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'Brown becoming complete'

Tasmanian cult hero Ben Brown booted five goals to lead the way in North Melbourne’s 86-point demolition of Carlton in Hobart on Saturday night, and Kangaroos coach Brad Scott said he believed the ability to perform in all kinds of conditions represented the ‘next stage’ in his key forward’s development.

On a wet and blustery night at Blundstone Arena, the Roos gave the Blues headaches from the outset and Brown closed the gap to two goals at the top of the Coleman Medal table as he continues to blaze a trail as one of the AFL’s most damaging tall forwards.

“Browny is becoming a pretty complete player,” Scott said.

“I’ve said before he defends better than people give him credit for and everyone sees what he does well, but he’s now finding multiple ways to get the ball, to be influential in all conditions.

“There probably would have been a time a couple of years ago we might have left him out purely because it wouldn’t have been the kind of day for 200cm forwards. He’s impacting regardless of the conditions now.

“He’s like all the good players, you’d like to have two or three of them.”

While Brown’s bag of five goals will hog the headlines, Scott also found plenty to like in the performance of his key defenders, Scott Thompson and the returning Robbie Tarrant, who combined beautifully all night to limit Carlton to just four goals and the lowest ever total at Blundstone Arena.

“I think our defence was really solid all night, didn’t let anything through and worked in well together,” he said.

“There’s some great individual performances, but it’s more the system we’re concerned about.

“We’re a much stiffer defence when Robbie Tarrant’s there, that’s for sure, but I was really happy with how they all worked in together.”

Scott admitted to feeling ‘concerned’ ahead of Saturday night’s huge victory, but was obviously relieved by the nature of the win after seeing his side capitalise on a fast start to race away from Carlton during the second half and square their season ledger at 2-2.

“We certainly didn’t expect that, the result’s great for us, but we expected a fierce contest and our guys were up for it,” he said.

“I was really happy with our start, the way we attacked the contest and played our way. We got the result in the end but the start was the most important thing.”