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Shoulder injury to North star 'doesn't look good'

'The boys were really in tune' for skippers 200th North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw says his side 'went in with the focus of really starting well' and they did just that

THE RIGHT shoulder injury for North Melbourne ace Shaun Higgins "doesn't look good" according to Kangaroos interim coach Rhyce Shaw.

Higgins was tackled by Suns midfielder Touk Miller in the opening minutes of Saturday's match, hitting the Metricon Stadium deck hard and hurting his AC joint.

ROOS CELEBRATE IN STYLE Full match coverage and stats

He was taken from the field by trainers cradling his arm and went straight down to the rooms. He remained there getting treatment before the Roos eventually ruled him out at quarter-time.

"It doesn't look good, but we'll have to assess that Monday when we get a scan," Shaw said following the 27-point victory.

Higgins, 31, has been in sparkling touch this year, averaging 31.2 disposals from his 10 games.

WATCH Rhyce Shaw's full post-match press conference

It didn't slow the Roos down though, winning a third straight game after a seven-goal opening quarter.

Shaw said he was delighted in the flexibility of his team to adjust to the early setback.

"Higgo is so important to us, not only with his football ability but his leadership," Shaw said.

GAMEBREAKER Skipper stars in 200th game

"It changed a few things for us but gave a lot of guys opportunities, so we were able to roll LDU (Luke Davies-Uniacke) and Jy Simpkin and Tarryn Thomas through the midfield, which helped us.

"Every single bit of footy they get inside makes them a little bit better."

Thomas was particularly impressive, kicking two goals and setting up two more in the all-important first quarter.

The No.8 draft pick from Tasmania finished with 12 touches for the night, while Simpkin (18) and Davies-Uniacke (14) both chipped in well.

While the trio of first round picks contributed, it was old heads Ben Cunnington and Jack Ziebell that stole the show.

In his milestone game, Ziebell was fantastic.

"The boys were switched on, it also helped that it was the skipper's 200th game, so the boys were really in-tune for that," Shaw said.

"I think he had nine tackles in the first half.

"He certainly set the tone, like he always does, that was fantastic and the boys took his lead."

Shaw said it was a "good feeling" to collect a second successive win after taking over from Brad Scott ahead of a date with red-hot Greater Western Sydney next Sunday.

"The boys are playing some good footy and starting to get the rewards for it, which is really pleasing.

"I'm really happy for them in terms of their work-rate and ability to execute plans.

"I coach defence and that’s what we're all about at the moment for me, making sure we're defensively minded going into every game because I think we've got some real attacking flair on the back of that."