Jonathan Brown criticises West Coast’s Nic Naitanui for missing contest in dying minutes of North Melbourne loss

Samantha RogersThe West Australian
VideoAFL: Former Lions champion Jonathan Brown was left perplexed after Eagles star Nic Naitanui failed to follow direct opponent Todd Goldstein down to the goal square.

Brisbane great Jonathan Brown has criticised Nic Naitanui for missing a contest in dying minutes of West Coast’s shock loss North Melbourne loss at Optus Stadium.

Todd Goldstein marked the ball in the goal square with less than four minutes to go in the final term to put the Roos up by 10 points.

Meanwhile Naitanui was standing on North Melbourne’s 50 arc, watching his direct opponent kick truly from 10 metres out to hammer the nail into the coffin of West Coast’s third consecutive defeat.

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Brown said the Goldstein-Naitanui match up was a great battle all night but singled out a crucial moment in the contest where the West Coast ruckman appeared to have a “mental lapse”.

“Three minutes to go, Goldstein takes a big contested mark to put them in front,” Brown points out.

“Look where his direct opponent was, Naitanui, he was standing 50 metres out from goal.

“Now, Nic Nat, in the moment, he had to be in the goal square. I know (Jeremy) McGovern was there and he could have had the opportunity to punch that through but you need to be there at that critical part of the game.”

“I think that was a mental lapse by Nic Naitanui, I don’t think it would have been a direction to stand there.

Where Naitanui was positioned when Goldstein marked in the goal square.
Camera IconWhere Naitanui was positioned when Goldstein marked in the goal square. Credit: 7AFL

“I would have thought he’d have to go with his opposition ruckman.”

Naitanui played an enormous role in the home side’s final quarter resurgence, with 12 hit outs, three inside fifties and two clearances to get the Eagles back into the contest.

The star ruckman spent 85 minutes on the ground across the match but clocked up a marathon final term.

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