carlton, two last quarter goals and a class performance steered North to victory. Luke McDonald is the other, and his 50+ metre bombs are starting to become a trademark. A great goal and even better celebration mirrored the emotions of all North fans in the moment.

 

The youngsters were not alone. Shaun Higgins was best for North after his uncharacteristic performance the week before. 27 disposals, 8 clearances, 5 tackles and two goals – he’s an elite footballer and you really can’t keep a good man down. Captain Jack was great, too particularly teaming up with a revived Cunnington in the last.

 

The one thing that was missing today was Lindsay Thomas. I know I’m biased, but today was his day and he really should’ve been out there. Throw Simpkin and Jed Anderson into the line up as well and there’s the perfect tribute to this incredible round of footy.

 

I really don’t want to give Carlton fans the satisfaction of addressing the umpiring, but I will. North were awarded 14 frees after quarter time to Carlton’s 18 and Blues fans were still complaining that not enough frees were paid. When Carlton were on the rebound during the second and third quarters, the umpires definitely paid attention and paid free kicks too. There were a lot missed from both sides as well, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles and the game ended with a 24-21 free kick count. If you want to see where the game was lost, simply watch the last quarter. North took the game on and their cleaner possession down the ground paid off. The Blues hacked plenty of kicks on the full and in the final quarter, Carlton had 10 turnovers and North scored three of its five final quarter goals on the back of them. The Roos also had nine more inside 50s in the last and just dug deeper and played better.

 

They played a great second and third term, though and Bryce Gibbs was outstanding. Best on ground by a mile and just played a sensational game of footy. He was also travelling at 86 per cent disposal efficiency. Crazy good.

 

Anyway, back to the winners.

 

I couldn’t be happier with the win today. I know it sounds a little strange, but take it into perspective. North have been involved in five heart stoppers and have come away 3 losses and 2 wins. North lost to Geelong (round 2), Bulldogs (round 4) and Freo (round 5) then won against Melbourne (round 9) and Carlton (round 10). They’re clearly figuring out a way to win the game and given the scripts of our matches this year, that’s all you can really ask for. They’re digging deep and rising to the challenge when the game demands it of them. As soon as Carlton hit the front early in the fourth quarter, North’s intensity lifted a notch and they completely took control of the game. They were rampant out of the centre and finding avenues to goal. Of course you’d much rather see the four quarter effort and the big win, however we’ll accept the challenge for the time being.

 

That’s now four wins from the last five starts and the Roos are finally getting their act together. They have a six day break before they face Richmond under Saturday night lights – that promises to be an absolute cracker. What you want, and all you can ask for is effort. It’s not easy watching the best and worst of what your troops can do in one game, however if the last quarter domination is a little glimpse of our peak then I think we should do okay.

 

A win will see us go into the break 5-6 and one game away from the Tiges, who are currently placed in 5th. Rise and accept the challenge and find the way to win.

Comments

  1. John Butler says

    North’s best was pretty good last night, Marnie. And yet, they let us get back in the game. Not for the first time.

    I thought Kruezer was as good as Gibbs. He toweled Goldstein after quarter time.

    But you’re right to say we lost our composure once we hit the front. Hopefully part of our learning process.

    As for your learning process? The game against Richmond will tell us a lot.

    Cheers

  2. Paul Young says

    Very good summary Marnie.

    I was in a foul mood when North lost the ascendancy through the 2nd & 3rd quarters and ultimately the lead in the last quarter. I said a lot of stuff in the lounge room that I’m glad the players couldn’t hear. :)

    In the finish we got the four points.

    I’m in Melbourne next weekend and get to see North live (v Richmond) for the first time this year. Should be a cracker!

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