AN ECSTATIC Brad Scott has paid tribute to champion midfielder Brent Harvey after he exorcised the demons of his last appearance at Patersons Stadium to claim best-on-ground honours against Fremantle.
Harvey had just 11 disposals in that match, which Fremantle won by 38 points, and his evidence against Crowley was crucial to the Tribunal’s eventual finding of guilt.
Scott said Harvey had set himself for the re-match, especially after hearing that Crowley was looking forward to exacting some revenge.
“He has been beaten before, not regularly, but he always comes back,” Scott said.
“Clinton Jones did a number on him in 2010. It was my second game ever coaching North and Boomer was kept to five possessions. The next week against West Coast he had it 45 times.
“So he comes back and he looks forward to the challenge.
“I think Ryan (Crowley) mentioned it in the pre-season that he looked up the fixture and couldn’t wait to play North. Boomer didn’t say anything, but I can tell you what he felt.”
Harvey finished with 29 disposals and ran Crowley ragged.
Scott also said his team had learned from a 2013 in which it lost 10 games by less than three goals. He said it had been talked about “non-stop” during the pre-season.
“You can practise it all you like, the scenarios in tight games,” he said.
“But quite often in the tight games it's the emotional state that can get you. And it didn't get us in every close game last year, but it certainly got us in a couple.
“And so, you’ve got two things you can do, you can drop your bundle and cry over spilt milk or you can do something about it and our guys are pretty determined. They were determined … tonight.”
Scott said veterans Drew Petrie and Nick Dal Santo had been important against Fremantle and Todd Goldstein had done a fantastic job against giant ruckman Aaron Sandilands.
He said Daniel Wells and Scott Thompson would likely be available for next week’s match against Gold Coast, while he would be watching Andrew Swallow very closely in the VFL this weekend.