Sunday, July 31, 2011

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Round 19 Review

In the Kangaroos only Friday night game of the year they were pitted against top 4 Carlton in a true of test of their place in the pecking order. 3 heavy losses to Collingwood (twice) and Geelong only enhanced the view that they were a fair pace of the mark.

The Kangaroos have been able to match it with teams out of the 8 and 2 disappointing losses to Sydney (1 point) and St Kilda (9 points) prove they are comfortable in he middle of the ladder. The middle of the ladder however could be seen as ranging from 7th to 11th and you only get to play finals if you finish 8th or higher. So where abouts do the Kangaroos sit in the 'middle pack'? Well losses to Sydney (6th), St Kilda(7th), West Coast (5th) and Fremantle (8th) make it appear they are just off the mark at the moment but a closer inspection shows the Roos were a chance in those games losing them by 1, 9, 4 and 29 points respectively. Sure I here you say, the good teams wins the close games (see Geelong) but it also points out that the Roos aren't that far off either.

The last 4 games of the year against Hawthorn (4th), Fremantle(8th), St Kilda(7th) and Richmond(13th) will give a good indication as 3 are top 8 sides and Richmond sitting in 13th spot. The Roos should win the last game if they want to be seen as improving and heading in the right direction. A home game against an injury riddled Fremantle, a visit to Tasmania against the Hawks and a rematch against the Saints will show the Roos where they're at. 3 wins out of 4 could see them playing finals and 4 would give them a likely chance.

But I'm getting ahead of myself let's look back at Friday night. If we must.

Round 19 vs Carlton Blues @ES

North Melbourne Kangaroos 3.2 6.2 7.6 9.8 62

Carlton Blues 1.4 3.9 6.12 11.14 80

I was quietly confident about the match up with several key position players missing through injury and our ability to match up well against the Blues. 5 scoring shots a piece but wayward kicking from Carlton saw the Roos go into the first break 10 points up. The usual players for both teams were laying well.
Again wayward kicking saw the Blues go into the main break 11 down after kicking 3 goals 9. Carlton clearly had the better of the 3rd quarter restricting the Roos to 1 goal 4 and clawing back the deficit so that both teams were tied at the last break.
The going was tough at the start of the last quarter and the Kangaroos squandered a couple of gettable chances particularly marks inside 50 to Drew Petrie and Lachie Hansen. Carlton capitalised on these mistakes and took their chances in a 5 minute spurt kicking 3 quick goals, the ascendancy and as it turns out the game. Andrew Swallow toiled hard all day and tried his heart out in the last but in the end there were too many travellers and the Roos were over run by a fit Carlton side led admirably by skipper and new dad Chris Judd who was instrumental in the last quarter. Bryce Gibbs also shone in a different role in attack kicking 4 important goals in a low scoring match. Swallow ended with a game high 32 possessions, 5 I50's a goal and 9 tackles. Ziebell continued his consistent form with 22 touches and 10 tackles. Goldstein as always played his role with 36 hit outs and 5 tackles.
Roo Rating: 7 1/2 / 10
Daniel Wells
Wells had by far his quietest night with 5 tackles and 13 possessions. Most disturbing was the fact he went missing in the last when he was most needed and this game alone could be his unravelling for an All-Australian selection. Overall a disappointing performance by Daniel.
Wells Rating: 3  / 10
Let's hope Wells and his Roo mates can bounce back next Sunday @Aurora Stadium, Launceston.
Until then hail to FNF!

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