Kangaroos communication breakdown led to bench blunder
North Melbourne have blamed a communication breakdown for the interchange fiasco that gifted Sydney the match-winning goal in the dying seconds of their Marvel Stadium clash.
The Kangaroos led by three points with less than a minute on the clock when Liam Shiels and Will Phillips left the ground and were replaced by Tom Powell and Hugh Greenwood.
The changes took North Melbourne over the maximum 75 rotations allowed, resulting in a free kick and 50-metre penalty to Sydney from where the ball was positioned in their forward line.
Swans tall Hayden McLean kicked the simplest of goals to seal the result.
Kangaroos football boss Todd Viney said the club had received a warning from AFL officials that they only had one interchange rotation left before Shiels and Phillips came off the ground.
"One was called, one was impromptu - got injured, had to come to the bench - and at the end of the day our systems didn't handle that situation," Viney said on Monday in a video released by the club.
"The communication wasn't quite right, which resulted in one extra interchange and unfortunately resulted in that goal that we saw.
"It's really disappointing."
Viney said changes made as a result of Monday's review had left North Melbourne better equipped to cope with similar situations in future.
"We've worked on a few things to tighten that up, mainly around the communication of it," Viney said.
"Hopefully, should that scenario happen again in the dying minutes of a game, we'll be better placed to handle that situation."
Viney also addressed derogatory comments made on social media towards North Melbourne staff members in the fallout from the fiasco.
"We thought that we'd done all we could to get that win, so we understand the frustration, but one thing this club is about is looking after our people," Viney said.
"We win together and we'll lose together and we'll learn from the losses.
"We stick by our people and there's not one person that's at fault with this.
"There was a breakdown in communication from a number of people and our system wasn't quite good enough.
"We own that and we'll get better as a club but we'll stick by all our people."