Josh Goater receives treatment for an injury during the match between Greater Western Sydney and North Melbourne at Engie Stadium in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne suffered another blow to its injury-ravaged defence with Josh Goater rupturing an Achilles in the 39-point defeat to Greater Western Sydney.

Goater slumped to the ground after starting to run after Toby Greene when the Giants skipper made a lead inside 50, and immediately reached for his lower left leg.

The young half-back had to be helped from the field in the dying stages of the match at Engie Stadium and the Kangaroos confirmed on Saturday night that Goater has ruptured an Achilles.

GIANTS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

"Josh is a young player, this is third year of footy, and if that's a ruptured Achilles I dare say his season is done, which is so sad,” Kangaroos coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"But that's the game that we're in. It's a really, really demanding game and, unfortunately, he's just going to have to rehab it well and get himself ready for next year."


Goater was playing his 12th match as the Kangaroos look to rebuild their defence with Griffin Logue sidelined with a torn ACL, former skipper Jack Ziebell retired, and Ben McKay leaving as a free agent last year.

The 20-year-old had 10 disposals including four rebounds against the Giants, while his long-kicking out of defence was widely expected to become a weapon for the Roos this year.

Co-captain Luke McDonald is nearing a return from a hamstring injury as the Kangaroos look to bolster their under-siege defence that allowed the Giants to have 36 scoring shots from 60 inside 50s.

"It's just really disappointing for him for where he's at it with his career that he can't consolidate on his emergence into the side last year," Clarkson said.

"He played one game in his first year and played 10 last year, and this was going to be his step-up year. So that's disappointing for him. We're shattered for him."


The Giants have now booted a combined 35 goals across their opening two matches of the season as their fit and firing key forwards make the most of swift ball movement further up the field.

Jesse Hogan has backed up a career-high 49 goals last year with 10 majors across his first two games, including a bag of six against the Kangaroos.


Fellow tall forward Jake Riccardi made a flying start with three goals in the first term against the Roos, while former No.1 draft pick Aaron Cadman has booted two majors in both matches so far this year. 

"To see [Hogan] compete the way he does, to lead the way in that aspect of the game, not only does it encourage our other key forwards to do it, it holds them to a higher standard," Giants coach Adam Kingsley said.

"So far, I think all three of those guys working together has been really strong for us in two games of footy so far this year.

"That's what we expect out of our key forwards, and so far, they've delivered."