It was a total domination from North Melbourne over Geelong in their first outing of the 2021 season, with the Kangaroos coming out 62-point winners at GMHBA Stadium. With exciting footy from the Kangaroos on display, here’s what we’ve taken from this Sunday’s outing.
1. North Melbourne are a force to be reckoned with.
The Kangaroos are genuine contenders with a dominant ruck and midfield, a well-organized defence and plenty of forward options. Mix this with a disciplined team who are committed to run and support at every contest, guard space when the opposition has the ball and you’ve got yourself an early contender for the 2021 flag. Ellie Gavalas and Emma King were prolific up forward, kicking three goals each and sending the Cats’ young defence into a panic and proving that their side can apply the scoreboard pressure from the get-go – something other teams will fear this season.
2. Geelong lacked structure, but not determination.
It was hard to watch for any keen Cats fans as their side couldn’t keep up with their mature opponents from the first bounce. With the Cats boasting a young and fresh-faced side, there’s no worries that they’ll find their feet as the season rolls on. Losing the guidance of Mel Hickey has meant a major step up for the new and younger leadership side, but their challenges still are ahead. Keep your eyes on the fierce, tackle machine Liv Purcell (eight touches and four tackles) and defender Millie Brown, who have come into their own in the past year, looking to build on what they’ve already achieved. Aasta O’Connor was the side’s only goals scorer.
3. Coaching mastermind comes into action.
North were extremely well coached in their first game of the year, proving that what can be mastered in the coaching box and in training can be emulated on field when the gears start turning. They forced the Cats into playing a slow chip and hold possession game, while simultaneously flooding GMHBA to open u their forward line run-on. The smooth, open movement allowed the North forward line to use multiple options, boasting six goal kickers who shared in their 11 goals. Jasmine Garner again started her season strongly collecting 18 touches and booting two of those goals. But it all came down to the ruck-work that set up the perfect structure for North Melbourne to pull off this convincing win and, if their structure stays in-tact, will see them well into the finals in 2021.