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Thứ Ba, 24 tháng 7, 2018

Roos can turn season around at Hobart home: Higgins

The term ‘Fortress Bellerive’ doesn’t exactly make visiting teams shiver in their football boots.
But if North Melbourne’s record at their home away from home is any sort of guide, then maybe it should.
The Kangaroos have won 12 of their past 14 games at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena – traditionally known as Bellerive Oval – and plan to use Sunday’s crunch clash with West Coast at the venue as a starting point for getting their season back on track.
“We love going down there,” midfielder Shaun Higgins said.
“It’s sometimes tricky conditions and the record speaks for itself.
“The support we get down there is fantastic and it really is a home away from home for us.”
North Melbourne’s impressive record in Hobart includes big victories over Greater Western Sydney (43 points) and Carlton (86 points) this season.
They beat West Coast in the two sides’ only previous meeting there, in 2015, before the Eagles went on to reach the grand final that year.
But the Kangaroos have lost three of their past four matches to slip out of the top eight and produced their worst performance of the season in a 66-point belting from Collingwood last weekend.
“It was the poorest performance that we’ve dished up this year,” Higgins said.
“That was disappointing. We’ve reviewed it really strongly in the last 24 hours and we’re looking forward to rectifying that.
“We were down in all facets of our game on the weekend and we know that’s not us, it’s not what we’ve dished up this year.
“We’re looking forward to turning the tables down in Tassie.”
In stark contrast, West Coast are flying in second spot, with only percentage separating them and ladder leaders Richmond.
The Eagles have awoken from a mid-season slumber and welcomed back leading goal kickers Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Mark LeCras from injury over the past fortnight to bolster their attacking weapons.
“They’re a quality side. They’re really strong right across the ground and clearly strong down back,” Higgins said.
“They’ve got great mids and two really potent forwards.
“We’ll have our work cut out, but we think at our best we’ve got a team that can well and truly match that.”
Higgins, who joined North Melbourne from the Wetern Bulldogs via free agency at the end of 2014, will reach the 200-game milestone on Sunday.
He free of the injuries that hampered his time at the Bulldogs and playing the most consistent football of his career, surging into All-Australian and Brownlow Medal contention.
“It’s a nice achievement, especially given the first half of the journey was a little bit rough,” Higgins said.
“It felt a mile away at times, but it’s pleasing that I’m able to get there.
“A lot of things have changed, but at the moment I’m just really enjoying football.”


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