Wednesday, August 24, 2011

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Must Win Saturday Night Game!

With 2 weeks to go North Melbourne sit 6 points out of the 8. That is 1 and a half (draw) wins for those of you who aren't used to the simple scoring systems of the Australian Football League. A win is worth 4 points, a draw is 2 points, a goal is 6 points on the scoreboard and a behind is 1 point. Yes that's right if you miss the target but are pretty close you get rewarded.

Well now that you've caught up, the Kangaroos need to win both of their last 2 games to be a chance to play finals. Their first opportunity comes this Saturday against St Kilda. This will be their biggest challenge then they finish off the regular season against Richmond which should (sic) be an easier offering. Like a virgin (which I'm assuming Jack Riewoldt is!) sacrificed into the volcano (which is Eddie McGuire).

North Melbourne accounted well for themselves in their last meeting in round 15 falling just 9 points short after kicking 1 goal 4 in the last quarter and keeping the Saints scoreless. The Roos have been a much more successful playing an up tempo game since then culminating in the 98 point drilling of the Fremantle Dockers last Saturday night. What most bouys me most (apart from my unusually high fat %) is the fact it was such a team game. 10 players had 20+ possessions, another 8 had 15 -19 and every player registered 10 or more apart from Jack Ziebell who received a bruised lung early (he still tried to play for almost a quarter before coming off, what a hard man he is. At 20 give him 2 pre-seasons and the AFL will have to introduce a new Ziebell rule for his crunching tackle sand shirt fronts). Another promising sign was the debut of Aaron Mullett who looked at home with 17 possies, 3 tackles and 4 inside 50's. He was also cleaned up and jumped to feet adding to the strong mind strong bodies of the new age Roos. Former All-Australian Hamish McIntosh has also recovered from Achilles issues to push for selection. Brad Scott will never drop AA contender Todd Goldstein so will he play 2 feature ruckmen who can go forward and kick goals?

Where the game will be won:

Total Disposals: 11th in the AFL - Dal Santo (StK), 14 - Swallow (NMFC)
Goals: 6 - Milne (StK), 11 - Petrie (NMFC), 18 - Edwards (NMFC)
Tackles: 7 - Jones (StK), 9 - Swallow (NMFC)
Hit Outs: 1 - Goldstein (NMFC), 7 - McEvoy (StK)
Inside 50's: 11 - Wells (NMFC), 14 - Swallow (NMFC)
Total score for: 1932 - NMFC, 1670 - StK
Total score against: 1541 - StK, 1856 - NMFC

Most does it mean? Both teams are about average in total disposals and tackles. North kick a lot of their goals with their 3 tall forwards, Petrie (42 goals), Edwards (32) and super mature aged rookie of the year Cameron Pederson (17 from 13 games) (who since solidifying his position in the team has kicked at least a goal 8 of the last 9 weeks, the one week off being the slapping by Collingwood where the team kicked only 3 goals total.) and evergreen Brent Harvey's 29. Whereas St Kilda have dangerous small forward/serial pest Stephen Milne (48 goals) with Nick Riewoldt kicking 30 and Adam Schneider (another small forward) kicking 23.

Goldstein should have the advantage over St Kilda's Ben McEvoy in the ruck and if he gives the Roos midfield first use of the ball they need to spread and run up a score. North have scored 250 more points and St Kilda have been winning by keeping the score down. So North are more likely to win a high (100+) scoring game where the Saints will win if they keep the score down.

Both teams matched up pretty well earlier in the year so this is likely to be an intriguing clash for the non-involved spectator and a real white knuckle encounter for us Roos and Saints supporters.

Until then hail to the high hat!


  1. Last time the Saints were often first to the ball after Goldstein's hitouts. They must have studied us well. If we're going to wint, we need to be first to the ball.

  2. I agree Schem,

    To win we need first use of the ball and we need to win the contested possessions as well as the clearances. Obvious but will be key!