North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker says the Kangaroos' thrilling one-point win over Fremantle was the perfect dress rehearsal for their upcoming finals campaign.
The Kangaroos had to dig deep to overcome the Dockers at Arden Street Oval on Saturday, with Daisy Bateman's late goal seeing them snatch a 4.6 (30) to 4.5 (29) win - and with it, a finals spot.
The result crushed Carlton's faint finals hopes and means the top six - Collingwood, Brisbane, Melbourne Adelaide, Fremantle, and North Melbourne - is locked in, though their positions can change.
Sixth-placed North Melbourne are currently lined up to play third-placed Melbourne, who beat Brisbane on Saturday - but their opponents could change depending on Sunday's clash between Adelaide and Collingwood.
"(The Fremantle win was) a great dress rehearsal for us - to come up against a team that have been a really formidable force for a number of years now," Crocker said
"They play a really high-pressure game of football which is going to be really similar to finals football.
"For our girls to have to be able to absorb it and go again, I think it's a really good dress rehearsal for finals."
Jasmine Garner starred with 25 disposals and a goal and skipper Emma Kearney (24 touches) and ball magnet Ashleigh Riddell (33 disposals) were also excellent, while Kiara Bowers (19 disposals) and Steph Cain (15 touches) were busy for the Dockers.
Kangaroos forward Sophie Abbatangelo drew first blood in the game's opening minute but another goal did not come until Daria Bannister snapped North's second shortly after quarter-time.
In the second quarter, the Dockers found a foothold in the game and hit back on the scoreboard - then late in the third term, skipper Kara Antonio slotted a set shot to put the in front.
But Fremantle were unable to build on their advantage and when Bateman received a free kick close to goal late in the final term, the young forward made no mistake.
Fremantle's Tiah Haynes missed a set shot to win the game, with the Kangaroos overcoming some late nerves in defence to hold on by a point.
"I was really happy with the last three or four minutes of the game - I thought we attacked really well and our backs got involved and pushed up," Dockers coach Trent Cooper said.
"But we probably lost it in the first half of that quarter."
Kangaroos defender Tahlia Randall limped off in the third term with an ankle injury but returned for the final quarter and played out the game.