North Melbourne underwent another harsh reality test of his predicament after a second straight heavy loss to start the season, this time at the hands of the Gold Coast Suns.
After losing 52 points in the first round, David NobleThe team did a little better in the second round, as the Gold Coast Suns scored six-1 in the second quarter before running out. 14. 14. (98) to 5. 9. (39) winners at Metricon Stadium.
With the popular wooden spoon pick heading into the season, the Kangaroos’ humility against the Suns has been a reminder of how dangerous the road could be for the club in what appears to be a long rebuild.
Gold Coast’s dominance in the second term was so complete that former Hawks forward Ben Dixon said the Suns “just take the (Kangaroos) where they want them” on the cover of Fox Footy.
“Both teams want to play with speed, but the Suns did it with more control, more numbers and attacked the corridor – and North Melbourne allowed them to do that and it opened in the second quarter,” did he declare.
“I’m scared for David Noble because there was no defense at all and the Gold Coast Suns, you don’t want their confidence going up – and they have it.”
Noble’s men were more self-aware in the second half, especially in the third quarter, where they scored three-to-two goals before being held scoreless in the final period.
“David Noble is in a different place than Stuey Dew,” Hawks legend Dermott Brereton told Fox Footy.
“He’s still learning what some of his unknown entities can do in certain positions. He’s still learning what his players are capable of. Until he fixes that, we’re going to see some margins like this- this.
“But there were times when you could see with North Melbourne that you were happy with the effort. You could see the effort was there.”
While there were several bright spots for the Suns, who collected their best score since the 2018 season, the night was marred by a pair of serious injuries to Connor Budarick and big man Sam Day.
Both players were left on crutches at the end of the game after suffering knee injuries, with Budarick’s injury compared to the ACL injury young Lions Cam Rayner suffered in the preseason.