‘Annoyed’ coach’s warning after humiliation
North Melbourne coach David Noble has delivered a blunt message to his playing squad after Friday afternoon’s embarrassing 128-point loss — either turn up on game day or face the consequences.
The Western Bulldogs cruised to a comfortable 25.17 (167) to 5.9 (39) win over the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium, the club’s largest victory in AFL/VFL history.
It was also North Melbourne’s biggest defeat in 37 years.
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Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce kicked a career-best 10 goals in the one-sided contes — double the entire opposition team’s tally.
After narrowly avoiding the wooden spoon last season, the Kangaroos are yet to register a victory after three rounds in 2021 — their average losing margin this season currently sits at 80 points.
Josh Walker of the Kangaroos.Source:Getty Images
North Melbourne fans are understandably agitated and frustrated, and Noble has issued a dire warning to his playing group.
“We have to come to play every single week. We can’t be inconsistent for our fans,” Noble told reports after the defeat. “We can’t be inconsistent to ourselves and pick and choose when we want to come and play.
“I’m annoyed. I want to win. As I said last week, I am not here just to have 12 months of development, so the expectation is if you are playing this level of footy you come to play every week.
“And if you don’t come, that comes with consequences either in selection or at the end of the year.
“The players have got a pretty clear idea what that actually looks like and we have not been able to deliver that, so we need to go away and assess that ourselves as a coaching group and as a group (of) players and remain really calm and really clear on what we need to deliver.”
David Noble, coach of the Kangaroos.Source:Getty Images
The Kangaroos were without new recruit Aidan Corr (infected foot) and veteran defender Robbie Tarrant (kidney) on Friday, and having axed 11 players during the off-season, they were fielding one of the least experienced teams in the league.
“We just need to be calm. We are on a journey. We understand it,” Noble said.
“There are hiccups along the way, and yep today is a bigger one than maybe what we have had, but I have been through this two or three times before.
“We just need to be really composed on where we are going.
“They made a commitment today come with energy — I thought for a reasonable portion of the day they did.”
North Melbourne will next face the Adelaide Crows on Sunday, April 11 at Marvel Stadium, with the first bounce scheduled for 1.10pm AEDT.
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