Roos sideline stats before Cats clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos sideline stats before Cats clash

By Guy Hand 15/05/2009 04:23:44 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley is hoping youthful exuberance rather than words of inspiration can help his players conquer AFL's toughest assignment on Saturday - Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

Laidley will send his inexperienced side into battle against the Cats with no telling statistics or inspirational speeches ringing in their ears.

Instead, his players will be encouraged to stick to their coach's gameplan and continue their development against the best side in the competition.

"If you start saying `they're No.1 in this and they're No.1 in that', it can become a little bit daunting. So we'll throw the stats out the window this week," Laidley said.

"We plan and we prepare and we train. $1.04 they're paying but it's a two-horse race."

Laidley felt words of inspiration like those used by then-Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews before taking on and beating Essendon in 2001 - `if it bleeds you can kill it' - would be lost on his side.

"If you're more experienced you can go down that line, but we're focused on teaching our guys how we want them to play the game, and that's the way we'll go about it."

The Kangaroos are the last side to beat Geelong at Skilled Stadium - in early 2007 just before they started their current remarkable run of 49 wins in 52 matches.

That was another stat Laidley wasn't leaning on.

"It was a long time ago and our team's changed drastically," he said.

"We've made the most changes to our list over the last three years, we're equal with Collingwood this year with the most players used.

"It's been a revolving door."

The Kangaroos may lose another experienced hand prior to the Cats' showdown, with Laidley rating tagger Brady Rawlings only a 50-50 chance of playing despite being named in the side.

Rawlings was a late withdrawal from North's win over Port Adelaide last week with a calf injury.

The Roos have also lost impressive first-year midfielder Jack Ziebell with a thigh injury.

"It's more precautionary than anything. It was still sore after training Wednesday so under no circumstances will we risk him.

"His long-term future at our footy club is more important."

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