WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday August 4, 1.45pm
LAST TIME: Western Bulldogs 15.11 (101) d North Melbourne 12.11 (83), round 7, 2012, at Etihad Stadium

When these sides last met, the Kangaroos were beaten comfortably by the Western Bulldogs in a loss which deservedly earned them heavy criticism for their incredibly poor play.

With all due respect to the Dogs, these sides were supposed to be at different stages of development. The ‘Roos appeared primed for a finals assault whilst the Dogs were coming down after a few years of coming agonisingly close to a Grand Final berth. But, as we saw, things don’t always follow the script, and North Melbourne were left wondering where they went wrong.

Now, 12 weeks later, the book appears to be back on track. North are in the eight and are holding on firmly to one of the last spots available, and have, in fact, gained ground on those ahead of them in recent weeks. It appears certain that they will feature in September, and they have produced a brand of football which could see them worrying several sides in the hunt for the flag.

The Bulldogs were embarrassed last week against St Kilda, with their forward line once more proving to be a major problem. They won their fair share of centre ball, but simply could not take advantage as their young forwards struggled against an experienced defensive half.

Final Say

Normally a lose in such a fashion would open the possibilities for a rebound match, but with the  Bulldogs already upsetting North Melbourne this season, the Roos should be on their guard, and ultimately, too good.

North Melbourne by 49