North mel­bourne

Inside Sport - - HOW GOOD IS -

A cou­ple of fi­nals wins last year gave the ’Roos be­lief. Har­vey is mo­ti­vated by the go-get­ters around him, and still matches, or sur­passes, most for skills and speed. The side lifted its fit­ness lev­els no­tice­ably last sea­son, and was bet­ter de­fen­sively. They dis­played the sort of top-five team de­fence that wins ti­tles, es­pe­cially in the for­ward 50, which is why they up­set top sides. De­spite dras­tic dips in their scor­ing chart, prob­a­bly as a re­sult of fo­cus on match-win­ning de­fence, putting the two to­gether is pos­si­ble for this unit, as they were able to covert in­side-50 op­por­tu­ni­ties bet­ter than any­one. They’ve bol­stered their de­fen­sive stocks fur­ther by draft­ing a few solid talls. The ad­di­tion of Waite and Shaun Hig­gins should add some for­ward met­tle and goal­kick­ing power. Levi Green­wood to Colling­wood is a mid­field loss, as he was in­stru­men­tal in last year’s resur­gence. Their prob­lem might be mo­men­tum. It will cer­tainly be halted next sea­son if their play­ers up for trade de­cide to go, un­der free agency. One of those play­ers is their cap­tain, An­drew Swallow.

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