Clarkson caught in ‘coach’s conundrum’ on Daicos

AFL Rd 13 -  West Coast  v North Melbourne
Kangaroos coach Alastair Clarkson (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Alastair Clarkson isn’t keen on joining in the party when it comes to the resurgence of the tagger conscious of not “winning the battle but losing the war” in trying to lock down Collingwood star Nick Daicos on Sunday.

As the North Melbourne coach laughed off a claim from defender Charlie Comben that the reigning premiers were “gettable” due to their injury list and with the Kangaroos buoyed by their first win of the season last week, Clarkson said a run-with role for Daicos could work against his side.

Daicos was tagged by Melbourne’s Alex Neal-Bullen on King’s Birthday, racking up just 15 disposals before he was subbed out with a corked shin, which he has recovered from in time to take his place at Marvel Stadium.

But while Daicos’ influence was somewhat limited, Collingwood still defeated Melbourne by a convincing 38-points, which gave Clarkson a reason to consider not sending his own stopper, Dylan Shiel, to the 21-year-old star.

“This is a coach’s conundrum. Win the battle but lose the war,” he said on Friday.

Collingwood vs Melbourne
Alex Neal-Bullen locked down Nick Daicos Pic: Michael Klein

“Alex Neal-Bullen did a terrific job last week on Nick week, they win that little battle but they lose the game.

“That was like us three weeks ago against Essendon, we tagged Zac Merrett, Liam Shiels did a terrific job, reduced the influence of Zac, but (Essendon) still win. It will be horses for courses.

“(Daicos) is a high quality player and his last five or six weeks, outside of last week, have been superb. We will watch him but if we throw a tag on him, it will probably throw out some of the things that we want to do ourselves. We’ll just see how it goes.”

The Kangaroos’ mid-season recruit, 204cm big man Brynn Teakle, will make his club debut against Collingwood after being taken with pick No.15 .

Teakle, who played six games for Port Adelaide before being delisted, became the first player in history to be picked up twice as a mid-season recruit, after previously being taken by Port in 2022.

“He trained at Collingwood over the summer, hopefully he’s got a bit of intel … we need every bit of info to knock them off,” Clarkson said.

Teakle got his AFL call-up after just a single VFL games for the Roos since moving to Victoria from Perth where he was dominating for East Fremantle in the WAFL.

Clarkson said the Magpies demolition of Melbourne last week, despite a lengthy injury list, was evidence of just how strong they are, despite Comben’s suggestion.

“I think there might have been a bit of tongue-in-cheek with big Chomp when he said that,” he said.

“Really good test for us. Despite some of their list being decimated by injury. Collingwood were outstanding last week.

“If we can play something like we did last week we will be in the contest.”