Round 18 – North Melbourne v Collingwood: Meh-ness under the roof

It is odd, watching this clash between a plummeting North Melbourne and a disappointing Collingwood. Both sides cause that bubbling sensation of deepest loathing to bubble up at the best and worst of times, but today…nothing.


It is, by all accounts, a “meh” sort of game. The footy mouthpieces of the land have tried desperately to inject some sort of interest into the match, and have sparingly succeeded, but the game flops into meh-ness withing the first half. Will a struggling North fall to the awaiting Magpies? Probably not. The old-timers boot six sausages in the first quarter and, despite Bruce and Dennis’ hype train whistling and chuff-chuffing away, this game is done.


Well, not really, but it sure as hell feels like it.


Daniel Wells is an unstoppable force in the middle – when he’s there. He spends a worrying amount of time with breathing complaints. It is that sort of night. Boomer Harvey, 74 years old and still can pee standing up, is a pesky influence in the forward half. It’s good to see Drew Petrie get up and about, better to see Magic Majak, while Robbie Tarrant is gleefully thrashing Travis Cloke. Collingwood have a group of very talent middlemen – Grundy, Treloar, Pendlebury, Adams and Sidebottom – but the rest of the Magpie team are poor and noncompetitive.


Little brother, meanwhile, is very happy killing piggies with an angry winged menagerie.


Half time, and the game looks, looks done. 40 point lead to the Roos and there is very little keeping the Magpies alive.


The third quarter bubbles away, as the Pies slowly chip at the established Shinboner lead. Blair is workmanlike in the forward half, battling away with little to no help. He manages a well-deserved goal, which starts a vague Magpie resurgence. A Lindsay Thomas double, thanks to an interesting interpretation of a push from Marley Williams, splits a five-goal Collingwood run.


But what really spikes interest in the second half is a mark.


Majak Daw, six-foot-billion, decides the game is a little lacklustre for his liking and promptly jumps upon the scone of an understandably vexed Jonathon Marsh. A graphic on the telly the following Sunday shows Majak’s grab of the footy at a ridiculous 3.1 metres. The man is an athletic Popeye, with intimidating biceps and a serious leap. The car’s already in his garage.


The Pies continue their comeback in the final term, cutting the lead to just fifteen. For ten minutes in the death, a burst of momentum from either side shall win the match. The Roos, older and wiser, hold the football and stagnate. Collingwood desperately attempt to wrest control of the match, but a goal from Trent Dumont and North have it won.


A better first half from Collingwood and maybe, just maybe, things could’ve been different. It was not be. Harvey’s ageing, battle-weary legion of Roos continue to crawl along toward September.


Boomer’s next game will break Michael Tuck’s record of 426 games played. As much as the little master has terrorised the Tigers over time, I feel inclined to head down and watch his 427th. There are some players who demand respect, however grudgingly it is given. Harvey, and perhaps Richo, Buddy and Gazza, are those players in the modern age.


This game? It’s just another day for the cheeky warrior.


COLLINGWOOD              2.2    4.4    10.7    12.12 (84)
NORTH MELBOURNE     6.5  10.7   14.10  18.16 (124)

Blair 2, Moore 2, Greenwood 2, White 2, Sidebottom 2, Pendlebury, Fasolo
North Melbourne: Thomas 5, Petrie 2, Brown 2, Ziebell 2, Dumont 2, Harvey 2, Macmillan, Gibson, Goldstein

Sidebottom, Adams, Grundy, Pendlebury, Treloar
North Melbourne: Wells, Gibson, Thomas, Petrie, Cunnington, Firrito, Clarke


About Paddy Grindlay

Paddy is new to the city and thinks it's all a bit much at the moment. He's studying at RMIT University and can be found 'round the traps.

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