Good Friday use to mean chocolates not footy, but that’s changed now with North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs clashing on the public holiday.
A come-from-behind win saw the Bulldogs run over the Roos 89 (12.17) – 86 (12.14) in what won’t be the most memorable match, but a much needed four points for the Bulldogs none the less.
This is the 14th game that North Melbourne has lost by less than a goal during Brad Scott’s coaching, only winning four with the same score line, flagging serious concerns for Scott and his men.
North Melbourne now begin their season polar opposite to last year’s straight nine wins with a zero and four start.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said his team was “outstanding in the end to win,” with his boys digging deep to clinch victory.
North Melbourne led by 29 points at the 6 minute-mark of the 3rd quarter, having kept Bulldogs completely goal less for almost two quarters.
Jake Stringer kicked the first major of the game and celebrated by making bunny ears. It was confirmed by his ex-partner Abby Gilmore that Stringer had promised a young female patient at the Royal Children’s hospital the previous day that he would celebrate in this fashion after his first goal. This tribute certainly showed that it wasn’t just about taking home the four points on Friday night.
For every goal that was kicked, McDonald’s donated $1000 to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Home team North Melbourne also donated $5 from every reserved and general ticket and $10 from every family ticket sold straight to the Appeal.
Scott reminded every one that even though it was “very important to the footy community that [the teams] put on a great show…but we are in a privileged position to do what we do.” Scott sat alongside Zane Tormey in his post-match press conference, a young Royal Children’s Hospital patient who ran out onto the ground with the Kangaroos.
A big question that hung over this game was whether it needed to be played on Good Friday. A strong crowd of 42,814 filled Etihad stadium to support their teams, which would lead the AFL to believe that there certainly is a definitive interest for this match to become a tradition.
North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs certainly deserve to have a crack at this day again in 2018.