Round 9 – Collingwood v North Melbourne: Four seasons in a day

What a difference a quarter makes! The third quarter, the premiership quarter, to be precise. North Melbourne held a convincing half-time lead of 39 points and looked set for a percentage boosting win. Then Collingwood, and Jamie Elliot in particular, raised their game and put on an inspired fight back and win in a thriller on a dreary Melbourne afternoon.

The first half was a think of beauty for North Melbourne supporters. While we weren’t playing at our best, the Kangas were able to put a sizeable lead in at half-time. The first quarter was lively, with North Melbourne off to a strong start. The tall timber of Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite and Ben Brown were in complete control. The took plenty of marks and worked well together, the set-shot accuracy was the only relief for Collingwood. The first quarter ended with a magnificent goal on the buzzer by ex-Bulldog Shaun Higgins. With that moment, it seemed as though the game was ours.

The second quarter was more of the same with North Melbourne with more goals from Waite and Robin Nahas. Todd Goldstein continued to dominate around the ground, taking marks and setting up goals. Collingwood showed a little more heart and put some pressure on the scoreboard. However, a healthy lead of 39 points was daunting and it only seemed like increasing. North Melbourne would secure the 4 points and receive a much-needed percentage boost.

Then it happened. The third quarter erupted into life with Collingwood charging into action and putting the heat on the Kangaroos. With the clouds opening up, so did the floodgates as Collingwood put their foot down. Dane Swan got plenty of the ball and used it a lot more effectively while Elliot was everywhere. The small forward popped up with 3 goals in the third term, unstoppable in the air. North Melbourne on the other hand lost the plot, making horrendous decisions and butchering disposals. Jack Ziebell was seemingly the only player putting in a fight for North Melbourne. He willed himself in every contest he was at and tried to lead the charge. Unfortunately, he was dangerously outnumbered and Collingwood were relentless in their domination. Despite many forward 50 entries, North Melbourne could only put 3 behinds on the board. Collingwood’s nine goal quarter put them in front for the first time in the game and was spectacular for a neutral fan. For a 20-plus year supporter, this was easily the most lacklustre quarter of football I have ever seen from North Melbourne. It was insipid, abysmal and embarrassing.

The final quarter opened in spectacular fashion. In a stunning reversal, North Melbourne blew Collingwood away with 3 goals inside the opening minute and a half. Hopes had returned to the Kangas fans and the Magpies seemed stunned. North Melbourne got within 2 points but Collingwood returned serve. Elliot continued to run riot in the forward 50 and slotted home the winner. Collingwood pulled off a massive comeback victory that lifted them into the top 4 of the ladder. North Melbourne languished in 13th with a weak percentage.

In a team desperate for skilful and mentally sharp players, North Melbourne desperately need Andrew Swallow and Daniel Wells to return and make an immediate impact. Failing that, we may not even make finals after finishing in the final 4 last season.

One can only hope that after such a demoralising loss, North Melbourne can turn their season around and make that push for September action.


May 31, 2015 at the MCG

COLLINGWOOD   1.2  4.3  13.5  17.10  (112)

NORTH MELBOURNE   4.4  10.6  10.9  14.11  (95)


Collingwood: Elliot 5, Fasolo 2, Swan 2, Grundy, Blair, Crisp, White, Witts, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Cloke.

North Melbourne: Waite 3, Nahas 3, Petrie 2, MacMillan, Thomas, Bastinac, Gibson, Higgins, Goldstein.


Votes: 3 Elliot, 2 Swan, 1 Goldstein




About Matthew Naqvi

Matthew Naqvi is a writer, editor, and writing group facilitator. He is the Web Editor of The Footy Almanac. He has written for numerous sports organisations and teams including Melbourne Victory, AFC (Australian Fighting Championship) and Football Federation Victoria. He loves North Melbourne.


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I feel for you Matty. North went to sleep when the lights came on. You definitely missed Wells and Swallow who often seem to play well against the Pies. Loss was so bad it put your coach in hospital for a month!

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