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Pressure builds on Noble after Cats' romp

3 minute read

Geelong have destroyed North Melbourne by 112 points, their biggest losing margin this season, to heap more pressure on Kangaroos coach David Noble.

DAVID NOBLE Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The pressure continues to build on beleaguered North Melbourne coach David Noble, whose last-placed side suffered a 112-point AFL demolition at Geelong.

The Cats showed no mercy to the undermanned Kangaroos, warming up for next week's blockbuster against top side Melbourne with a 21.18 (144) to 5.2 (32) romp on Saturday night at GMHBA Stadium.

It was two points short of Geelong's biggest winning margin over North, set during the 1981 season.

"It's not pleasant, nights like tonight," Noble said.

"We have to remain really calm and clear on what we have to go to work on."

Already at long odds, North's job was made even harder when they lost luckless utility Aaron Hall to a quad muscle injury in the first two minutes of the game.

That was after Cats star Patrick Dangerfield marked his return after four weeks out with a calf injury by kicking the opening goal of the game from the centre bounce after 13 seconds.

Late in the first quarter, with North three goals down, Kayne Turner was also forced out of the match when he hit his head and hurt his knee in a clash with Mark Blivacs.

The Kangaroos rallied, kicking the last three goals of the opening term to trail by just four points at quarter-time.

North only managed two goals and 13 inside 50s for the rest of the match.

Ye Cats ramped up their team defence to repeatedly force turnovers as they boosted their percentage ahead of next Thursday night's big game at GMHBA Stadium.

"As the game went on, we completely understand the challenges they had in front of them - the challenge for us was to make sure we try to stay in the moment as much as possible and not forecast five day in advance," said Cats coach Chris Scott.

"I thought we did that pretty well."

Scott also admitted to excitement about the Demons clash.

"It's a privilege to be involved in these big games where there's pressure and expectation.

"The town on Thursday night will be out of control. Everything's sold, it will just be absolutely pumping and it's just great to be involved in those games."

It is North's biggest losing margin of the season and comes in the same week that long-time Kangaroos administrator Geoff Walsh returned to Arden St in an advisory role as they review their football operations.

Walsh sat in the coaches' box for the match.

North have lost 12 in a row and since round five, their lowest losing margin has been 47 points.

As North continue to wallow at the foot of the ladder, the ruthless Cats took full toll.

Key forwards Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins lapped up the faultless supply from their teammates further up the field.

Cameron was best afield with four goals and 30 possessions, while Hawkins kicked six goals.

Dangerfield was managed through the game in his return from injury and looked in solid touch after his barnstorming start to the game, racking up 19 disposals.

Fellow onballer Mitch Duncan marked his 250th game with 30 possessions.

North onballer Luke Davies-Uniacke was outstanding with a game-high 35 possessions and eight clearances in a lone hand for the sorry Kangaroos.

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