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Roos too strong for depleted Dockers

07/08/2010 07:03:10 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has repeatedly said lately that making the AFL finals is irrelevant - it's being capable of winning finals that counts.

The Kangaroos substantially boosted those credentials on Saturday with a thumping 54-point win over fifth-placed Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.

North remained ninth after the 19.9 (123) to 10.9 (69) win, but improved from a game outside eighth spot to half a game.

Scott admits he had half an eye on the scoreboard, which showed Sydney beating Hawthorn at the same time up north.

"I'd be lying if I didn't glance over at it at one stage," Scott said.

"Carlton and Sydney keep winning, then we just have to keep winning - we can't worry too much about what they want to do.

"That game was a step in the right direction to playing finals-standard football, we're not delusional, we still have a fair way to go in my opinion to playing a meaningful part against September sides."

Fremantle were missing eight front-line players, most recently star ruckman Aaron Sandilands, but coach Mark Harvey said that was irrelevant.

He and Scott noted the Dockers still fielded a competitive side.

But the Kangaroos dominated from the start and their first-term score of 7.2 was a club record against Fremantle.

After the Dockers hit back to trail by only 11 points at half time, the Kangaroos surged again in the third term and Fremantle did not respond.

Fremantle still won clearances and stoppages, but the basic statistics were damning.

North won total possessions 491-356 and marks 131-86.

One of the best aspects of North's season has been the emergence of several young players who already look like they have 200-game AFL careers in them.

But their two old warhorses - captain Brent Harvey and defender Brady Rawlings - led the way.

Two games short of his 300th, Harvey was best afield with 34 touches and three goals.

Rawlings did the mother of all run-with jobs on emerging Fremantle star Stephen Hill, racking up 39 disposals while Hill had just seven.

"(It was) one of the more outstanding run-with roles I've ever seen, I've seen some good ones," Scott said.

The North coach added the abundance of young playing talent at Arden St was spurring the veterans.

"Older players get rejuvenated when they can see really good youngsters coming through and they really want to be a part of it," Scott said.

"You wouldn't see three more excited players at our club than Brady Rawlings, Drew Petrie and Brent Harvey.

"They can see we're certainly on the right track."

Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich had a quiet day, although in fairness some of the ball delivery to him in attack was putrid.

It enabled North defenders to double and even triple-team him repeatedly.

Newcomer Dylan Roberton impressed with 25 possessions and defender Luke McPharlin was also solid.

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