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Oppo analysis: R21

Jackson Paine  August 11, 2017 11:44 AM

Last Time We Met: North Melbourne R21 2016 Last year we faced the Roos twice, but it was the first quarter in the Round 21 match that set up the Hawks for a strong win despite a slow fight back from the Kangaroos.

The changes

In: J.Anderson, K.Turner, J.Simpkin, C.Zurhaar
N.Larkey (Omitted) 

What to expect

North Melbourne have lost seven of their last eight games to be currently sitting 16th on the ladder.

Having played in four of the past five finals series, the Kangaroos are set to sit out September having produced only five wins for the year.

It was always going to be a season of transition for Arden Street, after parting ways with experienced quartet Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo.

The Roos rank 18th in kicks and 18th in marks this year, falling a long way behind the league average in these areas.

Brad Scott’s side isn’t renowned for the possession side of the game, they don’t over possess the ball, or chip it backwards or sideways.

What they do do is kick the ball long and forward, kicking the ball forward more than any other side at 89.9 per cent of the time.

The Hawks will look to ensure that this unique ball movement isn’t a factor in Tasmania.

Read: Match preview Round 21 

Players to watch

The Kangaroos’ stand-out player this year has been key forward Ben Brown. 

The emerging 24-year old trails the Coleman Medal leader by five straight kicks, with Brown averaging 2.7 goals per game in a break out year.

One of the best set shots in this business, Brown has continually troubled opposition defenders with his long reach this season, ranking inside the top ten in the league for total contested marks. 

Shaun Higgins is another Roo having a strong season.

The 29-year old is averaging a career-high disposals mark, picking up 22.3 per game. 

Higgins has spent more time in the midfield this season but has remained dangerous around goals, kicking nearly a goal a game this season.


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