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Ryan Crowley cramps Roos' style

Date

Brad Elborough

Ryan Crowley is making a habit of spoiling games for opposing veterans.

Ryan Crowley is making a habit of spoiling games for opposing veterans.

Not too many opposition players have kept a North Melbourne veteran to a quiet game - twice.

Fremantle's Ryan Crowley did it in round 13 last season, keeping him to just 11 possessions.

It was a controversial match-up that was talked about throughout the following week, with allegations of pinching coming from the champions Roo.

The battle ground was indeed hostile again on Friday night.

But the 35 year old Roo responded in a big way at Patersons Stadium last night.

He had 11 touches in the first term alone, and finished the game with 29.

While "Boomer" didn't touch the footy in the final term, he wouldn't have minded. He'd done his work keeping the Roos in the game for the first three terms.

He had teammates to take over from there - Norths kicking 3.3 to Fremantle's 0.5 in the final quarter to claim the win by 13 points.

Norths' coach Brad Scott hinted that secretly he had expected a big game from the champ when it came time to face Crowley and the Dockers.

"Well, when you have a crack at him… and he’s been beaten before, not often, but what has he played, 366 games? He has been beaten before, not regularly, but he always comes back," Scott said.

"Clinton Jones (from St Kilda) did a number on him in 2010. It was my second game ever coaching North and Boomer was kept to five possessions.

"The next week against West Coast he had it 45 times. So he comes back and he looks forward to the challenge.

"I think Ryan (Crowley) mentioned it in the pre-season that he looked up the fixture and couldn’t wait to play North. Boomer didn’t say anything, but I can tell you what he felt."

Harvey turns 36 next month and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Last night was the second consecutive game he gathered 29 touches.

His performance even won the plaudits of the opposition coach.

"I think it was unusual that Ryan was shaded tonight," Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said. "I thought Harvey was really quite strong for them."

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