Thursday, July 21, 2011
North Melbourne Kangaroos R14 - R17 Review
Round 14 – Port Adelaide Power @AAMI
Port Adelaide Power 5.3 9.4 10.5 14.7 91
North Melbourne Kangaroos 5.0 12.4 18.8 21.10 136
This was a must win for the Roos and as such is always seen as a danger game for me! Port are fighting very hard NOT to be the team that wins the 'spoon' in the Gold Coast Suns 1st year. At quarter time when they were up by 3 points I wasn't panicking but knew they need to stamp their authority on the game and thankfully in the 2nd quarter they did. Despite Port kicking 4 goals for the term the Roos poured 6 goals 4 onto the scoreboard and it had the effect of warm treacle. Port felt the omnipresent pressure from said scoreboard and the scoreline slowly drifted out of reach like Wilson (or should I say Sherrin) out at sea. Daniel Wells and Jack Ziebell were having quality games and supplying the forward line with quality entries. If Drew Petrie and Brent Harvey could have kicked straighter the final margin would have been larger than the 45 points it eventuated into. Petrie kicked 4.3 and Harvey 3.3 but 21.10 for the team was a great sign after games earlier in the season being sub .500 and seemingly costing the 4 points. Todd Goldstein didn't gather a heap of the pill (6 possessions) but he did rag-doll the opposition recording an almost record 53 hit outs and 6 tackles to stamp his name in All-Australian contention. The Roo interestingly again had the most players on the field who were yet to notch up 50 games.
Roo Rating : 8.5 / 10
Daniel again gathered 20+ possies, equal leading the team with 27 including a team high 6 inside 50's. His silky skills helped break the Power back in the 2 and 3rd terms and his attacked on the ball has proved thus far not to be an aberration. He also chimed in with a handy goal.
Wells Rating: 8 / 10
Round 15 - St Kilda Saints @ET
North Melbourne Kangaroos 3.2 7.3 9.6 10.10 70
St Kilda Saints 3.4 10.5 12.7 12.7 79
This could prove to be an important game finals wise as the Saints are finally hitting form that pre-season selectors were tipping. In a typically low scoring see-sawing affair the lead changed several time and neither team ever looking out of the running for the biccies. It was arguable the 2nd quarters that won the Saints the game when they piled on 7 goals to 4. They were only to score 2 goals for the 2nd half but it was enough to hold on for a 9 point victory. The Kangaroos more than had their chances in the 2nd half but rushed wayward kicking cost them the win. 1.4 in the last quarter was inexcusable considering the high amount of time the ball spent inside their 50 metre arc and the fact the Saints didn't score a point and never looked like it. They flooded their back line and the Roo didn't play smart football bombing it onto Drew Petrie when he was often outnumbered 3 to 1 instead of looking for a 2nd lead up option. Brady Rawlings picked up a Roo high 25 possies but is rarely damaging with the ball. Todd Goldstein continued his stellar and consistent year with 47 hit outs giving him 100 over weeks. Leigh Adams was a bright light up forward kicking 3 goals straight in a close game.
Roo Rating: 7 / 10
Well again picked up 20+ possessions and pumped the ball 5 times into attack and laid 6 tackles. He wasn't at his best but 13 of his kicks are more damaging than 30 Rawlings disposals
Wells Rating: 7 / 10
Round 16 - Collingwood Magpies @MCG
Collingwood Magpies 4.3 10.6 16.12 22.15 147
North Melbourne Kangaroos 1.5 2.8 3.9 3.12 30
After the jail style pumping the Roos suffered in the 2nd round to the Pies I was just hoping for a better effort, not deluding my self with a win. The Roos actually had more of the ball and had they kicked straighter (1.5) could have been in the game but the lead slowly then quickly blew out and the young Joeys put their heads and eventually lost by a record (to the Pies) 114. Kicking 3.12 for the day didn't help either. I will say however that the Pies are a bloody good team!! Zeibell and Wells again tried with 27 and 29 possies respectively and Goldstein won his position with 38 hit outs.
Roo Rating: 1 / 10
Daniel tried for much of the day but with so many passengers even his impact on the contest was lessened. Still one of the best Roos though that doesn't say much.6 tackles and 5 I50's are handy stats in any game.
Wells Rating: 6 / 10
Round 17 – Western Bulldogs @ET
North Melbourne Kangaroos 3.3 11.7 13.11 21.16 142
Western Bulldogs 5.3 7.4 13.6 17.9 111
I hope hoping the Roos would respond after a 100+ point walloping and according to history it was never in doubt. Since 2001 the Roos have lost 6 games by 100+ and have also won every game after that. They are the only team with a 100% record. When the Doggies picked up a 22 point buffer last in the last quarter I was cautious but all the typical Roos were playing including a great opening quarter to Daniel Wells. Halfway through the 2nd quarters the game opened up and the Roos managed to score a flurry of goals. Live-wire small forward Matty Campbell relished the insistent I50's registering 3 1st half goals and Petrie was clunking marks. North finished the quarter with a year record of 8 goals 4 and a 27 point lead. The Bulldogs came out and played some good footy in the 3rd kicking 6 goals to 2 trailing by only 5 points at the last break. I was still optimistic as Ziebell, Wells and Swallow were getting plenty of the ball and Goldstein was having another solid game. The lead changed several times through out the term and Ziebell continued to find the aget with ease ending up with a crazy 41 possies including 21 contested and 13 clearances. He had 28 kicks, 5 marks, 6 tackles, 8 I50's and a goal to his name by the final siren and all on playing only 67% game time. Ziebell has been much maligned through out his career but when you take into account he has had 2 broken legs and hip surgery and he's only 20 it's quite remarkable that he is not playing in the #2's let alone picking up 40+ possies. He is the 2nd youngest player ever to get that much leather in one game. The Roos had too much of the ball and ending up kicking another 8 goals 5 for the quarter to run away with a 31 point lead and a real chance of playing finals. This would be up there with the Essendon win in the fact that they were challenged and responded with great footy. Andrew Swallow also had a good game after a couple of quiet ones finishing with 33 including 8 I50's and 5 tackles. The skipper Boomer Harvey had a blinder of a last term and provided a lot of spark finishing with 26 including 2 goals and 5 goal contributions.
Roo Rating : 9/ 10
Daniel got the ball 33 times including 23 extremely damaging kicks 9 I 50's and 4 tackles. At half time Wells had more kicks than any Bulldogs player had possessions. If Ziebell hadn't hadn't gone berserk Wells would have been a clear Best on Ground. As it was during the coaches voting Wells equalled Ziebell with 9 out of a possible 10 (a 5 and a 4 vote). Wells is seriously getting All-Australian and Brownlow talk in many media circles and would be a favourite slightly ahead of Goldstein for the Syd Barker medal (North Melbourne Best and Fairest). This has clearly been Wells' best season so far in consistency and the amount of great games.
Wells Rating: 9 / 10