AFL 2019: North Melbourne vs Richmond Rd 11 – What did we learn?

Who saw that coming?

Joel Bowes tells us what we learned from North Melbourne’s victory over Richmond in Round 11.

  1. Promising beginnings for Rhyce Shaw

Rhyce shaw was announced as North Melbourne caretaker coach during the week and many, like me were very excited so see what he would bring. Shaw would be happy with his team’s effort in his first game in the top job, running a tight ship in the first half and giving themselves every chance at scoring heavily when Dustin Martin wasn’t off the leash. A commanding second half saw the ‘Roos run out comfortable winners by 37 points in front of a home crowd happy to see their side pull off a stunning upset. Rhyce Shaw now needs to look to capitalise with his new team with the Suns in Queensland next week.

  1. Dusty is Back, mostly…

After whopping performances in his last two matches and another tonight against North, Dustin Martin really looked back in business. A slow start to the season made many think that perhaps Dusty’s 2017 was a monumental blip, but that is certainly not the case. Racking up 37 touches against the Hawks, 35 against the Bombers and 21 with five tackles against North tonight, Martin is looking back in form and as dangerous as we’ve seen him in this season. Although he had a much quieter second half, Dusty is still one of the competition’s elite.

  1. North has a decent side on its hands if they can get up and running

Ben Cunnington, Shaun Higgins and Jack Ziebell are all quality players and led well tonight. The ‘Roos’ have a leadership group with plenty of experience and footy smarts, and there are plenty of youngsters who could learn a lot more from them. Plenty of younger North Melbourne players looked flustered under pressure early from the Tigers midfield and could look to their leaders for a more composed set up in the engine room. That midfield is really what lifted North to their victory, along with a great performance down back from some of their key defenders, and Ben Brown’s enormous goal hall.

  1. Razor Ray cops a shocker

Although not strictly match related, Razor Ray copped one of the best surprise hits ever seen on a footy field. A kick soccered off the deck straight into the breadbasket of the veteran umpire made every fan let out a shout of joy. Razor laughed it off as the crowd snickered as one of the great umpire incidents of all time unfolded in front of them.

  1. Tiger need to do some soul searching

Although the Tigers didn’t play awfully in the first half, they were cut to ribbons through the middle of the ground later in the match. Ben Brown was enormous, kicking five goals and Mason Wood played a great second fiddle role, also kicking four of his own, dominating an undersized Richmond defence. With two tough games in the next fortnight before the bye, against ladder leaders Geelong and the Crows in Adelaide, Richmond will need to win a minimum of one of those matches to stay in touch with the top four which is starting to shape up.

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NORTH MELBOURNE    4.1   6.7  12.7  15.9 (99)
RICHMOND                  3.1   6.3   7.4    9.8 (62)

North Melbourne: Brown 5, Wood 4,Anderson 2,Larkey, Simpkin, Polec, Thomas
Richmond: Martin 3, Butler 2, Lynch, Castagna, Prestia, Astbury

North Melbourne: Cunnington, Ziebell, Wood, Zurhaar, Brown, Tarrant, Higgins
Richmond: Houli, Martin, Prestia, Stack, Castagna, Cotchin

North Melbourne: Macmillan (calf), Turner (ribs/shoulder)
Richmond: TBC

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Margetts, Chamberlain, Hay

Official crowd: 29,326 at Marvel Stadium

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