AFL unable to act on McLean tanking claims

Tank Accident

“[Bailey] was saying it was all in the category of development etc. – his players were always trying and [there was] never any intent to lose.”

– Adrian Anderson, August 2011, following comments by former Melbourne coach Dean Bailey.

Next minute, Melbourne charged with tanking because of Brock McLean’s comments? Possible, but highly unlikely.

The AFL has put itself in a bind regarding tanking. Anderson’s statements in the middle of last year meant that tanking would not be looked at in cases up to and including the 2009 debacle.

If the AFL was to investigate the allegations against Melbourne, they would have to investigate other clubs. There’s the 2007 ‘Kreuzer Cup’ in Round 22 between Carlton and Melbourne. Terry Wallace ‘doing nothing’ in 2007. Efforts by Hawthorn and Collingwood in early 2000s and West Coast putting players in for early surgeries when it was clear the season was shot are all other examples of tanking.

The Collingwood example saw them gain Scott Pendlebury and Dale Thomas, cornerstones of their current side. Reports were made at the time of many of these allegations and even Brendan Fevola’s new book makes mention of the tanking at Carlton. Yet the AFL have only investigated one case of the offence.

If it is a crime, then Melbourne have to be punished. Since the tanking year in 2009, Melbourne have not made the finals. The club has gone backwards in a year of both on-field and off-field hell.

The supporter base is completely demoralised; one look at the comments on the official Melbourne Facebook page after yet another loss shows that. Recent history has compounded into a season of hell. The two Melbourne jumper sponsors are short-term after the EnergyWatch scandal. For the AFL to add to this might even put the club’s existence at risk.
Many supporters seeing, say, a loss of draft picks on top of five years of terrible performances might give up on the club for the time being.  Memberships and merchandise sales would surely suffer.

Finally, what’s to be gained from such a punishment? The coach of 2009 has been sacked. The then-president of Melbourne is a legend among the eyes of many Melbournians and not just supporters of the Demons, and dragging his name through the mud since his passing is a sure-fire way to come under attack from the mainstream media.

It’s too much of a risk to the AFL for them to go after Melbourne. A quiet word to clubs, saying that the party is over and if you’ve got people who come out and say this again, we will punish you, will be the way to go.

Otherwise the last decade of AFL football will forever be tarnished by the actions of various clubs over the years.

Scott Thompson escapes conviction – Match Review Panel Round 18 2012

Steve Johnson. Photo – www.flickr.com/photos/jamesdphotography

Adelaide’s midfield superstar Scott Thompson remains in contention for the AFL’s most prestigious award, the Brownlow Medal, after his high bump on Geelong’s Steve Johnson was cleared of being malicious.

Geelong were forced to sub Johnson out of the match after he was bumped by Thompson in the first few seconds of the Cats’ 27 point win over the Crows at Simonds Stadium on Saturday Afternoon. It was revealed that Johnson had concussion.

The MRP ruled that Thompson had recieved a push from Johnson’s Geelong teammate Joel Corey into the path of Johnson and that the Adelaide player could not be held responsible for the incident.

Earlier in the day, teammate of Thomspon, Jason Porplyzia, argued that the incident was part of the ways of contact sport.

“It just looked like a contest you would see every week,” said Porplyzia. “(It was) just unfortunate where the hit took place that Steve Johnson went down, it was just a football contest in my opinion.”

In total there were eight charges laid by the MRP.

Adelaide skipper Nathan van Berlo has been charged for a first offence for negligent contact with umpire Luke Farmer during the first quarter of Saturday’s match in Geelong. He can accept a $900 sanction with an early plea.

Melbourne’s Neville Jetta has been charged with a level two making forceful contact from front-on or bumping charge on Kangaroo Lindsay Thomas during the fast quarter of Saturday’s match at Etihad Stadium. He can accept a one-match ban with an early plea.

North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas has been charged with a level three engaging in rough conduct charge against Melbourne’s Daniel Nicholson during the third quarter also on Saturday’s match at Etihad Stadium. Due to a previous poor record, Thomas can accept a two-match suspension with an early plea.

Western Bulldogs defender Brian Lake can accept a $900 sanction with an early plea for a first offence for wresting with St Kilda goalsneak Stephen Milne during the second quarter of Saturday Night’s match at Etihad Stadium.

Another Bulldog Lindsay Gilbee has been charged with a level two striking offence against Saint Sam Fisher also during the third quarter of Saturday Night’s match at Etihad. He can accept a reprimand and 70.31 demerit points to his record with an early plea due to his five-year good record.

West Coast captain Darren Glass has been charged with a level three engaging in rough conduct offence against Lion Jonathan Brown during the final quarter of Sunday’s match at Patersons Stadium and he can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea due to a five-year good record.

Simon Black and Scott Selwood have been charged with a first and second offence respectively for wrestling after they engaged against each other on Sunday. They can accept $900 and $1800 fines respectively with an early plea.

Contact between Jarryd Roughead and Brent Stanton; Jack Trengove and Jamie Macmillan; Andrew Carrazzo and umpire Dean Margetts; Trent McKenzie and umpire Craig Fleer; Karmichael Hunt and Ben McGlynn; Matthew Pavlich and Danyle Pearce; Beau Wilkes and Daniel Cross; Stephen Milne and Bob Murphy; Stephen Milne and Brian Lake; Stephen Milne and Liam Picken and contact between Leigh Montagna and Daniel Pearce were all looked at but dismissed.

Saints Push on for Finals

Captain Nick Riewoldt booted 4 in Brendan Goddard’s 200th game.

St Kilda have kept their finals hopes for 2012 alive with a commanding 76 point victory over the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

In star player Brendan Goddard’s 200th game the Saints put on a clinic in the second half, building on a 24 point half-time lead and kicking 9 goals to 2 in the second half.

The margin could have been much bigger if not for some wayward kicking for goal.

Goddard starred in his milestone match, gathering 33 disposals and laying 9 tackles in his best game of the year. He was ably assisted through the midfield with strong performances from veteran Lenny Hayes (28 disposals, 7 tackles, 3 goals), Leigh Montagna (32 disposals, 1 goal) and a classy display from Nick Dal Santo (28 disposals, 2 goals).

The Dogs struggled for winners on the park, with captain Matthew Boyd not damaging the Saints at all in his head-to-head clash with Goddard and Ryan Griffen being well held by Clint Jones.

Saints skipper Nick Riewoldt set the tone for the game early, booting the opening 3 goals of the match. The Dogs tried to stay with them and were within 8 points at quarter time, but could only double their quarter time score for the remainder of the game.

Brendan McCartney lamented the Dogs poor form, saying that their inability to stop opposition teams blowing them away was “unacceptable”.

The Saints got their run on late in the second quarter, with a beautiful piece of play and a sublime finish from Dal Santo leading to a run of goals. They held the Dogs goal-less for almost an hour, not that they didn’t have their chances.

Tom Williams kicked consecutive shots out on the full and their inability to make the distance and take advantage of opportunities was worrying. With Roughead and Grant playing further up the ground and spending time in defense, there was very little for the Bulldogs’ players to kick to when they managed to escape the stranglehold of the Saints’ forward 50.

The loss was compounded by a season-ending injury to hardened midfielder Daniel Cross. His shoulder was damaged in a crunching tackle by Saint Beau Wilkes and he was visibly distressed as he came off the ground.

The frustration got the better of some players. Robert Murphy played a strong defensive game on Stephen Milne, restricting him to one late goal. Milne incited a melee with Bulldogs’ defender Brian Lake, and another melee erupted in the third, during which Riewoldt lost his jumper.

The Saints’ gained a much coveted percentage boost and are now one game outside the 8. They have an extremely tough fixture against Collingwood at the MCG next weekend, while the Bulldogs face a surging North Melbourne outfit at Etihad.

Votes

3. Lenny Hayes (STK)
2. Brendan Goddard (STK)
1. Nick Dal Santo (STK)

GOALS

St Kilda: Riewoldt 4, Hayes 3, Dal Santo 2, Koschitzke 2, Schneider 2, Montagna, Steven, Milne
Western Bulldogs: Giansiracusa 2, Dickson 2, Tutt, Gilbee

BEST

St Kilda: Montagna, Hayes, Steven, Dal Santo, Goddard, Jones, Riewoldt
Bulldogs: Griffen, Boyd, Murphy, Wallis, Minson

Grinners and Moaners Round 18

Greek Tragedy MasksGrinners

Geelong

The chase is on. It could be scoffed at earlier in the year when it was suggested that a side could win the flag from outside the top 4, but who’s laughing now? Geelong, clearly, can never be counted out. Their run home sees a mega-blockbuster against Hawthorn next Friday night, West Coast in Perth, St Kilda, the Bulldogs and Sydney in Geelong, which is tough, but their win has shown that tough simply may not be enough to stop the Cats as they amp up for September.

West Coast

The Eagles desperately needed that percentage recovery, as it will lead to West Coast jumping either Adelaide or Collingwood should either side slip up. Moreover, it was just the sort of stabiliser that the Eagles needed before one of the hottest derbies in a while, with Freo needing to win to keep their finals hopes alive while West Coast want to crack the top 4.

Carlton

Oh boy. If Carlton make the finals, it will be a case of falling into the eight rather than making it on their own merit. The massive injection of luck that they received on Saturday night will surely have to be repeated in order for the Blues to get their, but there’s still life signs in the hope of September.

North Melbourne

10 wins now, coupled with Essendon’s loss, sees North looking at 7th spot at the end of Round 23. They have one guaranteed win against GWS in round 23, as well as a probable against the Bulldogs. The Roos have to take on Collingwood as well as Fremantle in Perth, but looming large is the clash with Essendon in two weeks’ time, a match which very well could be the sealer for finals one way or the other for both sides.

St Kilda

Somehow the Saints remain discounted from finals contention. Such an idea is strange, as they sit on 9 wins (equal with Carlton) and have an easier run home, with games against GWS and Melbourne. They continue to quietly chip away at their chances, and a slip or two elsewhere will see them into September action.

Moaners

Hawthorn’s 23rd player

The Hawks have both Lance Franklin and David Hale to return. Max Bailey seems the obvious omission for Hale, but the Buddy question looms large. Hawthorn’s forward line is in fact performing damn well without him.  Someone has to go to fit the guy leading the Coleman chase… but who?

Richmond

Another week, another ‘honourable’ loss. 8 of Richmond’s games have been decided by a margin of two goals or less, of which they’ve won two, against St Kilda or GWS. If they’d converted another two for a 50-50 win rate, they’d be 9-8 and well in the finals hunt. Instead, their chances are almost certainly over once again.

Essendon

The wheels are quickly falling off the Bombers’ season. With their continuing injury list and the numerous other sides who are hunting finals that they play between now and the start of September action, there is still the risk that Essendon could miss the finals due to the realities of their run home.

Melbourne and the Bulldogs

The silence is deafening. The seasons are over already for both, and it’s without a care by most in the footy world.

Adelaide

The more this season goes on, the less impressive the Crows seem despite their ladder position. When Adelaide lose, it seems to be a whimper more than a tight contest, with a fifteen to twenty minute lapse in concentration leading to huge scoreboard damage.

Fremantle Fail to Capitalise

Go Fremantle – Credit: flickr.com/michaelspencer

PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 1.3 2.7 6.12 (48)
FREMANTLE 5.2 6.7 9.9 11.9 (75)

In front of a meagre crowd, just short of 15,000; Fremantle has kept its increasingly slim finals hopes alive by making easy work of Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

An early burst of goals by Ross Lyon’s perennial underachievers was the defining factor in the match with Port, having come back from a win against Melbourne in Darwin, looking slow from the start.

Nathan Fyfe starred on his return to the Dockers side; the highly fancied flanker found the ball 26 times and booted a goal, proving his fitness after that shoulder injury that he sustained earlier in the year.

In a trend for the round, Port Adelaide found themselves with no more than a goal and a few points to their name at the first break, similar to Melbourne and Essendon in the days prior.

In an even worse turn, they booted just one point in the second quarter to finish the half on 1 goal 3 and down by 34 points to their wasteful opponents.

The absences of Jay Schulz, Robbie Grey and John Butcher were more apparent than ever, with the midfield not having the opportunity to find a target with the limited inside 50 chances they had.

Fremantle, led by their consistently excellent captain Matthew Pavlich, found themselves up by 44 points at the main break; before Port fought back to keep it to a respectable 27 point margin.

Fremantle’s inability to hit the scoreboard would have been a source of frustration to Lyon, with his side sitting 9th on the ladder but suffering with a percentage of just over 106%.

Juxtaposed with North Melbourne’s 110% in 8th place, and St Kilda’s 121% in 10th – the Dockers will be wondering why Pavlich missed 3 of his 5 set shots and Michael Barlow failed to hit the scoreboard in a major way from the midfield in scoring 0.2.

Matthew Primus, meanwhile, finds himself in yet another spot of bother. With a GWS game to save face next week, the coach will need to oversee a victory over a side whose 78 point loss to Melbourne 6 weeks ago has led to a 100+ point average losing margin since.

If he manages to lose to the Giants, he’d be rightly nervous about his status as coach – but that fantasy would take the greatest achievement in footy chokelore to become a reality.

Freo, meanwhile, will host West Coast at Patterson’s Stadium on Saturday in what is sure to be a red hot Derby. With the Dockers looking to leapfrog North into 8th and the Eagles hoping to skip above the Crows into 4th, we can expect an even more passionate game than usual.

VOTES

3 – Kane Cornes continued an unusual rich vein of form by gathering 31 touches and a goal.
2 – Nathan Fyfe was very good on return with 26 touches and a goal.
1 – Michael Barlow couldn’t impact on the scoreboard, but his 7 tackles and 24 disposals were encouraging.

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Brett Ebert 2, Stewart, Boak, Westhoff, Cornes
Fremantle: Mayne 2, Pearce 2, Pavlich 2, Fyfe, Mundy, Mzungu, Sutcliffe, Walters

INJURIES

Port Adelaide: Nil
Fremantle: Nil

SUBS

Port Adelaide: Aaron Young replaced Jackson Trengove in the fourth quarter
Fremantle: Cameron Sutcliffe replaced Michael Walters in the fourth quarter


Reports

Port Adelaide: Nil
Fremantle: Nil

Umpires: Foot, Ryan, Mollison

Official crowd: 14,583 at AAMI Stadium

Lions Crushed

WEST COAST             7.4   11.5  17.6    28.7  (175)
BRISBANE LIONS     2.0    5.2    7.3     12.5   (77)


The last time these two sides met, Brisbane stunned the Eagles with a last gasp goal and seemingly sent the Eagles into a spiral of poor form. They lost three of their next six games and their wins lacked the usual polish the Eagles were renowned for, but it was clear from the get go today that they were out to stop the rot.

They quickly took the lead in the first term and never looked back, capping off the victory with a dominant display in the last quarter, kicking 11 goals.

Captain Darren Glass will face a nervous wait however, with a head high bump on Jonathan Brown sure to grab the attention of the Match Review Panel. Brown was dazed for a few moments before taking his kick and played out the game without any problems, but they MRP have shown they like to crack down hard on head high contact before.

The Eagles were lead by Nic Naitanui, who is quickly becoming the most spectacular player in the AFL. He had 36 tapouts, three goals and several brilliant grabs. His ruck work was important, giving the West Coast midfield with first use of the footy which in turn cut the Lions’ back half to pieces.

The Lions tried their best to reduce the margin during the second term, but it was all in vain as the Eagles scored at will.

Votes

Naitanui

Waters

Darling


GOALS
West Coast:
Darling 5, Hill 4, Hams 3, Naitanui 3, Hurn 2, Cox 2, Gaff, Waters, Masten, Priddis, Shuey, Scott Selwood, McGinnity, Lynch, Sheppard
Brisbane Lions: Brown 3, Zorko 2, Hawksley 2, Merrett 2, Redden, Adcock, Polkinghorne

BEST
West Coast: 
Naitanui, Waters, Gaff, Hurn, Darling, Glass
Brisbane Lions: Redden, Black, Adcock, Raines

INJURIES
West Coast:
 Daniel Kerr (hamstring strain)
Brisbane Lions: Matt McGuire (ankle)

SUBSTITUTES
West Coast: 
Patrick McGinnity replaced Daniel Kerr in the third quarter
Brisbane Lions: Todd Banfield replaced Matt McGuire in the third quarter

Reports: Darren Glass (West Coast) engaged in rough conduct on Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions) in the fourth quarter

Umpires: Fila, Nicholls, Mitchell

Official crowd: 35,767 at Patersons Stadium

Late McLean Sinks Tigers

CARLTON      4.2    7.5   10.11  14.11   (95)                 

RICHMOND   5.2   5.7    8.11    13.13  (91)         

It was almost accidental, but a goal to Brock McLean late in the game sealed a four-point victory to the Blues and yet another heartbreaking loss for the Tigers.

With 53 seconds remaining in the match McLean marked just outside 50, near the boundary line. Knowing there wasn’t long let, he swung around and kicked it in the direction of forward Levi Casboult.

Jayden Post was able to nudge Casboult out of the contest, but the ball had drifted over their heads anyway, as it bounced through for the unlikeliest of goals and the most disappointing of losses.

Third time unlucky, it could be said, as the contest twisted and turned all night with countless lead changes.

The Tigers were more impressive early on, kicking five goals to lead by quarter time; all five came from midfielders Trent Cotchin (24 disposals, five clearances, three goals) and Dustin Martin (19 disposals, seven clearances, three goals) who couldn’t be stopped pushing forward.

It was undoubtedly a battle of the midfields, as best on ground could have gone to either of Shane Tuck (31 disposals, 23 contested, nine clearances) and Marc Murphy (36 disposals, 22 contested, nine clearances), who both played fantastic matches.

Providing noble support for Murphy was milestone man Andrew Carrazzo (27 disposals, 17 contested, eight tackles, eight clearances) in 150th game and of course McLean (27 disposals, 18 contested, nine clearances, 11 tackles), with the absence of a lot of key players.

Their impressive performances allowed them to hold Richmond to an inaccurate 0.5 in the second quarter, allowing them to gain an advantage rarely lost throughout the course of the night.

With the midfield performers stepping up and the ability to hit the scoreboard enough – Eddie Betts kicked four goals – Carlton were able to maintain their lead, but Richmond slowly clawed back.

It was their style of footy: desperate, intense and, despite trailing by 12 at three quarter time, it allowed them to compete in a goal-for-goal shootout in the very latter stages of the match.

However, their third loss in a row by under a goal rules them out of finals contention, while it keeps Carlton’s surge alive.

GOALS

Carlton: Betts 4, Thornton 2, Armfield 2, Murphy,  Carrazzo, Bell, Garlett, Casboult, McLean

Richmond: Martin 3, Cotchin 3, Tuck 2, Nahas 2, McGuane, Newman, Grigg

BEST

Carlton: Murphy, McLean, Carrazzo, Curnow, Betts, Scotland

Richmond: Tuck, Maric, Cotchin, Deledio, Martin, Edwards

INJURIES

Carlton: Nil

Richmond: Morris (shoulder)

SUBSTITUTES

Carlton: Frazer Dale replaced Nick Duigan early in the final quarter

Richmond: Addam Maric replaced Daniel Jackson in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Margetts, Rosebury, Hay

Official crowd: 46,013 at the MCG

Pies inflict Giant Defeat

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY    3.4     5.4        6.11     7.12 (54)
COLLINGWOOD                               7.5    13.11    17.14   26.18 (174)

Travis Cloke has responded to a week of heavy speculation in perfect fashion, booting six majors as Collingwood, as expected, thumped the tiring Greater Western Sydney Giants.

GWS were quick out of the blocks and up for the contest, with Devon Smith kicking the first two goals of the game in a matter of minutes. The Giants forwards were more than holding their own, with Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton taking good contested grabs and Jonathan Giles was giving the likes of Toby Greene and Adam Treloar first use in the middle.

The longer the quarter went however, fatigue set in for the home side’s young bodies, and the kicks got sloppy, decisions poor.

The big Collingwood forwards benefited from quick delivery after Giants errors, their size advantage even more prominent with the defenders stretched on the rebound. The Pies kicked 38 points from Giants turnovers in the first quarter. Luke Power had a couple of muffed kick ins that came straight back over his, and the goal umpires, head, Chris Dawes clamped a grab in the square and converted, and Cloke was getting lots of the ball, but not converting it to the scoreboard.

With fresh legs, the Giants are a formidable team, they get lots of numbers at the ball and have skill on the ground. The home side again kicked the first two goals of the quarter, with Cameron getting a free in the pocket, which he snapped trough, then the big resting ruckman Giles marking and goaling from close range.

The tide turned the longer the quarter went and after a number of missed chances – with Chris Tarrant the worst offender, spraying three behinds from gettable shots –  another turnover from the Giants defence saw Mooney kick Collingwood’s first after 13 minutes. Nick Maxwell chimed in and kicked a long bomb from the centre square to increase the lead to 28, Swan goaled on the run a minute later to take the margin past five goals.

The Giants shone early in the second half, getting the first five clearances, and having the first two shots, yet unlike the opening two quarters, the shots missed. The Pies were struggling to score at the other end, until Coke stood up and took two big marks and blasted them through from close range. Another miss to Cameron at the other end, and a great running goal through the corridor to Smith after a great grab, dummy and handball from Giles at least showed the Giants were sticking in, despite the three figures on the scoreboard against them.

The Giants matched the Pies in the third term, nearing the end of the term the inside fifties were twelve all, and it was only the inaccurate 1.7 by the home side, to Collingwood’s four goals that proved the difference.

The margin at three quarter time was 69, though it wasn’t the licking the Pies were hoping for in a top four race where percentage will be all important, a strong last term would likely have satisfied the desires of coach Nathan Buckley.

Votes

Swan

Pendlebury

Shaw

GOALS

Collingwood: Cloke 6, Swan 5, Beams 2, Elliott 2, Goldsack 2, Dawes 2, Sinclair, Blair, Mooney, Maxwell, Shaw, Fasolo, Tarrant
Greater Western Sydney: Smith 3, Cameron 2, Palmer, Giles

BEST
Collingwood: Swan, Cloke, Pendlebury, Shaw, Elliott,
Greater Western Sydney: Giles, Greene, Treloar

INJURIES
Collingwood: TBC
Greater Western Sydney: Cornes (virus) replaced in selected side by Bruce

SUBSTITUTES
Collingwood: Martin Clarke replaced Caolan Mooney in the third quarter
Greater Western Sydney: Nick Haynes replaced Jonathon Patton at three quarter-time

Slick Swans Smash Suns

GOLD COAST              2.1       5.2       7.4       8.6 (54)
SYDNEY SWANS        6.3       8.7       16.9     19.12 (126)

Once again Suns captain Gary Ablett has produced a masterclass yet has still been powerless to stop his Suns from being completely dismantled by a superior opponent.

The Swans rotated opponents off the Brownlow Medallist, allowing their midfield group to quickly take control of proceedings as Ablett desperately searched for a helping hand. Kieran Jack, Josh Kennedy and Ryan O’Keefe all had big games, setting up the comfortable victory.

The Swans entered the contest on top of the ladder – equal with the Crows. The win sees them a game clear of the Crows and Hawks, and the healthy percentage boost may prove to be invaluable by the end of the season.

The win came at a cost however, with star forward Sam Reid appearing to seriously injure his knee in the first term and Adam Goodes limping from the field in the last.

Coach John Longmire was confident that Reid’s injury would only be a minor setback, and hoped the forward would be back before finals whilst Goodes could be fine to play next week.

Reid’s absence was covered by Lewis Roberts-Thompson, who kicked a game high four goals.

The Suns battled valiantly, but it was a case of too little experience under pressure as the Swans’ intense and tough game style battered the young side into submission.

Votes

O’Keefe

Kennedy

1  Ablett

GOALS
Sydney Swans: 
Roberts-Thomson 4, Goodes 3, Bolton 3, Jack 2, Dennis-Lane 2, Bird, Hannebery, Jetta, McVeigh,Kennedy
Gold Coast: Matera 3, Smith 2, Ablett, Brown, Lynch

BEST
Sydney Swans: 
Jack, Kennedy, O’Keefe, Pyke, Bolton, McVeigh
Gold Coast: Ablett, Harbrow, Hine, Stanley, Warnock, Matera

INJURIES 
Sydney Swans: Reid (knee), Goodes (corked thigh)
Gold Coast: Brown (TBC), Swallow (corked leg)

SUBSTITUTES

Sydney Swans: Craig Bird replaced Sam Reid in the first quarter
Gold Coast: Liam Patrick replaced David Swallow in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Fleer, Leppard, Wenn

Official crowd: 11,169 at Metricon Stadium

North on the Up

North Melbourne   5.4   9.6   15.10   19.13 (127)
Melbourne              1.2     5.5     7.5     11.7 (73)

North Melbourne have consolidated their grasp on finals footy after beating Melbourne by 54 points yesterday.

Melbourne’s chances were quickly ended, with the Kangaroos jumping out of the blocks, kicking the first five goals of the contest. The Demons remained competitive afterwards, but the damage was already done.

Brad Green kicked three goals in his 250th game and was key to the Demons continually fight, but the fact of the matter is that North Melbourne are simply superior to the struggling Demons.

Drew Petrie continued his stunning form with another four goals to make it 18 in three weeks, but it was his captain Andrew Swallow who really stole the show.

Swallow had 32 disposals, 17 of which were contested yet still managed to use the ball at 81% efficiency. He kicked a goal and set up a few others whilst being instrumental in the congested clearance work, finishing with an incredible 17 tackles – two shy of the record set by Swan Jude Bolton last season.

It wasn’t all good for the Kangaroos however, with Leigh Adams suffering a shoulder injury which will cause concerns for the Roos medical staff over the coming days.

Votes

Swallow

Harvey

Petrie
GOALS
North Melbourne: 
Petrie 4, Tarrant 4, Adams 2, Thomas 2, Harvey 2, Bastinac, Macmillan, Anthony, Swallow, Harper
Melbourne: Green 3, Sylvia 3, Blease, Howe, Garland, Martin, Jones

BEST
North Melbourne:
 Harvey, Gibson, Wells, Cunnington, Swallow, Goldstein, Atley
Melbourne: Jones, Green, Moloney, Howe, Macdonald

INJURIES
North Melbourne: 
Adams (shoulder), Scott McMahon (soreness)
Melbourne: Nil

SUBSTITUTES
North Melbourne: 
Scott McMahon (soreness) substituted for Matt Campbell in the third quarter
Melbourne: Neville Jetta substituted for James Strauss in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: McBurney, Armstrong, Harris

Official crowd: 20,816 at Etihad Stadium