Main content

Roos primed for strong start after 'mature' win over Crows

'It's just worth four points' Brad Scott refuses to place too much importance on maiden round one win
AFL 2016 Rd 01 - North Melbourne v Adelaide
Jack Ziebell and Taylor Garner celebrate the match-sealing goal
I think our players were as well prepared as they've ever been for this stage of the season
Brad Scott

NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott says his side is primed for a strong start to the season after its "mature" round one win over Adelaide on Saturday night.

Scott broke through for his first round one win as coach in seven attempts with the nine-point victory at Etihad Stadium, which came after the Roos had fallen to a 24-point deficit in the third term.

North's inability to win its past six round one encounters was a talking point throughout the pre-season and Scott said the club had tweaked its training program to ensure the team was ready for battle after being belted by the Crows by 77 points in the opening game last year.

Full match coverage and stats

"You can say it's coincidence because 12 months in footy is a hell of a long time but there's no doubt we changed our preparation significantly this year because we couldn't keep doing the same thing and getting the same result early on," Scott said after the Roos' win.

"I think our players were as well prepared as they've ever been for this stage of the season."

North lost seven of its first 13 games last year before storming into the finals and pushing West Coast in the preliminary final.

Scott said although the Roos' first round one victory since 2009 guaranteed nothing, it still brought confidence.  

"It just means four points and it means we're not chasing our tail as we have been in previous seasons," he said.

"It's far better winning it than losing it, but at the end of the finals series we've finished in the top four the last two years and haven't won in round one.

"This isn't going to give us any right to finish higher up on the ladder. Games at the end of the year are more important than what they are at the start."

WATCH: Brad Scott's full post-match media conference

It wasn't always looking rosy for the Roos, with the Crows holding the edge at half-time and continuing to stretch their advantage in the third quarter before veteran Brent Harvey booted three quick goals to lift North.

Scott's men kicked 10 goals to five in the second half to clinch the win, and he said the team's ability to push past the Crows was built on a lift in pressure around the contest.

"They outplayed us for periods and then we responded for periods as well," Scott said.

"I think it was a mature win, and a win full of character because we were challenged for large parts of the game but we found a way to hang in there and prevail in the end."

The Roos' win might have come at a cost, however, with recruit Jed Anderson injuring his hamstring in the second term.

The former Hawk had shown dashes of his pace and class before leaving the field, and will have the injury assessed early in the week.

"We're going to scan him for sure. It's a really tough one because the medical staff wanted more time to try and get him right, but he definitely felt something high up in his hamstring," Scott said.

"They think it's pretty minor, but I'm loathe speculate at this point until we get a scan and confirm it."