Kangaroos cruise to upset win over Magpies
North Melbourne’s potent tall forwards showed Collingwood what they are currently missing as the Kangaroos’ late-season AFL momentum continued to build impressively at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite the Magpies kicking the first four goals, the Kangaroos were in front by quarter time and controlled the game from there to win 13.13 (91) to 8.13 (61).
It was North’s ninth win in 10 matches, continuing their remarkable turnaround since being whipped by 115 points by Hawthorn in Launceston in round 10.
Drew Petrie, Robbie Tarrant and Lindsay Thomas kicked three goals each, while Lachie Hansen chimed in with two.
While tall forwards Tarrant, Petrie and Hansen gave the Magpies’ defence headaches, the mediocre form of Collingwood forwards Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes continued.
Neither kicked a goal and Cloke, the target of long-term $1 million-per-season offers from rival clubs, did not take a mark until the third quarter.
It meant the Magpies had to rely on their little men to score, with midfielder Dayne Beams (two goals) their only multiple goal-kicker, adding to his hard work around the packs and 38 disposals to be clearly his side’s best.
North had lost their previous four encounters with Collingwood by an average of 80 points and Saturday night’s contest seemed headed the same way when the Magpies posted four majors in the first 12 minutes.
They included sensational snaps from Beams and Alan Didak and a slick piece of crumbing work from Alex Fasolo.
But the Kangaroos showed their new-found belief, working their way on top in general play.
Ruckman Todd Goldstein had a superb night, dominating the hit-outs as well as working hard at ground level and setting up several scoring chances.
Midfielders Ben Cunnington, veteran Brent Harvey, captain Andrew Swallow and Sam Gibson also had big nights.
By quarter time, Tarrant, Petrie, Hansen and Thomas each had a goal and the Kangaroos were ahead.
The Roos dominated the second term to stretch their lead to 22 points, with fierce tackling to keep the ball in attack a highlight, and they were 27 clear by the last change, with the Magpies never threatening.
Collingwood also lost skipper Nick Maxwell to injury, subbed off before the last quarter.
Their defeat puts them under pressure to hold on to their top four berth and finals double chance.© AAP 2013