David Noble reportedly apologised to his Kangaroos players after tearing strips off them following a deflating 108-point loss.
The Kangaroos, who finished bottom of the AFL ladder last year, were belted by the Lions 23.18 (156) to 7.6 (48) at the Gabba in Round 3, and Noble was absolutely filthy with their performance.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
“It was a really simple, basic game today that we let ourselves down enormously and we should be embarrassed,” he told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“There’s got to be consequences around training, there’s got to be consequences around skill errors. Close to 80 points on turnovers is just unacceptable … so no, I’m not happy.
“We’ve got to train hard, we’ve got to get our standards right. The players have got to drive accountability for that. I think the coaches are putting a high demand on what we require and we need the players to toe the line.
“We need them to get on board with the level of intent we want to train at and want to play at. If you don’t bring your energy, you get that result.”
The Herald Sun reports that North Melbourne’s players were left “shell shocked” by Noble’s post-game address, for which he later apologised after reflecting on his conduct.
“It’s not the first time players have told him his feedback has not been as constructive as it might have been,” News Corp reporter Jon Ralph told Fox Footy’s On the Couch on Monday evening.
“It was personal enough in nature that some of the players were shell shocked about it, some of them even a bit emotional about it.
“The players were telling him, (the game plan is) too complicated.
“Noble reflected for a couple of days afterwards and said to the players he’d gone too hard.”
However, former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes does not believe Noble needed to apologise, telling Channel 9’s Footy Classified: “If it’s just specifically on-field, about effort, about structure, about breaking team rules, I can’t see how there could be an issue for David Noble and in what case he could ever have to apologise.”
North Melbourne have won just eight of it last 47 games, with only one victory to their name this season – Noble’s winning percentage as coach is just 16.7 per cent.
Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown and St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt questioned whether Noble, who is contracted until the end of 2023, still had the support of the Kangaroos playing group.
“We’ve all been on the end of some pretty fierce (sprays), and the landscape has changed. Players are after more constructive stuff,” Riewoldt said.
“The coach has come in and sprayed the group, the results haven’t changed… it doesn’t take much for the coach to lose the players.”