Despite Bernie Vince’s heroics, North Melbourne have outclassed Melbourne at the MCG to continue the longest spell of club domination in recent AFL history.
For the 12th straight time, the Kangaroos emerged victorious over the Demons, winning 15.17 (107) to 10.6 (66) on Sunday.
After an error-strewn first half, North Melbourne put the foot down in the third term, kicking seven goals in a dominant spell to end the contest.
Vince’s 41 touches and three goals were in sharp contrast to the Kangaroos’ even spread.
They had 12 goalkickers in a twilight clash that will help Roos coach Brad Scott erase the memory of their loss to Adelaide last round.
The Demons went goal-for-goal with the Kangaroos in the first term but were hampered by turnovers.
North Melbourne’s first five goals all started from Demon errors, though the Kangaroos weren’t much better themselves in the second term.
Time after time, players from both sides turned over the ball by hand and by foot, with Scott Thompson even missing his hand in an attempted handball.
Melbourne recovered to kick three straight goals and stay in the contest.
Two goals down, Melbourne started well after the main break with Chris Dawes tackling Shaun Atley to force a free kick and kicking a major.
But from that point the Kangaroos were utterly dominant, with Jack Ziebell and Atley’s goals starting the rout.
Lindsay Thomas, Andrew Swallow and Aaron Black then put North Melbourne clear with goals in a five-minute burst.
Debutant Ben Brown, playing in the No.50 guernsey, was mobbed by teammates when he kicked his first AFL goal and their sixth in a row.
North were rampant, and even out-tackled the Demons despite dominating possession.
Exemplifying the Demons as a team in transition, last week’s hero Christian Salem didn’t have a possession until deep in the second quarter and was substituted in the third.
Midfielder Jordie McKenzie will also be heavily scrutinised for a raised elbow which laid out Lindsay Thomas in the second term.
The worst news of Scott’s day was a dislocated shoulder to Robin Nahas that led to his early substitution.