Round 14 – Gold Coast v North Melbourne: Inspiration Not Found

 

Marathon weekend on the Gold Coast brings thousands around the world to pound the pavements of the holiday strip. Some I’m sure would look to get pumped up in different ways, many through music, others through inspirational movies, a few just shoot the breeze and relax. Fortunately for sports nuts and footy fans for the second year in a row the Gold Coast Suns hosted a match on this weekend, with North Melbourne the opponent looking to keep pace with the top 8 particularly with Adelaide gaining 2 extra points in circumstances we don’t want to remember in a hurry.

 

Apart from the return of number 9 for the home team, the story about the alleged drug use/abuse by certain Suns players in the past made most of the headlines. Now with said player sitting in the stands some may have thought the Suns had lost their speed advantage (CRINGE). Many I’m sure would have thought it wouldn’t be worth the Suns covering the line (CRINGE AGAIN). I remarked at work that the hope amongst fans was that it was hoped the game wouldn’t be close for the Suns couldn’t possibly have wanted a sniff (THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS NOW). In all seriousness though in the normal course of events leaving all the drugs controversy behind North would have been as close to unbackable as any side on the weekend.

 

What followed for the next 4 quarters left me in total disbelief, not about the result but the manner in which the vanquished displayed the most pathetic display of football I had seen as a neutral for many years. Interest in the football in the first quarter was lower than the exchange rate for Greek currency (save for a Lindsay Thomas hanger, which was about his net contribution for the day), with players seemingly wanting to run 30 metres to test out number 9’s shoulder but not wanting to run 30 metres to create options, leading to total indecisiveness with the ball. Too many times the North ball carriers ran into teammates forcing them back into Gold Coast tackling cordons who were only happy to oblige with strong tackling being rewarded. Somehow North were still in the contest at half time, with a late burst closing the gap to within 2 goals at the interval. The revival was short lived with a couple of early Suns goals (kicked whilst I was waiting at the snack bar) setting the home side on their way.

 

Understandably number 9 was closely attended during the first 3 quarters on top of the extra treatment and even more understandably with the game slipping away Sam Gibson was released from tagging duties in a desperate bid to adjust to a more attacking style. Sadly it backfired with North seemingly unable to win a centre clearance, many of whom went to number 9 who had attack minded players in Dal Santo and Swallow (another who had about as much impact on the game as Mr Miyagi’s chopsticks on an ant). It flowed to stoppages around the ground with a couple of typical goals proving that the ring rust from not playing for a number of months had subsided.

 

On this day however number 9 would actually take a back seat when it came to damaging players on the ground. Fueled by something less stronger than a 2013 Grange, Charlie Dixon seemed to grab everything that came his way as the night progressed. His best goal of his 7 was a classic piece of improvisation in the goal square flinging a right boot to a ball in mid air whilst Scott Thompson had him in a grip tighter than Barry Hall’s headlock on him in 2011. The other standout for me was not so much an individual player, but also a couple of sacrificial acts to protect the ball carrier which gave the forwards the best chance to take advantage of long penetrating kicks, something that North never really grasped for the duration. Little wonder the likes of Malceski and Kolodjashnij were able to dominate, with a lack of chasing also helping their cause.

 

One thing about the directive from the AFL in the wake of what happened on Friday in Adelaide that turned out to be a positive was that the pre-game and in-game garbage was silenced for a week. Perhaps this may eventually lead the Suns to permanently discard the fanfare that always accompanied their team kicking a major. The pre-match minute’s silence was observed immaculately in the stands, the post match gathering of the players was met with silence in the middle and polite applause (and only polite applause) in the grandstands. The reasons as to why and how this happened will eventually come to light, but this does tell us that it actually only is just a game.

 

MATCH DETAILS

 

GOLD COAST 19.11.125
NORTH MELBOURNE 10.10.70

 

SCORERS
GC: Dixon 7.2, A.Hall 3.1, Ablett 3.1, Brooksby 2.0, Russell 1.1, Sexton 1.0, Hallahan 1.0, Kolodjashnij 1.0, Saad 0.1, Swallow 0.1, Malceski 0.1, RUSHED 0.3
NM: Petrie 3.0, Higgins 2.1, Cunnington 2.0, Nahas 1.1, Ziebell 1.1, Waite 1.0, Thomas 0.2, Goldstein 0.1, RUSHED 0.4

BEST
GC: Dixon, Rischitelli, Kolodjashnij, Ablett, Nicholls, May NM: Gibson, Cunnington, Goldstein, Nahas, Petrie

 

VOTES
3: Charlie DIXON (GC)
2: Michael RISCHITELLI (GC)
1: Kade KOLODJASHNIJ (GC)

 

OFFICIALS
FIELD: Nick FOOT, Matthew NICHOLLS, Shaun RYAN (EM: James “Salad” WALDORF”)
BOUNDARY: Cameron WARD, Aaron DECKYS, Nick WADE, Nick LIPAROTA
GOAL: Stephen WILLIAMS, Shaun APTED (Cameo from the score review man who overruled a Suns goal in the 3rd quarter)

 

For more articles on the Gold Coast v North Melbourne game click here

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

Comments

  1. Mick,
    I couldn’t believe it myself, just like most of Australia.
    It was shocking, yet I wasn’t surprised.
    North have a habit of doing things like this to me…

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