North Melbourne hosts the GWS Giants in the AFL’s stand-alone Sunday clash to continue the Round 13 fixture.
The Kangaroos (1-11, 52.3%) will be desperate to end their 10-game losing streak at home as the club looks to salvage something out of its disappointing season.
David Noble made another selection statement this week in dumping Tarryn Thomas, while Ben McKay also goes out with injury as Aaron Hall and Jaidyn Stephenson return.
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The Giants (3-8, 86.7%) got off to a good start under caretaker coach Mark McVeigh in Round 10, defeating West Coast before falling to the Brisbane a fortnight ago prior to their bye.
They welcome back Lachie Whitfield from a two-game absence in a huge boost.
There were no late changes for either side, with Charlie Lazzaro (North Melbourne) and Jake Stein (GWS) named the medical subs.
Toby Greene was first to hit the scoreboard within the opening minutes after Josh Kelly found him inside 50, while James Peatling followed it up to make it two in a row foe the visitors.
The Giants added another two goals following exciting play through the middle of the ground to draw praise from Fox Footy’s pundits.
“The left foot assassins are just carving them up through the middle at this stage,— Josh Kelly and young Jacob Wehr. This ball movement is absolutely superb,” Brownlow medalist Gerard Healy said on Fox Footy.
“It’s back,” Healy said of the ‘Orange Tsunami’ — a term coined about GWS from years past due to its exciting ball move moment.
“They are laser-like with their kicking right now.”
One of their goals came after Kangaroos defender Josh Walker got tackled for holding the ball deep in defensive 50 despite getting his arms free, with Healy noting he’d be “filthy” over the play.
GWS raced out to a 30-point lead at the first break, 5.3 (33) to 0.3 (3) as its exciting corridor played overawed the Roos.
The Giants continued their strong play after Stephen Coniglio booted the opening goal of the period, while Jake Riccardi stacked on his team’s seventh major of the day, with Fox Footy commentator noting the Roos were “under siege.”
The only downside for the visitors was Harry Perryman getting subbed out of the game with a rib injury after a brutal collision in the second quarter, with Fox Footy’s Eddie Betts revealing he was being sent to hospital to determine the extent of the damage.
The Roos booted their first goal of the game 10 minutes into the second quarter through Curtis Taylor.
But Riccardi responded at the other end with his game-high third goal after guiding a set shot through from a tight angle to continue to pile the pain on North.
Saints legend Nick Dal Santo praised the freedom GWS were playing with, highlighting how Lachie Whitfield was pulling off kicks on his non-preferred side.
“It’s fun football… that’s the style of play that puts the fear of god into the opposition, it’s hard to defend,” he said.
The Giants took a 47-point lead into half-time, 10.4 (64) to 2.5 (17).
Mark McVeigh’s side came out with the same intensity in the second half, booting the first goal of the quarter to extend its lead to 54 points.
A swinging arm from Jason Horne-Fancis to Josh Kelly could come under scrutiny from the MRO after appearing to make contact with the star Giant’s face.
“When Kelly grabs his chin I think he’s (Horne-Francis) got a meeting with the MRO of some description,” Healy said of the incident.
The Roos found some life halfway through the third term, kicking back-to-back goals as the home fans as Marvel Stadium erupted.
This match got underground at 3:20pm AEST from Marvel Stadium.
Watch it live on Fox Footy on channel 504 from 3pm AEST.
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