At halftime of Saturday night’s AFL elimination final, former Carlton great Mark McClure spoke about the enormous challenge facing North Melbourne coach Brad Scott.
“Sometimes, you have to be half a con,” McClure said on the ABC, suggesting it didn’t always pay to rip into your team when it was losing.
After a poor second term the Kangaroos lifted to win an enthralling clash by 12 points – a massive tick for Scott’s coaching.
North only kicked one behind in the second term and were 33 points behind Essendon early in the third.
According to Sam Wright, Scott seemingly followed McClure’s suggestion and didn’t blast them at halftime.
“He was really calm and collected,” the North player told AAP.
“He really knows when to give you a bake and when to stay calm.
“He just reminded us of the way we play and we got back into the game and finished strong.
“He’s the kind of coach who really knows how to coach the individuals and the team, how certain players react.
While he changed their forward setup, Scott did not make wholesale positional changes.
Instead, the Kangaroos coach kept faith in his players and they repaid him in spades.
Everyone knew North has been one of the best sides in the second half this season.
Everyone knew of Essendon’s inconsistency during matches.
Scott undoubtedly reminded his players of those facts during the long break.
When asked if this was the best win of his coaching career, Scott replied simply: “yes”.
“That’s a standout, just because of the stakes,” he added.
One of the biggest media focuses ahead of Friday night’s semi-final against Geelong will be that this is the first time that Brad and his identical twin Chris coach against each other in a final.
It could not interest the Scotts less.
“We’ve coached against each other enough now that it’s sort of old hat,” Brad said.
He said Lachie Hansen (hip) remains unlikely to return and is also uncertain whether Leigh Adams (concussion) will be available for a possible recall.