NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott has defended a heated outburst directed towards Majak Daw as the club's ruck dilemma continues to present problems.

Scott was caught on camera directing a verbal barrage towards Daw after an up-and-down performance in the ruck.

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Daw and opponent Tom Bellchambers each had 34 hitouts, and the young Roo at times put the ball on a platter for his midfielders, but he failed to have the desired impact around the ground.

"Majak showed some real signs at times but it was pretty obvious that I was disappointed with a few of Majak's efforts. But he's still learning the game," Scott said.

"The challenge for him is still the technical nature of the game because it's a bit incongruous that the strongest man ever to play the game at AFL level is getting pushed out of the way. 'Maj' and I had a bit of a laugh about it after the game.

"We're going to work with him on that and keep supporting him. He showed glimpses without grabbing that mantle and saying, 'You have to play me first ruck irrespective of whose available next week.' So we're still going to have a decision to make next week."

Five talking points: Essendon v North Melbourne

Regular ruckman Todd Goldstein was dropped to play in the VFL this week and Braydon Preuss is battling to overcome a back injury.

Scott said he expected Goldstein to lift.

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

"He's been plodding along a bit, 'Goldy' … Sometimes when you exhaust all options, you need to send them back to the VFL to see if you can get a response. I'm confident that with the character and calibre of Goldy that we will, but that largely will be up to him," he said.

The North coach reserved praise for debutant forward Nick Larkey, whose only impact on the stats sheet was merely two hitouts.

"He's not going to look back on the stats sheet too fondly, but I thought he played a pivotal role in Ben Brown being a dominant player (with six goals)," Scott said.

"He's a player who creates opportunity …We're looking to give (Brown) a bit of help, and Nick Larkey certainly showed me today that he'll be a player for us in the future."

Scott says his team missed the chance to enjoy a "massive moment" in the club's rebuilding process when it went down to Essendon by 27 points on Saturday.

The 17th-placed Kangaroos entered the game against the finals aspirant with one of its most inexperienced line-ups in recent memory, but showed great grit to lead in the third quarter and were still within 16 points halfway through the last quarter before the Bombers kicked away.

A proud Scott said he couldn't fault his team's effort and intensity in trying circumstances, after battered skipper Jack Ziebell was rested and defender Robbie Tarrant was a late withdrawal after suffering back spasms, forcing the Roos to blood their ninth and 10th debutants for the season.

"I was really pleased with the effort but still really disappointed to lose, because I thought it could have been a massive moment in the foundation that our club's building, to get reward for the effort the boys put in today," Scott said at his post-match media conference.

"It was disappointing because we thought we gave ourselves a chance to win and we had our opportunities to win it."

Tarrant, who has a history of back spasms, appears certain to return for North's clash with Melbourne next Saturday at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

"He thought he'd be okay, so we warmed him up and he actually said to me, 'I'll be fine if it doesn't get any worse and I don't get any contact.' Well that's going to be hard then to play," Scott said.

Asked whether Tarrant would play next week, Scott said: "In his words, 'If the game was 12 hours later I would've been right.'"