North Melbourne were unwilling to give up the Good Friday game despite suffering another tough defeat

North Melbourne are not ready to lose the Good Friday marquee game, despite the Western Bulldogs showing another shellack on national television, according to coach David Noble.

Despite a gallant second quarter from Noble’s side, the game was all but over at quarter time when the Bulldogs were 45 points ahead after an 8-1 first quarter win.

The Bulldogs’ 68-point loss follows a 128-point loss in the same game last season, raising the question of whether another club should get a spot in the game in place of the Kangaroos.

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However, Noble hit back at such suggestions after the game, saying the Kangaroos “expect to play in this game every year” despite their poor performances.

“As a club it’s not just about the game. We’ve worked really hard with the Bulldogs over the last six or seven years to make this a marquee game,” he said.

Noble has also unveiled a thinly veiled shot at opposing clubs who have retained marquee games despite being at the bottom of similar goals.

“If you go back and look at the history of our marquee games before, there are a lot of other clubs that didn’t really hit the mark at these marquee games,” he said.

“Over time, they’re able to pull things together and improve their performance, and hence these marquee games endure.

“We fight tooth and nail in this game. We love this game, we are very privileged to play in this game but we wouldn’t expect to lose this game.

“I just want to be clear from our club’s perspective that we expect to play in this game every year.

“We’re going to make it a marquee game. We understand and love the importance of that, but it’s a whole club aspect, it’s not just about (the game). I understand that today is a big part of it, but it’s a bit broader than that.

“We do a lot of work behind the scenes as an association to support the Royal Children’s Hospital and Good Friday.”

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Matthew Hallett

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