Round two was tough to watch: McMahon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Round two was tough to watch: McMahon

By Roger Vaughan 14/08/2010 01:53:20 PM Comments (0)

All AFL players hate having to watch their team play, but it's especially tough when the game becomes a humiliation.

North Melbourne defender Scott McMahon was dropped for round two and was sitting behind the goals at Etihad Stadium as St Kilda mauled the Kangaroos by 104 points.

It was easily their worst loss of the season and gives Sunday's vital match against the Saints even more of an edge.

The finals beckon, with the Kangaroos only half a game outside the top eight, plus they are determined to emphasise their steady improvement under first-year coach Brad Scott since that horrible night.

"Anyone who watched just would have noticed how hard they work ... the work rate that's required to be a good team.

"I'm not the best supporter going around, I get very frustrated and angry, quickly.

"It was one of those games where I was more angry than anything, it was very frustrating sitting up in the stands - you just feel like you need to be out there to help."

"We think we've improved week to week (since then) and we are a far better team in how we want to play."

The last fortnight has demonstrated the Kangaroos' improvement, but also the gap they must bridge to challenge the top-four sides.

They were competitive in round 18 against the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs before dropping off in the second half for a 71-point drubbing.

North were outstanding last weekend against fifth-placed Fremantle, beating them by 54 points in a major boost to their credentials and finals hopes.

Now they come up against the third-placed Saints, who emerged from a late-season slump last weekend to smash Port Adelaide by 94 points.

"It's going to be a massive game - it's a little bit make-or-break (for) us with the finals," McMahon said.

"Hopefully we can perform as well as we did on the weekend."

One of the key duels will be McMahon's fellow defender Nathan Grima on Saints captain Nick Riewoldt.

Grima returned last weekend and did a great job on Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich, while Riewoldt dined out on North in round two with seven goals.

"With 'Narny' coming back, the job he did on Pavlich was first-rate and Pratty (Daniel Pratt) just straightens us up so much as well," McMahon said.

"Riewoldt is a very good player, we're going to have to chop 'Narny' out at some point."

Another intriguing match-up will be Brady Rawlings on Saints small forward Stephen Milne.

Rawlings had a massive 39 touches while keeping Fremantle playmaker Stephen Hill to just seven.

"During the game I could tell Hill had no influence ... he's usually the one kicking into the forward 50 and you just didn't notice him," McMahon said.

"But I didn't think Brady had that many, I was surprised at the end of the game.

"He gets the rewards because he works super-hard."

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