Redemption drives North's Rawlings - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Redemption drives North's Rawlings

By Leonard Siragusa 19/08/2008 04:05:48 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne stopper Brady Rawlings has a personal score to settle in Sunday's AFL clash with Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

Rawlings, expected to get the job on Brownlow medal favourite Gary Ablett, said he was embarrassed with his effort the last time the two faced off.

Ablett destroyed North's Ed Lower before dominating Rawlings for the rest of the game to finish with 39 disposals, seven clearances, 12 inside 50s and two goals.

"I was a little bit embarrassed with the amount of attention that he got after that game because he was so good and the fact he did a lot of it against me was a little bit embarrassing," Rawlings said.

"But I think a lot of players in the league had the same situation I had during that night during the year.

"You feel a bit helpless at times because he's that good a player. If I get him, I'll be trying my best to shut him down and hope my teammates can give me a bit of help."

Rawlings was instructed to not tackle Ablett but corral him during that round 11 encounter. He's unsure whether he would repeat that approach.

Ablett is back to his best after a three-week lay-off with an ankle injury, picking up 32 possessions and booting three goals against Sydney on Saturday night.

"He's such a strong player that he gives a fend off when you go to tackle him, he's very strong through the hips as well you can't really get him to ground,' Rawlings said.

"I'm not too sure how we're going to go about it, last time it didn't work too well."

Captain Adam Simpson said the Kangaroos could not afford to focus too heavily on Ablett, given the all-round strength of the Cats.

"They've got so many good players, you can't just focus on him," Simpson said.

"If you fall into that trap, you're in a bit of trouble."

Despite six straight wins, he said Geelong would provide the ultimate test of the `Roos' premiership credentials.

"Dean (Laidley) is coaching really well and we're following instructions - we've had a really good two months of footy," he said.

"But we're playing against a team that's pretty much undefeated for the last 18 months."

"We'll have a crack on their home turf, we won there last year, but to say we're going to go down and beat them is a pretty big ask."

Meanwhile, midfielder Daniel Wells has finally re-signed for another two years, after putting negotiations on hold for much of the year.

"The club has been fantastic for me not only with my footy but off the field as well, with some issues they have really helped me out so I want to pay them back," Wells said.

"The playing group is fantastic and a huge reason why I signed up."

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