Ultimately Brad Scott had the last laugh but the North Melbourne coach resisted the temptation to do so publicly after his rested Roos ran over the top of Richmond on Sunday.
Scott was widely criticised for pulling nine key players out of last week’s match against the Tigers but the move paid dividends when his side overcame a halftime deficit to score a 17-point elimination final win.
“Whether you feel vindicated or you feel pressure is irrelevant – it’s about what you do,” Scott said.
“What I am aware of is you make decisions that are best for your players and your club with the available information that you have got.
“I am well aware that if we were sitting here on the wrong side of the result there would be criticism but there shouldn’t be platitudes either – we just did what we thought was right for our players and our club.
“There are a lot of people who want to have an opinion and that’s fine because we play an opinion-based game but that doesn’t faze me either way.
“I’m not about to say ‘I told you so’. If I was sitting here with Richmond the victor tonight, I still would have done the same thing last week.”
Scott was delighted with the way his players overcame early adversity to steady and hit back at the Tigers in front of just over 90,000 fans.
Older heads Brent Harvey, with a game-high 31 possessions, and Jarrad Waite, with four goals, were key factors in the reversal of fortunes.
“I didn’t think that we were out of the game at halftime by any stretch of the imagination but we were our own worst enemy at times,” he said.
“We made a few changes (at halftime) which were quite minor in the scheme of things, but it’s about the execution, and a lot of players stepped up and took control – a lot of our veterans in particular.”