Roos beat Swans in AFL thriller at SCG

Adrian Warren
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Kangaroos win

Kangaroos win. Pic: Getty

North Melbourne forward Mason Wood has made a stunning return to the AFL, kicking a career-best four goals, including the match-winner, in the Kangaroos' two-point win over Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.

Wood showed great tenacity to win the ball, beat a couple of defenders and kick truly to wrestle the lead back from Sydney late in final quarter.

The Swans had two late long distance chances to win but Tom Papley missed a set shot and Dane Rampe kicked out on the full on the run.

The Kangaroos and Swans both have a 4-3 record and the game was Sydney's third home loss in four games this season.

North led for most of the game, but never by more than 14 points, going on to record a 9.14 (68) to 9.12 (66).

'We couldn't kick away it was very competitive through the whole game, some times those really tight results come down to very small things," Kangaroos' coach Brad Scott said.

"We've been on the end of some close ones over the last few years, so it was good to have one fall on our side."

Playing his first game of the season in place of a rested Jarrad Waite, 24-year-old Wood kicked the Kangaroos only two goals of the final quarter, having never previously booted more than three in a match.

"He was clearly the dominant forward on the ground," Scott said.

"He's a terrific athlete, so he works up and down the ground , it wasn't just his work in the forward half either.

"He got up and gave us a way out of our defence at times and took some really strong marks when we needed him too."

North finished the game a man down after defender Ed Vickers-Willis suffered a knee injury in the final quarter.

A first-quarter goal from North's Billy Hartung looked as if it might have been touched by Jarrad McVeigh, but neither coach considered it a big issue after the game.

Sydney coach John Longmire lamented his side's inability to take their chances and the concession of some soft goals.

"We let them go too many times the length of the ground and score," Longmire said.

"We gave up a couple of easy goals and we hit the front in the last quarter and should have sorted it out a little bit better."

Sydney trailed by eight at the last change but goals to Will Hayward and Zak Jones were part of an unanswered 14-point surge.

Wood levelled the scores with his third major but a 51m bomb from Jake Lloyd and a behind to Dean Towers pushed Sydney to a seven-point lead.

The Kangaroos notched four-straight behinds before Wood, the Roos' only multiple goalkicker, stepped up.

Shaun Higgins, back from concussion led the way for North with 32 touches, with Ben Jacobs and Ben Cunnington also getting plenty of ball.

Livewire youngster Hayward kicked three while Sydney captain Josh Kennedy tallied 31 touches, including 18 contested possessions, plus nine clearances and nine tackles.