The secret behind this Roo's high leaping might not be what you think

THE SECRET to Tahlia Randall's mark of the year attempt against Greater Western Sydney?

Closing her eyes.

The new key forward – who has spent the vast majority of her time as a Kangaroo in defence – launched across at the footy, taking a powerful contested mark in front of goal in round three.

"I actually don't remember it happening, because I shut my eyes all the time whenever I go to mark the ball," Randall told womens.afl.

"All I remember is Jasmine Garner and Daria Bannister helping me up, while Daisy Bateman is lying on top of me saying, 'what just happened?'

"Whether it's marking or spoiling, I like just using my ability in running and jumping or competing in the air. I didn't mean for it to happen, but saying that, I practice doing the basic things, like marking and – even though I missed [the subsequent shot] – kicking goals, so I can have a complete game, rather than one good mark every now and then."

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The 23-year-old is building a reputation at Arden Street for her marking efforts at training, with one such attempt nearly ruling her out of this season's practice match.

"It was a bit of a shambles. I dislocated my finger and hit my head when I was trying to mark, it was all happening," she said.

North Melbourne's Tahlia Randall ahead of the 2022 season. Picture: AFL Photos

"It was just before the Doggies' practice match, so the finger was more of an issue than the head knock."

Randall's move to the forward line was part of a restructuring of the team's talls, with Kate Gillespie-Jones being delisted, Vivien Saad moving to Gold Coast, Jasmine Ferguson arriving in the draft and Kim Rennie crossing from the Bulldogs.

"For the past couple of years, I've wanted to try a different position, just to try and be a bit more versatile, like when we're in a game and things aren't going well, we can change a few things," Randall said.

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"The Collingwood final (loss) was one of those games. We didn't really change a whole lot, and we hadn't had enough practice in multiple positions, not just myself, but across the team. Nicole Bresnehan, for example, a fellow backliner, has now moved to the wing.

"It means we can swing a few things round and hopefully win the game."

North Melbourne's Tahlia Randall takes a mark against Adelaide in R2. 2022. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

North Melbourne will take on Carlton on Sunday, and Randall is wary of the experienced, senior core of the team spread throughout the side.

"Like many teams, Carlton have quite a complete team, they have a few key players in the backline, midfield and forward, they're not just stacked in one area," she said.

"We've really got to be on our game with Carlton, because they'll punish you on the turnover, and be quite attacking, similar to Adelaide. We just need to be on, which we showed we could do with the GWS game. 

"Saying that, we need to stay switched on for all four quarters, rather than three or a half."

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