Petrie our Riewoldt, says Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petrie our Riewoldt, says Scott

By Sam Lienert 08/07/2010 05:44:06 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says the long-term absence of tall forward Drew Petrie has meant as much to the Kangaroos as Nick Riewoldt's loss to St Kilda.

Like the Saints skipper, who will make his much-anticipated AFL return against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night, Petrie is expected to return this weekend.

The versatile big man was named in the Kangaroos' 25-man squad to play just his second game of the season in what is almost a mid-season final against Sydney at the SCG on Sunday.

Petrie missed the first nine rounds with a broken foot, then broke a bone in his other foot when he returned against Fremantle in round 10.

Petrie had trained strongly this week and was likely to play in Sydney, Scott said on Thursday.

"It's a really important game for us, but he's a really important part of our structure and he's as important to our forward line as any other forward in the competition," Scott said.

"We talk about Jonathan Brown for Brisbane and Nick Riewoldt for St Kilda, but Drew really is our equivalent, he's just that important to our structure.

"If he's fit and available, we'll play him and we think he'll give us a better chance of winning."

In further positive selection news, young key position player Robbie Tarrant will finally make his AFL debut.

Tarrant, selected at No.15 in the 2007 national draft, has had his AFL start delayed by a terrible run with injuries, undergoing four shoulder reconstructions - two on each shoulder - in three years.

Scott said the 21-year-old brother of Fremantle star Chris Tarrant fully deserved his place after strong VFL form this year.

Most recently, he shut down Melbourne key forwards Brad Miller and Liam Jurrah, who were playing in the VFL with Casey last weekend, while picking up 20 touches.

"As a twin myself I don't like comparing Robbie to his brother," Scott said.

"But he's bigger than Chris, he's just as agile and he's a terrific athlete. At 196cm, to have the agility, the speed that he's got is a real attribute."

The ninth-placed Kangaroos will swap spots with the eighth-placed Swans if they win.

"It's fair to say that whoever wins this game is going to be more likely than the other to make the finals, it's as simple as that," Scott said.

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