In­juries hit Roos, Dock­ers

Teams will be badly de­pleted for open­ing round of AFL sea­son

Townsville Bulletin - - Sports -

NORTH Mel­bourne and Fre­man­tle will start the AFL sea­son badly de­pleted af­ter week­end in­juries added to long lists.

While the Kan­ga­roos im­pressed enor­mously to up­set the West­ern Bull­dogs on Satur­day and the Dock­ers downed West Coast, both paid a price.

North’s Matt Camp­bell tore a ham­string, with coach Brad Scott ex­pect­ing the small for­ward to be side­lined for at least three weeks.

S a m Wri g h t ( h e a d ) , Aar o n Ed­wards ( thigh) and Brady Rawl­ings ( ham­string tight­ness) copped mi­nor in­juries but should be okay for the round one clash with West Coast on March 27.

But the ‘ Roos were al­ready set to be with­out r uck­man Hamish McIn­tosh ( achilles) and mid­field­ers Ryan Bastinac ( knee), Levi Green­wood ( foot) and Ed Lower ( knee) for the start of the sea­son. Big for­ward Drew Petrie, who hit form with four goals on Satur­day, will also miss the Ea­gles clash, through sus­pen­sion.

One bright spot is that young mid­fielder Ben Cun­ning­ton played his first half-game of the pre­sea­son in the VFL on Fri­day af­ter re­cov­er­ing from knee sore­ness.

He is ex­pected to play a full VFL game this week­end.

Key de­fender Nathan Grima, yet to play this year be­cause of a back in­jury, might also be ready to re­turn through the VFL in a bid to be avail­able for round one.

The Dock­ers lost im­pres­sive re­cruit Tendai Mzungu, who dam­aged a knee lig­a­ment against the Ea­gles. The 25-year-old de­fender was on track for a round one AFL de­but against Bris­bane at the Gabba.

In­stead, he will join An­thony Mora­bito ( knee), Matt de Boer ( ham­string), Michael Bar­low ( leg), Gar­rick I bbot­son ( an­kle) and Roger Hay­den ( foot) as miss­ing first-choice play­ers.

West Coast mid­fielder Adam Sel­wood ( ham­string) is also in doubt for the sea­son start.

Other clubs went pretty much un­scathed through their fi­nal pre­sea­son games.

Syd­ney co-cap­tain Adam Goodes con­tin­ued his hot form with four goals while young Swans de­fend­ers Heath Grundy, An­drejs Everitt and Gary Ro­han shone in a com­fort­able win over St Kilda.

It was a lack­lus­tre show­ing by the Saints ahead of a tough round one clash with Gee­long, which they will face with­out big men Michael Gar­diner and Justin Kos­chitzke.

Port Ade­laide key for­ward Jay Schulz showed up rugby league con­vert Is­rael Fo­lau, boot­ing six goals on the AFL new­comer as the Power be­came the lat­est club to s t e a mroll e mbry­onic Great e r West­ern Syd­ney.

Gee­long for­ward Steve John­son in­spired a late Cats charge to over­power Carl­ton on Satur­day.

Carl­ton’s round one op­po­nents Rich­mond have big­ger wor­ries af­ter a 68-point maul­ing from Ade­laide which an­gered coach Damien Hard­wick.

Hawthorn should give the Crows a much bet­ter test in round one af­ter over­pow­er­ing Mel­bourne.

WEEK­END AC­TION: Carl­ton’s Chris Judd tries to break free against Gee­long on Satur­day

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