“The ability to lose the unlosable is just absolutely diabolical in the end.”
No, Brad Scott, North Melbourne coach 2013.
The kangaroos are a tease in 2013. Lauded to be deep finals bound after clawing their way into the 8 last year, so far the anticipation has been inverted into lost opportunities. Tonight they let slip a lead they’d held convincingly all game with just 16 seconds left in the game. They had the crows at the end of a skewer over the fourth quarter BBQ with a 30 point advantage halfway through. The game was a dull affair at this point, almost kick to kick. Crows kicked a couple in what we felt was junk time, then a couple more. The scoreboard went on the blink, it appeared the Crows were down by 12 when it was really six.
In the last play of the game two Roos defenders went up for the mark deep in the Crows attack zone. Both failed to get a fist on it leaving a spill swigging Jared Petrenko to foot swipe at a high bouncing ball from 10 metres out for the match winning goal. Nine times out of ten these kicks spray wide, high and occasionally in a humbling manner – backwards. But not tonight.
Scotty put the boots into the players post game cueing a week of players getting flogged on the track, marathon boxing sessions and locked in over night to watch endless reruns of Eddie McGuires apology, post apology, critique of his apology and his move on from the apology to Adam Goodes. Later it emerged that North had rehearsed strategies for holding play up in the last 2 minutes should they be ahead. This works the same way as that pre party discussion you have with your partner about an appropriate time to bail early. You can’t blame Scotty. His own parties of late had been gate crashed in previous sequential losses to Geelong by 4 points, the Hawks by 3 and then West Coast by two. Couldn’t see much evidence of it at the game – North looked one paced at the death, a metre behind opponents, no holding up play, hugging the boundary, going backwards, no one-on-one when the Crows attacked. Reckon Scotty must also have been coaching the pie guy in our bay who blocked vision time and time again as he methodically consulted his smart phone calculator to establish the customers correct change.
Post game the emotions poured out as Roo fans pushed and shoved co fans. Remember when all hell would break loose after a chock o block full of sherry Auntie would proclaim one too many unnecessary home truths about another family member seated at the table on Christmas day? You now have the post game vibe. On the fence one Roos member vented her amplified disgust at every trainer, water carrier, medico and or official north lackey as they strolled past on their way to the disconsolate rooms. Seats were punched. Tears were shed. Visiting Crows fans ecstatic in this most unexpected of victories burst into that terrible song that commences “We’re the pride of South Australia”. You’d be forgiven for thinking its about the Vanilla Slice.
We’ll be back next week to see if the Roos can make it a draw against the Saints next week. Its Boomer’s 300th and Wellsy 200th. Hard to see Roos losing….however?
Adelaide 18 17 125 defeated North Melbourne 19 10 124