NORTH MELBOURNE 5.3 7.6 14.7 16.12 (108) HAWTHORN 4.2 6.6 10.9 13.10 (88)
Goals: North Melbourne: D Petrie 5 A Black 3 B Brown 2 L Greenwood 2 A Swallow L Thomas R Bastinac S Gibson. Hawthorn: J Gunston 6 J Roughead 2 J Lewis L Breust R Schoenmakers S Burgoyne T Duryea.
BEST North Melbourne: Petrie, Dal Santo, Hansen, Harvey, Wright, Firrito Hawthorn: Gunston, Burgoyne, Mitchell, Roughead, Hodge, Shiels.
Injuries: Hawthorn: B Sewell (hamstring) B Hill (knee, replaced in selected side by B Ross).
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Troy Pannell, Chris Kamolins.
Official Crowd: 35,025 at Etihad Stadium.
North Melbourne put aside the troubles of last week with a stirring 20-point win against Hawthorn on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
A seven-goal third quarter lifted the Roos to a match-winning lead and although Hawthorn came back at them several times the Roos remained in control.
The closest Hawthorn came in the final term was 19 points.
Drew Petrie was a star for North, booting five goals. Nick Dal Santo gathered 37 disposals in the mid-field and Lachlan Hansen was strong all night in the middle of the backline.
For the Hawks, Jack Gunston kicked six and was their only avenue to goal as Jarryd Roughead faded in the second half. Shaun Burgoyne and the returning Sam Mitchell were good in the traffic, but with Cyril Rioli and Bradley Hill (a late withdrawal after warming up) out, they lacked pace.
Say one thing for the Roos, you know what to expect from them. Bad one week, good the next.
This win was very good, marked by the sort of fierceness that coach Brad Scott had identified as lacking in last week’s loss to the Brisbane Lions.
Now North sits nine wins and six losses and finals beckon.
The match got hot in the third term, both physically and on the scoreboard. But the Roos kept their heads as things turned a little rough, while Hawthorn lost focus. Not for a long time have there been so many fumbles and miskicks from a Hawthorn side as we saw in the second half.
North took control of the game with a seven goal to four third quarter which took it to a 22-point lead at the last change.
It was a case of the Hawks losing their cool as much as the Roos taking over, a series of undisciplined incidents helping North slam on six unanswered goals through the middle stages of the term. It all started innocently, albeit stupidly, enough. Petrie led to mark 80 metres out from goal whereupon Brian Lake needlessly knocked the ball out of his hands – a 50-metre goal and North led by four points.
That was 10 points a few moments later when Ben Brown got his second of the game as Lake and Petrie wrestled near the boundary behind play. In an incident which might have repercussions for both players Lake appeared to be holding Petrie down forcefully while the North man struggled to get free.
Then it was Luke Hodge’s turn to go a little silly, a downfield free for his late tackle on Andrew Swallow leading to a kick to the square, a strong Petrie pack mark and the North forward’s fifth of the game.
At the bounce, Hodge again gave away a free for high contact, with North taking advantage to play-on and land the ball with Aaron Black for another major. Finally, Lindsay Thomas got a free kick as Ben Stratton dragged him down in a marking contest.
Ryan Bastinac got another and suddenly North led by 35 points.
Ironically, this all came after Hawthorn had taken a lead for the first time in the match with two goals to Gunston either side of a Petrie goal for North. Late goals to Taylor Duryea and Breust kept the Hawks nominally in touch, but North certainly went into the last quarter with a noted edge.
North led by six points at half-time with neither side finding a consistent target in attack. Petrie had two goals for North, Gunston and Roughead two apiece for the Hawks, but the delivery inside the forward 50s was rarely predictable.
With Rioli out injured and Hill a late withdrawal due to knee pain, Hawthorn was down on around the contests and it was left to Shaun Burgoyne to provide most of their run. The Kangaroos backline was also keeping a tight rein on small forwards Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo.
Veteran midfielder Brad Sewell was subbed off early in the term and replaced by late inclusion Ben Ross, while Lake briefly left the ground for treatment in the first quarter, too.
North, under intense scrutiny after last week’s loss to Brisbane, dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, kicking the first two goals through Black and Petrie and missing several other chances.
Hawthorn, down by 19 points half-way through the term, kept working at it and with a bit of grunt and a dose of luck had reduced the margin to seven points at the end of the quarter.
The Hawks scored three of the last four goals through Roughead, Gunston and Burgoyne. North’s Sam Wright was a bit unlucky on the last one. It was a bit of a mark, a bit of a free kick but not clearly either and Burgoyne ran onto the spilled ball to score Hawthorn’s fourth.