A COMBINED 10 goals from Cameron Zurhaar and Nick Larkey and a blistering first term have propelled North Melbourne to a 39-point AFL win over St Kilda in Hobart.
The in-form Kangaroos kept touch with the top eight with the 17.10 (112) to 11.7 (73) result on Sunday afternoon, set up by seven first-quarter majors.
Zurhaar slotted three of those and bagged a total of five – his most impressive coming from a tight angle in the final term.
Larkey also finished with five goals and Ben Brown three in a physical clash that left both sides licking their wounds.
Jy Simpkin was heavily involved for the second week running and had a game-high 36 touches.
Continuing the intensity after last round’s thumping of Collingwood, the Kangaroos flew out of the blocks to lead 47-7 at quarter-time.
St Kilda had a second-term surge, spearheaded by Josh Bruce, who played a lone hand with six goals and seven contested marks.
He slotted three in the second quarter as the Saints reduced the margin to 66-39 at halftime.
A Saints comeback looked on the cards when Rowan Marshall and Jade Graham kicked consecutive goals at the beginning of the third, but North steadied to post their first win this season in Tasmania.
The Saints had an early hiccup, losing Josh Battle to a leg injury minutes after the opening bounce.
Teammate Hunter Clark was forced from the field in the second term for a concussion test after a heavy collision with Jack Ziebell.
North didn’t escape the carnage, with Mason Wood suffering a right quad complaint that ended his afternoon early.
Ben Cunnington might be in strife with the match review committee, after appearing to strike Jade Gresham in the stomach.
Veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein outpointed rising rookie Marshall, with 39 hitouts to 31.
The Kangaroos have won five of their past six matches and sit four points outside the eight ahead of a big clash next round with Essendon.
© AAP 2019
NORTH MELBOURNE 7.5 10.6 13.7 17.10 (112)
ST KILDA 1.1 6.3 8.5 11.7 (73)
Goals: North Melbourne: C Zurhaar 5 N Larkey 5 B Brown 3 J Ziebell 2 J Simpkin P Ahern. St Kilda: J Bruce 6 T Membrey 2 J Gresham N Hind R Marshall.
Best: North Melbourne: J Ziebell J Simpkin C Zurhaar T Goldstein N Larkey. St Kilda: J Bruce J Billings L Dunstan R Marshall.
Umpires: Sam Hay, Nicholas Foot, Hayden Gavine.
Official Crowd: 10,696 at Blundstone Arena.