AFL Finals Match Previews: EF1, Adelaide v N Melbourne

And, assuming that this comes out on time and it doesn’t stay as a draft1, then yes, I’ve completed 4 from 4.

And this is the last game, featuring Adelaide, who many people considered premiership contenders before their shocking game against West Coast, and North Melbourne, who some people considered premiership contenders before they literally collapsed and almost missed the eight.

Here things are, and as much as Reddit has smashed the traffic records for me, I’m not sure I’ll bother submitting it full on.

The Basics

  • Who: Adelaide Crows v North Melbourne Kangaroos
  • Where: Adelaide Oval
  • When: 7.50pm tonight
  • This year: NM 16.11 (107) d ADEL 14.13 (97), R1, Etihad; ADEL 12.28 (100) d NM 10.7 (67), R14, Adelaide
  • Winner gets: A semi final against whoever loses Sydney v GWS, which is going on right now and looks too close to call
  • Loser gets: Eliminated
  • Watch it on: Seven
  • Listen to it on: Triple M, 3AW, SEN, ABC



  • FB: Lever, Hartigan2, Brown
  • HB: Smith, Talia, Laird
  • C: Atkins, Sloane, McKay
  • HF: Lynch, Walker, Douglas
  • FF: Betts, Jenkins, Cameron
  • FOL: Jacobs, Thompson, M Crouch
  • INT: B Crouch, Cheney, Lyons, McGovern
  • In: Smith, Sloane
  • Out: Henderson, Ellis-Yolmen (Omitted)

N Melbourne

  • FB: McDonald, Firrito, Atley
  • HB: Macmillan, Tarrant, Dal Santo
  • C: Gibson, Cunnington, Higgins
  • HF: Ziebell, Brown, Hansen
  • FF: Harvey, Petrie, Thomas
  • FOL: Goldstein, Wells, Swallow
  • INT: Anderson, Dumont, Mullett, Daw
  • No change3

More Relevant Statistics

  • Last 10 Against Each Other: Adelaide 5, N Melbourne 5
  • Last 10 At Venue: Adelaide 8-2, N Melbourne 0-3
  • Recent Form: Adelaide WWWWL, N Melbourne WLLLL
  • Record v Top 8: Adelaide 4-6, N Melbourne 2-9

Finals Against Each Other

  • 1998 Grand Final: Adelaide 15.15.105 (A McLeod 30 disposals, D Jarman 5 goals) d N Melbourne 8.22.70 (P Bell 26 disposals, 8 individual goalscorers)

Match Preview

Well, talk about ‘limping across the line’. North Melbourne started the season with nine consecutive wins, lost one, got another win, and then fell into freefall, losing nine of their next ten. Adelaide, on the other hand, were in cruise control and just percentage off the top of the ladder, before an upset loss to West Coast knocked them out of the double chance.

This match has added significance for North Melbourne, as it could be the last game for Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito at the club. North decided not to offer them contracts for 2017, and this could be their last hurrah. Onto the game.

Adelaide’s forward line is, if you look at the numbers, the best in the competition. Eddie Betts has scored 66 goals and finished third in the Coleman Medal, and he’s not even a big forward. His other compatriates are all big scorers, and it leaves you to wonder how anyone has stopped them. The average score for this year is 88, and Adelaide’s been below that just three times.

North Melbourne’s defense is, if not spectacular, at least solid. Nick Dal Santo, Luke McDonald, and Shaun Atley are all handy players, but you can’t see them laying a finger on Eddie Betts. Adelaide should comfortably win the battle at that end of the ground.

At North Melbourne’s attacking side. Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, and Lindsay Thomas are a pretty good attacking lineup, and Ben Brown and Jack Ziebell are skilled players on the half-forward line. Adelaide’s defense is by no means as good as their stellar attack, but they have plenty of useful players in Daniel Talia, Rory Laird, and Jake Lever. I think North’s attack is better than Adelaide’s defense, however.

The midfield is going to be an interesting lineup. Adelaide’s two Rorys (Atkins and Sloane) will provide some quick ball movement, while Scott Thompson and Matt Crouch get the ball in the engine room. It’s scary how good this would be if they stll had Dangerfield.

Todd Goldstein is an absolute superstar of a ruckman, and should beat Sam Jacobs, but he’s not alone. Daniel Wells, Andrew Swallow and Shaun Higgins will all help out significantly in the midfield, but even with Ben Cunnington and Sam Gibson, I reckon Adelaide has the slight advantage for the midfield contest, one that will help them win this match.

What The Numbers Say

Since North has only played 3 games at Adelaide Oval, I gave them the figures for Football Park as well. After this, Adelaide has a 67.8% chance of winning.

What I Say

I think that Adelaide’s class throughout the year will show through. It’ll be a shame North Melbourne won’t get to keep Brent Harvey around for longer, though. Adelaide by 34.

1Although, if this does stay a draft, you won’t be reading it.
250 games for Kyle. Good on ‘im.
3Looks like the pre-finals bye succeeded in achieving this.


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