North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has again jumped to the defence of his spearhead Ben Brown after a former star accused him of "flopping" for free kicks and not playing "like a man" during the Kangaroos' win over Adelaide on Saturday.
Recently retired former Essendon and St Kilda player Brendon Goddard, in his special comments role on radio, couldn't mask his disdain for Brown's approach during the clash at Marvel Stadium.
In the Roos' ice-breaking win, Brown netted a season-high haul of four goals, but Goddard felt he was the beneficiary of three dubious free kicks and was particularly scathing of how Brown seemed to accentuate body contact in a ruck duel in the third quarter.
"Ben Brown, just stand up and play like a man," Goddard, whose 334-game career ended last year, said on ABC Radio.
"Why are the umpires buying into that? Make a stand and say, 'Ben that's not acceptable – stop staging or flopping for free kicks'."
For the second successive week, Scott backed his forward, who last week came under criticism from North legend Wayne Carey.
"When it's questioning your football it's fair enough, but when you tell a player to be a man, I think that oversteps the mark a little bit and starts to question Ben's integrity," Scott told Fox Footy's AFL 360 on Monday night.
"Ben Brown is a man of the highest integrity, who launches at the ball wherever possible. We've certainly spoken to 'Browny' a lot about (that) because if you can't launch at the ball there's a reason for it – he's either being impeded or they're coming over the top.
"He does get a lot of free kicks but most of them are there, and if you analyse the behind-the-goal vision there's a lot more there too."
However, Scott revealed that Brown had conjured the ruck free kick by sticking to "a plan".
"We had done a fair bit of work on Adelaide's rucks and they certainly like to body (opponents), and Ben's not a body-on-body type ruckman – he's a jumper," the Roos coach explained.
"And the umpires have made it really clear to us that if you fend, if you straight-arm, the opposition ruckman it's a free kick.
"The first ruck contest of the game was paid against 'Goldy' (North big man Todd Goldstein) for doing the same thing, so our strategy in the forward 50 was for Ben to run and jump at the ball and if he was fended it would be a free kick."
Scott also said the Kangaroos would likely appeal the one-game suspension meted out to defender Luke McDonald for engaging in rough conduct against Chayce Jones.