Round 20 – GWS v North Melbourne: Firrito fulminates as the Roos bound away

From Peter Crossing

AC/DC got the gig for the stadium anthem at Manuka on Saturday. While it could be suggested that “I’m T.N.T. I’m dynamite” blasting out across the ground fired up the Giants for their second quarter comeback, it was hardly an intimidating factor for North Melbourne who dismissed the Giants to their very own highway to hell after half time. A smattering of blue and white in the crowd greeted the North Melbourne team in their first appearance at Manuka since 2006, a time when it seemed that every second young Territory footballer was wearing a guernsey with blue and white vertical stripes. Now, they are all wearing the fetching orange, charcoal and white Giants colours and in the Press a somewhat mellowing maestro Sheedy is suggesting that, rather than taking the opportunity to “boo a roo”, Canberra supporters should thank the Kangaroos for vacating the lucrative national capital and that they should also look to celebrate the talents of Brent Harvey first hand. “He’s not Ablett, …(nor) Carey, he’s a short-arsed rover … and you mightn’t see him ever again.” For his part, Harvey finally deBugged himself and his hard running was an important factor in the third quarter demolition. Early in the match, North had the better of the contested possessions and were more direct. For the Giants, a number of good build-ups were once again marred by an eventual error or poor disposal. The lead increased early in the second quarter, with Bastinac and Cunnington playing well for North. The signs were ominous. To their credit, the Giants bounced back. Greene (celebrating his 50th game) continued to gather possessions, Smith unerringly slotted his second and then Patton kicked two, the second being a thumping 65 metre goal. The Giants cause was certainly aided by five minutes of fervent, fulminating frustration from Firrito, as he attempted to re-define the decision-making processes of the umpires. While our half time discussion centred mainly on the end of season tipping contest review, the consensus was that Petrie had been well held by Davis so far and that the Giants had a chance. Alas, it was not to be. Obviously the recipients of a stern message at half time, the North Melbourne players upped the tempo. Petrie found space and first game player Kayne Turner continued his impressive debut. One, two, then three goals, then a fourth, then a fifth, all in quick succession, followed soon by number six, then seven and the game was blown away. The stats tell a story. Inside 50 (55 to 34), marks inside 50 (20 to 7), average games played (101 to 38).

The weekend results leave North Melbourne a game clear in 6th place while for Greater Western Sydney the end of the season probably can’t come soon enough. The crowd was an impressive 10,211, comparing more than favourably with the 7094 who watched the hapless Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium a week earlier. This, together with a report of a proposed new sports stadium in the Civic and forthcoming disputations over the fact that GWS has apparently secured an Anzac Day game in Canberra in 2015 ahead of a Rugby Union match involving the Brumbies will provide sufficient parish pump issues for discussion until the Giants are in town again.

North Melbourne:                        4.1        7.3       15.6     19.2 (126)
Greater Western Sydney:            1.4       6.5        6.6       7.9   (51)

North Melbourne: Petrie 5, Cunnington 3, Brown 2, Harvey 2, Ziebell 2, Black, Turner, Adams, Firrito, Bastinac
Greater Western Sydney:  Smith 2, Patton 2, Treloar, Cameron, Giles, Kelly, Hoskin-Elliott

North Melbourne: Cunnington, Bastinac, Petrie
Greater Western Sydney:  Greene, Shaw, Smith

Best: 3 Cunnington, 2 Greene, 1 Bastinac

Umpires: Donlon, Hosking, O’Gorman

About Peter Crossing

Peter Crossing loves the pure 'n natch'l blues. He is a member of the silver fox faction of the Adelaide Uni Greys. He is something of a cricket tragic although admitting to little interest in the IPL or Big Bash forms of the game.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary Noughts , GWS just need to recruit we’ll re experience wise in next couple of years and they are going to be frightening . I no we are going to have to wait and see but how in a era of salary cap and drafting do the top 4 look a mile in front of every 1 else ? Firrito and umpiring exchange was interesting to say the least
    Thanks Peter

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Thanks peter. Typical first half performance by NM – allowing a lower team to dictate. Swallow and Jack didtheir bit to keep NM in front. Not tagging Greene or making Shaw accountable in defence was lazy footy and poor coaching. Speaking of, BS’s half-time spray abviously worked and the second half was what you expect from a finals team. NM have the Dogs next and should secure a finals spot. Should.

    NM sould never have ended 3-4 game each year deal with canberra. They were on a good thing there, but got greedy for the gold on the GC. Rest is history.

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