Roos Ready To Rise Up Ladder

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Michael Klein
Gun ruckmen Todd Goldstein and Matthew Leuenberger will go head-to-head. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Michael Klein
Last 5 Meetings

Round 4, 2013 – North Melbourne 125 d Brisbane Lions 62 at Etihad Stadium
Round 9, 2012 – North Melbourne 112 d Brisbane Lions 96 at Etihad Stadium
Round 18, 2011 – North Melbourne 122 d Brisbane Lions 77 at Etihad Stadium
Round 9, 2011 – Brisbane Lions 73 d North Melbourne 59 at The Gabba
Round 11, 2010 – North Melbourne 90 d Brisbane Lions 89 at Etihad Stadium


Form

  Rd 11    Rd 12    Rd 13    Rd 14    Rd 15 
Brisbane

B

L

W

L

W

North Melbourne

L

B

L

W

W


North Melbourne absolutely destroyed Richmond last week, but we have been waiting almost four months for that ruthless side of the Kangaroos to appear. That win will count for almost nothing (apart from four points) if they can’t back it up against Brisbane this week. The Roos have shown they’re flat-track bullies this season – their past three wins have come by an average of 72 points , and all three have come at Etihad Stadium. Now they have to prove they can win away from the dome.

Brisbane has won two of its last three after knocking off Gold Coast for the fifth successive time in the Q Clash. With the likes of Daniel Rich and Matthew Leuenberger back from injury and bookends Jonathan Brown and Daniel Merrett returning from suspension in recent weeks, the Lions all of a sudden look a far better team. It is probably too far to be looking ahead, but Michael Voss’s team has almost the softest run home of any side in the competition.

The Lions are light on for inside players with Brent Moloney (calf) joining Simon Black in the casualty ward. James Polkinghorne comes in for Moloney, while the Kangaroos are unchanged.


Key Men

(Lions) Dayne Zorko – For a lot of last week’s match, Joel Wilkinson had the better of Dayne Zorko . But the former Gold Coaster is deadly in front of goal, and he didn’t need much space to boot his three majors, and they weren’t gimmes. The Lions aren’t a high scoring team, especially when compared to the likes of North Melbourne, so they’ll need the likes of Zorko to be on fire in the forward 50.

(Kangaroos) Shaun Atley – The Lions have more than a couple of weaknesses, and one of them is a lack of pace across the ground. One man who has this in spades is ‘Roos defender Shaun Atley. Brisbane will need to ensure they keep the ball inside their forward 50 when possible, because the speed of Atley and Co. will ensure a quick transfer up the other end, and the last thing the Lions will want is their defenders in one-on-one contests with North’s talls.


Prediction

North Melbourne embarrassed Brisbane when these teams met in round four, and the margin of 63 points probably should have been greater. The Kangaroos are a far better side at Etihad Stadium, though. They’ve beaten the Lions there the past four times, but on the flip side, Brisbane has won the past four clashes between the teams at the ‘Gabba. Thanks to a cracking percentage, North is still in finals contention, and this is a game Brad Scott’s team simply can’t afford to lose in the run in to September. North Melbourne by 13 points .

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