1. The value of a good spoil
Jack Ziebell sparked North Melbourne after half-time with a brilliant spoil that forced tough Swans midfielder Dan Hannebery from the ground for treatment and ended in an inspirational goal from Shaun Higgins. The kick to Hannebery lingered in the air for a second longer than ideal and it was enough for Ziebell to pounce, punching the ball from his opponent's hands as his knee cannoned into Hannebery's back. The ball bounced towards North Melbourne's forward 50 and Higgins pounced to kick a team-lifting goal. Hannebery was tough enough to return and kick the first goal of the final quarter. A first-half spoil from Swans defender Nick Smith was not as spectacular but it led to a one-step goal from Franklin as he stood at the 50m arc.
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2. Not enough aerial pressure on the Swans' defenders
By half-time six Swans defenders had taken 23 marks between them. By the end of the game that same six had 53 between them. The amount of pressure the Kangaroos' forwards were exerting in the air was poor and their inability to cut off the switch kick disappointing. Dane Rampe led the charge for the Swans with 14 marks and had support from Ted Richards (nine marks) Jarrad McVeigh and Heath Grundy (eight each) and Jeremy Laidler and Nick Smith (seven marks). Despite having Drew Petrie, Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite in the forward 50, the Kangaroos had taken just four marks inside 50 by half-time and not even halved contests and ended with just nine marks inside 50 and one goal from that trio.
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3. North Melbourne doesn't lack leaders. It lacks followers.
Jack Ziebell tried to lift the team he will one day lead with a dynamic beginning to the third quarter. He received good support from Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Shaun Higgins and the ever-reliable veteran Brent Harvey. But that gang of four could not hope to overpower the ultra-professional Swans who know how to shut down a game when the opposition has momentum and how to punish a turnover. Ziebell leads using raw courage, running back into packs and hitting the opposition hard but there is an over-reliance on him. In the end poor conversion also hurt but a realistic assessment of the Kangaroos suggests they had too many passengers.
4. Had Ted Richards played on?
After taking a strong mark at the top of the goalsquare, Sydney Swans defender Ted Richards moved to handball backwards to Lewis Jetta who was standing between him and the goals. Richards did not appear to have moved off his line before handballing so when his opponent Jarrad Waite leaned across him to tackle and knocked the ball out of his hands, a 50m penalty looked likely. However the umpire called play-on just as Kangaroos forward Lindsay Thomas soccered the ball off the ground through for a goal. He signalled all-clear much to Richards' surprise and disgust.
5. Cheers for Adam Goodes drown out boos
Any booing of Swans champion Adam Goodes was drowned out with cheers when he took a mark and lined up for goal at the 20-minute mark of the second quarter. The Swans cheer squad made a point of standing and applauding the dual Brownlow medallist as he took the shot for goal. He duly delivered. His second goal was a Goodes special, intercepting a kick from North Melbourne defender Sam Wright before playing on to open up the goal and snap truly. Swans supporters began a Goodes chant to indicate their support of the 35-year-old and repeated the dose when Goodes strolled in for his third late in the third quarter and took his career goals tally to 450.
North fans gave Adam Goodes grief and he returned it in spades. Picture: AFL Media