The Kangaroos’ inconsistency means it is hard to read too much into their great win over Hawthorn.
North Melbourne and Brian Lake have the same problem.
Their best will beat anyone in the AFL, but their worst is so bad it’s laughable.
And no-one is quite sure when either extreme is going to appear.
North’s 20-point win over Hawthorn on Friday night means they have beaten all the current top-four sides this season.
Apart from the Kangaroos’ outstanding performance, Friday’s match was most notable for Lake’s brain snap in the third term.
This is the same player who won the Norm Smith Medal as best afield in last year’s grand final win.
Likewise, North’s great win came a week after their season was plunged into fresh crisis with the shock loss to Brisbane.
Their unpredictable form remarkably means next week’s game against bottom side St Kilda is no certainty for the ‘Roos.
“All the inconsistency stuff I’m not going to argue against that, that’s fact isn’t it,” said coach Brad Scott.
“We’ve beaten the top four sides but we’re not a top four side.
“We’ll draw a little bit of confidence out of it, but no more than the other good wins this year.”
The media blowtorch was put on North after the Lions loss, first for the post-match incident involving Tom Rockliff and then for the Kangaroos’ inconsistency.
In a column on Friday, Dermott Brereton was scathing in his criticism of key North players such as Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Lindsay Thomas.
Harvey and Dal Santo played key roles in the Hawthorn win.
On Saturday, Harvey happily told Triple M that he is no fan of Brereton’s commentary.
But North’s last seven matches of the regular season will determine whether Harvey or Brereton have the last laugh.
Scott was asked if he was more confident that North could build on this win, as opposed to their other great efforts this season against the top-four sides.
“I’m not confident and that’s because you don’t take anything for granted,” he said.
“History tells us this season that it would be folly for us to be confident after one good win, because we haven’t backed it up.