North Melbourne coach David Noble says Ben McKay could back up his forward role for the Kangaroos' trip to Geelong on Saturday night.

Having spent the majority of his career as a key defender, McKay swung forward on Sunday, snaffled four marks inside 50 and booted his first AFL goal.

As a top five player in the competition for contested marks, the 24-year-old's presence in the Roos' backline was sorely missed.

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'It's the challenge our group needs to embrace': Noble ahead of Geelong

Senior coach David Noble chats to media at Arden Street ahead of Saturday night's trip down the highway.

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However, Noble was sufficiently encouraged by his chemistry with established forwards Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar to suggest the experiment may continue.

"In our review, we (found) we didn't take enough opportunities with shaping the ball and getting it into our forward line," Noble told reporters on Wednesday.

"When it did go in there, we liked Ben as that target.

"He was comfortable down there, we think the movement with him and Nick worked really well, and it allowed Cam to do some of the things he did."

Without two opponents to wrangle, Larkey hit double figures for disposals and won four shots on goal.

Free to roam, 'Bull' booted two and could have had a couple more.

"It's not only the one person, it’s the impact it has for the rest of the group," Noble went on.

Partners in crime? Ben McKay and Nick Larkey grapple at training

"There'll be an interesting discussion at match committee. Whether we go with it again this week, we'll wait and see what happens through training."

Geelong's twin towers in Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron loom large over the Roos' key position plans, however.

When last the teams met in Round 6, Cameron booted seven and Hawkins four to help Chris Scott's men to a 60-point win.

The former Giants spearhead could demand a range of opponents over the night, so rounded is the scoring threat he presents.


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"He's a difficult opponent when he gets up the ground," Noble mused.

"His ability to run and connect is a difficult scenario… you almost need two different types of defenders to play on him at certain times.

"One that can go with him from an athletic perspective, and one that can defend him with some speed and some aerial power.

"Not many teams have got that unique person that can go with him all the way. We'll have to make sure we've got some clear plans."


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