Even in a draw, there are often winners and losers. Whether it be a player kicking a game-tying goal, a missed tackle in the middle of the ground, a timely defensive spoil in the last play of the game. Even in a draw there is both elation and disappointment.
GWS will be coming out of Sunday's draw with North Melbourne the happier of the two sides, almost snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
They’re a rare occurrence in football, with this clash ending in tied scores for just the 18th time in North history, a club that has played over 2000 games.
While two premiership points is better than zero, David Noble says his players have the right to be disappointed with their final quarter performance.
“They should be gutted … the fact we were unable to manage the game enough in the last few minutes to get the win … it’s definitely bitter-sweet, no doubt,” Noble said.
“We had a number of minor errors, but in a tight game where things need to be a bit more predictable and safer.
“If you look at the players as they were coming off the ground they looked disappointed, so they probably feel like it was more a loss.”
Despite the heartbreak of the final score, North’s game was full of major positives on both a team and individual level, not least the successful return of Robbie Tarrant.
With Tarrant slotting well back into the defensive line, and some of North’s young stars firing on all cylinders, Noble says the back half of the 2021 season is looking overwhelmingly positive.
“He (Tarrant) has had a long time out so we don’t anticipate he’s going to be back to his best straight off the bat … I think he handled himself reasonably well,” Noble said.
“It was great to have him back … for him to do the extra work and get back in there is a credit to himself.
“We wanted to make a little statement ourselves in the way we went about it … it’s disappointing not to win, I’m not very happy about it, but there are lots of areas we displayed today that are moving us forward.”
One of the leading storylines heading into the clash was the ahead of schedule return of Toby Greene, with the GWS forward shaking off a shoulder injury to line up against North.
In years gone by the task of stopping the former All-Australian might have fallen to the likes of Michael Firrito or Glenn Archer, but it was Kayne Turner who was challenged with limiting the influence of the dangerous Giant.
The forward-turned-utility attacked and executed his assignment with the vigour and tenacity that North fans have come to expect from him, with Greene almost unable to touch the ball without Turner impacting his disposal.
Noble says Turner’s ability to function in different roles across the side all comes down to the huge belief the coaching group has in the number 28.
“We’ve got great confidence in ‘Kayne-o’. He’s a tough player and he’s got great qualities,” Noble said.
“(Greene) is a tough, tough competitor, but as is ‘Kayne-o’, and that’s why we love him so much.
“He’ll just give us everything he’s got until he hasn’t got any more left to give. I thought he held up really well and competed strongly throughout the game … he did a great job.”