Unbeaten Roos stun Giants with fast finish
North Melbourne has upset GWS by 20 points in a low-scoring AFL scrap at Giants Stadium, where the visitors' youngsters stood up in a thrilling final quarter.
Curtis Taylor, Bailey Scott, Tarryn Thomas, Cameron Zurhaar - boasting a combined 57 games of experience - each slotted clutch goals in the fourth term to get North home.
Jared Polec, arguably best on ground, also fittingly split the middle as the Kangaroos booted six goals straight to GWS's 3.2 in the final quarter.
The Kangaroos prevailed 12.8 (80) to 8.12 (60), seeing off a couple of spirited challenges and successfully stifling the Giants' potent run through the middle. Zurhaar finished with a game-high three goals.
Ruckman Todd Goldstein was also immense for the visitors, helping himself to 51 hit-outs, nine clearances and a key goal.
North are 2-0 and next face Sydney Swans then Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium as they eye a return to finals in Rhyce Shaw's first full season in charge.
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Star GWS forwards Jeremy Cameron and Toby Greene were both kept remarkably quiet, combining for just one goal. However, Greene was denied a third-quarter goal because of a contentious score-review verdict that found there was insufficient evidence to overturn the on- field decision.
There was debate about whether a scrambling Jamie Macmillan made contact with the ball before it crossed the line, but the North defender's desperation epitomised his team's approach on Sunday.
Expectations of a shootout between Cameron and North Melbourne counterpart Ben Brown, who ranked first and second on the Coleman medal leaderboard in 2019, were put to bed early.
The teams were locked at 2.6 (18) apiece at halftime, reflecting an arm-wrestle largely devoid of highlights but full of immense pressure and plenty of rust. GWS veteran Callan Ward, who hadn't played since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in round four of 2019 and hadn't completed a game since the 2018 finals, starred with a team-high 21 disposals.
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.2 2.6 6.8 12.8 (80)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.4 2.6 5.10 8.12 (60)
Goals: North Melbourne: C Zurhaar 3 T Thomas 2 B Brown B Scott C Taylor J Pittard J Polec J Ziebell T Goldstein.
Greater Western Sydney: H Himmelberg 2 H Perryman 2 J Finlayson 2 C Ward J Cameron.
Originally published as Unbeaten Roos stun Giants with fast finish