NARRM has shaken off a dogged North Melbourne, defeating the Roos by 47 points at Marvel Stadium.
The score doesn't reflect the first three quarters of the match, with North Melbourne having closed to six points at the 13-minute mark, before the Dees flicked the switch to coast to the 14.16 (100) to 8.5 (53) victory.Before the game – a battle between the undefeated reigning premier and the 17th-placed North – it was a question of "Narrm by how much?", but no one told the Kangaroos, who just kept coming and coming.
However, every time the Roos closed the gap, the Dees just became that little bit cleaner and would coast away again, ultimately dominating the inside 50 count 74 to 34.
North Melbourne was at its best on the burst, showing it was capable of cutting Narrm up through the middle of the ground when it moved the ball with pace, but the Dees held supreme when North opted to chip the footy.
The Roos snatched the lead in the second term, briefly dominating the ball in the middle of the field, before the Demons reasserted control and Kozzie Pickett converted two majors to help his side to a 20-point half-time lead.
While the Dees felt a little off the boil at times, Clayton Oliver was simply superb in the first half with 24 disposals and six clearances and finished with 45 and 13 (and 613m gained) for the game.
Luke Davies-Uniacke (27 and six clearances) and Bailey Scott (27 and 12 marks) worked hard all day for the Roos, while Luke McDonald (31 and 643m gained) patrolled across half-back.
Narrm winger Ed Langdon was subbed out in the second term with sore ribs, following a heavy tackle from Tarryn Thomas in the first quarter, while Curtis Taylor's game also finished early with a rib injury.
Hooroo to Roos Hoodoo
Narrm has finally shaken off one of the weirdest current records in football, defeating North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium for the very first time. The two teams have now played nine matches against each other at the Docklands venue – with four of the past seven matches between the two played in Tasmania, and one in Adelaide – and before Saturday, the Roos had won every single one.
Resting Gawn still a handful
He may be the current All-Australian ruckman, but Max Gawn spent a fair chunk of time playing as a forward, with Luke Jackson given the reins around the ground. With North Melbourne missing number one key back Ben McKay (knee), Narrm was stretching the Roos' defence. While Gawn wasn't overly accurate, he finished with 1.2 and 23 hitouts for the game.
Cam Zurhaar's goalkicking run continues
It may have been a grim season for North Melbourne, but Zurhaar has well and truly turned the corner after a quiet start to the year. The bullocking forward was at his ferocious best against Narrm, taking advantage of the limited inside 50s to kick three goals, including a stunning wheel-and-snap from 50m. After missing a match with concussion, the mid-sized forward has kicked 13 goals from his past five matches.
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0 6.1 8.3 8.5 (53)
NARRM 4.4 8.9 10.13 14.16 (100)
North Melbourne: Zurhaar 3, Goldstein, Horne-Francis, Larkey, Xerri, Ziebell
Narrm: McDonald 3, Fritsch 3, Pickett 2, Langdon, Rivers, Bedford, Melksham, Sparrow, Gawn
North Melbourne: Davies-Uniacke, Scott, McDonald, Zurhaar, Goldstein
Narrm: Oliver, Petracca, Sparrow, McDonald, Jordon, Fritsch
North Melbourne: Taylor (ribs)
Narrm: Langdon (ribs)
North Melbourne: Atu Bosenavulagi (replaced Taylor in the fourth quarter)
Narrm: Toby Bedford (replaced Langdon in the second quarter)