Brave Roos take positives from Tigers loss

North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington set a new AFL record during their 10-point AFL loss to Richmond.North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington set a new benchmark as the Kangaroos tested themselves against the AFL’s benchmark and failed – but only just.

North were brave but Richmond extended their winning streak to six games with a pulsating 10-point victory at Etihad Stadium on Mother’s Day Sunday.

Cunnington played arguably the best match of his 173-game career, setting a new AFL record for contested possessions (32) in his 38-disposal display.

The Roos led by two points early in the last quarter, but Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin slotted a brilliant goal to help the reigning premiers to a thrilling 12.10 (82) to 11.6 (72) win in front of 29,153 fans.

For a team widely expected to do not much this season, North will take plenty away from the performance that left them 10th on the ladder with a 4-4 record.

“It’s mixed emotions … we’re disappointed that we didn’t get the result,” coach Brad Scott said.

“But I don’t think we lost any self-belief.

“The majority of footy is giving yourself an opportunity to win and I thought we did that. We had shots late that we missed that we’d probably normally kick.

“I didn’t think our playing group needed any more reinforcement about the path that we’re on and what we’re doing and what we think works.

“What we hope our supporters can see is a North Melbourne brand that we think stacks up.”

Cunnington had 14 clearances and laid six tackles in the standout performance.

“It’s a domination. It’s an unbelievable performance, I thought he was exceptional,” Scott said of the 26-year-old.

“I think he’s been an elite player for a long time.

“I think maybe people don’t hold him in the same regard as some other midfielders in the comp but I think that’s starting to change.”

On a sour note, North defender Luke McDonald was reported for a high bump on Kane Lambert in the first quarter.

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