Christian Petracca has come up with a vital goal for the Demons winning a free-kick and converting a set-shot from in front of goal.
The Demons lead, now can they build on this and take the Hawks out of this contest.
Dees lead 38-34 with 14 minutes to go in Q3.
It’s been a round of upsets and Aaron Hall has given North the perfect start against a much-higher rated Geelong with the former Gold Coast midfielder booting a goal in the opening minutes.
Roos lead 6-2 with 17 minutes left in Q1.
The Melbourne Cricket Club has submitted plans to the state government for a return to 100 per cent capacity, with the door not yet shut on the prospect of a full house at the MCG on Anzac Day.
Having started the season at 50 per cent capacity, Victorian AFL stadia have been at 75 per cent capacity since round two, comfortably enough to accommodate demand for the vast majority of matches.
However, two games on the calendar that routinely draw more than the current 75,000 ‘G capacity are the Anzac Day eve clash between Melbourne and Richmond, and the 26-year-old Collingwood-Essendon blockbuster.
The Victorian government has not publicly ruled out the ’G returning to 100 per cent capacity for round six, which would allow those two traditional fixtures to realise their crowd potential at the 100,000 seat colosseum.
The Roos and Cats start at 4.40pm AEST and we will be covering both that game and the Dees v Hawks.
Geelong have conceded 8.5 marks per game in their defensive 50 this season – ranked second. No team in the AFL has conceded more marks in the defensive 50 than North Melbourne, conceding 18 per game. Tom Stewart has recorded six intercept marks in the defensive 50 – ranked No.1 at the Cats.
These are the types of games Melbourne fans get nervous about and on the back of that first half you can understand why.
The Dees dominated contested possession and are well ahead in inside 50s yet trail by two points against a team they should be beating.
It’s back to the issues that have plagued Melbourne in recent years, particularly an inability to get bang for buck.
Their finishing has been sloppy but they’ve also looked haphazard going forward.
The absence of Bayley Fritsch looks to have thrown them off a bit.
Max Gawn has however smashed Ben McEvoy in the ruck.
The Hawks’ pressure inside forward 50 has been excellent and a big reason for their lead. It’s been Luke Breust and Ollie Hanrahan who have done the damage.
There’s a long way to go but it could be a nervous next hour for Melbourne supporters.
Hawthorn grimly held on that term as the Demons couldn’t find a direct avenue to goal and then couldn’t convert when their opportunities arose.
Christian Petracca took a mark just inside the forward 50m line and took his time lining it up in the final minute then completely snuffed his kick.
He has had 12 touches and been very good but that kick encapsulates the half for the Dees.
This should be a compelling second half.
Ed Langdon has again come up big for the Dees earning a free kick for having his arms chopped and then going back and kicking his second goal.
The Hawks fans don’t like it but Channel Seven commentator Leigh Matthews says that ‘it’s now ball or nothing – as soon as you get a bit of arm, bit of body [you are gone]’.
Hawks lead 33-29 with eight minutes left in Q2.
Tim O’Brien has worked himself into the middle of the pack and then pulled in an overhead mark before striding back and kicking an important goal.
The Hawks are well up for this match.
Hawks lead 33-22 with 15 minutes to play.
The Demons needed a lift and Jake Melksham has given them just that following a slick handball from Petracca.
The former Bombers midfielder is a dangerous player on his day, the Demons need to do all they can to feed him the ball in those dangerous places.
Hawks lead 27-23 with 16 minutes left in Q2.