Sunday, August 21, 2011

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Round 22 Review

Round 22 @ Etihad Stadium vs Fremantle Dockers

North Melbourne Kangaroos 6.1 10.7 16.10 21.17 143

Fremantle Dockers 3.1 3.4 5.7 6.9 45

With both teams sitting in 9th and 10 spot with a slim chance of slipping into the top 8 this is literally a make or break game. Loser = out and the winner can keep their marginal hopes alive. Sure the Dockers have had their share of injuries and more but they came into this game as full strength as they have all year including skipper Pavlich and perennial All-Australian ruckman Aaron Sandilands. This was always going to be a good challenge for the young and hungry Roos as they had battled valiantly bust lost their previous two games against top 4 teams.
Fremantle scored the opening goal in the first 45 seconds but the Roos didn't shirk winning the first quarter with 6 goals to 3. Andrew Swallow was getting lots of it including important contested stuff. Cam Pederson chipped in with 2 important goals while Petrie was having a quiet one.
In the second quarter what became apparent was the stiffling defence and the midfield making it hard to Fremantle to get any quality inside 50's. Scott 'Hunter' Thompson and Michael 'Spud' Firrito were particularly stingy! The Roos won the quarter kicking 4 goal to none and opened up the margin like a pinata.
This is where I was worried the Roos would take their foot off the throttle and either win by a slim margin or heaven forbid lose. Instead they stepped on toes and necks winning the quarter 6 goals to 2 and putting the result out of reach.
The Roos kicked 5 goals 7 to 1 and if not for slight inaccuracy in front of goal would have won by 100+ points instead having to settle for a 98 point victory.
What was most interesting was the absence of Drew Petrie on the score sheet and the evenness of the contributors across the ground. Andrew Swallow was best a field with 30 possessions including 16 contested, 7 inside 50's and 7 tackles. Aaron Edwards and Cam Pederson finished with 3 goals a piece and Todd Goldstein battle 2 200+cm giants alone and finished with 20 hit outs, 16 possessions, 4 inside 50's and 2 goals. 10 players registered 20+ possession games on the way to achieving the greatest winning margin for the Kangaroos since 2003.
Stats of interest: The Kangaroos scored 10 goals from marks and 10 from general play. Fremantle were 4 and 1. Fremantle also fielded more than player with 100 or more games under their belt. 7 to 5. It must also be noted that match winner Matthew Pavlich left the game for the Dolce and Cabbana red vest which did not help the Dockers. However one of our most important midfielders for the last 2 months Jack Ziebell was hurt in a heavy collision very early in the game and left also before being able to even register 1 possession. Not a straight swap but please don't use injury to argue a 98 point pounding.
Roo Rating: 9 1/2 / 10
Daniel Wells
Daniel did have some quiet patches but stood up when it counted finishing with 25 possies, 2 goals and a stunning 10 inside 50's. A far cry from Wellsey's best but after a couple of quiet weeks this is what he needed to remind All-Australian selectors he can play.
Wells Rating: 8 / 10
St Kilda are playing Sydney as I type this and 'we' play St Kilda next Saturday Night. These 2 games are crucial for the Kangaroos to get a sniff at the panties of the voluptuous siren I call Mistress Finals.
Until then hail to the Purple People Eater!

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