North Melbourne's VFL side continues to search for its third win of the season after suffering a 40-point loss to GWS on Sunday, with a four-goal-to-nil final term taking the shine off of a competitive showing from the Kangaroos.
GWS took a lead of just four points into the main break, and 11 points at the final change, however inaccuracy in front of goal cost the Kangaroos who kicked just one goal and eight behinds in the second half.
Leigh Adams says despite the result he's far happier with his team's performance than in previous weeks.
"We were better in all areas today, we just didn't make the most of our opportunities," Adams told North Media.
"We had a really good third quarter and controlled the game, but we couldn't get the score on the board. We had an opportunity to go up by probably three goals at three-quarter time but we couldn't make the most of it.
"When the game gets really tough like that we have to be really strong in the contest, not fumble, and just execute the fundamentals really well. When the game got hard today we probably just fell away in those areas.
"It's a good learning curve to help know what's required to win those close games of footy and hopefully when it happens again we can get those fundamentals right and come away with a win."
Eddie Ford returned to VFL-level for the first time since his Round 1 masterclass against Williamstown. Even on a minutes restriction he was among North's best players in the first half kicking two majors, including a classy finish from close to the right boundary.
Mat Walker was also a strong influence with two goals, while Phoenix Spicer was industrious as he continues to ramp up his own return from injury.
Adams says Ford will be better for having participated in the game.
"'Fordy' needed the run, he was pretty gassed towards the end there. He's missed a fair bit of footy and it can be tough to come straight back in, but he was able to come in and hit the scoreboard but he fatigued late," he said.
"From all reports he's pulled up so far, so good from the game. He seems to have got through OK."
Jackson Archer put together his best performance in a North jumper in his short career. While he finished with just 12 disposals and two tackles, he showed brilliant poise when on the ball along with his trademark ferocity on the defensive side.
Archer was, once again, named as an emergency for the AFL side this week as he looks to close in on a long-awaited AFL debut.
"'Jacko' is just a competitor, and you just see that whenever he's on the ground and that's why he's been so consistent in the last month or five weeks or so," Adams said.
"He does everything he can for the team and it seems to be working out really well for him. You think he'd be getting close to a senior game if he continues to go the way he's going."
Tarryn Thomas was dropped to VFL-level this week, with North Melbourne general manager of football performance Dan McPherson citing a failure to meet team standards as the reason for his omission from the AFL side.
The classy midfield/forward player was one of the team's most consistent and dangerous players through the first three quarters of the game.
"Tarryn was really good today. His effort was really good, particularly in the first half since he tired a bit in the final quarter," Adams said.
"He was able to have a really good impact on the group and on the game and it's all positive from our end. He played a really good game for us today and we were happy with him."
North Melbourne has a bye for both its AFL and VFL programs next week. The VFL side returns in Round 14 against the Northern Bullants.
Adams says the club's coaching staff will continue to nurture the side ahead of its clash in two weeks' time.
"We'll continue to review the games how we have been. We'll make sure we show the positive stuff that we did really well, and there'll be a lot more of that this week since we played better for longer periods of time," he said.
"We'll also show the parts of that last quarter where we had opportunities in critical contests and where if could have executed better we could have put ourselves in a position to win the game.
"We'll keep continuing to educate our boys pretty extensively and hopefully it starts getting us into more games."
GWS GIANTS: 3.3 6.9 9.10 13.17 (95)
NORTH MELBOURNE: 2.3 6.5 7.11 7.13 (55)
Jackson Archer: 12 disposals, two marks, two tackles
Callum Coleman-Jones: 19 disposals, seven marks, six clearances, 13 hitouts
Jacob Edwards: Eight disposals, four tackles, eight hitouts
Eddie Ford: Eight disposals, two goals, six marks
Josh Goater: 11 disposals, five marks, two tackles
Matt McGuinness: 15 disposals, one goal, four marks, two tackles
Phoenix Spicer: 13 disposals, four marks
Tarryn Thomas: 21 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three clearances
Pat Walker: 17 disposals, three marks, five tackles, two clearances
Best of VFL-listed
Kade Answerth: 21 disposals,
Marty Hore: 31 disposals, five marks
Cooper Smith: 12 disposals, one goal, three marks
Bode Stevens: 13 disposals, one goal, three marks
Dom Tyson: 21 disposals, eight marks, four tackles
Mat Walker: Two goals, 10 disposals, five marks