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Kangaroos leap into AFL's top eight
Sam Lienert
20:14 AEST Sun Jul 1 2012

North Melbourne have leapt into the AFL top eight at St Kilda's expense after claiming their second major scalp in as many matches.

The Kangaroos downed the Saints 21.10 (136) to 15.13 (103) in a fast-paced clash at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, backing up last round's upset win over Adelaide.

Drew Petrie kicked four goals while skilful midfielder Daniel Wells (34 disposals, two goals) was superb as the Kangaroos trailed by two points at halftime but stormed home with a 12 goals to six second half.

In further pain for the Saints, Rhys Stanley (hamstring) and Jason Blake (ankle) were both injured.

The victory lifted the Kangaroos into eighth spot, a game clear of five other clubs, including the Saints.

But they face a major test of their new-found top-eight status, against third-placed West Coast in Hobart on Saturday.

Also on Sunday, Geelong downed Port Adelaide 14.15 (99) to 8.13 (61) in a scrappy contest played in tough conditions at Simonds Stadium.

It left the Cats in seventh spot, a game clear of North.

They can further their finals claims when they meet winless Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium next Sunday.

But an enormously tough draw over the last eight rounds means Geelong's top eight berth is far from cemented.

Brisbane joined the chasing pack, with an 18.14 (122) to 8.13 (61) win over an injury-depleted Melbourne at the Gabba.

It was the Lions' fourth win in six games.

They joined St Kilda, Carlton, Richmond and Fremantle, who all had losses this weekend, on a 6-7 record.

The Blues were belted 18.12 (120) to 10.10 (70) by sixth-placed Hawthorn on Friday night, Carlton's fourth straight loss and the Hawks' fourth straight win.

The Blues' next opponents, top-placed Collingwood, notched their 10th straight victory at the MCG on Saturday, downing the Dockers 15.17 (107) to 12.6 (78).

Midfield star Dane Swan continued his strong run of form with 43 touches and two goals.

Fifth-placed Adelaide charged down a 33-point quarter-time deficit to beat Richmond 17.4 (106) to 13.9 (87) at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

Second-placed Sydney, third-placed West Coast and fourth-placed Essendon all claimed important percentage-boosters on Saturday night.

The Swans thrashed Greater Western Sydney 19.18 (132) to 5.8 (38) at ANZ Stadium.

The Eagles blitzed Gold Coast 25.16 (166) to 5.10 (40) at Patersons Stadium.

And the Bombers outclassed the Western Bulldogs 21.14 (140) to 8.8 (56) at Etihad Stadium, with Michael Hurley (five goals) and Jobe Watson (30 disposals, three goals) starring.


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