NORTH Melbourne's promising young gun Jason Horne-Francis has revealed what was said in his war-of-words with Carlton's Jack Silvagni over the weekend.

Horne-Francis, who was this week awarded the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination, clashed with Silvagni during his side's defeat to the Blues on Saturday night with the pair exchanging some choice words for each other on the field.

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The altercation occurred after Horne-Francis had struck Silvagni behind play, with the incident earning the first-year Kangaroos gun a $2,000 fine from the Match Review over the weekend.

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"He just said that we weren't very good and that I wasn't very good," Horne-Francis laughed on Tuesday.

"A lot of it was in the heat of the moment and none of it was taken to heart. There's a mutual respect there. We shook hands. We didn't say much, but we shook hands."

The incident came amid a spiteful third term where North Melbourne forward Nick Larkey also earned himself a one-match suspension for tunnelling Carlton defender Lewis Young in a dead-ball situation.

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But Horne-Francis, who doesn’t turn 19 until next month, said it was in his nature to defend his teammates on the field and said he wasn't afraid to fly the flag when it came to the physical side of the contest.

"It's in my nature to be competitive and stick up for my teammates," Horne-Francis said.

"It's something I love doing, really. A lot of it was in the heat of the moment, but that's just something that comes naturally to me."

North Melbourne coach David Noble took exception to the narrative that Horne-Francis was the only player prepared to battle for his side on the weekend, but credited the manner in which his youngster defended his teammates.

"They were there," Noble said.

North Melbourne and Carlton players come to grips in R7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"You guys might not have seen them, but they were around the place. He wasn't on his own. There weren't any fines from the melee, but there were a fair few senior players in that melee."

North Melbourne heads to Fremantle this weekend looking to improve upon its disappointing 1-6 start to the season, with Noble saying the side's rebuild won't be built entirely and solely around Horne-Francis' development.

"I don't think he's the (only) guy," Noble said.

"We just have to be really careful. We're building a really elite midfield in where we're going. We've got a couple of older heads to come back in and help us along the journey for the rest of this year.

"I think we just have to temper this. I don't see the club's rise just being with Jason. It's a culmination of what we're trying to build collectively."