Miller Bergman goes to kick on his left foot against the Northern Bullants. Picture: Maddie Green

North Melbourne has opened its season with a strong win over the Northern Bullants, winning 11.15 (81) to 6.6 (42) at Arden Street Oval.

Forward Tyler Sellers had a day out, booting six goals while young defender Miller Bergman also impressed rolling out of defence, finishing with 29 disposals and eight inside 50s.


Bergman got off to a flying start, hitting up Sellers who kicked the first of his six goals and our second of the game after skipper Jack Watkins opened the scoring.

Watkins worked hard in the guts all day alongside Will Phillips, with the duo combining for 57 disposals and 10 clearances in total.

KANGAROOS v BULLANTS Full match coverage and stats

Off-season recruit Deakyn Smith (23 disposals, five tackles) applied plenty of pressure throughout the match, and got a reward in the first quarter after earning a free kick for holding the ball and converting.

Former Bullant Finnbar Maley (two goals, seven marks) kicked North Melbourne’s fourth of the opening stanza, giving the Roos a handy 24-point-lead heading into the first break.

It was Sellers who sparked the Roos at the start of the second quarter, snapping one on his left and then kicking another from a tight angle in the pocket.

"He competed strongly ahead of the ball for us all day," VFL senior coach Tom Lynch told NMFC Media post-game.

"We found ourselves shoulders out coming through the middle a couple of times, where we’ll keep looking to improve our midfield-forward connection, and see if we can finish our work.

“That’s something he (Sellers) certainly did today, when he got his opportunities he finished his work which was really pleasing."


After a physical opening to the clash, Charlie Comben worked his way into the action, defending and intercepting strongly. The key defender was on the receiving end of a lot of attention from the Bullants, who targeted the No.30 during breaks in play.

He responded sternly, though, to end with 16 touches and seven grabs.

"I thought he dealt with it really well, (it was) really mature from him," Lynch said.

"I loved the spirit from our players to stick up for a mate."

The Roos controlled the game's flow in the first half and led the inside-50 count 34 to 17, but struggled to turn those chances into majors, finishing the half with 6.8 to their name.

Veteran Liam Shiels was crucial in getting North Melbourne into the driver's seat. He collected 18 possessions across the first two quarters before going onto have 33 and six clearances.


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Hugh Greenwood got in on the action following the main change, slotting the Roos first for the third quarter quarter. The hard-nosed utility was at his combative best, laying 14 tackles for game.

Young defenders Brayden George (21 disposals) and Riley Hardeman (14 disposals, six marks) were influential in creating drive and scores for the Roos off half-back.

On the injury front, Cooper Harvey left the field in the first quarter after a suspected ankle injury and didn't return to the field, while Jackson Archer was on limited game time and pulled up well.

"It's actually really positive news for 'Coops', hopefully it's just a roll of his ankle," Lynch said.

"Because we’ve got five on the bench we were able to take the conservative approach there."

NORTH MELBOURNE     4.6    6.8    10.12    11.15  (81)     
NORTHERN BULLANTS    1.0    4.2    5.3    6.6  (42)     

North Melbourne: Sellers 6, Maley 2, Watkins, Smith, Greenwood
Northern Bullants:
Jorgensen 2, Fairlie 2, Roumeliotis, Crosbie

North Melbourne: Bergman, Sellers, George, Hardeman, Shiels, Smith


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