Kane Cornes has torn shreds off North Melbourne after the Kangaroos stayed on the field to celebrate the 250th game of Geelong rival Mitch Duncan on Saturday night.
Geelong heaped even more pressure on beleaguered North Melbourne coach David Noble, whose last-placed side suffered a humiliating 112-point loss to the Cats.
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The Cats showed no mercy to the undermanned Kangaroos, warming up for next week's blockbuster against Melbourne with a 21.18 (144) to 5.2 (32) demolition at GMHBA Stadium.
The 112-point thrashing was just two points short of Geelong's biggest winning margin over North - set during the 1981 season.
And if the embarrassing defeat wasn't bad enough, former Port Adelaide player Cornes was left gobsmacked that Kangaroos players stayed on the field after the match to form a guard of honour for Duncan.
The Cats midfielder was victorious in his 250th game and was chaired off the ground by his teammates.
But Cornes was stunned that North Melbourne players decided to stay on the ground and form one side of a guard of honour for their opponent.
“Why would North Melbourne line up for 250? They’ve just suffered one of the worst losses in club history, they’ve had 25 inside 50s, it’s 250,” Cornes said on the Sunday Footy Show.
“He’s not retiring, it’s not 300, it’s 250 and they’ve stayed out on the ground to line up for a player they’ve just been smashed by.
“That is ridiculous. Get off the ground and start working out how you’re going to get better. I couldn’t believe that.”
"He's not retiring, it's not 300, it's 250 and they've stayed out on the ground to line up for a player they've just been smashed by." 🔥@kanecornes could not believe the Roos stayed out on the ground for Mitch Duncan's 250th after their 112-point loss. #9AFLSFS | @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/7RRqhyeFUs
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) July 3, 2022
North Melbourne's woes laid bare in 112-point loss
North Melbourne advisor Geoff Walsh was left in no doubt about the magnitude of the club's plight after the absolute hiding from Geelong.
The veteran football administrator returned to Arden St last week in a short-term role as the Kangaroos review their football operations.
Walsh, who was North's football manager for the 1996 and '99 premierships, sat in the coaches' box at GMHBA Stadium to watch their heaviest loss of the season.
It was the stuff of nightmares for last-placed North, who lost Aaron Hall (quad) and Kayne Turner (head knock, knee) to injury in the first quarter.
After a competitive opening term, the Kangaroos were no match for the ruthless Cats.
The belting means more pressure on second-year coach Noble, who is trying to turn around a 12-game losing streak.
North have lost their last 11 games by 40 points or more, continuing the unwanted AFL record they set the week before.
"It's not pleasant, nights like tonight," Noble said.
"We have to remain really calm and clear on what we have to go to work on.
"We've constantly said about our defence, we'll have to pull that apart again."
Noble defended the move of starting Ben McKay in attack, which misfired badly.
McKay only had one handball to half-time and was eventually moved back to defence, with Noble saying they had hoped to take advantage of his strong marking.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to service him with the ball, so we had to move him ... in the end, we just couldn't get the ball in there," Noble said.
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