An in-form Geelong side will look to continue North Melbourne’s season of misery when it hosts David Noble’s sides at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cats (10-4, 125.6%), who are one of the form teams in the competition winning their past five consecutive games, welcome back Gary Rohan and Patrick Dangerfield from injury, but will be without Tom Stewart (suspension) and Joel Selwood (managed)
The Kangaroos (1-13, 52.2%) have lost their past 12 straight games – in which they’ve conceded 100-plus points in all but one game – by an average margin of 59 points. Lose to Geelong and it’ll take their losing streak to 13 — the same number the club experienced in 1925/26.
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Geelong was forced to make a late change, with Rising Star chance Sam De Koning withdrawn due to a cork. Quinton Narkle came into the 22, while Shaun Higgins was named the medical sub,
North made no late changes to its side, with Phoenix Spicer named the sub.
Dangerfield and the Cats; genuinely couldn’t have asked for a better start, with the returning superstar exploding out of the opening center bounce and launching a goal from outside 50 to kick a goal.
Dangerfield’s 13-second goal was the seventh-fastest goal in an AFL match since 2002, per Oliver Gigacz.
“Straight into the team, straight onto the Sherrin and straight towards goal,” Fox Footy’s Dwayne Russell said.
Leigh Montagna: “That is him at his absolute best. This is whole thing with his calf issues. They need him exploding because that’s when he’s at his best. He tried to play with it earlier in the season when he couldn’t explode but when he can do that and break away from contest and kick the ball like that, that’s when he’s at his best.”
The Cats kept up their momentum minutes later when Mark Blicavs drifted forward to mark and goal, before Brad Close made it three unanswered majors.
Meanwhile, the Roos were dealt a devastating double injury blow, with a disconsolate Aaron Hall subbed out of the game after appearing to suffer a serious soft tissue injury. Then minutes later, Kayne Turner was in a world of hurt after copping an inadvertent shoulder to the face courtesy of Blicavs while also twisting his ankle. He was very groggy as he was being assisted from the ground by the trainers.
North fans finally had a reason to smile late in the term, improving their ball movement and kicking their first goal through Paul Curtis.
This match gets underway at 7.25pm AEST from GMHBA Stadium.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (Channel 503) from 7.15pm AEST.
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