North Melbourne coach David Noble expects his developing AFL team to heed a long list of lessons out of their thumping at the hands of arch rivals Essendon.
The Kangaroos enjoyed a brief period of ascendancy during the third quarter on Sunday, but were ultimately blown away in a 72-point loss to the Bombers at Marvel Stadium.
It came just eight days after North were buoyed by their first win of the season, and left them still anchored to the foot of the ladder ahead of a clash with St Kilda in round 11.
“It was really poor on our side,” Noble said.
“We let them start well, we couldn’t wrestle anything back, we got a tiny bit of momentum in the third quarter and we got a lesson.
“We clearly got a lesson today on quick use of the ball, turnover, punishing the opposition … and that was the disappointing thing.”
Tarryn Thomas and Ben Cunnington competed well for North and Kayne Turner played a role in shutting down the dangerous Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti for most of the game.
The Kangaroos outscored their opponents 5.5 to 4.1 in the third quarter after trailing by 50 points at the main break.
“That’s not good enough,” Noble said.
“We don’t want to be a club that rallies for a bloody quarter.
“That’s the frustrating and disappointing thing – we’ve got to rally from the start.”
Like North, St Kilda will enter Saturday night’s clash at Marvel Stadium on the back of a heavy defeat.
The Saints (4-6) were handed a 111-point thrashing by premiership favourites the Western Bulldogs in round 10.
“I’m sure they’re going to bounce off (that) like we intend to,” Noble said.
“The guys that go on the paddock have got to bring the right energy and bring the right level of combativeness to compete.”
Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein and tall forward Nick Larkey are both expected to be cleared of serious injury after spending time off the ground with ankle issues during the second half.
Tristan Xerri and Will Phillips are among the players pushing for senior selection, while experienced defender Robbie Tarrant is expected to return via the VFL next week.