Confidence is high for Kangaroos


Winning form is good form for North Melbourne, even if they face the might of minor premiers Sydney in Friday night’s preliminary final.


Key forward Drew Petrie, who kicked four goals in North’s six-point win in their knockout semi-final against Geelong last Friday night, says a sense of self-belief is growing for the Kangaroos.

After qualifying for the AFL’s top eight in sixth spot, the Kangaroos have beaten seventh-placed Essendon in their elimination final which was North’s first finals win since 2007.

They followed that with an upset victory over third-placed Geelong and now face a Sydney side who were beaten by the Kangaroos in their previous meeting in round four.

Coach Brad Scott has declared the Kangaroos aren’t finished yet and Petrie says the players are buoyed by their coach’s positive message ahead of their trip to ANZ Stadium.

“He certainly put it out there that we are capable of beating anybody now,” Petrie told Nine’s “The Sunday Footy Show”.

“In the last two weeks we’ve probably had to earn some respect a little bit because we hadn’t won finals in years.

“Now we’ve won six (games) on the trot which is the first time under Brad’s coaching we’ve been able to do that.

“So I guess there’s a bit of confidence in the group now and a lot of belief heading up to Sydney on Friday.”

However the Kangaroos have been open about their need to consider changes to their defensive structure, after Geelong’s power forward Tom Hawkins booted five goals against them.

Sydney’s key forwards, led by Kurt Tippett and 2014 Coleman Medallist Lance Franklin, pose a tall order for the Kangaroos’ backline.

Key defender Lachie Hansen is a strong chance to return for North if he can overcome a hip problem.

“Often most sides have got one big power forward but this side has got two and throw Adam Goodes in there for some size and Sam Reid as well,” Petrie said.

“Kurt Tippett’s brother Joel might have to come in and maybe play on his brother.

“They’ve got three, probably four key power forwards who need big defenders to keep them down.”

Scott has already spoken about possibly recalling the 196cm tall Joel Tippett for his fifth game of the season and seventh of his career to play on big brother Kurt, who is 5cm taller and at 105kg has an 11kg weight advantage.

As North sweat on Monday’s match-review panel which will assess veteran midfielder Brent Harvey’s bump on Geelong’s Joel Selwood, Harvey has praised high-profile teammate Nick Dal Santo.

Harvey told Seven’s “AFL Game Day” the former Saint’s 35-possession game against Geelong was “incredible”.

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