North fumes as Port steals two-point win
Fuming North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has labelled his side's sudden late collapse in their two-point AFL loss to Port Adelaide as a disgrace.
Scott was perplexed how the Kangaroos blew a 32-point lead with 20 minutes to go today as Port dramatically broke a six-game losing streak.
The Power booted the final five goals of the game to steal a 14.11 (95) to 14.9 (93) win before just 14,508 spectators - their third lowest home crowd.
"It's the most bewildering game I have been a part of," Scott said.
"How can you have what seemed to be total control of the game and then just be opened up like that over the last 10 minutes?"
The Kangaroos, with Drew Petrie potting five goals and a standout display from captain Andrew Swallow, cruised to their 32-point lead nine minutes into the final term.
But Port, inspired by seven majors straight to dead-eye forward Jay Schulz, slammed on the last five goals to pinch victory.
Schulz booted four goals himself in the final term to leave North wobbling with a 3-5 win-loss record.
The Power didn't lead until the final scoring shot of the match, when Paul Stewart goaled on the run from 30 metres in the 30th minute of the last term.
The siren sounded some 30 seconds later, leaving Scott gobsmacked.
"I can't recall a game where you do so many things well but just a 10-minute lapse in concentration ... it's completely unacceptable and we'll go away and deal with it," he said.
Scott accused his players of "getting too comfortable" when leading by five goals.
"And that is a disgrace for us to ever get comfortable, because we're not in that position," he said.
North's misery was compounded by stalwart Brent Harvey facing scrutiny for landing a short forearm to the head of Port rookie Chad Wingard in the third term.
Harvey's snap came as North, propelled by Swallow (28 disposals, 12 tackles) and Daniel Wells (26 touches), seemingly took a stranglehold on the game.
But Port's unheralded late burst delivered a second win of the season and released pressure on beleaguered coach Matthew Primus.
"There has been a lot of negative noise out there about us, especially the last month," Primus said.
"So it's terrific reward."
Like North's Harvey, Power defender Jackson Trengove also attracted match review panel attention for a final-term slide into the head of Kangaroo Kieran Harper.