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Kangaroos out to lock down AFL finals spot

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016 By Ben Mckay

The number 427 is everywhere at North Melbourne.

Brent Harvey's milestone is what everyone is talking about.

It's on the guernseys they'll wear on Saturday night against St Kilda.

And it's soon to be in the record books next to Harvey's name as the new all-time AFL games record-holder.

But there's another number that coach Brad Scott is keen to keep the focus on this week; 12.

Against the Saints, the Kangaroos are chasing their 12th win for the season and a virtual guarantee they'll play finals footy.

Given North started the year with nine straight wins, Scott might not have thought he'd be waiting to round 19 to get there.

Beating the red-hot Saints would give North Melbourne a three-game buffer from ninth place, but more importantly to Scott, that elusive 12th win.

"That's been the aim for a long time and that's certainly the objective on Saturday night," he said.

"When we were 9-0, people started talking to the future. We brought our focus back to 12 wins because that's what we could achieve in a relatively short space of time.

"Once we've achieved that then we look forward again."

Scott joined the chorus across the AFL to praise the evergreen Harvey, who turned 38 in May.

"He's the most driven footballer I have ever seen," he said.

"That's saying a lot because I've seen some driven competitors.

"The legacy he's going to leave our club is just going to be incredible."

Only Hawthorn and Adelaide (8-1) have a better record over the last nine weeks than St Kilda (7-2), making Saturday night's challenge a formidable one.

Scott said the milestone was an easy source of inspiration for his players as he seeks to channel the occasion into a victory.

"It's probably playing to the fact that our players absolutely idolise Boomer in a lot of ways," he said.

"Boomer himself is firmly focused on that 12th win.

"We've got a great record in his milestone games and there's been quite a few over the journey.

"It'll be about celebrating the type of player he's been for us and 21 other guys making sure they do the job for him."

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