Classic Game Review: North Melbourne Part 2

John Platten

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For the second week in a row, we have a double up in the classic game review series, covering a classic between North Melbourne for the second time in 2023!

Earlier in the season, we looked at the Jonathan Hay tackle during the 2001 season, saving us the game (go check it out if you haven’t already).

This time, I have decided to delve deeper and further into the history books, finding a classic from season 1993!

It was Friday night football at a wet and windy MCG, with the Hawks facing the all conquering and ladder leading North Melbourne. 

It was a top of the table clash, with the Hawks sitting second on the ladder and finding some form, winning three of their last four. 

The first quarter was tight, with both teams struggling to get themselves acclimated to the conditions, with just five goals overall between the teams.

Champion Hawks spearhead Jason Dunstall was given the Pagan Paddock treatment against the man who created it, managing to kick two of the three Hawk goals in the first term.

Unsung hero Glenn Nugent had arguably his best game in Brown and Gold, dominating the first quarter with his run off half back. 

The second quarter was when the momentum swung strongly in favour of North, with a big name forward throwing the counterpunch up the other end. 

Coming off his first best and fairest in 1992 and being appointed captain at 22 years old, Wayne Carey was about to announce himself as one of the most dominant forces in the league.

Chris Langford was no stranger to big name forwards and daunting tasks, but even the legendary Hawks defender was struggling to keep Carey in check.

The six point quarter time lead for the Hawks was quickly erased, with North kicking five goals to one to go into the main change with a strong 20 point lead.

Hawthorn at this time were going through a strange transitional period, with stars from the mighty eighties retiring and leaving, whilst still maintaining some. 

Champions like Michael Tuck, Dermott Brereton, Robert DiPierdomenico and Chris Mew were no longer but Gary Ayres, Jason Dunstall, John Platten and Langford remained.

The hopes of a continuous Hawthorn dynasty were on the shoulders of youngsters Shane Crawford, Scott Crow and Tim Allen. 

Needing to bounce back, the Hawks defence was stout in the third quarter, holding North to just one goal, Andy Collins one of the stars on the night.

With Dunstall being smothered, Darrin Pritchard, Tony Hall and current president Andy Gowers stood up and kicked important goals. 

Going into the last quarter, the game was beautifully poised with only two points separating the teams.

The first punch was thrown by North Melbourne and more specifically, Wayne Carey again who showed why he had been appointed captain.

He was enormous, taking contested marks in the wet and kicking two fourth quarter goals, his final stats reading 21 disposals, six marks and five goals.

It was fair to say the Hawks needed a spark and after being kept quiet thanks to a hard tag, John Platten provided it. 

A Shane Crawford goal bought the margin back to four points, before Platten found himself in space on the outer wing and found Dunstall on the chest.

Something unbelievable happened after this and I still can’t believe it after watching the highlights multiple times in preparation for this article.

Dunstall missed.

Yeah, I know!

Luckily, the Platten to Dunstall connection linked up again 30 seconds later and with just 50 seconds left, Dunstall was never going to miss twice and had the last score of the game to put the Hawks up by three points.

The scenes on the final siren were something special, with this young Hawks team with some sprinkled in veterans, claiming the biggest scalp in the AFL at the time!

Final scores read

North Melbourne 11.14.80

Hawthorn 12.11.83

Dunstall was a giant figure down forward kicking six goals, Nugent continued his form to finish with 30 disposals and Ben Allan had 26 disposals and a goal.

Unfortunately this group would not go on to achieve the ultimate success, but this was an unbelievable win against a team that would go on to dominate the decade.

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