North Melbourne coach David Noble has put the onus on the club’s leaders to ensure there will be no more silly free kicks after the team’s ill discipline cost them dearly last week.
Noble was angry last week after watching his players give away a series of needless free kicks and 50m penalties in the 20-point AFL loss to Hawthorn.
The most costly one was when Kangaroos forward Nick Larkey gave away a free kick while his teammate Callum Coleman-Jones was lining up for goal.
The AFL has cracked down on players remonstrating with the umpires this season and Noble doesn’t want to see any ill discipline in Sunday’s clash with West Coast at Marvel Stadium.
“We’ve handed that (responsibility) back to the leadership group, so that’s been flagged with those guys,” Noble said on Thursday.
“The players know that’s not acceptable from that side of things. So internally the players will manage that themselves.
“The players understand that the umpires have got a really difficult job to do.
“We’ve got to be more respectful of that and don’t get involved in those scenarios, particularly when our guys are having a set shot on goal.”
North Melbourne’s decision to unleash a tall forward line against the Hawks was heavily criticised.
Ruckmen Todd Goldstein and Tristan Xerri spent periods playing alongside key forwards Larkey and Coleman-Jones, and Noble said it was a tactic he may repeat.
“It’s generated a fair bit of interest I must say,” he said.
“We went in with three talls because we felt it was going to give us an advantage, particularly on the scoreboard leaving CJ (Coleman-Jones) as a permanent forward.
“We’ve reassessed it. There were some periods of time where we quite liked the structure. There were other periods where it didn’t probably suit the flow of the ball in the way the game was unfolding.
“We’ll assess it. We’ll have another look at it at main training today and then we’ll make a decision going forward.”