First came North Melbourne’s unholy Easter AFL belting, then the post-game review that midfielder Nick Dal Santo compared to a confession.
Now the Kangaroos have to show they’ve seen the light.
There is renewed talk about what North can do this season after Adelaide took them apart on the weekend by 77 points.
Dal Santo and his teammates reviewed the disaster on Tuesday with coach Brad Scott and he said it was an important first step.
“We had a really thorough meeting yesterday … it’s actually positive, it’s almost like a confessional,” he said.
“You go there, you work through it.
“It was really positive when we walked out.
“(We looked at) everything – from the way we used the ball to the way we defended when we didn’t have it.”
Dal Santo added there was no point in dismissing the Adelaide game as a one-off.
“I’m a big believer in preparation, so I thought yesterday had to happen in regards to the meeting and the way it went,” he said.
“But then it’s just actions – it’s about getting out there, training, getting confidence in the way we go about our training and then more than that, mentally turning up on Sunday, ready to go.”
While North made last year’s preliminary finals and have enjoyed a strong pre-season, the big round-one loss had critics pointing to obvious concerns.
Sydney ended their season last year with a 71-point preliminary final thumping and it remains to be seen whether North can take the extra step by cementing themselves in the top four.
But Dal Santo points out to their other two finals last September, when they rallied to beat Essendon and Geelong.
Dal Santo added the team has come a long way since he joined them from St Kilda in late 2013.
“This playing group is actually a really honest group,” he said.
“The way we go about our football, the way we trained throughout the pre-season, I’d say we are an honest group.
“In regards to the feedback, we’ve come a long way since I’ve been here, so 12-odd months.
“Just the peer-to-peer feedback is a lot better.”
Dal Santo said there were no excuses for the Adelaide loss and said a big worry was their inability to stop the Crows once they had the momentum.
“That’s something we’ve spoken about already as a leadership group this week,” he said.
“We were really disappointed that when thing weren’t working well for us, we weren’t able to change the course of the game.”
Mason Cox, Robbie Tarrant and Majak Daw are among those who could press for recalls ahead of Sunday’s home game against Brisbane.