Round 5 Sunday 6 February

North Hobart Oval
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    Kangas give Freo's unbeaten run the heave-ho

    AN INACCURATE North Melbourne has hung on to beat a previously undefeated Fremantle by 10 points at North Hobart Oval.

    Fremantle was playing its fourth game in 16 days, and it was a dour struggle between the two sides, but the Roos will be thrilled to take a high-quality scalp in the 3.8 (26) to 2.4 (16) result.

    KANGAROOS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

    The Roos dominated both the second and third quarters with their high-pressure game but could not buy a goal, with Bella Eddey's classy conversion on the run late in the third finally ending an agonising run of eight consecutive behinds.

    Ebony Antonio had just one touch to the main break, but like she has done on multiple occasions this year, dragged Fremantle back into the match with a snapped goal to cut North Melbourne's lead to six at three-quarter time.

    AFLW Match Highlights: North Melbourne v Fremantle

    04:58 Feb 6. 2022. 7:04 PM

    The Kangaroos and Dockers clash in round five of the NAB AFL Women's Competition

    Without suspended superstar Kiara Bowers, key forward Gemma Houghton spent time in the middle, while defender Jess Low played a tagging role on the AFLW's leading ball-winner Ash Riddell, consequently sending Tiah Toth to defence.

    It was a tense last quarter played primarily at Fremantle's end, with North Melbourne's defence hanging on for dear life, until Tahlia Randall capitalised on a rare forward foray with a strong contested mark and goal and put the result beyond doubt.

    Jasmine Garner (29 disposals) signalled a return to top form, Riddell (24 and eight tackles) broke free of her tag and rucks Kim Rennie and Emma King combined beautifully against a gallant Mim Strom.

    Dockers skipper Hayley Miller (20, nine tackles and six clearances) had a well-rounded game, Gabby O'Sullivan laid 11 tackles and Steph Cain was strong on the wing.

    Antonio's brilliance brings Dockers back into the fold

    00:38 Feb 6. 2022. 6:28 PM

    Ebony Antonio kicks the Dockers' second after a brilliant fend and snap

    Life without Bowers
    For the first time since her debut in 2019, Fremantle played without AFLW best and fairest Bowers, after she was given a two-match suspension. Houghton spent more time on the ball, especially at centre bounces, while Dana East returned to the side. Incredibly, the Dockers had a higher number of tackles (78) than their average this year (73.2), and broke even in the clearances, even without their superstar.

    The steady rise of Tahlia Randall
    North Melbourne has constantly tinkered with its forward line over the past few years, changing up combinations of players and the number of smalls and talls as it tries to find the best fit. The move of Randall from defence is starting to play dividends, with her contested marking ability impacting matches. The next step is conversion in front of goal, kicking 3.7 this year.

    Randall takes a huge grab and kicks the sealer

    00:46 Feb 6. 2022. 7:03 PM

    North Melbourne edge closer to victory after this massive mark from Tahlia Randall

    Watch out for Jas
    It's flown under the radar, but Garner has been somewhat below her incredibly high standards in 2022. Her tally of 29 touches against the Dockers was a season best, having recorded 22 against Geelong, well up on her 2022 average of 18. She'd be disappointed with her three behinds, but it was her highest number of scoring shots since round one last year.

    Up next
    Fremantle is set to return home and is scheduled to play Carlton, but given the current West Australian border situation, it's not locked in. North Melbourne will play Richmond at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday.

    NORTH MELBOURNE     1.1     1.5     2.8     3.8     (26)
    FREMANTLE     1.1     1.2     2.2     2.4     (16) 

    GOALS
    North Melbourne:
     Abbatangelo, Eddey, Randall
    Fremantle: Houghton, E. Antonio

    BEST 
    North Melbourne:
     Garner, Riddell, Kearney, Bruton, M. King
    Fremantle: Miller, O'Sullivan, Cain, K. Antonio, E. Antonio

    INJURIES 
    North Melbourne:
     Nil
    Fremantle: Nil

    Reports: Nil 

    Crowd: TBC at North Hobart Oval

    Match stats will activate once the match has kicked off

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    Match stats will activate once the match has kicked off

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    Team Stats

    Disposals

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    Kicks

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    Handballs

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    Free kicks

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    Clearances

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    Inside 50

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    Marks in 50

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    Contested Possessions

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    Tackles

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    Hitouts

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