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The North Melbourne Kangaroos are two games clear on the top of the ladder after a 67-point win over the Carlton Blues on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.
North Melbourne 17.11.113
The North Melbourne Kangaroos are looking to make it nine straight wins on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, but standing in their way are the surprising in-form Carlton Blues. Join The Roar from 7:25pm (AEST) for live scores and rolling commentary.
First and foremost, well done Carlton. The players, the coaching staff, the fans – you have all been mighty the past month, and for a team that performed so poorly in 2015 to win four games in a row and be within a lick of the top eight is an effort worth commending. However, the next obstacle is a tough one in the shape of the ladder-leading Kangaroos.
Things went seriously off-script last week for North in their second half collapse against Essendon, who after kicking only four points in the first half managed to outscore the Roos in the second half. With an experienced list and a fiery coach, you get the feeling they’ll be out for redemption, and could take Carlton to the cleaners.
Good news for Blues fans though – Carlton seem to be a bit of bogey side for the Shinboners and have pinched a win on three out of the last five occasions they’ve met.
What isn’t so good is the look of the navy blue casualty ward following last week’s brilliant win. The horrible ongoing relationship between Matthew Kruezer and the sidelines is back in full swing, with the former No.1 pick injuring his knee, while Levi Casboult, who has been the Blues’ go-to man up forward this year, is also out with a leg injury. Michael Jamison, who is ill, will also miss.
Jacob Weitering makes a very welcome return while Daniel Gorringe and Simon White get an opportunity to prove their worth.
As for North Melbourne, Mason Wood will not play after his nasty concussion last week, Ben Jacobs’ foot injury has ruled him out and Majak Daw has been omitted. Farren Ray will play his first game for the Kangaroos, joining Michael Firrito and Trent Dumont as handy inclusions.
Todd Goldstein is one player to keep an eye on tonight. It seems like the type of contest the genius ruckman will relish, he could be set for a monster night on the stat sheet.
Contested possession is the biggest area the Blues midfield will need to improve on up against hardened bodies like Jack Ziebell, Ben Cunnington and Andrew Swallow – if they can hold their own and make use of their skillful players such as Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs on the outside, they might be able to craft a famous win to make it five in a row.
The era of Brendon Bolton is in full swing, and a win today would be astronomical for this club. The competition frontrunners against the surprise package – should be a cracker.
Kangaroos will be too strong when it matters and go 9-0.
North Melbourne by 38.
Will North Melbourne fiercely defend top spot or will Carlton take another shock step closer to the top 8? Join The Roar from 7:25pm (AEST) for all the action, live scores and a live blog – and join in the discussion below.