05/03/2024

Ash Riddell has had an incredible season in 2022 (PHOTO: North Melbourne)

North Melbourne used repeated inside 50 pressure to push past a tough Richmond outfit on Saturday afternoon.

The high-flying North Melbourne continued their solid start to the season against a resilient Richmond outfit on a fiery Saturday afternoon at Punt Road.

The Kangaroos peppered the Tigers all day inside 50, forcing their defence to absorb and protect themselves through all four quarters.

The Roos led the inside 50 count 43-18 , with the elite midfield duo of Jas Garner and Ash Riddell having 15 inside 50’s between them.

That duo were again among the best for North today, with Garner amassing 26 disposals, seven clearances, six marks and five tackles, while Riddell had 29 disposals including 20 kicks, five marks and six score involvements.

Riddell began the game unusually quiet for this year, with only three touches to quarter time, before coming alive and helping the Roos close out the game.

While North entered inside 50 so often, it was Rebecca Miller and Sarah D’Arcy who stood extremely tall in defence.

Miller had 19 disposals and eight intercepts without leaving the ground in a great key defensive game, continuing to push her case for All Australian selection, while D’Arcy gained 14 touches, six marks and nine intercept possessions while rebounding the ball down the field.

North Melbourne’s ability to get the ball in their forward was a result of great pressure around the ground, leading the tackle count 42-26 with Mia King and Jenna Bruton contributing the most with seven and six respectively.

The Roos scoring slowed down in the last quarter, only managing the two behinds, but they managed to keep the Tigers at bay and see out the game for a 19 point victory.

The backline of the Tigers meant North Melbourne couldn’t rely on just one goal scorer, resulting in five different players scoring a major each on their way to victory.

Garner spoke after the game about North’s ability to score from many different avenues saying,

“That’s what we aim to do. (We) don’t want to rely on anyone week in and week out, we can change it up and multiple goalkickers makes it hard for the opposition,” she said.

“We just want to play footy our way and keep working on the little things and keep winning”

In fact neither team had multiple goal kickers today, with seven different players getting on the scoresheet for both sides.

This includes Richmond captain Katie Brennan, who continued her streak of at least a goal a game in this one, now extended out to 12 games.

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Brennan had one of her best games of the season around the ground, amassing 13 disposals (a season high) and taking 10 marks (also a season high).

Brennan’s effort was matched at the other end by Sophie Abbatangelo, who had 12 possessions and a fantastic goal herself.

North Melbourne’s win puts it 5-1 on the year and into third place behind the undefeated Crows and second-placed Fremantle.

Richmond remain in ninth position with one win on the year, in danger of falling lower on the table after this rest of this round.

The Kangaroos next play Collingwood at home, while the Tigers take on the Eagles.

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