AFL: Yes, Zur! Six-goal Kangaroo Cameron Zurhaar buoyant about North Melbourne’s future

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Cameron Zurhaar was at the heart of North Melbourne’s stunning upset of Richmond but does he plan to re-sign with the Kangaroos?

North Melbourne’s six-goal hero Cameron Zurhaar says Saturday’s chaotic victory over Richmond is overdue reward for the “tough slog” the Kangaroos have endured.

Zurhaar racked up five goals to half-time off as many disposals – three of them snaps – then gleefully accepted ruckman Todd Goldstein’s match-winning tap inside the last three minutes to give North the lead for good.

The 24-year-old forward enforcer knew it was his day when his fourth shot at goal bounced perfectly from the left goalpost in for another six points.

Zurhaar twice kicked five majors in a game in the 2019 season but this was a career-best effort and came at the end of a hellish week where the Roos sacked coach David Noble after five wins in 38 matches.

There was still plenty of barely believable drama and chances for both sides after Zurhaar’s goal but it ended up being the difference in North Melbourne’s four-point victory.

President Sonja Hood was among the well-wishers who embraced in the Kangaroos’ euphoric rooms afterwards.

“I’ve never really done it before,” Zurhaar told News Corp.

“You could say it was the game-winner but it’s a great feeling. I carried on a bit but I carry on a bit with all my goals. I was just so happy to get the win – it means the world.

“We’ve worked so hard this year and things weren’t going our way but we needed that win. It was a big reward for effort.

“It’s been a difficult year but the spirit of the boys has been unbelievable and everyone’s still up and about every single training session. To get that win is just incredible.”

The triumph was just North Melbourne’s second this season and ended a 14-game losing skid, moving them within three percentage points of second-from-bottom West Coast.

The Roos’ remaining opponents are Hawthorn, Essendon, Sydney, Adelaide and Gold Coast.

Zurhaar, who is out of contract this year and parked negotiations in May until the end of the season, remains tight-lipped about his playing future but speaks like someone who plans to be around for a while.

He raved about Paul Curtis’ “unbelievable” three-goal game against the Tigers, No.1 pick Jason Horne-Francis’ return to the senior side, Aiden Bonar’s performance down back and “electric” small forward Phoenix Spicer.

Flynn Perez also kept Richmond’s in-form Mr-Fix-It Liam Baker to only eight touches in 75 minutes opposed to one another.

“We’ve got some extremely exciting talents and I’m excited to see where they go,” Zurhaar said.

“I believe a lot in the young boys and we’ve got some serious talent but, unfortunately, we just don’t have the top-end talent and a bit of maturity, but I’m sure in the next two years we will be competing with the top sides.”

Originally published as AFL: North Melbourne forward Cameron Zurhaar believes in the Kangaroos’ rebuild after fighting win over Richmond


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