The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 19 – North Melbourne v West Coast: Cox, goal, doubt

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Kangaroos versus West Coast

1.10pm, Sunday, August 12

Telstra Dome, Melbourne



WITH THE KANGAS BEING THE SURPRISE PACKET OF THE SEASON, and sitting a game clear in second spot after Round 18, we found ourselves with match-of-the-round billing, against the fifth-placed Eagles.


The AFL, in its wisdom, yet again managed to schedule us at a time that you couldn’t imagine Collingwood, Essendon, et al ever having to tolerate: a 1.10pm start on Sunday at the dreaded Dome.


Having to delicately break the news to my dear wife that I was going to be out of action for the various tasks she’d lined up for me, and charged with the responsibility of being the game’s designated correspondent, I set out with purpose and optimism.


My optimism was well-placed, as the game proved a cracker. The first quarter was played at a frenetic pace, worthy of a battle of two teams aiming for the top four. The return of Ben Cousins bolstered the Eagles midfield and they looked dangerous, with Daniel Kerr and Dean Cox also influential, and Matt Priddis lively. North’s mean stopper Brady Rawlings had been assigned to Chris Judd, as predicted. Rawlings was doing a sterling job of blanketing the Eagles star, who looked to be hampered by injury.


Both sides piled on the pressure and tackling was fierce. The score of 4.4 (28) apiece at quarter-time was an accurate reflection of the contest.


The second quarter saw the Eagles surge to a 27-point lead at one stage. Halfway through the quarter, big Quentin Lynch crudely cannoned into Jesse Smith after Smith had marked bravely. The incident injected even more feeling into the game.


Archer attacked the ball with typical tenacity, and his brilliant second efforts in front of my vantage point were a source of inspiration for North. They clawed their way back.


The North fans around me in the standing room section on the city wing found their voice. One supporter in particular made his presence felt, as he does at most games. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times over the years: I’ve even bought him a beer. But I – and many others I’m sure – only know him as the maniac with North tattoos, dyed-blond hair that’s been shellacked into place, and a pencil-thin black moustache.


With the loudest, banshee-like voice you’re likely to hear at a footy match, his passion for the Shinboners cannot be questioned, and he let rip on a few occasions as the game heated up. Over and over he shouted that the Eagles were a bunch of drug-takers.


These outbursts always attract curious, bemused attention from the uninitiated, and wry smiles and laughs from those who’ve heard it before. It’s the sort of support you rarely see in the sanitised confines of Telstra Dome.


Seeing a couple of flouro shirt-wearing security blokes come down on our North fan reaffirmed my dim view of this horrible footy ground. By half-time, there were only eight points in it and, despite being behind, North looked to have the momentum.


Our predictions of a North victory looked like being spot on when they kicked the first two goals of the third quarter, giving us the lead for the first time in the match. Unfortunately, this was as good as it got; West Coast booted four of the next five.


What had been a free-flowing, even contest was blighted by some officious umpiring. One galling decision involved Matthew Head being sucked in by Daniel Kerr after North had been awarded a holding the ball decision about 35 metres from the West Coast goal. The free-kick was reversed. Result: Eagles 16 points up at three-quarter time.


Despite our indignation, the rub of the green continued to favour West Coast and North were up against it.


A couple of early last quarter goals to Eddie Sansbury and Archer had us back within 11 points and the belief imbued in us from North’s teams of the 1990s reignited. Briefly.


When big Dean Cox used every inch of his frame to slot a classy left-foot goal from the boundary, the realisation that we probably lack the skill, and arguably talent, to match it with the likely top four teams was sobering. With Geelong next week, it may well be the fortnight that makes or breaks North for 2007.



Kangaroos  4.4 8.7 11.10 15.12 (102)

West Coast  4.4 9.9 13.14 17.17 (119)



West Coast: Lynch, Priddis, Embley, Hansen, Rosa 2, Armstrong, Cox, Hunter, Judd, Kerr, Seaby, Wirrpanda.

Kangaroos: McMahon, Jones, Petrie, Sansbury 2, Archer, Green, Hale, Harvey, Smith, Sinclair, Thomas.



West Coast: Kerr, Priddis, Cox, Cousins, Hansen, Hunter.

Kangaroos: Rawlings, Archer, Petrie, Smith, Simpson, McIntosh.



Vozzo, James, Head.



Kerr (WC) 3, Priddis (WC) 2, Rawlings (K) 1.



Kerr* (WC) 3, Rosa (WC) 2, Harris (K) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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