Classy North keeps young Saints at bay
Sunday, February 07 2021 @ 01:49 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
North Melbourne Kangaroos show St Kilda who is the boss in Victoria with a 26-point victory at Arden Street on Sunday afternoon.
Heading into the match, both Victorian teams came off round 1 wins.
It was a tight contest up until half time when North started to get on top with their polished and cleaner ball movement all over the ground.
Image Source: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos
The manic forward pressure from North was outstanding all match. The scoreboard does not do the Saints justice as they were closer in the contest.
After the opening two rounds, North are the premiership favourites.
North have scored 107 points and only conceded 19 points, so North have not only performed strongly offensively but also defensively.
North are first on the ladder with a superior percentage of 563.2 and have signalled to the rest of the competition that they will definitely take some beating in 2021.
North's captain Emma Kearney was superb with 22 disposals (64 percent efficiency) and eight tackles.
Saints captain Kate Shierlaw played an important game making an impact with her 13 disposals and eight marks.
Unfortunately, Shierlaw was unable to kick a goal with two behinds, but her forward pressure was impressive.
North kept the Saints goalless, despite the Saints dominating the early proceedings of the match with the possessions and play in their forward half but the Saints could not kick a goal.
North’s were able to get on top off St Kilda for the rest of the quarter with their polished skills and the ball was living in North's half of the ground.
Daisy Bateman nailed through the opening goal for North Melbourne.
Tahlia Randall, a strong defender for North snuck up forward and nailed through the goal from 49m out.
For the Saints Jacqui Vogt applied a really nice defensive tackle deep inside 50 for Saints to run down North defender Danielle Hardiman, but Vogt unfortunately her kick at goal fell short.
In the last two minutes of the opening quarter, the play was mainly in the Saints forward 50, but unfortunately, they could not capitalise with a goal to get reward for effort.
Both teams pretty much even after the first quarter in terms of ball movement, possessions, just North cleaner with the ball movement inside forward 50.
North led by 13-points at quarter time.
The Saints finally broke through with their first goal of the match late in the second after being cleaner with their ball movement and disposals in the last 10 minutes of the quarter.
For the Saints, their work paid off with a goal via Tyanna Smith. St Kilda owning the second term after they did not score a single goal in the opening term.
The Saints played the game on their terms in the second quarter and were five points adrift, but were very much in the game and took it right up to the formidable North.
Kearney had 12 disposals from the first half. In the third term, North's Ellie Gavalas was solidly dumped tackled into the ground by Tarni White.
Gavalas received a free kick and kicked truly for North’s third goal and first of the second half. Late in the third quarter with five minutes left, North had six inside 50s to none for St Kilda.
Rhee Watt for St Kilda had an impressive afternoon defending and stopping North’s dangerous Emma King.
She stopped King’s influence in the game.
Watt defeated King at her own game.
Watt did it in the back and in the ruck, wherever King went, Watt went. Watt caused a headache for King all match and stopped the dominance we saw King had last week against Geelong kicking three opening quarter goals.
If Watt was not there for St Kilda, North probably would have won by a lot more.
Gavalas scored the only major of the third term. North’s workrate was top notch, they were the first to the ball and outnumbered the Saints all over the ground.
Jenna Bruton finished the quarter with 18 disposals and Kearney with 16.
North held a 14-point advantage at three quarter time.
In the final term, North kicked two goals and kept the Saints scoreless.
Sophie Abbatangelo marked strongly inside 50 and looked headed to kick for goal but found Jas Garner who marked on the goal line.
Garner went back and nailed through her first of the game and the goal added to her 15 disposals and four marks.
After some great quick ball movement from North, Ash Riddell finished it up with a goal and North eventually won by 26-points.