North Melbourne v Brisbane
Saturday, August 15 – 2.35pm AEST
Two teams with very contrasting form face off on Saturday afternoon, with the Brisbane Lions having won four of their last five, and eight of their last ten, while North has taken the points in just one of its last nine games.
The Lions will go in as heavy favourites, but the Roos will look for plenty of improvement, with a raft of changes.
While the Metricon Stadium fixture is considered a North “home” game, Brisbane’s experience in the Queensland conditions will no doubt prove beneficial.
The Roos will desperate to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Melbourne.
Last time we met
Round 18, 2019
North led for much of the night in what was a nail-biter at the Gabba.
The Roos were up by 19 at the main break, but ultimately fell short by 12 points, ending their finals hopes.
Shaun Higgins was a strong performer for the visitors, with 27 disposals, while Todd Goldstein had 16 touches and 40 hit-outs. Ben Brown booted three goals.
Jarryd Lyons was the dominant player on the ground, with 30 possessions and two goals, while Allen Christensen kicked three for the Lions.
Charlie Cameron v Marley Williams?
Back in the side this week, Marley Williams has been the go-to man for the Charlie Cameron matchup in recent years.
The exciting Brisbane forward hyper-extended his knee against the Bulldogs, but has bounced back to take his spot in the lineup.
He’s booted 20 goals in 11 game this year, and is a match-winner the Roos need to keep quiet.
The key men
Eric Hipwood and Nick Larkey
The two 22-year-olds are the future of their respective teams’ forward-lines, and both were at their best last weekend.
Hipwood kicked five goals against the Bulldogs, while Larkey booted four in the loss to Melbourne.
North has plenty of options for Hipwood, with Robbie Tarrant, Josh Walker and Ben McKay all in the mix for the role, while Harris Andrews looks the likely matchup for Larkey.
Lachie Neale has had the most disposals of any player in the league this year – 321.
While Luke McDonald has been terrific in defence in recent weeks, could another tagging role be on the cards for the in-form Roo.
The coaches said
“I’m looking forward to the next six weeks … that’s what I’m focused on right now, and the opportunity for all our players to play their best footy possible, so North Melbourne can get back on track.” – Rhyce Shaw
“North always put their best foot forward when they play the Brisbane Lions. It wasn’t until last year that we were able to get on top of them. They play a really strong, contested brand and we’ve got every expectation that they’re going to bounce back from last week.” – Chris Fagan