Talking Points: North Melbourne v Richmond

ANALYSIS: In the ‘90s, North Melbourne dominated the competition with Pagan’s Paddock. Today, the 2013 Roos employed Scott’s Slingshot in a dominant team performance over top-eight side Richmond.

The Kangaroos knocked pre-match concerns about their forward potency on the head — in the absence of the suspended Lindsay Thomas — by employing a game style that blew the game open with eight unanswered goals in the second quarter following a 7-point lead at the first break.

The Roos put numbers behind the ball, blocking space in their back half, and then back their pace to sweep down the field into an open forward line.

Entering their forward 50 they used precise kicking to a short option running towards goal, or to the advantage of their dominant tall forwards Drew Petrie (1 goal), Robbie Tarrant (4 goals) and Aaron Black (3 goals).

When Richmond did manage to get numbers back, the Roos still found ways to score through their manic forward pressure and quick, clever handballs in traffic.

The other tactical successes employed by North coach Brad Scott were the shut down roles of Richmond pair Brett Deledio (16 disposals) and Jack Riewoldt (2 goals).

The 62-point win keeps the Roos’ slim finals hopes alive, while the Tigers received a dint in their chase of the top four.

ROOS’ DEFENSE SUPREME

In the post-match press conference, Brad Scott applauded his back six for their defensive efforts in what was clearly their best four-quarter defensive effort all year.

Scott also acknowledged the defensive efforts of Levi Greenwood and Taylor Hine on key Tigers Trent Cotchin (25 disposals) and Deledio.

“It’s been something we’ve been working really hard on.

“So it’s really pleasing to see some reward for effort there. The defenders played well but I thought our midfield gave us the opportunity to defend well.”

Scott Thompson shut down Jack Riewoldt, despite two late final quarter goals to the Richmond spearhead.

Lachie Hansen was the standout down back for the Roos, finishing with 20 possessions and 15 marks, much to the delight of his coach.

“15 marks today, and five contested, and (he) set up the game I thought,” Scott said.

“Everyone can look at stats and who the best players were … but you look at impact on the game, and for impact on the game I don’t think there were too many better players out there today than him.”

JUST A REALLY BAD GAME OF FOOTY: HARDWICK

Richmond came into today’s clash against North Melbourne as the favourite but by five o’clock this afternoon, had come crashing to earth.

The Tigers, in-form with their eyes firmly fixed on a crack at the top four, played with very little purpose or urgency, making several skill errors and poor decisions.

An honest Damien Hardwick said the Tigers “hadn’t come to play” and “weren’t in the game at any stage”, but made it clear that “it was just a bad game”.

“We just played a really bad game of footy today, it’s no deeper than that. The reality is we just had a really poor game.

“We think we’ve got past that stage of the young, inexperienced stuff, we’re past it. Good sides perform on a consistent basis and we didn’t today, granted we came up against a side which I think played hungry, their pressure and their run was first class.

“We don’t wipe it, from a work rate point of view, we didn’t work hard enough. We didn’t. They outnumbered us at every contest, so that to me is a player issue we’ve got to work harder.”

 

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