After registering their second win for the season last week - a four-point thriller over Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium - the Kangaroos face the ladder leaders at the SCG on Saturday.

The 13-3 Swans await the reinvigorated Roos on their home turf.

Round 18, Sydney v North Melbourne
Where: SCG, Sydney, NSW
When: Saturday, July 13 at 1.45pm AEST
How to watch: Foxtel, Kayo Sports


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The opposition

After winning 13 of their first 14 games, the Swans are on a two-game losing streak heading into Saturday's clash.

In Round 16 they fell to the Dockers at home by a point, before going down to the Saints by two points a week later, despite having chances to snatch the lead at the death in both matches.

They'll be without Isaac Heeney should the star's suspension be upheld, but are set to welcome back Callum Mills, who will feature for the first time this year.

What the coaches have said

North Melbourne senior coach Alastair Clarkson on Thursday: "They're a benchmark side. They've been on top of the ladder for the whole of the year really, and despite dropping their last couple of games, they've been tight affairs. The emergence of their young blokes – they're great role models for our young guys."


Sydney senior coach John Longmire on Tuesday: "Our pressure around the footy hasn’t been up to standard and we need to get back to applying an enormous amount of heat around the ball. (Against St Kilda) we had a lot more inside 50s, more scoring shots … we still had an opportunity to win the game at the very end but we need to make sure we put heat around the ball."

Running hot

Harry Sheezel

North Melbourne's No.3 was clinical in the win over Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, extracting a game-high 10 clearances from 35 disposals while also booting a crucial goal late in the third quarter.

The performance saw him poll a maximum 10 coaches' votes for the first time this season.


"I love the versatility (of my role), being able to go into the midfield and a bit up forward. I'm still doing a little bit off half-back," Sheezel told NMFC Media after the Gold Coast win.

"I'm watching vision with Colby (McKercher), helping him develop and teaching him what I learned in my first year and a half … I'm really proud of him and I'm loving my footy at the moment."

Milestone watch

Considering how well the big man has fared this season, it's hard to believe Tristan Xerri is only about to play his 50th AFL game.

Todd Goldstein's departure following the 2023 season created the opportunity for 'X' to establish himself as North Melbourne's No.1 ruck, and he's done so with flying colours.

Xerri has played a true 'Shinboner' brand of football throughout 16 games this year. He ranks fifth in the League for tackles per game (7.4) and is inside the top 20 for contested possessions (11.9).


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