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Roos win in Harvey's AFL milestone

AAP logoAAP 30/07/2016 Jason Phelan

On a historic night for the AFL and Brent Harvey, North Melbourne have clawed their way to a 23-point win over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.

Harvey's 427th career match rarely reached any great heights as a spectacle on Saturday night, but that mattered little as the champion was carried off the ground as the AFL's games record holder following the 12.13 (85) to 8.14 (62) win.

Despite a huge build-up in the week leading up to his surpassing of Hawthorn great Michael Tuck, Harvey wasn't overawed by the occasion, gathering 24 possessions and kicking a goal.

The win continues the 38-year-old's run of having never lost a personal milestone match in his career.

But although it was a historic night, there as nothing memorable about the dour, error-riddled first half of the contest.

Both sides lacked cohesion in their play and couldn't buy a set-shot for goal for the most part.

But the Kangaroos eventually found their composure to lead by two goals at halftime, with Drew Petrie - who kicked a goal after taking a spectacular pack mark - important as they stretched that to 22 points at the last break.

The Saints were ninth on the ladder going into the clash and desperately needed a win to keep their faint finals hopes alive.

But they continued a disappointing evening in the final term, with the Roos sealing a win to celebrate Harvey and keep them in the hunt for a top-four berth.

Jamie Macmillan, Ben Cunnington and Nick Dal Santo were influential for North, while Ben Brown was the dominant forward on the ground with three goals.

Coming off an upset win over the Western Bulldogs last week, St Kilda didn't have enough consistent contributors, but Seb Ross, Jack Steven and Leigh Montagna were among their best players.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott was delighted at how his side was able to grind out a win against a team that took good form into the game.

"St Kilda certainly weren't going to roll out the red carpet for Bloomer," Scott said.

"They were there to get the job done and they pressured really well, so we needed to try and match and exceed that pressure.

"It turned into a bit of a scrap but I think you need to be able to win those games because that's what high pressure finals look like."

Alan Richardson said it had been a frustrating night on several counts, with a critical period in the third quarter particularly disappointing.

"We were beaten pretty comprehensively at the stoppages ... not necessarily on the numbers but just the quality there," Richardson said.

"We've got some guys who have been in really good form - really aggressive, physical onballers - who were beaten pretty badly in that period of the game."

Jarrad Waite was unable to play out the match for the Roos after he aggravated a hip injury that has troubled him recently.

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