Kangaroos’ AFL shocker angers Scott
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Seething North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has promised changes after his Kangaroos’ AFL finals aspirations were rocked by their shock loss to the Western Bulldogs.
The Dogs, whose only previous victories this season were over strugglers Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney, deserved credit for Sunday’s hard-fought 15.11 (101) to 12.11 (83) win at Etihad Stadium.
Midfielders Matthew Boyd and Ryan Griffen were outstanding.
But Scott, who entered the season expecting improvement on the ninth placings of his previous two years at the helm, struggled to contain his anger.
“I’m boiling on the inside. If you think I’m sitting here just nonplussed, I’m doing my best to remain composed,” Scott told reporters.
The Roos were at full strength, while the Dogs were missing numerous players through injury, including late withdrawal Adam Cooney, Dale Morris, Easton Wood, Tom Williams and Liam Jones.
There were plenty of Kangaroos below their best, including their stars.
Speedsters Brent Harvey and Daniel Wells were largely kept in check.
Key forward Drew Petrie kicked three goals but was well beaten by Brian Lake, who had 12 marks and 26 disposals.
Jack Ziebell, who had four goals and 27 touches when North upset Geelong in round three, has not neared that form since.
Worryingly for Scott, North were thrashed in contested possessions and overall disposals, yet still had fewer tackles than the Dogs.
It was the fifth time this year they have conceded more than 100 points, the exceptions wins over expansion clubs Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast.
Their only other victory was against the Cats, which seemed a watershed win at the time, but now seems an aberration.
Scott will wield the axe.
“As a coaching group we’re not going to cop that,” he said.
In Sunday’s other match, Fremantle withstood an early Port Adelaide challenge to win 12.15 (87) to 7.5 (47) at Patersons Stadium.
The Dockers climbed to sixth, while the Power remained in the bottom four.
Port face the Kangaroos at AAMI Stadium on Saturday, a clash that spells trouble for the losers.
Earlier in the round, Hawthorn cantered to a 66-point win over Melbourne on Friday night, demoting the Demons to the bottom of the ladder.
Adelaide stunned the Cats by 50 points at AAMI Stadium on Saturday to climb to third and leave last year’s premiers outside the eight.
The Giants enjoyed their maiden AFL win, a runaway 27-point victory over Gold Coast which will make it tougher for Suns coach Guy McKenna to gain a new contract.
Richmond underlined their improvement with Saturday’s 29-point upset of MCG-phobic Sydney.
Essendon reinforced their top four credentials by smashing previously unbeaten West Coast by 61 points on Saturday night, while Collingwood’s form surge continued with a 58-point Gabba pounding of Brisbane.
The round finishes on Monday night, when Carlton can claim top spot if they down St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.© AAP 2013