A win for the Roos in the skipper’s 200th
A SEVEN-goal opening term has secured North Melbourne a 27-point AFL win over Gold Coast in captain Jack Ziebell’s 200th game.
The Kangaroos were unstoppable early, opening up a 35-point quarter-time lead that laid the platform for the 14.15 (99) to 11.6 (72) win at Metricon Stadium.
It means after defeats in his 50th, 100th and 150th appearances, Ziebell can finally celebrate a milestone with a win.
The victory – North’s third on the spin – also means interim coach Rhyce Shaw has two from two in the hotseat following last weekend’s upset over Richmond.
Despite losing midfielder Shaun Higgins in the third minute to a shoulder injury, North responded to Will Powell kicking the opening goal for the Suns with seven unanswered majors of their own.
The 7.2 to 1.3 quarter ensured the Kangaroos had a lead the Suns were unable to reduce throughout the match.
Gold Coast simply weren’t at the races in the opening term, with the Kangaroos at one point dominating the possessions count 85-45.
Youngster Tarryn Thomas kicked two of those majors and finished the game as one of five Kangaroos with two goals.
Ziebell, Coleman Medal contender Ben Brown, Mason Wood and Kayne Turner were the other multiple goalkickers for the visitors.
Ben Cunnington had 31 disposals for the Kangaroos while Jared Polec (one goal, 28 disposals) was also impressive.
Ben King was the only multiple goalkicker for the Suns with two majors, while Will Brodie (nine marks, nine tackles and 30 disposals) and Brayden Fiorini (31 disposals) were impressive in a beaten team.
Suns midfielder Jack Martin was placed on report late in the second term for high contact on Ziebell when the pair contested for the ball on the ground.
Martin appeared to get his hands on the ball before his hip collected Ziebell, leaving the Kangaroos’ veteran dazed, though he did pass a concussion test to return after the break.
Ziebell ended the match bloodied after cutting his eyebrow but kicked two goals, laid 10 tackles and picked up 29 disposals in a typical all-action display.
Charlie Ballard may also attract the attention of the match review committee after appearing to catch Turner with an elbow, an incident that allowed Turner to kick a goal from the subsequent 50m penalty.
The Suns had an injury concern of their own with Jordan Murdoch limping off with a left ankle problem in the third quarter.
Players from both teams could also find themselves a bit lighter in the hip pocket after a boundary line scuffle in the final term.
Gold Coast travel to Townsville next weekend to host St Kilda, while the Kangaroos take on high-flying GWS in Hobart.
© AAP 2019
NORTH MELBOURNE 7.2 9.5 12.9 14.15 (99)
GOLD COAST 1.3 4.3 7.4 11.6 (72)
Goals: North Melbourne: B Brown 2 J Ziebell 2 K Turner 2 M Wood 2 T Thomas 2 C Zurhaar J Polec L McDonald N Larkey. Gold Coast: B King 2 A Sexton D Swallow J Joyce J Lukosius J Martin P Wright T Miller W Brodie W Powell.
Best: North Melbourne: J Ziebell M Wood B Cunnington J Polec T Dumont K Turner. Gold Coast: W Brodie B King D MacPherson J Harbrow B Fiorini L Weller.
Official Crowd: 9,305 at Metricon Stadium.