The moment remains ingrained in North Melbourne folklore.

As the Roos rose to topple old rival Essendon in a 2014 elimination final, Drew Petrie kicked two electrifying match-winning goals that were overshadowed only by his celebration: a crowd-stirring nod to a character from a Will Ferrell movie released 11 years earlier.

Ten years on, NMFC Media caught up with Petrie to delve deeper into a magical piece of club history.


"I like to remind people that I was probably the worst player on the ground that night, people forget that pretty quickly," Petrie said.

"Sam Wright had a really good game across half-back, and Ben Brown kicked three or four goals ... to wrestle us back into contention."


Despite being labelled by pundits throughout the year as inconsistent, the 2014 Kangaroos had stormed into their knockout clash with the Bombers at the MCG on a four-game win streak.

Fierce rival Essendon was in the same basket. The Dons had gone through peaks and troughs but when the home-and-away season ended, Mark Thompson's side finished one spot behind the Roos in seventh position, setting up a cutthroat elimination final.

Essendon had cantered to a 39-point victory when the sides met in Round 1, and the result seemed likely to repeat when the Bombers held a 33-point advantage early in the third term.

Brown's accuracy, Levi Greenwood's doggedness, Daniel Wells' flair, and Ben Cunnington's industry helped drive the Kangaroos comeback.

Petrie, though, was struggling to have an impact, and it took words from a teammate to lift the key forward.

I had a bit of stage fright.

"I can remember going into that game having the wrong mindset, thinking, 'Geez we can't lose, it's been so long since we've been in September action and we haven't won a final for quite a while'.

"Paddy Ryder had kicked a goal on me … and then Ben Cunnington gave me a nice little spray to spark me."

Ben Cunnington was instrumental against the Bombers during the elimination final, finishing the clash with 30 disposals, seven clearances, and one goal. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Thankfully, club champion Cunnington's words did the job.

With the Roos trailing by a single point and five minutes on the clock in the final quarter, Jack Ziebell poked the ball inside forward 50 where a galvanised Petrie was waiting.

"(The ball) floated my way from a stoppage on the wing," he recalled.

"Ziebs cleared one forward and I thought Cale Hooker was a bit closer to me when I picked the ball up, but I sort of looked over my shoulder and I had a little bit of time to swing around and kick it through."

Cue one of footy's most iconic celebrations - a throwback to Will Ferrell's character in the 2003 comedy "Old School" that was, Petrie says, completely unprepared. 

(Frank the Tank) was just a motion. It wasn't a premeditated one that I'd practiced in the mirror all week, it was just one that came out.

As Roo fans roared and the Bombers reeled, the ball was returned to the centre. Barely seconds later it was returning, magnet-like to Petrie.

"I think the next goal was better because we got the next centre clearance," he said.

"I was trying to get out of Wellsy's way so he could kick a snap, but he handballed it to me, and then I kicked a checkside from 40-45 metres.

"I don't think I've ever had as much adrenaline run through my body compared to that moment when the footy went through on that second goal.

"Then I had Lindsay Thomas jumping all over me, which I absolutely loved. Best part about kicking a goal was Lindsay jumping all over you afterwards."

Lindsay Thomas leads the celebrating charge following Petrie's second goal. Picture: Justine Walker/AFL Media

After kicking his second, Petrie's arms began to rise, and 'Frank the Tank' seemed set for an immediate sequel, but Petrie had a different celebration in mind.

"I wasn't going to rip [Frank the Tank again]" he said. "There was a thing around the footy club where you sort of get the head wobble going if you’re pretty happy with yourself.

"I started to go with a bit of a head wobble, because rightly or wrongly, I was pretty amped in that moment, and we'd gone 10 points up.

"I only got to one side (on the head wobble) before Lindsay jumped on the other side and I had nowhere to go."

Petrie begins the head wobble after booting his second goal of the night. Picture: Justine Walker/AFL Media

Petrie would end his long career as one of the most decorated Kangaroos, tallying 316 games for the club - behind only League record-holder Brent Harvey - and topping the club's goalkicking five times.

Frank the Tank, alongside plenty of other moments during the club's back-to-back preliminary final runs in 2014-15, remain among his favourite memories.

"That short span of 30 seconds has been remembered, but the first 100 minutes of that game, I was pretty ordinary. (I'm) just grateful we got the win," he said.

It still sends a chill down my spine to this day that we won that game.

"Those 2014-15 blocks of my career were so memorable. We brought in some really good talent over those years with Nicky Dal (Santo), Shaun Higgins, Jarrad Waite. Robbie Nahas was a great contributor as well.

"What I enjoyed about the moment was some of the background shots and behind the goal shots you see of your teammates punching the air when we've kicked a goal. That's where my enjoyment came from - seeing the happiness in my teammates when those two goals sailed through."


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