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Embracing the challenge

Luke McDonald says North will need to be at its very best to defeat Sydney on Sunday.

Both teams had big wins on the weekend, with Sydney claiming its first victory of the season against Brisbane.

While North’s emphatic first quarter drew plenty of plaudits, McDonald said the Roos wouldn’t take the Swans for granted.

“The Swannies are a quality side, we’ve seen that over the last 10 years or more, they just keep backing up,” he told the media on Monday.

“I suppose they were a bit like us early in the year, and they lost a few close ones.

“They’ve got some superstars and we’re really looking forward to playing them this week.”

Lance Franklin led the Swans from the front, booting eight goals for his side.

Despite the ominous form of the key-forward, McDonald was confident his teammates could contain Franklin.

“(Franklin) is a superstar of the competition but we’ve got some good defenders, whether it’s (Robbie) Tarrant or (Scott) Thompson they are both in really good form, but Buddy is a superstar and you love playing against those sorts of players.”

The number 11 said the mood at Arden Street was buoyant, but despite beating the ladder-leaders, the playing group knew there was plenty of hard work ahead.

“There is a lot more energy and everyone is up and about,” McDonald added.

“But we’re certainly not getting carried away with ourselves.”

Sunday’s clash will coincide with Mother’s Day and McDonald encouraged all families to celebrate the day with an afternoon at Etihad Stadium.

“It’s mother’s day and I’m a big mummy’s boy, I only just moved out of home,” he joked.

“Hopefully all the mothers can come out and we can put on a show for them.”