North Melbourne have underlined their rising AFL stocks and raised questions about Sydney’s with a drought-breaking 43-point win over the Swans at the SCG on Sunday.
The Kangaroos led at every change on their way to a thumping 13.13 (91) to 6.12 (48) victory.
It was their first win over Sydney in nine games and seven years, and their first at the SCG in 10 years and past five attempts.
It was a frustrating day for Sydney forward Lance Franklin, who was reported in the final term for an incident involving his direct opponent Scott Thompson.
Franklin kicked one behind and had 13 touches, while Thompson one the visitors’ best.
The victory lifted the Kangaroos to a 3-1 record and dropped Sydney to 1-3.
Aaron Black and Daniel Wells kicked three goals for the visitors, who led by nine, six and 19 at the three breaks.
They kicked six goals to two in a dominant final-quarter performance, while Sydney kicked just one major in each of the last three quarters.
The Swans have lost at all three Sydney AFL venues this season.
Sydney kicked two of the first three goals, but the Kangaroos booted the next three and never relinquished the lead.
Driving rain lashed the ground from halfway through the first quarter until late in the third term.
Sydney hung in while it was wet, but once the sun broke through they were swamped.
Ben Cunnington tallied 30 touches for the winners, who had 10 players with 20 or more possessions.
Sydney’s only multiple goalkicker was defender Jeremy Laidler, who kicked two booming goals from about 50.