Apr 9, 2008

1999 Grand Final Kangaroos v Carlton

1999 Grand Final Kangaroos v Carlton Panoramic Print with authentic Wayne Carey hand signature.

1999 Grand Final Kangaroos v Carlton

Saturday 25 September 1999
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

North Melbourne Kangaroos won by 35 points.

Quarter by Quarter scores:

Kangaroos 3.3 (21) 9.4 (58) 15.6 (96) 19.10 (124)
Carlton 1.3 (9) 5.8 (38) 7.11 (53) 12.17 (89)

Goalkickers:

Kangaroos Grant 4, Bell 4, McKernan 3, Carey 2, Abraham 2, Motlop 2, Sholl, Welsh
Carlton Lappin 2, Whitnall 2, Camporeale 2, Ratten, Brown, Hamill, Rice, Allan, Beaumont

Best:

Kangaroos Grant (Norm Smith medal), Pickett, Martyn, Archer, Bell, Capuano, Simpson
Carlton McKay, Camporeale, Lappin, Rice, Ratten, Sexton

Umpires:
Coates, Allen, McLaren

Crowd:
94,228

Summary:
In a game of football that was sometimes inspired, at others lacklustre, the Kangaroos won their fourth AFL premiership and in the process stamped themselves as perhaps the team of the 90′s. The result was somewhat summed up in the final quarter when North captain Wayne Carey took a sensational one-handed mark to kick the final goal of the match for the Kangaroos. Brilliant, but still under pressure, and that’s they way it turned out for Dennis Pagan’s side.

In a stirring beginning, Carlton were on the board first through Brett Ratten and looked to have the edge in midfield. However, the Roos settled with Carey getting their first, followed by a wonderful snap from the boundary by Norm Smith medalist Grant. The Silvagni/Carey duel was proving interesting right from the start, with honors even such that neither player had a major influence on the game for the most part. Grant’s performance was important, as he also set up North’s third goal with a spot-on pass to Craig Sholl. Byron Pickett was excellent in defence and, coupled with impressive performances from Martyn and Archer, were the difference on the day. Pickett had the most of the ball in the first quarter, and many times, along with his North mates, repelled Carlton whenever they threatened, only allowing the one goal to Ratten, which was the result of a kick-in error by David King.

Carlton were not to be denied, however, and the Blues came out firing in the second quarter with two quick goals to take the lead. Their running players through midfield in Ratten and Murphy were cutting up the Roos, and the veteran McKay provided excellent run out of defence. Winged Roo Anthony Stevens justified his position in the North side despite a debilitating ankle injury by getting his share of the ball, but he struggled to keep up with Carlton’s Camporeale, who was also getting plenty of it. Decisively, North bigman Corey McKernan swung the game back in favor of his team, with two great goals – one from almost 70 metres in general play, followed by a check side goal from the pocket after a mark. The Blues could perhaps have gone into half time much closer than 20 points behind, had they been able to take some marks at centre half forward, where Whitnall was unsighted and well held by Archer for most of the day. Not only that, their conversion rate was lower than their opponents, and the in-form Matthew Lappin may rue the goal he missed from close range approaching half time.

At half time, the Roos must have been mindful of being in a similar position in 1998 against Adelaide, and losing the match, and you can bet Carlton were aware of this too. They showed they weren’t done with yet by coming out hard in the Premiership quarter and closing to within 13 points. Once again the midfield was proving a problem for the Roos, with Stevens now injuring his elbow and AC joint. Two blows for Carlton came soon after, with a devastating knee injury to the classy Justin Murphy taking him out of the game, along with Ratten having to leave the field via the blood rule, which stopped him from exerting his influence on the game, which was considerable. The Roos were able to regroup from this point, with David King beginning to cut Carlton up with his slashing, bouncing runs through the midfield from defence. Winston Abraham and fellow aboriginal Shannon Motlop were contributors in this third quarter, and both ended with two goals for the game.

Two hundred gamer John Longmire made an appearance in the ruck at this stage, much to the delight of Kangaroos fans, to replace Capuano, who had injured his right knee. Carlton, despite a manly effort from McKay and Lappin, were being overrun and were finding it very difficult to penetrate North’s defence. An empathic passage of play, in which Byron Pickett laid a tackle on Lappin while he was headed for goal, followed by Mickey Martyn crashing through a pack of Blues and delivering the ball out of the danger zone, probably summed up the day pretty well.

Perhaps the decisive move of the game, however, was the shifting of Wayne Carey onto the ball midway through the third term. The King was being blanketed by fullback of the century Silvagni, and was having little influence until Dennis Pagan put him in the centre to plug the gap left by the injured Anthony Stevens. Carey got some vital touches and his intimidating presence must have gone a long way to indicating to the Blues that this was not to be their day. Pagan said it was a spur of the moment thing, but it worked, and three or four goals was the result. North outscored Carlton by 6.2 to 2.3 in what WAS the Premiership quarter. They led by 44 points at three quarter time and were home.

It was left to pride in the last quarter, and Carlton did not lie down, although they were wasteful – as they had been all day – missing several shots at goal early. They battled on however, and Lance Whitnall gave heart to Blues fans by finally getting on the scoreboard to the tune of two goals. Peter Bell however, was enjoying himself for the Roos and was getting better as the game wore on, kicking a couple himself to take his total to four for the day, equaling his mate Shannon Grant, who was continuing to get plenty of it, along with Adam Simpson, who was excellent for the Roos. Youngsters Shannon Motlop and Scott Welsh were also contributing well in their first premiership performances, and in what was a less than inspiring final term, the Roos ran out winners by 35 points, to take their fourth Premiership cup back to Arden St.

Afterwards, Grant was the popular pick for the Norm Smith medal as the best player on the ground, but this award could easily have gone to Pickett, Bell, Archer or Martyn, such was the dominance of the Kangaroos defence. The biggest cheer during the medal presentation ceremony was reserved for John Longmire, who missed the 1996 premiership through injury and last year through poor form. North had erased much of the hurt of their 1998 second half fadeout, and can lay claim to the team of the 90′s after their sixth final four finish in a row, and their second premiership.