Kangaroos ready to spar with Demons

Captain Emma Kearney is confident North Melbourne have finally got the tools to mix it with the best as they attempt to win the AFLW premiership from eighth place.

The Kangaroos take on Melbourne in Saturday's preliminary final at Ikon Park, vying for a spot in the season finale.

North Melbourne have already knocked over fifth-placed Geelong and fourth-placed Richmond and will hope to add Melbourne, second in the regular season, to their finals scalps.

Kearney admitted getting over the hurdle of the Geelong elimination final had "released a bit of pressure" and allowed the Kangaroos to play with more freedom against Richmond.

She also agreed with coach Darren Crocker's assertion the Kangaroos belonged in the top four.

"Previously we've sort of been around about the mark but we feel like we couldn't really match it with those top teams," Kearney said.

"This season, given our list change, we feel like we've added a different dynamic into our forward line in particular, getting more experience into our younger players.

"That's put us in a really good position to be able to mix it with some of the best."

Melbourne edged North by two points back in round two, though the Kangaroos controlled most of the contest.

"The biggest thing for us coming from that game is our ability to match it with those big three clubs, Melbourne being one of them (along with Brisbane and Adelaide), one of the best in the comp," Kearney said.

"In previous seasons we really doubted our ability to match it with them but that gave us belief."

For their part, Melbourne overcame a slow start to kick into another gear and blow away Adelaide in their qualifying final, while the likes of Alyssa Bannan, Tayla Harris and Kate Hore are always threatening up forward.

"Melbourne's one of those ones where (if) they score one goal, they score two, three, four in a row really quickly," Kearney said.

"So if we can try to limit their impacts and then, when we highlight when they are getting momentum, being able to slow that down a little bit, that will help us really well.

"But we've got a really good team defence and we've been able to limit scoring as much as possible.

"We're going to have to be at our best to stop them."

Kearney shrugged off any concern over her heavily taped knee, while Mia King (ribs) and Erika O'Shea (eye) are also available.