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  • Podcast: Mid-Season Review 2022  

  • Podcast: Mid-Season Review 2022  

THE CALM OF NARRM by George On The Outer



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In a fitting opening to the Doug Nicholls Round, the haunting voice of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu spread calm around a near empty, misty Docklands stadium. Meanwhile, the Narrm players, quietly warming up pre-game, seemed to take on the same calmness for their upcoming task against North Melbourne.
 
Sure, this was the top of the ladder premiership side playing the lowly cellar dweller, but this Demons side is now one who just quietly go about their job, and slowly ever so slowly and calmly take the opposition apart.
 
It may not please the fans who had spent so long in the wilderness witnessing the demolition of their own side by the juggernauts of the past, wanting so much to return the favour.  But this is a side that is focussed not just on winning, but on the end game in a season which is not yet half way through.
 
Yet those fans who still suffer the lingering symptoms of MFCSS, thought it was coming back again, as North closed the gap at one stage to six points, but then Narrm just took a deep breath and pushed the final margin out to 47 points. 
 
North certainly brought their pressure game along, and were causing damage not just on the scoreboard, but a heavy hit to Ed Langdon early in the first quarter, saw him moving very gingerly around the ground until he was substituted at ¼ time by Toby Bedford.  There would have been even more calm about the demolition of the opposition if the Demons had managed to kick straight with 30 shots on goal to 13.  
 
Christian Petracca continues to have the yips once inside easy range, and perhaps needs some of the calming lessons around goal-kicking that Tom McDonald and Bailey Fritsch exude.  Both of these put through three goals for the side and TMac in particular has left no doubt about holding his place in the side. Strong contested marking and workrate is what defines his output, which is what Simon Goodwin expects from all his players.
 
In the middle, Jack Viney was definitely missed, but fortunately Clayton Oliver stepped up with an astounding 45 disposals, half of which were contested. Again and again he was able to extract the ball where others couldn’t and where in all honesty he had no right to be able to do.  
Petracca calmly contributed 30 disposals, although throughout the game he seemed hampered, he also having taken a couple of serious hits from the North players.  But then Tom Sparrow also chipped in to fill the Viney void, and amassed 20 touches including eight contested. The prodigious depth of his kicking is similar to his mentor’s in the middle, so when they get the ball it is almost invariably sent deep into attack.
 
Once again the backs did their job. Jake Lever seemed back to his ruthless best with seven intercept marks, while Steven May drove the North faithful mad with his physical strength and marking prowess to record eight intercepts, and kept their main target in Larkey to a solitary goal. 
 
The defensive team once again held the opposition to a score below 60 which helped to improve Naarm’s percentage a bit more.
 
The loss of Langdon was really telling however.   With the structures that have been set up, he has been that option as an outlet in addition to his elite running power. With his loss, Melksham was moved to the wing, and provided little to the team, with only seven disposals and one tackle. Were he not closing on 200 games, he wouldn’t be playing, especially when compared to James Jordon on the other wing who produced 22 disposals and over 500 metres gained for the side. 
 
Now 10 wins into the season and 17 successive victories to Narrm and Jake Bowey the calmness continues to pervade the side.  No Viney, Salem, Hibberd, Harmes or Langdon….no worries, just go about the job and hand, play your role and the results keep on coming. 
 
With a clash against top of the table contenders Fremantle next week, we will finally get a true handle on where the sides sit. In the weeks to come, games against Sydney and Brisbane will provide even more of an insight. 
 
It is said that calm happens before the storm, but with 17 successive wins including a Premiership, the calm has come after the storm for the team from Narrm.  For others, the fear is that this team is just building up to their next storm.
 
NARRM 4.4.28 8.9.57 10.13.73 14.16.100

 

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0.18 6.1.37 8.3.51 8.5.53

 

GOALS

 

NARRM Fritsch McDonald 3 Pickett 2 Bedford Gawn Langdon Melksham Rivers Sparrow

 

NORTH MELBOURNE Zurhaar 3 Goldstein Horne-Francis Larkey Xerri Ziebell

 

BEST

 

NARRM Oliver Petracca Sparrow McDonald Jordon Fritsch

 

NORTH MELBOURNE Davies-Uniacke Scott McDonald Zurhaar Goldstein

 

INJURIES

 

NARRM Ed Langdon (ribs)

 

NORTH MELBOURNE Curtis Taylor (ribs)

 

REPORTS

 

NARRM Nil

 

NORTH MELBOURNE  Nil

 

SUBSTITUTES

 

NARRM Toby Bedford (replaced Langdon)

 

NORTH MELBOURNE Atu Bosenavulagi (replaced Taylor in the fourth quarter)

 

UMPIRES Craig Fleer Cameron Dore Eleni Glouftsis

 

CROWD 13,422 at Marvel Stadium

 

ReportRd102022.png

 

 

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