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AFL ROUND 6 – NORTH MELBOURNE vs. GOLD COAST

 

North Melbourne (17th) vs. Gold Coast (12th)

Etihad Stadium

Saturday, April 29, 7:25pm (AEST)

Ben Brown celebrates one of his career-high six goals in North Melbourne’s 13-point win over Gold Coast. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

BY JASON PHELAN

North Melbourne have broken through for their first win of the AFL season, downing a persistent Gold Coast by 13 points on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos clung to a six-point lead early in the last quarter but Ben Brown kicked two of his career-best six goals to help his side to a 16.11 (107) to 14.10 (94) win in front of 15,431 fans at Etihad Stadium.

Gary Ablett did his best to drag the Suns over the line and the two-time Brownlow medallist put in a stunning 45-disposal and 18 clearance performance, with 27 of those touches contested.

Brad Scott’s side hadn’t won a final term this season as they slumped to a 0-5 start, but found some composure under pressure to see off Gold Coast.

Rodney Eade’s men kept coming but his patched-up defence couldn’t get the job done.

The Suns’ backline, already undersized without Steven May and Rory Thompson, lost Kade Kolodjashnij before the game and Matt Rosa to a concussion in the second quarter.

Brown made the most of his opportunities and the dominant forward on the ground gathered 17 possessions and took eight marks on his way to his pivotal six-goal haul.

Shaun Higgins returned from injury to play a vital role for the Roos and the clever forward amassed 28 disposals and kicked a goal.

Nathan Hrovat, Aaron Mullett and Jack Ziebell were also important, with Scott Thompson doing well to limit prolific Gold Coast forward Tom Lynch to three goals.

While Ablett was head and shoulders above his teammates, Jarrod Harbrow, Alex Sexton and Michael Barlow were also prominent.

© AAP 2017

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.4 7.8 12.9 16.11 (107)

GOLD COAST 4.4 7.6 11.8 14.10 (94)

Goals: North Melbourne: B Brown 6 N Hrovat 2 J Anderson J Simpkin K Turner L Hansen L McDonald M Williams S Gibson S Higgins. Gold Coast: T Lynch 3 B Matera 2 C Ah Chee 2 M Barlow 2 P Wright 2 A Sexton G Ablett J Bowes.

Best: North Melbourne: B Brown S Higgins J Ziebell T Garner N Hrovat A Mullett. Gold Coast: G Ablett A Sexton J Harbrow J Lyons T Miller M Barlow.

Umpires: Chris Donlon, Troy Pannell, Nathan Williamson.

Official Crowd: 15,431 at Etihad Stadium.