Petrie rues wasted chances for Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petrie rues wasted chances for Roos

By Adam Cooper 23/08/2009 09:41:43 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne match-winner Drew Petrie can only ponder what the Kangaroos' best performance of the AFL season would have meant had it come months ago.

The Kangaroos defied their 13th-placed status to inflict only the second defeat this season on St Kilda, a five-point gem at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Roos ambushed the ladder leaders with the first five goals, held firm in an arm wrestle during the second and third quarters and then rallied late to win 10.4 (64) to 8.11 (59).

Petrie was with four goals, including the last two of the game - one that kept his side alive and the other that put them ahead - before he helped out in defence.

But he could not help but think what could have been had North not waited until the penultimate round before producing this sort of effort.

"It makes you think, absolutely, what could have been throughout the whole year," he said.

"It's a bit late now playing that well, but it gives us a sign of confidence going into next year.

"(We made) six changes and it was a young crew that came in, and they're the blokes who will take us to the our next finals series - next year hopefully - and it was good that they could experience a game against the best in the comp.

"Nothing's lost at this time of the year, you've still got plenty to gain."

While most of North's players have 2010 to look forward to, their two coaches this season - Dean Laidley, who quit after round 12, and caretaker Darren Crocker - face more uncertain futures.

But Crocker was adamant Sunday's performance did not come too late for him personally, as he was last week beaten by Brad Scott in the battle to be appointed the club's full-time coach.

North captain Brent Harvey said last week the Kangaroos had not helped Crocker's cause with their recent performances.

"It's a great result because I know the amount of effort the boys are putting in right throughout the time that I took over," Crocker said.

Scott watched the game from the stands, sitting next to North chairman James Brayshaw.

Both would have been heartened by the efforts of youngsters Andrew Swallow, Scott McMahon, Levi Greenwood and Liam Anthony, and the leadership of Petrie.

Petrie rose high for a pack mark 25 minutes into the last quarter and his goal from a tight angle gave the Kangaroos the lead after they had clawed back when Justin Koschitzke's third goal had St Kilda seven points up.

"I was pretty nervous when I got up and it was late in the last quarter and I was just hoping it went through," Petrie said.

"I made good contact on the footy and it looked through all the way off the boot so I was happy with that."

North's win also honoured stalwarts Brady Rawlings, playing his 200th game, and Shannon Watt, playing his last.

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