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The Sydney Swans will look to climb into the top four when they meet North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium to open Sunday’s AFL action.

The Rows (2-17, 54.9%) will be hoping to salvage something from the remaining games to continue the club’s disappointing season with a 48-point loss at Essendon.

The Swans (13-6, 126.5%) have presented a strong form in recent weeks, winning the last four games for many researchers and analysts to re-engage in the premiership conversation.

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North Melbourne defender Ben McKay was a late withdrawal, replaced by Josh Walker in the 22, while Flynn Perez (Kangaroos) and Ben Ronke (Swans) signed up for medicals.

It was the weekend the Kangaroos celebrated their 1996 premiership reunion after the pandemic disrupted the 15-year anniversary in 2021.

And to the great spectacle of Rice fans and the AFL world in general, Ben Cunnington made his VFL debut against Sydney earlier on Sunday.

Quarter-by-quarter match report

The first quarter

Roos started the game promisingly with a 10-minute contest, but the Swans drew first blood after a superb finish from Errol Gulden.

After missing his first chance, Will Hayward converted to make it two goals in a row for the visitors.

“Warning signs for North Melbourne, such diverse talent in this Sydney squad,” Fox Footy commentator Anthony Hudson said.

But Nick Larkey responded at the other end with back-to-back goals to bring the Roos back into it.

The Roos were hungry throughout the first quarter, with Hudson saying their pressure was “pretty good”.

“The Kangaroos are proud of the way they are going now,” Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy said of the club’s 1996 Premier League side.

The pressure is just right, it’s the hardest I’ve seen the Kangaroos work in a long time, it’s amazing.

This match will be played at 1:10pm AEST from Marvel Stadium.

Watch it live on Fox Footy (Channel 504) from 1pm AEST.

Follow North Melbourne vs Sydney in our live blog below!

If you can’t see the blog, click here.

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