North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said he was calm and rational in an after-match exchange with Brisbane star Tom Rockliff, and that he’d do it again.
Life’s tough for North Melbourne coach Brad Scott.
His inconsistent side’s four-point loss to Brisbane on Saturday night all but ends hopes of landing an AFL finals double-chance.
Even his attempts at defending his side don’t work.
After the match, Scott confronted Brisbane star Tom Rockliff for verballing and celebrating in front of Kangaroos veteran Brent Harvey on the final siren.
But rather than defuse the situation, his “respectful discussion” with Rockliff ensured drew in a great many more eyes.
“I thought I’d take the opportunity to nip it in the bud,” Scott said.
“Clearly I failed haven’t I?”
Scott said he didn’t regret approaching Rockliff, would do it again and would be happy for opposition coaches to do the same to his players.
“When you talk to an opposition player, it’s a very, very fine line … it’s a recipe for disaster when emotions are running high,” he said.
“But I want to make it crystal clear: I wasn’t emotional; I wasn’t aggressive. I was really calm.”
He distilled his conversation with Rockliff to a message: “Come on mate, I think you’re better than that.”
“Cuff me if you want,” he joked.
He said he didn’t believe any disrespect was taken by retiring Lion Jonathan Brown, who was speaking at the time.
The AFL opted for a quiet word with Scott rather than an investigation, which Scott said didn’t include a blanket ban on speaking to rival players.
“They were comfortable with what happened, but (the AFL) do acknowledge, as do I, that there is this risk if you’re aggressive or emotional.”
Scott hoped no precedent was set.
“I’d hate to get to the situation where they’re so precious that you can’t have a rational conversation with other players on the ground.”
After a couple of nights’ sleep, it’s clear that his team’s showing is the sting that lingers.
Scott will be swinging the axe at the selection table after “demanding a ruthless attitude from players and not getting it”.
He’s already decided on dropping a couple of players but declined to name names as league leaders Hawthorn did not need a leg up.
“I said I was calm and rational with Tom, if you want to see some emotion you should have sat in our review an hour ago,” he said.
“We’re eight and six and it feels as though there’s been a death in the family.
“But we’ve got a short turnaround to turn it around this weekend against the Alastair Clarkson-coached Hawks.”
The premiership coach resumed his post on Monday ahead of the pair’s clash on Friday night.