NORTH MELBOURNE coach Brad Scott has praised the efforts of captain Jack Ziebell after the courageous midfielder kicked a career-best five goals during Saturday night's loss to Collingwood.

Ziebell kicked five of the Kangaroos' seven goals in a strong display up forward.

But even more impressive was that he did it while nursing sore ribs.

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Five minutes after North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown was stretchered from the ground with concussion in the second term, Ziebell was involved in a collision with Collingwood's Matt Scharenberg.

Bruised and battered, the Roos skipper played out the second half of the match in attack, providing North Melbourne with a much-needed focal point in the absence of Brown. 

"I spoke to him at half-time but he was very confident that he'd be right [to play on]," Scott told reporters after the loss.

"We needed him forward because we obviously lost Brown and we needed to restructure our forward line. We were putting a lot of pressure on a second-gamer in Nick Larkey to be our only key forward.

"Ziebell is a class act, we'd love to have him forward more often, but it also meant we were very thin in the midfield and we got badly beaten there in the second half."

Five talking points: North Melbourne v Collingwood

North Melbourne won the clearances 33-25 on Saturday night, but their poor ball use proved costly.

In his first senior game since round 17, ruckman Todd Goldstein had 13 hit-outs, 14 disposals and five marks.

He shared the ruck duties with Braydon Preuss (11 hit-outs, five disposals), in what was just their fifth game playing together.

WATCH: Full Brad Scott post-match press conference

Scott said he was confident Goldstein would be able to recapture his best form, but admitted the unity between the Roos' veteran ruckman, and rookie big man still needed work.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done both in the way that they work together but also Goldy's a proven player," Scott said.

"He hasn't been at his best this year but we're confident he can regain his best. Preuss has a lot of work to do because he's a young player that hasn't played a lot but he shows a lot of promise.

"So there's the overall development as well as the synergy that needs to improve. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination."