Dockers win a big boost for Roos’ belief

North Melbourne are intent on hitting September at full tilt after Sunday’s belief-boosting win over Fremantle.

Sunday’s 11-point victory, their seventh in a row, over the ladder leaders moved Brad Scott’s side into seventh spot and all but guarantees them a finals berth.

North have dispatched rivals they were largely expected to beat over the past six weeks but in coming from behind to defeat the Dockers they took a timely big scalp.

“We’d won six in a row but I guess the knock-on for us is we haven’t done particularly well against the top sides,” Kangaroos midfielder Sam Gibson said.

“So for us to have a win against the top side and the side that’s probably been the benchmark this year is pretty good for our confidence and gives us that belief that we are in pretty good form.”

Gibson is confident there’s still plenty of improvement to come for the Roos, who had to work through some uneven performances in the first half of the season.

An opening round drubbing by Adelaide and a shock loss to Gold Coast are distant memories for a side now intent on gathering even more momentum heading into a finals campaign.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of North’s win at the weekend was the fact that they had to hold their collective nerve after Fremantle skipped away to a 24-point lead at quarter-time.

“I think we’re a more mature group now,” Gibson said.

“At quarter-time there was no panic. We understand that if there is a deficit we don’t need to fight back in one quarter – we can grind it out over the space of three quarters and that’s what we did.

“I think a mature group understands that and that momentum shifts in footy happen.

“(But) a grinding win is just as good as a 10-goal win.”

The Kangaroos play finals-bound teams Western Bulldogs and Richmond to round out the home-and-away season.

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