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Where: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
When: Saturday July 12, 5.10am (BST)
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After their superb win over Hawthorn last week, you’d think the Kangaroos are an absolute shoo-in to smash the hapless Saints, but it’s these sorts of game that Brad Scott’s men have come unstuck.
North Melbourne’s inconsistency means this is a danger game, but if they reproduce last week’s scintillating football they should very easily dispose of the Saints.
After a bright start to the season, the Saints have lost their last ten games by an average of 63 points.
Coach Alan Richardson was ropable with his team’s second half fade-out against Carlton and another repeat of that performance could see them lose by a huge margin.
Lenny Hayes returns to give the Saints some much-needed experience after being a late-withdrawal last week.
Despite this, it’s difficult to see the Kangaroos giving away another easy four points and they should win comfortably.
1. North Melbourne will be playing its fifth game at Blundstone Arena this Saturday and has a 2-2 record at its Hobart ‘home’. It will be St Kilda’s first game at the venue.
2. In the Roos’ win over the Saints last year, Aaron Black booted five goals, Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie four apiece and Todd Goldstein was best on ground in the ruck.
3. North is ranked second in the competition for disposal efficiency (73.7 per cent) this season, while St Kilda is languishing in 16th (70.9 per cent).
4. Only Gold Coast has had more clangers in 2014 than St Kilda, with the Saints averaging 46.7 a game. North is ranked 10th (43.9 a game).
5. North small forward Lindsay Thomas averages just 5.8 player ratings points against St Kilda, his lowest return against any side.
Thomas is the 12th ranked small/medium forward in competition (113th overall) in the Official AFL Player Ratings.
6. North and St Kilda have met 151 times, with the Saints holding a 76- 73 edge. The remaining two games were draws.