Round 19 – North Melbourne v Melbourne: 3,998… and counting.

 

 

Today, July 31 2017 marks 3,998 days since Melbourne last defeated North Melbourne.

 

North’s 17th straight win against the Dees is now written in the history books, as the longest winning streak in the clubs history. Amazingly, their second longest winning streak (15 wins) came against Melbourne as well.

 

The win eclipsed what football is really about. You can talk about draft picks and tanking tricks, but at the end of the day there wouldn’t have been too many North fans disappointed with Saturday’s win. It was full of heart and grit and the Shinboner Spirit well and truly filled Blundstone Arena. The victory takes North to five wins for the season; three of which have come against top eight sides. Two wins against the Dees and torching Adelaide in round 7 is a pretty good effort for the 16th placed Roos. For some comparison: North finished 8th last season however only won two games against top eight sides (Crows, Dogs). The win was also North’s first victory by less than a goal this year – we finally got one!

 

I am obsessed with Ben Brown so I’d like to talk about him again. Surely he’s now in All Australian squad contention, at the very least. He’s kicked 51 goals for the season and we still have four games to go. Drew Petrie in 2014 was the last Roo to bag 50 in a season and Wayne Carey was the last to kick 60 (69). That’s a brilliant effort by the young man. On the weekend, he kicked four himself and had two goal assists. 8 marks, 5 of those inside 50. His work rate is brilliant and in a pretty forgettable season, he has been the shining light.

 

When Andrew Swallow was dropped before North’s round six clash with the Suns, many thought his career was coming to an end. The former captain failed to fire early on in the season, but after two spells in the VFL, he is looking the goods. That was probably Swallow’s best game for the year. 27 touches, 3 clearances, 7 tackles and a goal, it was a complete performance. Pair that with the leadership of Captain Jack. Upon his return to the side, he was the most influential player in the final quarter and once again stood up when the team needed him. He’s done it many times this season, and in his first year in charge, it’s a big tick from me.

 

The icing on the cake? Scott Thompson’s goal. His first since round 3, 2014 (we won that game against Port Adelaide, so surely that was an indication of where things might go). The response from Thompson and teammates? Priceless. That fired the blue and white big time. You’d hope a next contract was put in front of him soon. He’s had his best run since his All Australian year, and if he wants to go around again, he should.

 

That may not be the case for Jarrad Waite. As much as it kills me to question; is it really worth hanging onto him for another year? He came off early in the third quarter with a calf injury which could see him done for the season, however his influence early in the game was big. If Waite doesn’t return, then my guess would be that Majak returns to the forward line alongside Brown, and that either Preuss or Goldstein are left in the ruck. But we can pick that up for discussion at the end of the year.

 

What about the timing of the win, though. It was so obvious that North weren’t tanking so the entire Denham article was laughed at by majority of the media anyway. But it’s still insulting. No club wants to have their intentions and integrity questioned – particularly North, who can never seem to catch a break. So they responded in the best way: winning the game. That’s what a good football club does. Also happened to do it in front of Dusty’s manager, Ralph Carr, who was apparently in attendance on Saturday. And probably dashed Melbourne’s double chance. Nicely done, North.

 

So how about the month ahead? North have two games to play at Etihad, one in Launceston and round 23 at the Gabba. I would’ve thought next week’s clash with Collingwood was a pretty winnable match, but after their performance against Adelaide I’m not so sure. What I am sure about, though, is that if North deliver the same heart and effort they showed against the Dees, and even against the Bombers the week before, North fans will be pretty happy no matter the scoreline.

 

So, bring it on.

 

A month of happiness, no matter the result.

 

Comments

  1. That was just the win we needed, Marnie. I was so happy with last week’s effort by the boys and this week we top notch. To beat another top 8 team with our youthful side is awesome signs for the future. No doubt Ben Brown is a gun and will be the key figurehead to shape our team around. Glad to see Swallow back in form. Let’s see how the final month goes.

  2. Like your thoughts marnie, Ben Brown has been outstanding, could win our b and f and could also win the Coleman medal. Other teams are putting two players on him now , which reminds me of the Carey days. Swallow has been a gun as usual since coming back, a super leader for us, Majak competed well, as did Ziebell, McDonald, Higgins, Cunnington outstanding all day, and some of our youngies like Simpkin, Neilson, Mountford and Garner and Mullet starting to play really good footy, the future looks very good, I wish we played Melbourne every week.. sorry dees. As per usual Go Roos!

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