Small forwards bring big reward for Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Small forwards bring big reward for Roos

By Sam Lienert 20/04/2008 01:13:36 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley believes his side's crumbing forwards Lindsay Thomas and Matt Campbell have been underrated by the football world.

The Aboriginal pair showed their worth in the Kangaroos' comeback victory over Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday night..

They kicked three goals each in the 16.16 (112) to 15.15 (105) win, including two each in the final stages as the 'Roos roared back from 21 points down midway through the final term.

"I'd like to make special mention of Matt Campbell and Lindsay Thomas and Ed Lower, some of our kids really stood up tonight," Laidley said after the match.

"We just wish they had a little bit more exposure and perhaps a little bit more respect from the footy world."

Campbell and Thomas both made their AFL debuts at the start of last season, but from round 13 onwards there was never more than one of the pair in the side for any game.

Campbell ended his debut season with 10 goals from 13 matches and Thomas 10 goals from 12 games.

But this season it has been a different story, with the duo already equalling last season's combined total of 20 goals, after just five rounds, with both having played every match so far.

The other area in which the pair have excelled is in helping North lock the ball in their forward line, with their pace and tackling ability, Campbell and Thomas racking up seven tackles between them on Saturday night.

With Nathan Thompson back this year after missing all of last season through injury, and Aaron Edwards, Corey Jones and Shannon Grant also dangerous up forward, it has given the 'Roos forward line plenty of bite.

"We've been able to get a structure in our forward line," Laidley said.

"It doesn't matter who kicks the goals, we've been able to keep the scoreboard ticking over, that's something we were able to do for most of the game (against Collingwood)."

Magpies coach Mick Malthouse conceded the ability of the Kangaroos' small forwards ended up deciding the game.

"They capitalised on the fall of the ball in their forward line, they kicked goals, we didn't, it doesn't get much more simple than that," Malthouse said.

Laidley said the win could prove an important moment in their season.

"It was going to be a really big challenge for us and to absorb that at different stages and as I said, there were lots of ebbs and flows in the game, it's a big step forward for us," he said.

"I think the belief we had probably last year may have wavered a little bit through the pre-season, we were wondering what was going to happen.

"But I think slowly over the last five weeks we've been building up to some pretty consistent performances."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news