Roos Hope For A Change Of Luck

Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Drew Petrie is an integral part of North Melbourne's forward setup. Image courtesy of Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Last Five Meetings

Round 4, 2012 – Sydney Swans 113 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 77
Round 10, 2011 – Sydney Swans 72 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 71
Round 15, 2010 – Sydney Swans 85 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 55
Round 4, 2010 – Sydney Swans 100 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 60
Round 14, 2009 – Sydney Swans 100 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 85


Form

    Rd 1      Rd 2   
North Melbourne   L  L
Sydney   W  W


With a touch of luck and greater endurance, North Melbourne could well be 2-0 and have the scalps of big guns Collingwood and Geelong in their pocket. Instead, Brad Scott’s team is 0-2 and staring down the barrel of a meeting with reigning premier Sydney . An inability to run out four quarters is slowly crippling the Kangaroos. Last season they lost one of their two games in Hobart at Blundstone Arena, and that was when the Eagles stormed home to score a two-point win after North surrendered a 35-point lead at one stage.

Sydney had, arguably, the easiest start to the season of any team, although the Suns certainly made them work for three quarters in their 41-point win at a muddy SCG last weekend. They will lack a bit of run from the back, though, with Rhyce Shaw out due to an abdominal strain.

The Swans have won the past six against North, and for the most part the Kangas have struggled to kick a decent score against Sydney’s stingy defence. Drew Petrie kicked four goals last week and the ‘Roos will need him to be a present in what’s likely to be a tough match-up against Ted Richards.


Key Men

(Kangaroos) Lindsay Thomas – After kicking four goals in the opening round against Collingwood, Lindsay Thomas backed that up with five against the Cats. Not bad for a guy who two years ago had the yips and converted just 30 per cent of his shots on goal. The livewire is vital with a player like Drew Petrie in the forward line providing plenty of crumbing opportunities. He has averaged just one major per game in his last four starts against Sydney.

(Swans) Luke Parker – Sydney has a great history of producing tough inside midfielders. You can add the name Luke Parker to the list. He was a victim of being a regular substitute last year, but in atrocious conditions against the Suns he produced probably his best AFL game, yet. He racked up 25 touches and nine tackles, and also kicked two goals to boot. Teams can try to stop Josh Kennedy, Kieren Jack, Ryan O’Keefe, et al, but Parker gives John Longmire another high quality option in the middle.


Prediction

You get the impression the Swans haven’t really gotten out of second gear in their wins over GWS and the Gold Coast. As much as the clash with the Suns was played tough in the clinches, Sydney should be relatively fresh for this contest. North is battle-hardened, but you have to wonder how much those two tight encounters have taken out of a Roos side which has a history of not running out games. Swans by 17 points

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