Match result

North Melbourne 15.11.101 defeat Coburg Lions 8.14.62

In action

Tom Jeffries, Josh Williams, Gordon Narrier, Mitch Hibberd, , Alex Morgan, Nick Larkey, Ben McKay, Sam Durdin, Dan Nielson, Will Walker, Braydon Preuss, Mason Wood, Paul Ahern, Tristan Xerri, Declan Mountford, Jordan McIvor-Clark (VFL-listed), Steve Stroobants (VFL-listed), Fraser Cameron (VFL-listed), Nash Holmes (VFL-listed), Jordan Harper (VFL-listed), Louis Cunningham (VFL-listed), Nick Rippon (VFL-listed), Michael Close (VFL-listed), Tyrone Leonardis (VFL-listed)

Story of the game

Torrential rain right up until the 2pm bounce Saturday left the Arden St oval extremely slippery as North Melbourne took on the Coburg Lions. 

The tough conditions had both teams struggling to cope in the initial stages of the game, with the first half riddled with errors from both teams.

Coburg started the brighter of the sides, and took a slim advantage into the first break, but this would be the last time that the Lions would lead.

From the outset of the second half, the Roos stepped up a gear, with Will Walker kicking a sensational goal early in the second to give North the lead.

The game remained in the balance at half-time, with North entering the main break with a nine-point advantage, as the sun began to finally show its face.

Looking dangerous throughout the first half, Nick Larkey went to another level in the third-quarter, as he kicked four of North’s six unanswered goals, as the Roos piled on the misery for the Lions. 

With the sun out and the skills sharpening, North kept up the intensity in what was an extremely open game, and went on to secure a 39-point win.

Best of the AFL

Nick Larkey
The focal point of the North Melbourne attack, Larkey attacked each contest with determination, and despite the slippery conditions, took a handful of strong marks. An outstanding performance was rewarded with a bag of seven goals. 

Ben McKay
Playing in tandem with Michael Close, McKay was exceptionally strong in his contests, and took a number of critical intercept marks and interceptions.

Although the score line looked comfortable, McKay’s performance was a major factor in preventing the Lions doing scoreboard damage. 

Will Walker
Quiet in the first quarter, with the slippery conditions not favouring midfielders, Walker exploded out of the blocks in the second quarter. With an effortless side-step, before launching from 50, he kicked arguably the goal of the game with his first touch in the second period. From this point on the midfielder was everywhere, with his clean use of the ball key to North’s movement. 

Best of the VFL

Michael Close
VFL co-captain Michael close pulled on the North jumper for the first time, and was impressive from the outset. Playing in a somewhat unfamiliar defensive role, the former Brisbane Lion worked seamlessly with Ben McKay, and his efforts and tenacity in the contest were outstanding. 

Talking points

Larkey continues kicking goals
Larkey followed up his impressive three-goal outing last weekend with another superb performance in front of goal, this time kicking seven majors. 

North fans will be hoping he can continue this rich vein of form, whether it be at AFL or VFL level.

Mountford’s return
After injuring the AC joint in his shoulder in pre-season, Declan Mountford made his return to field. The hard-running midfielder was only involved in the first half, but impressed, kicking an excellent goal in the second quarter.

Xerri threat
Tristan Xerri again showcased the threat he can offer going forward with another three-goal performance.

Xerri showed some impressive technique for his three goals, with the latter two fancy finishes one would expect from a small-forward, rather than a ruckman.