Punishment has quickly given way to preparation as North Melbourne try to ensure their round-one AFL car crash was a one-off.
While the Kangaroos had plenty of competitive work in their Thursday training session, coach Brad Scott said that was to rectify a glaring deficiency in their 77-point loss to Adelaide.
North were woeful against the Crows, raising fresh speculation about their credentials and making Sunday’s home game against Brisbane a must-win.
Scott said the competitive work was not the old-school footy punishment, where the players are told to bring their mouthguards to training.
He explained it was “mainly because our effort in the contest just was substandard.
“That’s the main reason … in terms of punishments, the players have been punished enough.
“Anyone who thinks they haven’t, hasn’t been involved in football clubs.
“The players are absolutely devastated with their performance after a really good preparation, so we’re really keen to atone.”
North midfielder Nick Dal Santo compared the team’s Tuesday match review to a confessional as they sought to rebound quickly.
But Scott also stressed talk is cheap.
While pleased with how his players have reacted to last weekend’s poor showing, Sunday is what counts.
“In terms of what we’ve done and what’s been said and the training we’ve done so far, that’s been good,” Scott said.
“But it’s too early to judge – we’ll be judged on Sunday.
“Everyone could see we were slaughtered in the contest; we were disorganised and poor in defence; we were fumbly and lacked method going forward.
“So when those three things go against you, it’s not going to be a good result.”
North have dropped Ben Jacobs from their squad of 25 for Sunday, while Robin Nahas, Ben Brown, Mason Wood and Robbie Tarrant are included.