North Melbourne are determined not to become like moths to the flame as the AFL spotlight shines brightly on Fremantle star Nat Fyfe.
It is a big week for the Brownlow Medal favourite, who plays his 100th game on Saturday night when the Dockers host the Kangaroos.
On Monday, the match review panel handed Fyfe a tripping fine that meant the midfield ace remains eligible for the Brownlow.
Coach Brad Scott said while Fyfe clearly warrants close attention, North would fall into a trap if they focussed too heavily on him.
“Sometimes the mystique can build to a point where people think he’s unstoppable,” Scott said.
“I’ve said before of other teams, who have really good individuals, if you focus purely on them, you take your eye off (a teammate).
“That’s disrespectful to (David) Mundy, I think it’s disrespectful to Stephen Hill and Michael Barlow and Lachie Neale and Danyle Pearce.
“They have a really solid midfield, a solid list and a solid team.”
Scott has also backed his own midfield, despite the Roos missing star trio Andrew Swallow, Daniel Wells and Nick Dal Santo through injury.
He noted that around this time last year, North beat Fremantle in the absence of their best and fairest winners for the previous three seasons – Wells, Swallow and fullback Scott Thompson.
“We pride ourselves on our depth,” Scott said.
Scott said Jarrad Waite (hamstring) and Lachie Hansen (hips) should play against Fremantle, but Ben Brown (knee) is in doubt.
The Roos coach also strongly backed Lindsay Thomas again after the forward drew two free kicks for high tackles in last Friday night’s win over Essendon.
“Lindsay’s improved over the last six years in terms of holding his feet in the contest,” he said.
“We don’t want him playing for free kicks as such, but we do want him challenging the tackler.
“If the tackler doesn’t employ the correct technique and Lindsay’s able to draw a high free kick, then so be it.
“As for the spirit of the game … (it’s) always has been winning the ball in a contest – Lindsay does that really well.”
But Scott wants players penalised for ducking their heads into tackles.
“We’re flirting with disaster if that continues,” he said.
“As for challenging the tackler in a high-tackle situation, everyone does it.
“It just so happens there are some who are better than others.”