Kangaroos edge GWS in impressive AFL upset

Rob Forsaith
Forward Ben Brown (r) was one of nine Kangaroos goalkickers in the 20-point win over the Giants

North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw has long suggested that his club's kids are alright and on Sunday they put the AFL on notice, starring in a gusty 20-point upset win over GWS at Giants Stadium.

North could easily have settled for an honourable defeat against the premiership contenders, having fought hard throughout an arm-wrestle before the hosts threatened to take control after halftime.

Instead, the visitors regained the lead before three-quarter time then slotted six goals in the fourth term to prevail 12.8 (80) to 8.12 (60).

Curtis Taylor, Bailey Scott, Tarryn Thomas and Cameron Zurhaar - boasting a combined 57 games of experience - each booted clutch goals in the fourth quarter.

Zurhaar finished with a game-high three goals, also bringing the sort of physicality and desperation that helped stifle the Giants' potent run through the middle.

Shaw heaped praise on the youngsters, also highlighting the work of second-gamer Kyron Hayden after he matched up on goal-less GWS star Toby Greene at different stages of the scrap.

"The boys stood up. Our young brigade is certainly playing their part in these victories," Shaw told reporters.

"We're a pretty basic team. We fight for each other and the way the boys smacked in was really pleasing.

"In our minds it wasn't an upset. We were pretty confident coming into the game."

Shaw suggested the likes of Ben Cunnington, Shaun Higgins, Todd Goldstein, Jed Anderson and Aaron Hall were helping fast track the development of North's young guns.

"They have a lot of guys they can learn off," he said.

"Hopefully they grow together and start taking over, those younger boys."

Jared Polec, arguably best on ground, and captain Jack Ziebell also fittingly kicked goals when the game was up for grabs in the fourth term.

Ruckman Goldstein was immense for the visitors, helping himself to 51 hitouts, nine clearances and a key goal.

"We had a joke he was going to play the whole game," Shaw said.

"He ended up actually playing the whole game. Goldy is a superstar, one of the best ruckmen in the comp for a decade and probably beyond."

GWS coach Leon Cameron praised the Kangaroos' tackling and contested-ball numbers, admitting his team were "found wanting".

"They played well and deserved to win," Cameron said.

"We only played in patches. Whereas they played a consistent brand throughout the entire game."

The teams were locked at 2.6 (18) apiece at halftime, reflecting a match largely devoid of highlights but full of immense pressure and plenty of rust.

North are 2-0 and next face Sydney Swans then Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium as they eye a return to finals in Shaw's first full season in charge.