AFL 2020: North Melbourne v Sydney – Round Three Knee Jerk Reaction

Sydney broke North Melbourne’s undefeated start to the season. What did we take away from their 11 point win?

Did we go early on the Kangaroos last week?

The 2020 season is only three rounds old but it has already thrown up a number of upsets. One we placed a lot of value on was the Kangaroos win over the Giants last week but the results of both teams this week put that value into question.

After sneaking under the radar last week, one of the things we were looking forward to this week was how North would cope with favouritism. Unfortunately it was a burden they were unable to carry. It means there is still a bit of work to do for them to do to earn the respect of the football world.

Perhaps the problem in this kind of reaction is the disrespect it shows the Swans who join North at 2-1 as a result of this win. Either way there is some way to go before we know about just how good either team is in 2020.

How the game was won.

After two wins to start the season, it looked like business as usual when after five minutes North Melbourne had kicked two goals clear of the Swans. Yet, just when it was expected the visitors could be excused for feeling shellshocked, they went about blowing the game wide open.

With Isaac Heeney, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker winning their unfair share of the ball, they helped their team take a stranglehold on the match. Kicking seven of eight goals, they took a 27-point lead into the final change.

Despite the best efforts of Jy Simpkin and Todd Goldstein, the task was too much for North in the final term. Even three goals in a five minute surge not enough to rescue them from their first defeat of 2020.

What the coaches said.

Rhyce Shaw felt his sides inability to match the Swans toughness was the difference in the contest. “Sydney were really strong in the contest, their pressure was spot-on,” Shaw said. “We couldn’t match it for periods in the game. Bits and pieces for us but if you want to be a really good side, a finals side, we can’t be a bits and pieces [side].

John Longmire was especially pleased with his team’s efforts in the third quarter. “The third quarter was probably as good pressure football…that was at a really high level for us and everything is else is built off the back of that,” he told reporters post match. “To North’s credit they keep going but it was a good win. It was a good win,” he said.

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NORTH MELBOURNE   2.3    3.9    5.11     8.12 (60)
SYDNEY                       2.1    5.3    10.8     10.11 (71)

North Melbourne: Brown 3, Zurhaar, Ahern, Hall, Dumont, Simpkin
Sydney: Papley 2, McLean, Hayward, Dawson, Blakey, Heeney, Rowbottom, Taylor, Parker

North Melbourne: Simpkin, Goldstein, Tarrant, Hall, 
Sydney: Heeney, Kennedy, Parker, Florent, Lloyd

North Melbourne: Ben Cunnington (back) replaced in selected side by Aiden Bonar
Sydney: McCartin (concussion), Justin McInerney replaced in selected side by Hayden McLean

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