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AFL 2021 LIVE updates: Plucky Kangaroos host flag threat Brisbane in Hobart

Ben Cunnington in the zone

Aaron Naughton has been cleared of a serious rib injury while Mitch Duncan appears to have suffered a high-grade PCL injury which could keep him out for the rest of the home-and-away season. Click here to read the full story.

Medical staff attend to Aaron Naughton.

Medical staff attend to Aaron Naughton.Credit:Getty Images

Since Round 9, North Melbourne has been outscored from stoppages in every game – averaging 18 fewer points from that source – ranked 17th. Brisbane has outscored its opposition by 20 points per game from stoppages – ranked No.1. Ben Cunnington averages 10.2 clearances over these rounds – ranked second in the AFL.

Having made a statement with several big names axed, it was then over to North Melbourne’s players to make a statement of their own against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.

That they did, showing a fight that had recently been lacking, particularly in the heavy loss to Melbourne last week.

While the Lions hung on for a one-point win at Metricon Stadium – a goal by the Kangaroos after the final siren cutting a seven-point lead – a more physical, strong tackling and effusive North delivered on coach Rhyce Shaw’s pre-game plea.

“I have been pretty strong all along about how we want to operate as a football team. We have got to make sure our standards and expectations are met,” Shaw said beforehand.

Click here to read the full report.

Fighting fit: Jarrod Berry looks to shrug off a tackle.

Fighting fit: Jarrod Berry looks to shrug off a tackle.Credit:Getty Images

Paddy Dow (Carl) – 50 games

Paddy Dow.

Paddy Dow.Credit:Getty Images

This game was supposed to be played at Marvel Stadium, but the Kangaroos are probably secretly happy it was shifted to Tasmania because they have proven to be a very hard nut to crack down there.

In their three games on the Apple Isle so far this year, North have scored their solitary win against Hawthorn, led ladder leader Melbourne by 20 points (before losing by 30) and enjoyed a five-goal advantage against GWS last round before having to settle for a draw.

This is Brisbane’s first ever trip to Blundstone Arena, and while the Lions have won their last two games in Tasmania, the country’s most southern state hasn’t proven to be a happy hunting ground historically with just three wins from 10 attempts in Launceston.

Given Brisbane are a presumptive top-four side, you would expect them to get the job done, especially when you consider the sensational form they were in for 7.5 games, before Melbourne overran them in the second half at Giants Stadium a couple of weeks ago.

But it might not be as easy as you would ordinarily think. This could have banana skin written all over it.

Hello everyone and welcome to our Saturday AFL live blog.

The first game we’ll be providing rolling coverage for is the clash down in Hobart between last-placed North Melbourne and premiership fancies the Brisbane Lions.

We will then shift our focus to Giants Stadium for the night game between GWS and Carlton.

We look forward to your company and feel free to leave a comment at any time!

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