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The North Melbourne Kangaroos have stunned the Hawthorn Hawks with a win by 28 points in front of 27,981 at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
North Melbourne 14.14 (98)
Hawthorn 11.4 (70)
Round 5 continues with the North Melbourne Kangaroos hosting the Hawthorn Hawks at the Etihad Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 3:20pm AEST on Sunday.
Both teams come into the game on the back of a win last week and will look to continue their form. The Hawks are sitting pretty in fourth position on the ladder with a 3-1 record, while the Roos are just inside the 8 with a 2-2 record and a healthy percentage (133 per cent, and the third highest in the competition) thanks to a big win over Carlton in Hobart last week.
All eyes will be on Tom Mitchell as his hot start to the season was curtailed for the first time last week.
The Roos may use Ben Jacobs as a run-with role player, but as seen in previous matches, there’s only so much a coach can do to curb his influence on the ground.
Both sides have made changes with the Roos opting to rest their talented young midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke, Cameron Zurhaar comes into the side for just his first match of the season and fifth match in the early stages of his career.
With small forwards Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo both injured for an extended period of time, it allows Ryan Burton and James Cousins to come into the side and reshuffle positions for Hawthorn.
Hawk-cum-Roo Billy Hartung will have a point to prove as he plays his first match against his former side for premiership points since being delisted last year.
The Hawks lead most statistical categories across scoring, disposals, marks, tackles, goal assists, inside 50s, clearances, centre clearances, one-percenters, marks inside 50, and more, but perhaps the most telling stat at the moment is a 72.2 per cent disposal efficiency compared to North Melbourne’s 64.7 per cent.
It will be up to captain Jack Ziebell along with veterans Shaun Higgins and Jarrad Waite to make an impact this weekend if the Roos are to have any chance.
The Hawks have won the past four matchups between the sides leaving a four-year gap between wins for the Roos over their opponent. It doesn’t seem likely that will change this weekend.
Hawks by 20 points. They’ve looked the better team so far and although both Tassie-aligned sides have had positive starts to the year, there’s still another gear the Hawks can show.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 3:20pm AEDT Sunday.