Robert Hansen jnr in action during the Round 5 VFL clash with GWS. Picture: Maddie Green

North Melbourne has suffered its second consecutive VFL defeat, falling to the Greater Western Sydney Giants by 27 points at Blacktown International Sportspark on Friday afternoon.

The game was in the balance 90 seconds into the final quarter after Tyler Sellers converted a set shot to draw the Roos to within three points, but the Giants' class prevailed and they booted the game's last four goals to claim a 13.16 (94) to 9.13 (67) victory.


"Albeit the result not going our way, we'd rather lose by four goals then lose by two so we took the game on (in the fourth quarter) and gave ourselves a chance by being a bit bolder but overall it was a positive day for us," VFL coach Tom Lynch told NMFC Media.

"I was pleased with the attitude on the back of last week, and proud that the group was able to play a well-rounded and connected game, it just wasn't enough to get the four points but I'm excited to see what the next few weeks hold for us."

The visitors were switched on early and goaled first after two minutes when Brayden George sent a deep ball inside 50 where Jaidyn Stephenson was able to expertly mark one-handed before converting from the top of square.

There was minimal room to breathe around the contest as the first term rolled on with stoppages stacking up, and after some wayward efforts on goal from GWS, it was Curtis Taylor who struck on the run to provide North Melbourne its second major of the quarter.

Spending time in midfield and down forward, Taylor notched 25 disposals and 14 marks in addition to his goal.

The Kangas looked dangerous counterattacking throughout the game's early stages as Jackson Archer (15 disposals, eight marks), Toby Pink (17, eight), Ben Davis (15, five), and Jarrod Lienert (26, 14) set a strong foundation behind the ball, and took a 10-point lead into the first change.

After drawing a free kick for contact below the knees, veteran Liam Shiels (23 disposals, 11 tackles) wobbled one through to extend his side's lead before Archer showed his aerial prowess with a well-taken intercept grab.

"He (Archer) was outstanding," Lynch said.

"He's had an interrupted summer and he's such a competitor that he would've been chomping at the bit to get continuity in his body which has now given him consistency in his play and we're pleased for him.

"He's been doing it defensively over the last month, but today he was able to turn defensive action into offensive chains and really stand up well behind the ball.

"Same goes for the rest of the defenders, I thought they played really well today."

GIANTS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

The Giants hit back through Conor Stone and Harry Rowston before snatching the lead right before the half-time siren for the first time, courtesy of a coast-to-coast play that ended with Joel Rush slotting one from close range.

Exciting finishes from Sellers and Finnbar Maley saw the Roos - who were also boosted by the athletic work of Robert Hansen jnr - jump back in front at the start of the second half.

Sellers was a key target for North Melbourne in his return to the VFL side, claiming seven grabs to go along with three goals.

Not long later, GWS started to get its transition game gunning and managed to cut the visitors up twice in quick succession, allowing Lachlan Keeffe to kick back-to-back goals.

Despite Sellers' early fourth quarter conversion, GWS' Max Gruzewski was another beneficiary of his side's slick work through the middle and twice found pockets of space to boot two goals of his own.

Maley continued to present well down the line as his side looked to move from defensive 50 to forward 50, but as time ticked away the Roos couldn’t contain the Giants.


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In his 50th game as a Kangaroo, captain Jack Watkins collected 26 touches and 11 clearances, while Miller Bergman was active off half-back, finding the ball 24 times. Louis Butler made a strong return to the side as well, tallying 23 possessions and five grabs.

"Jack is such an important player for us, his character is if the highest quality and he has an amazing influence on both our AFL and VFL-listed players," Lynch said.

"I feel super fortunate to be able to coach him and for him to be skipper of our club, I couldn't speak more highly of him."

Hamish Free left the field in the first quarter and didn't return to play after suffering a concussion, while a dislocated shoulder saw Brayden George's match end prematurely.

The defender was ruled out during the early minutes of the third quarter but wasn't overly limited in movement after his shoulder was put back in place.

"Brayden will get scans over the weekend or Monday to show the extent of the damage, but he seemed in good spirits so hopefully it's on the minor end," Lynch said.

"Hammer got concussed in the first centre bounce of the day so that made things tough for us. It was a great opportunity for Taylor Goad to ruck and he had some really good support through Finnbar who adjusted his game and played second ruck, so I was pleased with his performance as well."

North Melbourne is back in action next Sunday when it heads to Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday, May 5 to face Sandringham.

GWS GIANTS                2.4    5.9    9.13    13.16 (94)
NORTH MELBOURNE    4.2    5.6    8.10    9.13 (67)

GWS Giants:
Keeffe 4, Stone 3, Gruzewski 3, Rush, Rowston, Harms
North Melbourne:
Sellers 3, Maley 2, Stephenson 2, Taylor, Shiels

North Melbourne: Archer, Watkins, Shiels, Butler, Maley, Sellers

North Melbourne: George (shoulder), Free (concussion)


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