THE ANGST between Collingwood and North Melbourne over Nathan Buckley's criticism of Lindsay Thomas is "dead" after the Pies coach rang the small forward to apologise this week, Roos coach Brad Scott says.
Buckley sparked a war of words with Scott after Collingwood's victory last Sunday by referring to a Thomas shepherd that left Magpie defender Ben Reid dazed, as a "pretty average" act.
Thomas and Reid clashed heads in the incident, but despite widespread controversy the Roo small forward was cleared by the Match Review Panel.
But Scott said at Aegis Park on Thursday the matter was done and dusted after Buckley had phoned both him and Thomas to apologise.

"It's dead but to put the absolute full stop on it … Nathan I think has made a retraction of his remarks, and he forced me to defend one of my players which I'll do 100 per cent of the time," Scott said.
"When you cast aspersions over opposition players it's never a good thing, but when that criticism is wrong it makes it even worse.
"To Nathan's eternal credit he's called me (and) he's apologised to me, which I didn't think he had to do.
"He apologised to me and to our football club, but more importantly he rang Lindsay Thomas and apologised to him.
"So I think that speaks volumes for the type of person he is."

Scott said Thomas had appreciated the call from Buckley and would be available for North's clash with Geelong at Etihad Stadium this Sunday, having suffered no lasting effects from his head clash with Reid.

Thomas was North's leading goal scorer against the Pies with four majors and continued his new found accuracy in front of goal.

Scott said Thomas' ability to rid his game of the goal-kicking yips that plagued him in 2011 and the early part of last season, and to stop staging for free kicks, made him "one of the great success stories in AFL football".

"Lindsay is a great story for us and I think is a great lesson to the rest of our players that he's had some pretty horrific things happen to him in his life and he's persisted and he's got great strength of character," Scott said.

Having reviewed North's disappointing performance against Collingwood last Sunday, Scott said not enough credit had been given to the Magpies for forcing the Roos into error with their pressure.

Scott was confident North could quickly clean up the poor ball use that saw them continually turn the ball over against Collingwood, saying it had been caused by disappointing decision-making more than skill errors.

"We think if we start to take some better options, the execution will pick up as well," Scott said.

Sunday's clash is a Geelong home game but will be played at North's home ground, Etihad Stadium, while Simonds Stadium undergoes the latest stage of its redevelopment.

Scott said North would prefer to play Geelong at Etihad, but noted the Cats' midfield had looked "extremely quick" in their comeback victory against Hawthorn on Easter Monday.

Scott said defender Scott McMahon was "more likely than unlikely" to return to North's team against the Cats after serving a one-week suspension, with defenders Taylor Hine and Will Sierakowski, and forward Aaron Black among those pressing for selection.
Nick Bowen covers North Melbourne news for him on Twitter: @AFL_Nick