NORTH Melbourne can't rely on a swathe of GWS injuries to deliver a much-needed victory over the Giants this Saturday, Kangaroos midfielder Ben Cunnington says.
Four Giants stars were cut down in last Sunday's 42-point defeat to Collingwood, with the loss of ruckman Shane Mumford (ankle) for the rest of the season headlining the injury toll.
But Cunnington warned the Giants' woes guaranteed the Roos nothing, as they seek to square the win-loss ledger at 6-6 before the bye.
"I don't think you can rely on other team's injuries, we’ve just got to worry about the way we want to play and that’s what we'll be doing this week," Cunnington said.
GWS has never won without Mumford since he crossed from the Swans at the end of 2013, and his absence exposes the Giants to the League's in-form big man, Todd Goldstein, this Saturday.
But the timing of injuries to key defenders Phil Davis (ankle) and Joel Patfull (broken ribs) is just as worrying for coach Leon Cameron.
North boasts one of the tallest forward lines in the competition, and Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite and Ben Brown are averaging nearly five goals between them this season.
"I'm sure it (Davis and Patfull's injuries) helps. But the same thing, new kids will be coming in, they'll be trying to play hard and play tight to 'Drewy' and 'Waitey', so there's still going to be someone defending them," Cunnington said.
Roos' interim coach Darren Crocker conceded the season is on a knife-edge after last week's 16-point loss to the Sydney Swans, which left North languishing in 12th spot.
Cunnington said the return of polished ball-user Nick Dal Santo from a long-term hamstring couldn't come soon enough.
"I'm praying he comes back this week because we're just missing a bit of outside class, I feel," he said.
"Inside we've still been going OK, in clearances and what not, but his polish and class outside will definitely sharpen us up.
"He's been training … he's been running around. He's a smooth mover as always, he definitely hasn't lost that."
The Roos have focused on being more aggressive with their ball movement this week and straightening up their goalkicking after they booted 10.15 against the Swans.
But Cunnington said producing four-quarter performances would be critical for last year's preliminary finalists to rise up the ladder.
"We're disappointed (with our first half of the season) because I think the frustrating thing is we know we are good enough, as we showed for three quarters against Sydney – one of the better teams for the last decade," he said.
"But we've still got the second half of the season, we've still got a lot of games left to play.
"So we're excited; there's still opportunities. We've haven't given up by all means.
"There's still plenty of games, it's a close competition, we're still alive."