15/04/2024

David Noble and the Roos celebrate the coach's first win. (Photo: @NMFCOfficial/Twitter)

David Noble earned his first win as coach in his home state of Tasmania after an impressive comeback win over Hawthorn in Launceston.

North Melbourne leave UTAS Stadium victorious after an impressive comeback win over Hawthorn.

After being run over by Hawthorn in the first half, North Melbourne’s leaders stood up and dominated in the third quarter, especially the midfield trio of Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell and Todd Goldstein.

The Roos leaders made way for their youngsters to shine. The young core stood up against their fellow Tassie tenants with dominant displays on all areas of the ground. David Noble highlighted these efforts in his post-game press conference.

“Our leaders have been fantastic for us the last four-five weeks,” he said.

“It’s a credit to the group of mids in there that allows for Jy (Simpkin) to do what he did today.”

Simpkin is an obvious choice for best on ground with 38 disposals, nine tackles and 23 contested possessions. The 23-year-old is taking his game to a new level this year, averaging 24 disposals a game.

He even garnered the praise of Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson, calling him an “emerging player”.

According to Noble, his team were able to snatch his first win as a senior coach due to their change of structures between quarters.

“The main thing was to keep the structure and to tinker a little bit with our forward end,” he said.

Noble also praised the loyal Shinboners for sticking with them up to this point. 17 rounds was a long time to wait, but they are back on the winners list again.

“Fans can see where we are going, and we love their support,” he said.

“They’ve been nothing but strong in their support and understanding of where we are going and this one is probably for them.”

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It was a game won by clearances, the Roos leading the stat 49-29. Coach Alistair Clarkson admitted the game was won in the midfield.

“You’ve got to give credit to North Melbourne, they played terrific footy, especially their experienced players in the middle of the ground,” he said.

“We just couldn’t match them, and they deserved their victory.

“Three of their guys had 37 clearances between them, which is a huge tally.

“When they’ve got momentum in the middle of the ground it becomes a territory battle they were winning far too much, and our defence was overwhelmed.”

Knowing that they are now capable of winning will be a huge confidence boost for the Roos. After an 0-8 start they can shrug off some doubts and release the pressure for now.

As for Hawthorn, losing a game they had a firm grip on against a team in a similar stage of their development won’t help to dissuade their critics.

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