Jaidyn Stephenson has turned successful a career-best show arsenic North Melbourne dealt a stunned West Coast broadside its 3rd location nonaccomplishment of the play to headdress Round 17.
Despite being the AFL's bottom-placed side, the Kangaroos person been much competitory of precocious and were superb erstwhile again, weathering a furious fourth-quarter complaint from the location broadside to run retired 10. 10. (70) to 8. 12. (60) winners successful slippery conditions astatine Optus Stadium.
Stephenson, who arrived astatine North Melbourne aft Collingwood's fire-sale past summer, was outstanding with a career-high 38 disposals and a extremity successful the win, with 25 of the 38 touches coming successful a superhuman second-half performance.
"It was awesome," Stephenson told Fox Footy aft the win. "Obviously the play hasn't gone to program truthful far, but to travel present and bushed West Coast astatine their location crushed is unbelievable."
"We didn't person galore fans successful the crowd, it was precise West Coast biased, but we each fought done and worked hard.
"We've travel a agelong mode successful specified a abbreviated play of time. Obviously astatine the commencement of the twelvemonth we didn't commencement excessively well, but successful the past 4 weeks aft the bye we've conscionable been awesome."
The 22-year-old's show lit up societal media arsenic helium enactment successful his champion show since his archetypal lucifer successful Kangaroos colours successful Round 1, wherever helium had 33 touches successful a nonaccomplishment to Port Adelaide.
Stephenson was acold from the lone Kangaroos prima to radiance successful the wet, with the seasoned trio of Todd Goldstein, skipper Jack Ziebell and midfielder Ben Cunnington each influential.
Goldstein etched his sanction into the AFL grounds books by becoming the league's all-time hitout leader, passing Fremantle large Aaron Sandilands' grounds of 8502 successful the opening term.
Fittingly, it was the 33-year-old who sealed North's win, with his 2nd extremity of the lucifer successful the last word capping disconnected a memorable night.
It was a bitterly disappointing effect for the Eagles, who were incapable to apprehension their mediocre tally of signifier contempt being backmost successful the acquainted confines of Optus Stadium.
Adam Simpson's broadside had 13 scoring shots to 5 successful the archetypal half, but kicked a paltry 3.12 to instrumentality a slim eight-point pb into the main break.
The nonaccomplishment leaves the Eagles clinging to a finals spot connected percentage, tied with the ninth-placed St Kilda team.
North Melbourne drew to wrong 2 points of the 17th-placed Hawks with the triumph and volition purpose to surpass the Hawks with different triumph adjacent week against Essendon.