A more experienced North Melbourne side has beaten the Demons by 34 points at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. Lead by Hamish McIntosh and Leigh Harding the Roos took control in the last quarter to win 15.11 (101) to 10.7 (67).
Despite the loss, the Demons were much improved from last years opening round where they were domolished by Hawthorn to the tune of 104 points, but still showed signs of inexperience with a number of turns overs proving costly. Kyle Cheney, on debut, was a shining light picking up 22 touches and he was one of four Demons to debutants with Neville Jetta, Jamie Bennell and Jake Spencer all playing their first senior game.
The Roos started well through Lindsay Thomas who found plenty of the ball in the first quarter and he kicked the first of the match when Matt Campbell spotted him just 2 minutes in. Campbell then goaled himself before the Demons kicked the next three through Bate, Davey and Moloney to take the lead. When Brent Harvey banged one through late in the quarter the scores were level at quarter time.
Melbourne managed to stay with the Roos through the middle part of the match, but a turn over midway through the 3rd term seemed to be the turning point in the match. Colin Garland was in space in middle of the ground when his kick was smothered by Leigh Harding and the turnover led to a Kangaroos goal through Adam Simpson. The Roos relished the 14 point lead at the final change and then kicked away, booting the first four goals of the final term to set up a comfortable victory.
Hamish McIntosh, who was almost trade bait during the off season, was one of the best players for the Roos finding plenty of the ball as well as bagging three goals. Leigh Harding seem to loose most of the game and picked up 29 possesions, while Brent Moloney lead the disposals for the Demons with 30 touches.
Melbourne 3.3 6.5 9.6 10.7 (67)
North Melbourne 3.3 7.6 11.8 15.11 (101)
Melbourne: Petterd 2, Green 2, Bate, Davey, Moloney, Jetta, Morton, Johnson,
North Melbourne: McIntosh 3, Thomas 2, Petrie 2, Campbell 2, Harvey, McMahon, Harding, Simpson, Hale, Firrito
Melbourne: Green, Cheney, Bartram, Moloney, Petterd, Warnock
North Melbourne: Harding, McIntosh, Rawlings, Petrie, Simpson, McMahon
North Melbourne: Nil
Umpires: Grun, McInerney, Mollison
Official crowd: 28,707 at the MCG