North upset Hawks to climb into eight
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North Melbourne are back in the AFL’s top eight after posting an upset 27-point win over Hawthorn at the MCG today.
The Kangaroos led all day and, despite possessing much less of the ball, were the more desperate team and won 15.13 (103) to 10.16 (76).
The win snapped a three-game losing streak and elevated the Kangaroos back into the top half of the ladder, and inflicted only Hawthorn’s second defeat of the season.
Six of North’s first seven goals were directly attributable to laying good tackles on Hawthorn players or interceptions, and it was that sort of effort that earned them a 12-point lead at the main break.
An inspired 10-minute burst at the start of the third quarter then helped the Kangaroos extend their lead to 30 points, and that looked good enough.
But the Hawks worked hard to boot the next two goals of the quarter to cut the margin to 16 points at the final break, and threaten to do what they did in round three, when they overran the Kangas in the last term.
But Lindsay Thomas proved the saviour for North in the final quarter as he booted three goals to give him four for the game.
Thomas, onballers Daniel Harris, Brent Harvey and Daniel Wells and half-forward Shannon Grant (three goals) all played well for North, and the backline largely did a great job.
Michael Firrito did a superb job marshalling the backline, and Shannon Watt and Josh Gibson also did good jobs holding Hawk forwards Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin to a combined three goals for the day.
However, Roughead (2.5), Franklin (1.3) and Mark Williams (2.2) all had themselves partly to blame for below-par days, as they missed some easy shots between them.
Captain Sam Mitchell, Michael Osborne, Brent Guerra and young midfielder Jarryd Morton were Hawthorn’s better players, while Luke Hodge was their leading scorer with three goals.
North could lose their place in the eight tomorrow if Carlton beat Essendon.© AAP 2013