Latest News

Friday, May 25, 2018

No surface tension for Brad Scott’s Kangaroos ahead of Optus Stadium clash with Fremantle

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has no concerns over the hardness of the Optus Stadium surface, declaring it will play no role in his thinking at the selection table tonight.
The Kangaroos take on Fremantle in their first match at the new Burswood venue on Sunday and are looking to end a four-match losing run in Perth, where they have also lost six of their past seven meetings with the Dockers.
All of those matches were played at Subiaco Oval.
During his weekly pre-match press conference at North Melbourne’s Arden Street headquarters today, Scott raised his awareness of criticism surrounding the hard surface at Optus Stadium this season.
But Scott said he and the Kangaroos match committee wouldn’t consider resting the likes of Ben Jacobs, Sam Wright or Jarrad Waite, who have all had foot injuries in the past.
“The medical staff did their reports and they’re fit to play,” Scott said.
“The ground hardness won’t come into consideration.”
Jacobs did a superb job blunting Richmond superstar Dustin Martin in round eight and could have another Brownlow medallist in his sights as North consider ways to stop in-form Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe.
Scott, who saw Fyfe up close when the pair were involved in the International Rules series last year, said the Dockers skipper could only be stopped “with great difficulty”.
“Fyfe’s back to his best footy. That probably comes on the back of having a great preparation and being physically fit,” Scott said
“He’s a super player and I suspect it’s going to take a midfield effort to try and combat him.
“(Jacobs to Fyfe) is an option, but Jacobs’ great strength this year is being able to switch to whoever we need him to switch to in-game, so he’ll be prepared for a lot of scenarios there.”
Scott said first-round draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke and Taylor Garner were in the selection mix this week, along with defenders Sam Durdin and Ben McKay, who have been in good form at VFL level.
Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein will reach the 200-game milestone in a showdown with Dockers veteran Aaron Sandilands that could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the match.
“It shapes as a great duel,” Scott said.