Brent Harvey has been North's main ball-winner of late. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/George Salpigtidis
Last Five Matches
Round 9, 2013 – Adelaide 125 d North Melbourne 124 at Etihad Stadium
Round 13, 2012 - North Melbourne 121 d Adelaide 89 at Etihad Stadium
Round 11, 2011 - North Melbourne 115 d Adelaide 68 at Etihad Stadium
Round 8, 2010 - North Melbourne 84 d Adelaide 75 at Etihad Stadium
Round 12, 2009 – Adelaide 68 d North Melbourne 24 at AAMI Stadium
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These are two teams which have certainly had their fair share of tight matches this season. Adelaide has been involved in seven games decided by less than two goals, and in the past five rounds they have had three thrillers with just a kick separating the teams. The Crows should have won the Showdown with Port Adelaide on Sunday, but a freakish late goal from Angus Monfries and the game-sealer from star-in-the-making Chad Wingard helped Power get up by four points . It was Adelaide’s fourth loss in five matches.
For once North Melbourne managed to hold on in a close one last Friday night. Geelong threatened on a few occasions, but the Kangaroos didn’t wilt, defeating the Cats by 10 points . Considering the ‘Roos have lost five games by less than a goal this season, Brad Scott’s relief was palpable. Like they did last season, North is storming home with four wins in their last six starts, but they have a horrible run to finish the year.
Gun midfielder Rory Sloane is back in for the Crows after recovering from an eye injury while Jarryd Lyons has been left out of the squad. Promising utility Brad McKenzie has been omitted from the Kangaroos’ line-up.
(Crows) Patrick Dangerfield – He sat out a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury, but regardless of whether his return was premature or not, Patrick Dangerfield certainly added significantly to Adelaide’s line-up on Sunday. The speedster only had 17 possessions, but he was damaging with the ball and finished with four vital goals. He played a starring role in the Crows’ stunning comeback win against North earlier this season with 30 touches, six marks and as many tackles.
(Kangaroos) Brent Harvey – At 35 years of age, Brent Harvey is showing no signs, whatsoever, of slowing down. ‘Boomer’ has led the Kangaroos’ possession count the past three weeks, and he was simply superb against the Cats. He finished with 37 touches, four marks and five tackles on the back of a 35-disposal game against Melbourne the week before. Much like Dangerfield, his run and carry is one of his team’s most dangerous weapons. Missing the first six games of this season may have just prolonged his career by another year.
North Melbourne hasn’t tackled the Crows in Adelaide since 2009, and it has been a long time since the Kangaroos heard their team song at AAMI Stadium after taking on South Australia’s original AFL team; since 2003, in fact. Up until their disastrous collapse in round nine at Etihad Stadium, North had won its previous three contests with Adelaide. In a goal-fest under the roof, the Crows came back from 30 points down in the final term to win by one thanks to a soccer-effort from Jared Petrenko in the dying stages. The Crows have played some low-scoring games at home this year, but a day game on a Sunday probably suits the visitors more. After such high intensity matches in round 19, it’s hard to know which team will suffer more. The ‘Roos are 1-5 interstate this season, and that one win came over Port Adelaide in a North Melbourne home match at Blundstone Arena in Hobart. Adelaide by 9 points
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