North Melbourne boast the best trio of tall forwards in the AFL and the unbeaten Kangaroos will be licking their lips at the prospect of an undersized Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium this weekend.
Brad Scott’s men head north with a perfect 4-0 record and face a Suns team scrambling for big bodies in their backline after Steven May’s five-game suspension put him on the sidelines alongside fellow key defender Rory Thompson (ankle injury).
It’s a situation which is sure to be mouth-watering for Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite and Ben Brown in the Kangaroos frontline.
In an effort to minimise the damage, Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade has pulled Sam Day (196cm) and Clay Cameron (191cm) back from the forward line into defence.
In what will be his 600th VFL/AFL match as a coach or player, Eade admits his team will have to think outside the box to stop North’s trio of talls.
“There’s two ways to go, do we go really defensive and get numbers back or do we back our assets and make it a bit of a shootout?,” Eade said.
“That’s something we’ve got to weigh up.
“Maybe we’ll get some numbers back to support our defence and maybe get them on the slingshot the other way.
“We certainly need to help our defence, there’s no doubt about that.”
The Suns have also been struck by the loss of Dion Prestia (illness) and will field a highly altered outfit from that which fell in a disappointing Queensland derby defeat to Brisbane last weekend.
Trent McKenzie is back after missing the Lions loss with a broken nose while former Western Bulldog Jarrad Grant gets his first start for the Suns and former Kangaroo Dan Currie will also make a first appearance for his new club.
Scott has named an unchanged lineup for the Kangaroos with Robbie Tarrant overcoming an ankle injury to be ruled fit to play.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Gold Coast have won their past three against North Melbourne including the most recent two matches between the sides at Metricon Stadium.
* The Kangaroos are ranked first for scoring this season and are in the top two for clearances and centre clearances.
* If North win, it’ll mark the first time since 2005 the club has won their opening five games of a season.