AFL 2020: Hawthorn v North Melbourne – Round Four Knee Jerk Reaction

The Hawks hang on against the Kangaroos at Marvel on Sunday but what did we take away from an encounter that Alastair Clarkson was less than happy with?

Are North Melbourne Taking the Proverbial?

They did it against the Saints, and they’ve done it again against the Hawks. For three quarters on the weekend the Roos were a terrible AFL team. Then, it all happened. They woke up, and realized that they were at Docklands, and that they can be a very impressive unit when the want to be.

They failed to score at all against the Hawks in the third term and trailed by as much as 31 points in the last, before extracting a digit and piling on the last 4 goals of the game – falling short by just 4 points after only after Curtis Taylor botched a shot on goal in the dying minutes that would’ve given them the lead. 

It’s a trend that Rhyce Shaw will be keen to address, and if and when that happens – I think that North Melbourne will surprise a few of the big boys.

How the Game Was Won

For the most part, the game was one of those dirges that seem to be popping up on the regular. Dour, slow and clustered football with plenty of stoppage – a dirge that prompted Alistair Clarkson to claim that football is in a “dreadful space” and called on umpires to be less hesitant in calling free kicks.

For the first 3 quarters, Hawthorn used the ball better and took their chances when they arose (which was rare, see dirge). Chad Wingard finished with 3 and was probably Hawthorn’s best, and Ben McEvoy’s defensive efforts in curtailing Ben Brown (just the 1 late goal) went a long way to setting up the win.

For the Roos Tarryn Thomas had one of his best games, the youngster showing glimpses of his obvious skill and talent around goal, while down back the ever-reliable Robbie Tarrant was as sound as ever and Josh Walker was also impressive.

What the Coaches Said

Fair to say Clarko thought the game was shit too.

“Tonight’s game … if that’s a spectacle that we’re trying to search for in our game then our game is in a dreadful space. But we’re better than that and I think we can do a hell of a lot better and open the game up a bit and adjudicate some of those holding the balls for both sides. There were times where we got nailed in a tackle and it should have been holding the ball as well. Please umps, just pay them, open the game up.”

Rhyce Shaw wasn’t ignoring the elephant in the room either:

“We know we’re good enough. If we produce that type of football we know we can beat anyone. We know that,” he said.

“We did it again.….we just got going in the last quarter. It’s so hard to sit here right now and see what we did in the last quarter, and if we produce that type of football we know we can beat anyone. We know that”

“We know we are good enough. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to find a way to do it for longer”

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HAWTHORN                 2.3       5.6       7.6       8.10 (58)
NORTH MELBOURNE    2.1       4.3       4.3       8.6 (54) 

Hawthorn: Wingard 3, Breust, O’Brien, Burgoyne, Lewis, Shiels
North Melbourne: Simpkin, Hall, Taylor, Anderson, Xerri, Brown, Zurhaar, Thomas

Hawthorn: Wingard, Mitchell, McEvoy, Shiels, Sicily, Worpel
North Melbourne: Higgins, Goldstein, Tarrant, Anderson, Polec 

Hawthorn: Patton (foot) replaced in selected side by Lewis
North Melbourne: Cunnington (back) replaced in selected side by Ahern, Ziebell (left hamstring)

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