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Kangas keen to stand up for Brent Harvey

Greg Buckle 04/06/2011 12:29:05 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne's clash with Adelaide is all about putting on a good show for Kangaroos skipper Brent Harvey, ruckman Todd Goldstein says.

North have posted only two wins from nine matches but they're determined to triumph on Sunday at Etihad Stadium as Harvey celebrates his 311th game, equalling Glenn Archer's club record.

Harvey has been under fire from radio commentator Dermott Brereton for being selfish near goal.

But Goldstein says Harvey sets a great example and is one of the game's finest captains.

"We always know he'll do anything for the club," Goldstein told AAP.

"The boys definitely want to put on a good show to show our support for him."

Goldstein said five-time club champion Harvey deserved praise for taking charge.

"You often need a player who is going to take the crucial shot at a crucial time and not just pass the buck on to someone else," Goldstein said.

"That little handball over the top often does get blocked or smothered.

"Quite often it is safer to take the shot yourself. It's a credit to `Boomer' that he does want to take the pressure and kick the goal that we need.

"He has been an unbelievable captain. It's hard to judge not knowing how the other captains go about it, but definitely `Boomer' would have to be up there."

Goldstein says 14th-placed North are heading in the right direction despite a one-point loss to Sydney last week.

"We've had three or four close losses. Definitely we can string a few wins together," Goldstein said.

The former Oakleigh junior has been playing more than 90 per cent of game time while the Kangaroos attempt to nurse Hamish McIntosh back to full fitness following an Achilles injury.

Goldstein is third in the league for hitouts with 32.1 per game and had a career-high 26 possessions in North's win over Melbourne in round eight.

McIntosh is due to play his first game for 2011 in about a month.

"Hamish and I have always wanted to be the best ruck combination in the league," said Goldstein, 22.

"We know we can work pretty well together.

"I can do it on my own if need be, but I'm hoping Hamish can come back soon and give me a bit of a chop-out."

Since missing round one with a virus, Goldstein has relished his heavy workload.

"It has been my most consistent year," he said.

Goldstein nominated Crows midfielder Scott Thompson, who's averaging 29 disposals per game, as a key player the Kangaroos must counter.

The Crows have lost Taylor Walker (knee) and Brodie Smith (hip) and regain wingman Bernie Vince, while the Kangaroos will be without backmen Daniel Pratt (thumb) and Michael Firrito (suspended).

Adelaide are 13th and Crows coach Neil Craig is desperately chasing a win, admitting he faces "huge pressure" to retain his job.

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