RICHMOND 2.3 5.9 10.12 14.15 (99)
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.5 7.9 9.11 15.13 (103)
In a thrilling, see-sawing affair at the MCG, a five-goal final term blitz from Drew Petrie has pushed the Kangaroos into the top eight with a four-point win that will surely be the end of the finals hopes for the Tigers.
The Tigers appeared set to run away with the game during the third quarter, with Jack Riewoldt goaling on the siren to give Richmond a seven-point lead after they trailed by two goals at the main break.
North Melbourne coach Brad Scott shifted Petrie to a more attacking and deeper position, and it paid off immediately, with the big forward kicking the opening two goals of the quarter in quick succession.
From that point, it was end-to-end, with the Tigers responding and challenging again and again and forcing the Kangaroos to lift once more.
With four minutes left, it appeared the game was done as the ‘Roos lead had stretched to 17 points. However, Richmond came again, kicking two goals to reduce the margin to five points with two minutes to spare.
It set up a tense finish, with both sides having opportunities on goal negated by some brilliant and desperate defensive work.
Shaun Grigg had the best opportunity for the Tigers, but rushed his snap for goal and it rolled harmlessly past the goal post for a behind.
The game had plenty of emotion, with a quarter time melee breaking out after Steven Morris received some attention after being tackled in the Kangaroos’ forward 50.
While it appeared to be an incident that will warrant no more than a few fines, the Match Review Panel will be analysing the incident that lasted for several minutes as the umpires struggled to gain control of the situation.
With their chances for finals in 2012 all but over, the Tigers faithful will be left ruing poor discipline, with North Melbourne gifted two easy goals from 50 metre penalties, but it was the Tigers lack of composure at pivotal points that proved to be more costly.
North Melbourne consistently had the cooler heads, and it has provided them with a spot in the top eight.
3 – Drew Petrie (North)
2 – Shane Tuck (Tigers)
1- Andrew Swallow (North)
North Melbourne: Petrie 7, Anthony 2, Harper 2, Harvey, Macmillan, Hansen, Campbell
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Nahas 3, Martin 2, Tuck 2, Edwards 2, Cotchin, Houli
North Melbourne: Swallow, Petrie, Bastinac, Grima, Goldstein, Thompson
Richmond: Tuck, Cotchin, Morris, Deledio, Riewoldt, Jackson
North Melbourne: Nil
Richmond: Addam Maric replaced in the third quarter by Brett O’Hanlon
North Melbourne: Robbie Tarrant replaced at three-quarter time by Matt Campbell
Umpires: McBurney, Jennings, Mollison
Official crowd: 47,432 at MCG