Chris Scott sick and away from Geelong; Beveridge supports Bulldogs; McVeigh’s pitch for Giants

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The third-placed Cats have racked up five consecutive wins and are overwhelming favorites to maintain their dominance over the bottom-seeded Kangaroos, who have lost to the Cats by an average margin of 43 points over the past nine games. The Kangaroos last defeated the Cats in 2015.

“We want to approach the game the same way we do every game,” Kelly said.

“What we know about North is that when they move the ball they are dangerous. They have a powerful forward line if they can get it down there and they are definitely ready for the fight around the footy.”

Kangaroos coach David Noble, with just one win this season, is under immense pressure and is fighting for his job. This comes amid a review by former club manager Geoff Walshand a report that the club has approached Adam Simpson, the West Coast Eagles coach and two-time Kangaroos’ premiership player.

David King, a two-time Kangaroos prime minister and now a prominent commentator, said on Friday that his former club – who have finished no higher than ninth since 2018 and face wooden spoons in a row – should be seriously considered from the AFL for a priority design choice.

The Kangaroos made a change to their squad on Friday, with Jackson Archer – a week after his debut – lost to injury. He was replaced by Atu Bosenavulagi.

This will be the first of four games suspended with Cat Tom Stewart missing. The smooth halfback has been central to the Cats’ ball movement and his interceptions have resulted in more scores than any player this season.

However, the Cats are confident in players like Mitch Duncan, who will be celebrating his 250th game, Jack Henry, Zach Tuohy, Zach Guthrie and even wingman Isaac Smith, that they can hold the rebound from half-back.

Skipper Joel Selwood is equipped but Patrick Dangerfield, mentioned by full name, returns

‘Won’t Stop Believing’: Beveridge Maintains Faith Despite Difficult Road

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge ‘won’t stop believing’ despite a setback loss to the Brisbane Lions the start of their tough run.

The visitors rose by 18 points in the second quarter at the Gabba on Thursday before the Lions took a 41 point win to win 16.12 (108) to 9.13 (67).

It left the Bulldogs in ninth in percentage terms with four of their next five games against teams above them on the ladder, starting with Sydney on Friday.

“We have this series of games against teams in the top eight and above us and there’s no doubt it’s a significant portion of tough challenging games,” he said.

“All we can do is commit ourselves and believe in ourselves. That was my main message to the players after the game.

Bulldog Alex Keath gets tackled during the loss to the Lions.Credit:AFL Photos

“I will not stop believing in them and the people around them will not.

“As long as they firmly believe that we can continue to challenge some of the better sides, we will, but we need more to go well than tonight.”

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Bailey Smith remains banned, but ruckman Tim English (concussion) is likely to return to the Swans, while Ed Richards could also return after missing the Lions clash with a concussion.

Beveridge was pleased with how his side blew out an early fire in Brisbane that steamed after a 64 point loss to Melbourne last week

But he complained of a lack of precision and poor handling, despite a differential of over 15.

“I don’t think we took advantage of our chances in that first half unfortunately,” he said.

“You just have to pick yourself up and keep going and I felt Brisbane’s pressure and competition lifted to another level.”

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Cautious approach for injured Zorko, Rich

Andrew Stafford

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan said there were no worries about captain Dayne Zorko before suffering another hamstring injury early in Thursday night’s game against the Western Bulldogs.

“I can’t explain that,” he said. “I know that our medical people have done everything right. He passed every test, he ran the speeds he needed, and he did all that four or five days ago. It’s hard to know.”

Zorko and half-back Daniel Rich were both victims, with the durable Rich also injuring a hamstring.

Dayne Zorko was eliminated.

Dayne Zorko was eliminated.Credit:Getty Images

The Lions will have a 10-day break before facing Essendon at the Gabba, but Fagan said both injuries, especially Zorko’s, would be treated with caution: “Usually when players get injured again, it usually means a little longer [to heal]so that’s probably what will happen.”

In Rich’s absence, the Lions backline stepped up to capture their win against the Bulldogs. Keidean Coleman played the best game of his career, his ball handling a highlight.

“I thought we might have our work ahead of us for a while, but the guys jumped at the opportunity,” Fagan said.

“All of our fullbacks played great games, I thought. Considering the fact that they had to defend 57 in the 50s to keep a team at nine goals, and a few too late, that’s quite a special effort.”

The Lions struggled against the powerful Bulldog midfield and lost on 13 points, but Fagan said the Lions’ pressure on the ball carrier was enough to limit their effectiveness.

“It didn’t really feel like the Bulldogs were getting a clean sheet; it was often a hasty kick that we could win back,” he said.

“I didn’t look at the stats from injury to scoring, but it felt like we were doing pretty well on that, although they were actually on top of the cleanups.”

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McVeigh pitches for coach role at Giants

GWS coach Mark McVeigh will make a presentation to the AFL club’s board this month as part of his bid to win the full-time contract.

McVeigh, a longtime assistant, was given the reins on an interim basis when Leon Cameron stepped down in May.

The Giants were already out of the finals at the time, but have shown some promising signs with two wins from five games under McVeigh. They host Hawthorn at Giants Stadium on Sunday.

McVeigh expects the GWS hierarchy to speak to a string of coaching candidates, with four-time premiership mentor Alastair Clarkson looming as a possibility.

But 41-year-old former utility company Essendon has declared itself ready to step into the hot seat.

Interim Giants coach Mark McVeigh.

Interim Giants coach Mark McVeigh.Credit:AFL Photos

“I will go through the process like any other coach,” McVeigh told reporters on Friday.

“I’m already in the role and that’s going to show a few things, but I’ll be presenting at some point, probably in the next four weeks.

†[The club hierarchy] have been very open with me and great, they were great and they supported me.

“There are other coaches they will talk to, and that’s absolutely right [to do]and I’m just one of those trying to win the part.

“I know for sure where it is and I am very clear about the approach for the future.”

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