North Melbourne coach David Noble has bristled at the suggestion his side’s 15-point win over Covid-ravaged West Coast was a below-par result.
The Kangaroos’ win over the Eagles has come at a cost, with star on-baller Luke Davies-Uniacke set to miss next week’s game against Brisbane due to concussion.
Tarryn Thomas’ availability is under a cloud after he went to hospital with a suspected rib injury.
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Kyron Hayden should be free to face the Lions after being a late withdrawal due to gastro as the Roos prepare for a trip to the Gabba.
North Melbourne was warm favourites to beat West Coast due to the Eagles’ long list of unavailable players, but Noble hit back at suggestions his team should have walked over the makeshift Eagles line-up.
“I think that’s a bit disrespectful to some of the players that have come in for the opposition, to be honest,” Noble said.
“(Aaron) Black has won a Sandover Medal, played over 200 (state league) games, he’s a very good player that just unfortunately hasn’t had an opportunity.
“There’s 22 players who are trying to stop us from scoring.
“I don’t know why all of a sudden there’s an expectation we should win this game by X amount.
“We needed to win this game, we needed to go to work. There were some things we didn’t get right. But there was a lot we got right and got better than last week.
“I think they still had six premiership players, they still had some dangerous forwards, they still had a couple of guys down back that intercept the ball pretty well.”
Noble said it had been a “tricky” build-up coming up against a side whose side was unsettled and featured players from outside the AFL system.
He said he was “reasonably satisfied” with some elements of his side’s performance.
“The challenge for us was to play at a level we felt we needed to, to come away with the game,” he said.
— NCA Newswire