Round 13 Preview: North Melbourne V Coburg

Jack Kovacic
Coburg this week will take on a North Melbourne side who will also hungry for a win.

The Lions had a bit of a setback last week copping a big loss at the hands of a strong Casey team who are just percentage off top spot on the ladder.

North Melbourne have lost two matches in a row and will be eager to make amends for last weeks performance. The Kangaroos matched Footscray until half time but could manage just two goals to the Bulldogs seven in the second half.

These teams have already met once this year and it was the Kangaroos who came away with the win. Nick Mellington was one of Coburg’s best finishing 22 disposals and two goals while Billy Cannolo also added a couple of majors and Harry Nolan impressed on debut.

While last weeks loss to Casey was disappointing, the biggest positive Coburg took out of the game was the improvement in the midfields performance. It had not been one of the strongest areas of the Lions game in recent weeks but they were able to win most of the key stats with Marcus Lentini, Nick Mellington and Mitch Podhajski all having big games.

North Melbourne have damaging players like Mitchell Hibberd and Ryan Clarke that will spend time in the midfield so it will be important for Coburg to bring the same intensity and work rate. Nash Holmes has been another consistent performer averaging 14 contested possessions and six clearances a game.

With last week an exception, Coburg has been good over the last couple of months at generating shots at goal from limited inside 50 opportunities. It will be vital to increase that this week to ensure the likes of Cannolo, Hish Kerbatieh and Peter McEvoy have the chance to hit the scoreboard.

Sam Lowson returns to the team this week after a toe injury has kept him out since round six and will also add some creativity and firepower to the forward line.

B: #36 Guthrie #43 Nolan #9 Blair
HB: #2 Corigliano #10 Gregory #17 Dickson
C: #5 Exon #1 Allan #8 Mellington
HF: #32 Cannolo #12 McEvoy #3 Kerbatieh
F: #18 Lowson #7 Belo #33 Weightman
R: #29 Goodwin #11 Bunker #42 Lentini

23rd man: #50 Podhajski

Int from: #37 Murphy, #20 Conn, #34 Lever, #23 McDonald, #41 Kovacevic, #16 Fox, #30 O’Donoghue, #15 Iacobaccio

North Melbourne

B: 17. M. Hibberd, 23. B. McKay, 26. D. Nielson

HB: 21. A. Morgan, 24. S. Durdin, 19. S. Wright

C: 15. P.  Ahern, 5. B.  Jacobs, 13. R.  Clarke

HF: 37. K. Hayden, 45. O. Junker, 27. W. Walker

F: 31. B. Preuss, 20. N. Larkey, 44. C. Zurhaar

R: 38. T. Xerri, 9. L. Davies – Uniacke, 8. N. Hrovat

Int: 62. F. Cameron, 64. L. Cunningham, 58. J. Harper, 70. N. Hogan, 59. N. Holmes, 61. C. Jansen, 53. T. Leonardis, 66. P. McCarthy, 41. G. Narrier, 71. M. Northe, 52. N. Rippon, 36. J. Williams

23P: 68. Q. Montanaro