5. Rhyce Shaw’s first game as caretaker coach – Round 11, 2019.
The departure of Brad Scott in 2019 would be at the centre of an emotional fortnight for the Kangaroos. He coached his final game with a win of 25 points against the Bulldogs. The following week would have been strange one for the players and the coaching staff, coming to terms with the change. Come game day they played Richmond. What a way to welcome a new coach with a win against the reigning premiers by 37 points.
North leaders Cunnington, 31 disposals, Ziebell and Higgins showed the way. Ben Brown finished off their work with 6 Goals.
4. Beating the Reigning Premiers – Round 16, 2014.
Squaring off against Hawthorn, the defending premiers and league leaders, North Melbourne made a statement to the competition. Making the most of a rare Friday night appearance, they shocked the football world and ran out 20-point winners.
North was superbly led by Drew Petrie with five Goals. It was enough to drive Brian Lake to frustration. Outplayed throughout the game, he would end up wrestling Petrie to the ground and holding him a dangerous head lock/sleeper hold. That action resulted in a four weeks suspension to Lake.
Each and every player’s ferocious attack on the ball is a standout memory from this match. This unflinching pressure was too much for the Hawks to handle. This, combined with the leadership of Petrie, Swallow, Goldstein and Harvey, was more than enough to record a famous victory.
3. Eliminating the Tigers – 2015 Elimination Final
This was a cracker of a game that had the crowd roaring from start to finish. North’s inaccuracy: 15 goals 15 to Richmond 14 goals 4 kept the game close. The 400 game veteran, Brent Harvey led North Melbourne with 31 disposals, Todd Goldstein was outstanding with 46 hit outs and Jarrad Waite kicked four goals. Ben Jacobs tagging role on Trent Cotchin, keeping the Richmond Captain to nine possessions was crucial to North’s win.
2. Sinking the Bombers – 2014 Elimination Final
Everyone loves a comeback story. This is what happened in the 2014 Elimination Final against Essendon. North had not won a final since 2007 and seemed sluggish and overawed in the first half. Trailing by 27 points at half time, against a rampant Essendon.
With the Bombers leading by 33 points in the third quarter, the Kangaroos needed a spark. It would come from an act of brilliance by Sam Wright that led to a goal. From that act the whole team lifted and powered to a win. Ben Cunnington was outstanding with his clearance work, Daniel Wells was brilliant and the first year player, Ben Brown, with 4 goals took North to a 12-point victory.
The game is also remembered for our beloved Drew Petrie’s “Frank the Tank” impression after kicking the goal to put North ahead with 4 mins left in the game.
1. Archer’s 250th Game – Round 19 2004
Time and time again, milestone games prove to some of the best games for North Melbourne. No better example of this could be found than the Kangaroos efforts in Glenn Archer’s 250th game. One of the most beloved Shinboners of all time, Archer wore his heart on his sleeve on the field; and has a heart of Gold off it.
Forty points down at three-quarter time, North roared home and defeated the Swans at the SCG. The incredible feat was led by Saverio Rocca who kicked three final quarter goals. He would end the game with five and was ably assisted in the comeback by Corey McKernan and Daniel Harris.
I remember that with less than a minute on the clock the Sydney Swans player picked up the ball and rolled it out of bounds, The Umpire deemed it “deliberate” and a free kick in the forward pocket was paid to North. There were 3 players who could have taken the kick for goal, David Hale, Jones or Andrew Swallow. Corey Jones took the honours, kicked a goal from the boundary line and become the hero.
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