North Melbourne v Adelaide
Saturday, August 1 – 2.35pm AEST
An encouraging fightback wasn’t enough for North Melbourne to end its losing streak against Carlton, but will no doubt give Rhyce Shaw’s team some extra confidence heading into this week.
Adelaide’s performance against Essendon was equally as encouraging, falling short by just three points.
Which team will be able to get back on the winners’ list come Saturday?
With significant changes for both sides, it promises to be a closely contested game at Metricon Stadium.
Last time we met
Round 4, 2019
It’s almost a year and half since the teams last faced off in Round 4, 2019, with both sides undergoing significant change.
Rhyce Shaw has taken up the helm at North, who will be without Ben Brown, Jack Ziebell, Ben Cunnington and Tarryn Thomas, just to name a few.
At the Crows, Matthew Nicks is now in the main chair, while the likes of Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Cam Ellis-Yeolman have departed the club.
One constant presence, Shaun Higgins, who polled the three Brownlow votes in the Roos’ 12-point win at Marvel Stadium last time around.
Higgins had 30 disposals and booted a goal, while on the other side of the ledger, Rory Laird was at his rebounding best with 31 touches.
Todd Goldstein v Reilly O’Brien
After a brilliant couple of months, Goldstein was a little down on his usual output against the Blues.
The North big man will be desperate to bounce back, but the much-improved O’Brien will no doubt have other ideas.
O’Brien had 19 disposals and 26 hit-outs in the loss to the Bombers, and continues to improve his craft after just 28 career games.
The key men
Cameron Zurhaar and Taylor Walker
Lining up for only his 36th match, Zurhaar is key for North Melbourne.
His toughness around the contest sets the tone for his teammates, and he has the ability to turn a game off his own boot.
Walker is into his 12th season as an AFL player, but can still have a huge impact.
He demands a quality opponent, has a booming kick, and is the Crows’ most dangerous attacking threat.
Five goals in the last two weeks from the Adelaide number 13 means he’s starting to hit his straps.
Josh Walker has pulled down 15 contested marks this season, which sits him sixth in the league for the stat.
The former Lion has been a revelation in his first season at North, combining with Robbie Tarrant as a reliable pairing in the back half.
With Ben Brown sidelined, he could also be called on to provide a presence in attack, as he did successfully a fortnight ago against Essendon.
B: J.Walker, R.Tarrant, L.McDonald
HB: S.Atley, B.McKay, K.Hayden
C: A.Hall, J.Simpkin, T.Dumont
HF: C.Zurhaar, N.Larkey, B.Scott
F: J.Mahony, M.Daw, C.Taylor
FOLL: T.Goldstein, S.Higgins, J.Anderson
INT: L.Davies-Uniacke, A.Bonar, J.Pittard, J.Macmillan
EMG: S.Durdin, W.Walker, T.Campbell, L.Hosie
IN: Daw, Bonar
OUT: Brown, Polec (both omitted)
B: R.Laird, D.Talia, L.Brown
HB: W.Hamill, K.Hartigan, A.McPherson
C: P.Seedsman, M.Crouch, B.Keays
HF: T.Lynch, E.Himmelberg, S.McAdam
F: T.Stengle, T.Walker, L.Murphy
FOLL: R.O’Brien, B.Smith, C.Jones
INT: R.Knight, B.Gibbs, J.Kelly, R.Atkins
EMG: D.Mackay, D.Fogarty, F.McAsey, K.Strachan
IN: Knight, Gibbs, Kelly, AtkinsOUT: Doedee (injured), B.Crouch (injured), Mackay (managed), McAsey (managed)