They’re already causing headaches for opposition teams but North Melbourne believe their potent forwards have barely scratched the surface ahead of Saturday night’s AFL clash with Richmond.
The 13th-placed Kangaroos rank sixth in the competition for goals scored per game, narrowly behind flag favourites Greater Western Sydney.
Converting that firepower into better results remains a challenge for the Roos, who have lost several games by single-digit margins.
But with tall trio Ben Brown, Jarrad Waite and Mason Wood finally lining up together after a run of injuries, and youngsters Taylor Garner and Kayne Turner showing good signs, there’s cause for optimism at Arden St.
“There’s massive room for improvement there. There’s no doubt that they’ve only scratched the surface with what they can do together,” North forwards coach Leigh Tudor told AAP.
“They haven’t played a lot of footy together over the last few years, so it’s just great that we can have an unchanged team and they can get some continuity.
“The more these guys can play together, the more valuable and the better their performances are going to be, I’m sure.
“We’re just rapt that we’re finally getting them together.”
The Roos were quick to swing changes after losing their first five games but will line up unchanged for the first time this season against the Tigers at Etihad Stadium.
It means another week in the VFL for impressive rookie Braydon Preuss, who held his spot as a ruck-forward for the first four rounds.
North are eager to give the 206cm rugby league convert another run but have struggled to accommodate him alongside dual All-Australian Todd Goldstein, given both prefer to play primarily in the ruck.
Key forward Ben McKay, 19, will also push for a senior debut in the latter half of the season as he continues his recovery from a hip complaint.
The Roos have won seven of their past eight games against Richmond, and Tudor said keeping the likes of Alex Rance, Brandon Ellis and Bachar Houli accountable was vital to prevent gifting Jack Riewoldt easy shots at goal.
“It’s amazing how both teams have changed since the last time we played,” Tudor said.
“Houli and Ellis have moved down to the backline, they’re really aggressive now, and the same with Rance – he’s someone that you can’t just let him do his own thing.
“We need to compete in the air and bring our forward pressure because if we don’t do that, they’ll be able to get the ball down to Riewoldt very quickly.”