AFL: North Melbourne coach Brad Scott addresses the media after his side’s round 14 loss to the Adelaide Crows.
NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott admits that next weekend’s bye round couldn’t have come at a better time, with the side coming off two six-day breaks, four straight losses and with a hefty injury list.
The club will put Farren Ray through a course of concussion tests after the falcon that cost him the majority of Thursday night’s loss to Adelaide.
The Kangaroos were forced to play a man short after Ray, 30, was concussed in the second quarter in friendly fire, with the former Saint to be tested appropriately before the team’s Round 16 clash with West Coast.
Scott admitted the timing couldn’t be better for his tired and injury-troubled men lost their fourth game in five outings to the Crows, who overcame goalkicking yips to win 12.28 (100) to 10.7 (67) at Adelaide Oval.
“There’s no doubt that the bye’s coming at a good time for us,’’ he said.
“It’ll give us an opportunity to reset and physically get ourselves back into pretty good condition.
“In terms of our effort and intensity the past two weeks … it’s been pretty good. We’ve certainly had some challenges both with available personnel and losing personnel within games.”
Jarrad Waite (hip) and Daniel Wells (ankle) are expected to return after the bye, while Scott is hopeful that Ben Jacobs (foot), Shaun Higgins (knee), Sam Wright (ankle) and Luke McDonald (hamstring) will have an impact in the back-end of the season.
“We’ve got a number of availability challenges at the moment but (with) 19 days (gives us a really good opportunity to try and get a few guys back and get some good availability on our list again,” he said.
“At the start of the year we thought we would have played around 34 players and we’ve played pretty close to that now … the positive is we’ve been able to play 33 or 34 players. We’ve given some guys some opportunities who have taken it.
“We’ll have to filter (Jacobs, Higgins, Wright and McDonald) in the second half of the year.
“We’ll just take stock and pick the fittest and best side we can for West Coast in 19 days.”