Thunderstorms had been on the Giants’ minds in the days leading up to Friday’s first home game of the season. Last year’s round two game at Drummoyne was also halted and restarted due to rain and lightning and the elements conspired against them.
An hour before the 7.15pm scheduled start, Sydney’s relentless heatwave was cooled by a storm rolling through, and fans on social media expressed their dismay at being bested by the weather for the second year in a row.
Drummoyne’s picturesque hill was nearly empty, a far cry from the 5000-strong crowd that gathered before the rain last year.
Those hardy, poncho-clad fans who persevered were rewarded with exciting game play early on as the two strong sides battled through the rain. Alicia Eva kicked the first goal of the game for the home side, which was quickly matched by the Kangaroos’ Jasmine Garner.
The rain made it difficult for either side to win the ball cleanly, so both teams flooded the contest.
North Melbourne led 14-8 ten minutes into the second quarter when the power went off due to lightning strikes in the area. That was the cue for most in the small crowd giving up and heading for the exits.
After further delay the lights came back on, and both clubs agreed to resume the second quarter with four minutes left. After North Melbourne pulled ahead to lead in the third quarter, Giants’ Irish forward Yvonne Bonner pulled off a quick turnaround and closed the gap to put the home team just eight points behind going into the fourth.
But a devastating fourth quarter for the Giants compounded the frustration they already bore from the weather and delays of the night, as they exited the second round of the seven week competition with another loss.
The Giants had entered the game looking to improve their ball use and forward structures after the previous week’s game against Brisbane, where they only made it inside 50 on 23 occasions. They failed to deliver, however, only kicking two goals.
The Kangaroos, on the other hand, were the team to beat after their resounding win over Carlton in their first ever game in the competition and remain so going into round three.
Natassia is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.