North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein cemented his position as one of the AFL’s premier ruckmen by breaking the all-time hit-outs record against West Coast on Monday night.
With his 8503rd hit-out, Goldstein surpassed Fremantle legend Aaron Sandilands, appropriately enough, at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
The pair are the only two to have reached career hit-outs tallies of 7000, or more.
“There it is! He got the tap down to Bailey Scott,” said Fox Footy’s Anthony Hudson.
Hudson had joked in the broadcast that the crowd would rush onto the field if Goldstein broke the record, however, the Perth locals managed to contain their excitement.
“Everyone who is over 6 foot 6 in the crowd were ready,” said Hudson with a laugh.
Goldstein, 33, has played his entire career to date with North Melbourne, managing 267 senior appearances since his debut in 2008.
1058 of his career hit-outs came in 2015, the year he was selected in the All-Australian team.
Goldstein had eight hit-outs in the opening term on Monday night, opposed to Nic Naitanui’s seven, but the Eagles won clearances 14 to five for the quarter and led by five points at the first break.
With 11 clearances and 20 touches, Naitanui took the ruck honours for the night, but Goldstein took a massive mark and kicked a goal in the late stages of the game to help confirm the result — a 10-point win to the visitors.
With this hit-out, Todd Goldstein surpasses Aaron Sandilands for the most hit-outs in V/AFL history 🥇#AFLEaglesNorthpic.twitter.com/cdn0GpYxB5
North Melbourne has shoved a massive dagger into West Coast’s premiership hopes with an upset 10-point win at Optus Stadium on Monday night.
The Kangaroos fought back from 11 points down early in the final term and kicked three of the last four goals of the game to record just their third win for the season.
In terms of the season, this win was against an Eagles side trying to regain some form and respect and pinch back seventh spot on the table and put a gap between themselves and the teams below them keen on seeing September action.
But after three losses on the trot, including big defeats at the hands of the Western Bulldogs (55 points) and Sydney (92 points in Geelong last week), a finals appearance is now no certainty for West Coast.
They still sit in eighth spot, but with a poor percentage and no momentum.
Considering the results already seen in Round 17 though, is the 10.10 (70) to 8.12 (60) win by the Roos really that much of a surprise?
Pressure starting to show
With two big losses leading into this clash and a spot in the top eight on the line, the cracks are more than starting to show for the Eagles.
Both teams showed aggression, but West Coast’s was easily more ill-disciplined.
There were also signs of players starting to have serious words with teammates as the Kangaroos started to get on top in the third quarter; senior players.
There was a bit of niggle in the game, especially in the first half. Most of it was started by the Eagles players as they failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Liam Ryan then turned the ball away with a free kick 40m away from where his teammate, Zac Langdon was having a shot at goal to draw first blood in the second half.
When Tim Kelly gave away a 50m penalty, just before three-quarter time for running into Todd Goldstein’s protective area, the Eagles lost all momentum and the lead.
The MRO has at least one incident to look at, with Tarryn Thomas and Jamie Cripps both reported for wrestling in the second term, in a bout that went longer than some recent UFC fights; that also dragged in a few other combatants.
The Kangaroos have notched their third win of the year. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The Eagles let the Kangaroos off the hook in the first quarter.
All the important stats fell the home side’s way, but with 2.5 on the board, they failed to make the most of their chances.
And the frustrations started to show.
Realising they were still in the game, David Noble and his men tweaked a few things in the second term and it started to pay dividends straight away.
They followed the template set by the Swans a week earlier and focussed on winning clearances and contested possessions and the tide of the game started to turn.
North won in both categories in the second term and managed to keep the margin a manageable eight points at the main break – and that was only because of a 40m set shot goal from Oscar Allen on the half-time siren.
Jaidyn Stephenson, Ben Cunnington and Jy Simpkin were responsible for the spark.
The Kangaroos carried the momentum into the third quarter, keeping the Eagles goalless for the term.
While one team was playing for a spot in the top eight, it was the Kangaroos that took the game on and were prepared to take risks running the ball through the middle of the ground.
When Nick Larky kicked his second goal for the term and third for the game, North led by a game-high 11 points.
EAGLES 2.5 3.10 3.12 8.12 60
KANGAROOS 2.0 3.2 6.5 10.10 70
ELBOROUGH’S BEST Eagles: Kelly, Rotham, Naitanui, Sheed, Gaff, Shuey. Kangaroos: Stephenson, Simpkin, Cunnington, Larky, Ziebell, Davies-Uniacke.
GOALS Eagles: Kennedy 2, Allen 2, Ryan 2; Kelly, Langdon. Kangaroos: Larky 3; Zurhaar 2, Goldstein 2; Thomas, Cunnington, Stephenson.
INJURIES Eagles: Nil. Kangaroos: Nil.
UMPIRES Margetts, Dalgleish, Johanson.
VENUE Optus Stadium
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
BRAD ELBOROUGH’S VOTES
3 Stephenson (Kangaroos)
2 Simpkin (Kangaroos
1 Cunnington (Kangaroos)
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