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Match Preview: Round 11 v North

Marc McGowan, AFL Media  May 30, 2018 2:57 PM

 - Brisbane Lions,Eric Hipwood

North Melbourne head into Round 11 with a strong comeback story, sitting fifth place on the ladder.

They have a tough, suddenly deep midfield, the AFL's leading goalkicker in Ben Brown, and have conceded the fewest points of any team.

But the young Lions side shouldn't be underestimated.

Despite having only one win from 10 to show, the Lions have proven highly competitive most weeks.

Star midfielders Dayne Zorko and Dayne Beams will have to fire again.

Fresh from breaking the League's single-game spoils record, Harris Andrews will be ready to cause an impact. While, last time the two teams met, Brown starred with a career-high seven goals. The match-up between Andrews and Brown will be a fascinating one.

Tom Cutler has brilliantly fed the Lions inside 50 this year, and needs to maintain that form against a stingy North backline.

Where and When: 
Etihad Stadium, Sunday, June 3, 1.10pm (AEST)

Last Five Meetings
R23, 2017: North Melbourne 19.16 (130) d Brisbane Lions 11.13 (79) at the Gabba
R2, 2016: North Melbourne 17.15 (117) d Brisbane Lions 11.17 (83) at the Gabba
R17, 2015: North Melbourne 16.14 (110) d Brisbane Lions 5.8 (38) at the Gabba
R2, 2015: North Melbourne 20.13 (133) d Brisbane Lions 7.9 (51) at Etihad Stadium
R15, 2014: Brisbane Lions 10.10 (70) d North Melbourne 9.12 (66) at the Gabba

The Six Points
1. Not in the Lions' favour is their starts to games: yet to win an opening quarter. The fourth term is Brisbane's best, winning six and boasting a plus-18 points differential.

2. A possible advantage for the Lions could be in centre clearances, where they rank eighth with an average of 12.7 per game, while the Roos are last with an average of 9.4.

3. North's Shaun Higgins and Brisbane's Dayne Beams are among the steepest risers in the AFL Player Ratings in the past month. Higgins climbed from 136 to 90 (+34 per cent) in that period, while Beams vaulted 45 places to 166 (+21 per cent).

4. Harris Andrews will have his work cut out for him this weekend as he comes up against the leagues leading goal-kicker, Ben Brown. After hitting a new AFL record for spoils last weekend, Lions' young leader will be a great match-up against Brown.

5. North has proven to be one of the best defensive teams in 2018, conceding an average of only 69 points per game. They've given up 100 points in a match just once so far (to Melbourne in round three).

6. Robinson has lifted his game in recent weeks, making a record-breaking effort in contested possessions (26) against the Swans. Robbo's intensity through the midfield will be valuable for the Lions this weekend. 

It's a big week for... Eric Hipwood
Brisbane's No.1 key forward Eric Hipwood is yet to turn 21, but is the Lions' third-highest goalkicker this season with 14.

If that's not already a big ask, Hipwood comes up on Sunday against the League's stingiest defence, led by Kangaroos veterans Robbie Tarrant and Scott Thompson.

The 203cm forward will be looking to make an impact after a relatively quiet match last weekend against the Swans. 

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