North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says he will not apologise for defending his players, even if he is asked by the AFL to explain his verbal exchange with Greater Western Sydney veteran James McDonald on Saturday.
Television cameras caught a fired-up Scott speaking to McDonald as the players moved towards their respective huddles at quarter time.
Scott was furious at McDonald after he crashed into the back of Roos midfielder Jamie Macmillan seconds after at the opening bounce in the match at Skoda Stadium.
The Roos coach said he was disappointed with the response from the umpires, who did not take any action against McDonald for the off-the-ball bump, and Scott said he was unconcerned about the possibility of the AFL issuing him with a 'please-explain'.
"If I do, I do, if I don't, it doesn't worry me," Scott said at today's AFL finals launch.
"The reality is you look to the umpires to control the game and to do their job.
"But I will never apologise for defending my players and I will go into bat for them 100 per cent of the time.
"I was disappointed with what happened, I was disappointed in the response, so my default setting is to always defend my players."
Scott said his was proud of how his team handled the situation.
"Our players responded as you would expect, with discipline. They know what is coming up this week," the coach said.
"They were disciplined, they focused on the ball, they focused on the contest, and we didn't feel that was reciprocated on that occasion."