North Melbourne Kangaroos

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Ziebell urges focus ahead of “massive” Pies encounter

North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell says his side is excited for this weekend’s potentially season-defining clash with Collingwood as they look to jump inside the top eight.

The Kangaroos have exceeded the expectations of most this season, but after a heartbreaking loss to Sydney, they will need to respond strongly against the Magpies to stay in contention for a finals berth.

Ziebell is excited about the challenge of taking on the third placed Pies at the MCG on Saturday.

“They’ve been playing really good footy this year so we’ll have our work cut out but we’re really looking forward to mixing it with them,” he told SEN Afternoons.

“It’s very tight at the moment, it’s a bit of a logjam in the ladder and with six weeks out from the finals there’s probably six or seven teams vying for a few positions in the final eight.

“We’re one of those teams and we’re under no illusions how tight it is and that it’s a massive game for us against the Pies.”

North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown underwent scans earlier in the week on a potential injury but Ziebell is adamant the AFL’s leading goalkicker will be able to take his place against the Magpies.

“Ben is looking really good, he’s been a little bit sore this week but he’ll be out there this weekend no doubt,” said Ziebell.

The Kangaroos currently sit narrowly outside the top eight on percentage in ninth position.