North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey has paid tribute to his midfield teammates for their match-winning second half performance against Richmond.
North had trailed by 21 points early in the second quarter at the MCG, before over-running Richmond in warm conditions to win the sudden-death match and push on to a semi-final against the Swans.
“In the first half I thought they were all over us in the stoppages,” Harvey said.
“But when you have (Ben) Cunnington, (Jack) Ziebell, (Andrew) Swallow, and (Nick) Dal Santo, coming into the game in the second half, we have real confidence that we can get the job done in there.”
In end North won the clearances 42-36, but had a huge advantage in contested possessions winning the hard ball 148-115.
Harvey in his 407th game, was again one of the most influential players on the ground.
The veteran racking up a game-high 31 possessions, plus seven clearances, and two pivotal goals.
His running snap at the six minute mark of the final quarter, regained the lead for the Roos and they were never headed again.
Harvey had expected to be tagged by Taylor Hunt, who shut him down in the round 23 clash between the two sides, but the former Cat never went to Harvey’s side.
“I set myself for a big game this week, and it just worked out for me,” Harvey said.
“I kicked a couple of goals and got a little bit of the ball, it was just the end product of all the hard work that the boys in close did today.”
Harvey said he expected this side to finish the stronger and they simply needed to be close enough in the second half.
“It’s a four quarter game, its not a one or two quarter game, we knew that if we could stick at it long enough, we have enormous confidence in our last quarters, we are a fit team.
“The longer the game went the more comfortable we felt.”
North will now head to Sydney and a Saturday final with the Swans, one year to the day they were thumped by Sydney in the 2014 finals.
Harvey says they don’t need the extra motivation, but it is there.
“It will be a big week. We will have a big recovery after playing in the heat here and we will head to Sydney were they belted us last year,” he said.