Roos farewell Scott with stunner over Dogs

North Melbourne scored a much-needed 25-point AFL win over the Bulldogs to farewell Brad Scott.
North Melbourne scored a much-needed 25-point AFL win over the Bulldogs to farewell Brad Scott.

As far as farewells go, North Melbourne's stunning 25-point AFL win over the Western Bulldogs was an emotional and ultimately appropriate way to say goodbye to outgoing coach Brad Scott.

Emotions ran high after Scott addressed speculation over his future with his players before the game and they responded with a stunning 18.7 (115) to 13.12 (90) in front of 26,156 fans at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was Scott's 211th AFL match in charge since he took the job in 2010, the result leaving him with a record of 106 wins and 105 losses.

The Bulldogs trailed by a game-high 32 points late in the third quarter but slammed through six unanswered goals to snatch back the lead 11 minutes into a frantic final term.

But somehow Scott's men dug deep to blast home the last five goals of the contest to celebrate a stunning victory in their coach's swansong.

"I was really proud of how the club, led by the players really, were able to stay focused on the task at hand," Scott said.

"We spent a lot of time pre-game just talking about the challenges that professional athletes face.

"Regardless of your chosen field of endeavour, whether it's sport, business or whatever, when you're at a really high level there are moments where if you let the emotions of whatever is going on you don't perform.

"I was disappointed that the Sir Doug Nicholls Round got hijacked to a certain extent but we were able to bring it back to that before the game."

Scott, who will announce his departure from the club at a press conference on Sunday, hugged teary-eyed players on the ground after the final siren and waved goodbye to the cheer squad.

He even broke a long-held rule and took sang the club song with his players for the first time in his 10 years at Arden Street.

It was a backs-to-the-wall performance like so many Scott has overseen during his tenure.

Todd Goldstein turned back the clock with a brilliant 57-hit out, 28-possession performance, with Shaun Higgins (34 disposals) and Ben Cunnington (29) also important.

Ben Brown and Mason Wood each booted three goals in the upset result.

Caleb Daniel and Josh Dunkley led the way for the Dogs with 29 touches each, Marcus Bontempelli was also prominent with 25 disposals while Sam Lloyd booted three goals.

The Bulldogs' season is delicately balanced after they slipped to a 4-6 record with the result.

"We can only focus on the things that we can control and influence and that's what we did," Dogs' coach Luke Beveridge replied when asked if Scott's situation had any effect on the performance.

"Unfortunately they did those things better than us.

"In the margins of the game, in the physicality of it, in the spread away and in the ball use and efficiencies they got the better of us and it's extremely disappointing."

Australian Associated Press