North Melbourne has defended out-of-form key forward Ben Brown as the Kangaroos spearhead's struggles continued against Essendon. 

Brown kicked one goal from eight disposals in the Roos' 14-point loss to the Bombers at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night, seeing his tally sit at seven goals from six appearances so far this year. 

It's a significant drop-off from his career-best 64-goal season last year, and points to the issues the Roos are having inside 50. Coach Rhyce Shaw backed in the out-of-contract 27-year-old to turn things around. 

"We're doing a lot of work and tonight was a really good example of that, but we're just not getting the reward yet," Shaw said post-game. 

"But if we continue to do that we'll get those rewards as we go, and I was really pleased with the guys' efforts again. 

"'Browny' in particular again competed and tried really hard but we just didn't get the result." 

After a promising start to the season which saw the Roos claim wins in the opening two rounds, the loss to the Bombers was North Melbourne's fourth in a row. The Kangaroos have averaged seven goals in those four losses and Shaw said the scoring problem was a whole team issue. 

"Our delivery in there isn't great at the moment," Shaw said. 

"We won the inside 50s again (47 to 43) so we're giving ourselves a chance, it's just that we need to make the most of those chances and also go in a bit cleaner as well. That will help our forwards." 

Shaw said young forward Curtis Taylor had cleared a concussion test and was fine after the game following being crunched by Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel with a heavy bump. 

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Shaw post-match (Rd 6, 2020)

Rhyce Shaw chats to the media after the loss to the Bombers.

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