WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, July 15, 3.20pm AEST
It’s crunch time for the Roos. They’ve exceeded all external expectations, but still find themselves outside the top eight – and with Sydney, Collingwood and West Coast to come in the next three weeks. Mason Wood booted four goals, including the match-winner, in a two-point triumph over the Swans in round seven, but a hamstring injury will prevent a repeat of those heroics. With Jarrad Waite (calf) also expected to miss, much will be left to Ben Brown to kick a winning score for North, although coach Brad Scott might again employ Majak Daw up forward. This match means plenty to Sydney, too, given John Longmire’s men have dropped back-to-back games to slip outside the top four. The Swans also lose veterans Jarrad McVeigh, Dan Hannebery and Kieren Jack to injury, meaning more heavy lifting for Josh Kennedy, Jake Lloyd, Luke Parker and Zak Jones. Brown and Lance Franklin are one-two in the Coleman Medal race with 46 and 39 goals, respectively.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R7, 2018, North Melbourne 9.14 (68) d Sydney 9.12 (66) at SCG
R8, 2017, Sydney 18.12 (120) d North Melbourne 11.12 (78) at Etihad
R22, 2016, Sydney 12.13 (75) d North Melbourne 10.16 (76) at Blundstone
R10, 2016, Sydney 14.7 (91) d North Melbourne 9.11 (65) at SCG
1SF, 2015, North Melbourne 11.11 (77) d Sydney 7.9 (51) at ANZ
Hutta’s Tip: Sydney by 15points
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