North Melbourne coach Brad Scott gave Majak Daw an almighty mid-match bake on Saturday after the muscle-bound ruckman came up short in several contests with Essendon’s Tom Bellchambers.
The 26-year-old Daw – playing only his 31st match since making his AFL debut back in 2013 – was given a rare shot at the No.1 ruck role against the Bombers after 2015 All-Australian Todd Goldstein was omitted.
The stats suggested he pretty much broke even in his personal battle with Bellchambers in the match at Etihad Stadium which the Bombers won by 27 points.
But Scott still felt the need to forcibly deliver some home truths to Daw when the Sudanese-born ruckman was on the interchange bench during the third quarter.
“I was disappointed with a few of Majak’s efforts but he’s still learning the game,” said Scott in his post-match media conference.
“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.
“That is a technical thing – not a physical strength thing.
“Maj and I had a bit of a laugh about it after the game in terms of just the ability to utilise his strength and we’ve got to keep working on that.”
Goldstein will play this weekend in the VFL.
The Kangaroos’ other ruck option, promising 22-year-old Braydon Preuss, is battling a back complaint.
It leaves the Kangaroos’ selectors with plenty to think about ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Melbourne and their giant ruckman Max Gawn.
“I thought (Daw) showed glimpses without grabbing that mantle and saying ‘you have to play me – irrespective of who is available next week, you have to play me first ruck’,” said Scott.
“So we’re still going to have a decision to make next week.”