Has it caught your breath yet?
Because the final three minutes of Saturday’s North Melbourne-Richmond clash were a chaotic, rollercoaster three minutes on the football field as players struggled with composure and composure.
In the end, it was the Kangaroos who came away with a stunning four-point upset win to snap a 14-game losing streak. But they did it the hard way.
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After trailing by 32 points at halftime, Richmond mounted a comeback in the second half and took the lead with a shot by Jack Graham.
And that’s where the calm seemed to end for three minutes.
North Melbourne then had a chance to claw it back quickly, only for Charlie Lazaro’s volley to hit the post.
Richmond’s Ben Miller quickly brought the ball into play despite his team leading by two points. The kick landed in space before Camden McIntosh hit for a throw-in on North’s push.
Hugh Greenwood then took advantage of his panic and wasted a shot at goal to throw a boundary.
“I’m not sure why Ben Miller is in such a hurry,” Montagna said.
“And then Greenwood on the run trying to get the advantage through a left foot check – maybe not him.”
In the midst of the chaos, veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein palmed the ball well into Cam Zurhar’s thigh for his 6th goal to give North the lead again.
But while Rice’s set play was smart, Montagna lamented how Zurhar had so much space.
“Richmond’s defenders didn’t pursue him,” Montagna said.
“They let him start with a run and Goldstein has a great game with all the experience in the world.”
After a series of stops, Miller picked up intercept marks on the half-back, slotting the kick away.
Roos then moved the ball forward and played it to Luke Davies-Uniak, who was meters from the goal line and Curtis Taylor scored outside 50 but instead took the time.
But Taylor’s kick had too much juice on it, sailing back to give the Tigers 57 seconds to move the ball coast to coast and clinch the win.
“The kangaroos could have taken 30 seconds there,” Montagna said.
The Tigers kicked a long straight down the middle of Marvel Stadium to Noah Cumberland, who then found Jake Arts inside the 50. Arts 40 meters from the goal in 44 seconds… and played. And North’s Bailey Scott was there to apply immediate pressure, forcing a quick handball and a scrum to get behind.
That was enough for North Melbourne to hang on by four points.
Miller and Arts’ respective decisions at the end of the game will no doubt disappoint fans. But in the end, Richmond lost the game due to inaccuracy in kicking 11.22. They had 11 more tackles and 21 inside 50s than the Roos and still lost.
Richmond shot 2.11 per 40m on Saturday.
“Richmond wasted a lot of chances and left the door open for a lot of clubs in the top eight,” Montagna said.
Western Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson added on Fox Footy: “Richmond were all over it – they kicked 33 goals for the game. This is the only difference in the game.
“Other than that, they controlled the half, repeatedly making everything go their way. But in the end, they were not innocent.
The Tigers, who sacked coach David Noble in midweek, are stuck in a place in the top eight before clashing with Fremantle, Brisbane and Port Adelaide after a shock loss to a North Melbourne side. The result follows the Tigers letting go of a 40-point second-half lead against Gold Coast last week.
Coach Damien Hardwick took aim at his Tigers’ lack of interest and embarrassing mistakes, saying “Richmond is killing Richmond” after a string of costly defeats.
But Hardwick was less concerned about Artes’ loss of consciousness and instead about all the things that kept the Tigers from losing the game at that point.
“You never know until you’re in that situation,” Hardwick said of Arts.
“Unfortunately, he’s decided that if he gets the time again, he’s going to go back, but the fact is he’s decided, so we’re going to move on.
“There were many reasons (we lost). The last defensive goal was poor … you can’t let a guy (Zurhar) come across the pack and just go through.
“It was funny, and probably summed us up really. It’s Richmond that killed Richmond these days.”
Hardwick highlighted the Tigers’ “exciting” and “diabolical” pressure rating of 1.6 in the first half, which was below the AFL average of 1.8.
However, much to the dismay of the treble Premier League manager, despite creating more than enough chances, they were defeated; Including 21 more inside 50s and 11 more field goals.
“Our system held itself up – 60-odd inside 50s, 30-odd shots. We just didn’t execute,” he said.
“It’s not like there were hard shots on goal. We kicked 1.9 out of 30. We are paid to score goals. We didn’t. This is the truth.
“A great win in the North. I thought their intensity and ability to play fast was good, but if you look at that pattern overall, we should win.
– with NCA Newswire