Jack Ziebell during the AFL captains’ day.
Jack Ziebell during the AFL captains’ day.

Ziebell: Cairns conditions ‘laughable’

NORTH Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell says his side is ready to step up and be counted against St Kilda on Friday after falling short of Gold Coast in "laughable" conditions in Cairns at the weekend.

The Kangaroos will host the Saints on Good Friday in what are certain to be drier conditions under the roof of Etihad Stadium, the game again being run in partnership with the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

Ziebell said it was "hard to take much out of" a 16-point Round 1 loss to the Suns on Saturday night, the city of Cairns recording more than 160mm of rain that day which meant conditions for the game were as bad as he had played in.

However, the captain said players had pulled up well from the heavy conditions and were determined to bounce back in their marquee match this week.

St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary and North Melbourne counterpart Jack Ziebell ahead of the Good Friday match.
St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary and North Melbourne counterpart Jack Ziebell ahead of the Good Friday match.

"It's probably the wettest game that I've played in to tell you the truth," Ziebell said.

"The first quarter was almost laughable, the conditions, but I suppose it was the same for both sides and we probably didn't handle it as well as the Gold Coast did.

"We'll look forward to being able to play on the big stage and a few of our young guys will get a great experience out of that. It's a pretty big week for our footy club having a Good Friday game for the second year in a row and we'll look to try and keep that fixture in the future no doubt."

The Saints replace the Western Bulldogs as North Melbourne's Good Friday opponent this year and are coming off a Round 1 win over Brisbane.

North Melbourne's Billy Hartung in the Cairns rain. Picture: Brendan Adke
North Melbourne's Billy Hartung in the Cairns rain. Picture: Brendan Adke

The Lions had led by eight points late in the third quarter before Jack Steven turned the game with two quick goals, however it was Blake Acres who was the name on the lips of many after the best performance of his 45-game career.

"I think he could be a really good player for us going forward," St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary said.

"When he plays really well he's really good for us and his challenge is to bridge that gap between his best and worst performances which I'm confident he's probably going to be able to do that."



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