North play AFL Waite-ing game

North Melbourne will adopt a wait-and-see approach with returning players Jarrad Waite and Daniel Wells ahead of Sunday’s game against West Coast.

The Kangaroos want to check the recovery of the pair after a searching training session at Arden St Oval today before deciding whether to take them to Perth.

On Thursday’s evidence, Waite is likely to be picking up a boarding pass but Wells could be left at the gate.

Waite, who has missed the past month with a hip injury, trained with the group while Wells, forced out with a calf injury in the Roos’ last outing, did light work.

“We’ve still got a few things we’re mulling over,” coach Brad Scott said.

“They look ok. We’ll name our side tonight and finalise it tomorrow.”

The Kangaroos return to Domain Stadium for the first time since a preliminary final loss last year, but Scott urged his players to focus on the present.

“I’m sure the players felt they let an opportunity slip when we got ourselves in a really good position,” he said.

“But this is just another game where four points are on the line and we can use that to qualify in the best position that we can.

“They feel refreshed and ready to play. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while and we’re rejuvenated and ready to go.”

Scott bristled at a suggestion this was a chance to send a message to other top eight teams that North Melbourne is ready to rebound after a string of losses.

“We don’t have to send anything to anyone,” he said.

Scott also defended senior forward Drew Petrie, who has kicked only 19 goals so far this season after posting at least 40 in each of the past five years.

“He’s still playing an important role for us,” Scott said.

“I’m sure if you asked opposition coaches, he’s the forward they most worry about.

“I’m pleased with what he’s doing.

“Could his output be greater? That depends on the team. We talk about it as an offensive unit and if we’re scoring we don’t care who’s kicking the goals.”

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