Injuries hit Roos, Dockers
Teams will be badly depleted for opening round of AFL season
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