Round 14 – Gold Coast v North Melbourne: Brilliant Effervescent Against the Ordinary Roos


The Minister of Home Affairs and I had transported ourselves to Broadbeach to try  and get warm this winter, and of course were going to attend the Suns v Roos match at Metricon.


The portents for the code and indeed the community at large had been terrible with domestic violence death of Phil Walsh searing into everyone’s consciousness. This had brought out the basic decency and humanity of the Australian community in general and the AFL community in particular to the full, and the actions of the players and coaches before and particularly after the game where all stood shoulder to shoulder with linked arms, alternating team member to opposing team member, in a solemn tribute,  brought tears to my eyes as quiet applause rippled around the ground.


I had the good fortune on the bus trip to the ground to speak to the Dad of one of one of the players  ex Bulldog, Shaun Higgins, who had flown up from Geelong for the game. I immediately decided to take much more interest in number 4 Shaun Higgins. It was nice to actually talk to someone who had some real insights into the game as I very rarely mix with anyone in the footy fraternity. I wished him good luck as we parted our ways and presumed a North win by about ten goals. They had everything to play for whereas the Suns seemed to have disintegrated into a rabble. Even with Ablett back I didn’t seriously expect him to exert much influence.


Metricon stadium is a pleasant venue, with a “feel good” atmosphere to it. As it is a smaller ground there is a real country air to it, and it is probably very politically incorrect of me to say this but because of the circumstances  there was no commercialism about the day and the whole game was much better off for it. The only thing that I would say is, don’t get seats facing west as particularly late in the day all players look like silhouettes. Fortunately, given the 4:35 pm start this wasn’t a problem most of the time.


In looking at the lists I was surprised to see Majak Daw getting a game for the Roos as he always seemed to me to be a flash in the pan, but we have a large Sudanese community at Shepparton so was interested to see first hand how he might go.


Well Daw was pretty ordinary but the Suns weren’t, five goals on the board over the space of one and a half quarters before the Roos got their first. In this period of play was included a dash out of the centre  by Hall, lucky not to be pinged for “ball” as he seemed to run about 100 metres with one bounce before he kicked a great running goal.


We were just in the right position to witness the best “speccie” that I have personally ever seen, as Lindsay Thomas seemed to corkscrew his way into the air as he seemingly held himself in the air for an eternity as he marked over Adam Saad’s shoulder, just getting to the flight of the ball to complete the mark. How I love Rules!


Meanwhile after a quiet start Gazza was starting to get into the game, you could feel the expectation every time he went near to the ball and ultimately he didn’t disappoint as he kicked a magnificent set shot goal from the right forward flank over 50 metres out. He was a bit rusty at times though. What seemed to be the inevitable Roos fightback commenced with quick goals to Petrie, Cunnington and “my man” Higgins. Half time score was Suns 5.5, Roos 3.6. I said to the Minister that I expected the Roos to win by 6 goals at least.


What I didn’t expect though was for the Suns Brooksby (of whom I had never heard), Ablett and Dixon to get the next three. One pass that Dixon received from Rischitelli was as good as it gets.


Three Quarter time 11.9 6.9, Suns in front. Still thought that the Roos would get up.


The Suns kicked 8 in that last quarter and for their long suffering fans that was as good as it gets. Even I was starting to use the word  “we” as  in, “I hope that we don’t stuff this up”. Included in the 8 was Ablett’s third, a searing kick from the right forward flank which arced its way across the firmament straight over the goal umpire’s hat. In my notes was written in large scrawl, “Gazzer you ripper!”


Have to mention Adam Saad, he is a real gun, his explosive runs down the ground as he took on everyone were a joy to behold. The Suns will not be easy beats anymore this year.


Suns: 2.3   5.5   11.9   19.11  (125)

North: 0.4   3.6   6.9   10.10 (70)



Suns: Dixon 7, Ablett 3, Hall 3, Brooksby 2, Kolodjashnij, Sexton, Russell, Hallahan

North: Petrie 3, Cunnington 2, Higgins 2, Ziebell, Nahas, Waite



Suns: Kolodjashnij, Dixon, Ablett, Saad, Swallow, May

Best North Melbourne: Thompson, Del Santo, Cunnington, Ziebell.


Umpires: Ryan, Nicholls Foot.


Crowd 14,444 at Metricon Stadium.


Our Votes: Kolodjashnij 3, Dixon 2, Ablett 1


About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Didn’t see much of this one Peter, thanks for giving us the live perspective.

    How full does 14,444 look at Carrara? What was the “vibe” like? Just when everyone was predicting dire times for the Suns, they pulled that out of the hat.

  2. Hi Mark,

    The ground could have looked “fuller” really, but once the Suns got going the excitement for most present was palpable. I really think that if this team could get going there would be no problem in filling the stadium. And they looked good. As I say, watch out for Adam Saad!

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