“Obviously the concussion protocols that the AFL have put in place in recent years…if you are concussed on field it makes it very difficult to get up for the next game, even with the normal week to week games.
“If he’s right to go he’ll play, if he’s not we’ll wait another week.”
One man who won’t be taking on the Blues, however, is vice-captain Steele Sidebottom, who will depart for Victoria this week with his partner Alisha due to give birth in September.
Buckley was coy about the details surrounding Sidebottom’s return.
“I’m not going to give you the itinerary, because we want him to actually have some space when he gets in. He’ll head back this week and the logistics will look after themselves,” the coach said.
“He will be going covert. He’ll get himself back. He’s 95 per cent pumped to get back and be with his partner and to go through the next couple of weeks and he’s five per cent bummed that he’s missing the next couple of weeks of our campaign. We believe we’ve been a club that shares the load and steps up to cover for each other as much as we possibly can. We still believe that that’s our way forward. It’s not about who, it’s about how, and we need to improve our how.”
Tall forward Mason Cox kicked a second-quarter goal in what was his first senior match since round six and Buckley praised the American for the way he built into the game.
“I thought he was quiet early. Part of his role is to provide that aerial contest when we need to go down the line. Potentially some of his best work was off the deck in that last quarter, some of his deft touches and little knock-ons, clean hands and feedbacks were pretty good. He took a while to get going but he was able to contribute, especially in the last quarter,” Buckley said.
North coach Rhyce Shaw said there had been plenty to like in his team’s showing but lamented skill errors, which he said cost the Kangaroos the game.
“I thought we played some really good footy tonight. For two-and-a-half quarters, everything went to plan. We executed where we should’ve. But when we turned the ball over, they made the most of it,” Shaw said.