Kangaroos get vital win against Eagles

Resurgent North Melbourne hung tough to claim a crucial 10-point victory over West Coast on Sunday and get their AFL season back on track.

The Kangaroos looked in deep trouble when they were only six points up at the final break and facing the prospect of kicking into a gale at Blundstone Arena in the fourth quarter.

But they made light of the difficult conditions, outscoring the flagging Eagles by four goals to three in the final term to win 13.7 (85) to 10.15 (75).

The third loss of the season for the Eagles saw them slip one spot to third on the ladder, while the inconsistent Kangaroos levelled their win-loss record at 5-5.

A trio of quick goals late in the third term to Ben Brown, Shaun Higgins and Brent Harvey proved crucial for North Melbourne.

But just as important was they fact that they were able to maintain scoreboard pressure in the final term, despite kicking into the teeth of the strong wind.

The ever-reliable Todd Goldstein finished with 47 hitouts for the Kangaroos and also booted an impressive final-term goal kicking across the face.

Higgins was the Roos’ top goal-scorer with four, including a crucial snap late in the final quarter.

Jack Ziebell was valuable with 24 disposals, 11 clearances and a goal.

It was a reversal of form for the Roos who last round let slip a 39-point halftime lead to lose to Collingwood.

On Sunday North Melbourne led by 18 points at the first break but West Coast returned to dominate early in the second term, with two quick goals from Fraser McInnes helping close the gap and take a five-point lead.

At halftime the Eagles appeared to be in control with a seven-point margin, but the Roos showed resilience under caretaker coach Darren Crocker.

For West Coast, Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis finished with 32 disposals and four clearances while ruckman Nic Naitanui won 30 hitouts, but was inaccurate in front of goal and finished with 0.4.

The result brings to an end a string of six wins for the Eagles.

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