Stats sheet no consolation for Crocker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stats sheet no consolation for Crocker

By Laine Clark 26/07/2009 12:12:08 PM Comments (0)

The stats sheet made for some impressive reading for Kangaroos caretaker coach Darren Crocker - but unfortunately not the scoreboard.

No wonder he was frustrated following North Melbourne's 41-point loss to the surging Brisbane Lions at the Gabba last Saturday night.

"All our indicators would suggest that we should have been right in the game - a hell of a lot more than a 41-point loss," Crocker said.

And fair enough too - the Kangaroos won the disposals (423 to 373), marks (121 to 118), centre clearances (19 to 11) and were just pipped in inside 50s by the Lions (56 to 55).

But when the dust settled - and Lions skipper Jonathan Brown had kicked eight goals - Crocker was still without a victory to his name and the Kangaroos' winless run had stretched to eight games.

"Our preparation was pretty strong and I thought it would be good for the group to get away and travel together," Crocker said.

"But as the game wore on, it didn't pan out.

"We fell into the trap of over-possessing the footy just for the sake of it - we didn't play the brand of footy we know will take this club forward."

After four games with the reins, Crocker had every reason to be positive on the flight to Brisbane after some encouraging signs.

However, he was reluctant to describe their Gabba result as a step backwards.

"It was a learning curve under pressure and the way a team works hard to get their numbers back and force us to make the right decisions going forward," Crocker said.

Key Roos forward David Hale could certainly vouch for the way the Lions got numbers back - he finished with just two disposals, including a kick out of bounds.

"David really battled with the extra numbers that Brisbane were getting back in support," Crocker said.

"But in saying that David by his own admission would come away and say that was a poor game."

After such a disappointing result, Crocker could only look ahead - but it seems there will be no let up.

After a tough road trip they must back up at Etihad Stadium on Friday night against a Carlton side smarting from last round's heavy loss to arch rivals Collingwood.

"I've already mentioned to the players that recovery is going to be really important," Crocker said.

"It's Friday night football so our guys should look forward to that once we get over the disappointment (of the Lions win)."

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