A SIX-goal haul to North Melbourne’s Ben Brown has propelled the Kangaroos to an emphatic 52-point win over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Good Friday.
North were wasteful in front of goal but Brown was the hero as Brad Scott’s side stormed to a 13.17 (95) to 5.13 (43) win in front of 33,966 fans.
The Roos led by 11 points at three-quarter time and sealed the win with a seven- goals-to-nil final term blitz.
Shaun Higgins impressed through the middle for North, with 24 possessions, with Billy Hartung (24 disposals and a goal) and Jarrad Waite (24 and one) also important.
Jack Steven (26 and one) and David Armitage (27) were influential for the Saints but their three-pronged attack of Paddy McCartin, Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey failed to kick a goal between them.
On a further sour note, McCartin was reported for a clumsy late hit in the third quarter.
With the roof open, conditions were perfect for football on a fine Melbourne afternoon.
But inexplicably, neither side managed to play a brand of footy anywhere near perfection in a scrappy first half.
The Roos were at least able to generate plenty of attacking thrusts but they kicked six behinds to start the match with another shot out on the full to trail by two points at the first break.
St Kilda lifted their game ever so slightly in the second term but it was their turn to waste scoring opportunities.
On a big occasion for both clubs and the AFL, sections of the crowd loudly voiced their dissatisfaction as the players headed for the change rooms at halftime with scores 2.10 apiece.
Brown was the catalyst for North after the restart, with a superb snapped goal the first of three for him in the third quarter.
The Kangaroos played in torrential rain last week in their water-logged loss to Gold Coast in Cairns but they finished full of running.
The Saints added just two points in a diabolical last quarter that will surely spark a week of soul-searching at Moorabbin.
© AAP 2018
NORTH MELBOURNE 0.6 2.10 6.16 13.17 (95)
ST KILDA 1.2 2.10 5.11 5.13 (43)
Goals: North Melbourne: B Brown 6 B Cunnington B Hartung B Jacobs J Anderson J Waite K Turner N Hrovat. St Kilda: B Acres J Carlisle J Gresham J Steele J Steven.
Best: North Melbourne: B Brown S Higgins J Waite B Hartung B Jacobs J Ziebell T Goldstein. St Kilda: J Steven D Armitage J Webster J Geary S Savage.
Injuries: North Melbourne: B Cunnington (hip). St Kilda: B Longer (groin).
Reports: North Melbourne: Nil. St Kilda: P McCartin (StK) for rough conduct on T Dumont (NM) in third quarter.
Umpires: Sam Hay, Shane McInerney, Nathan Williamson.
Official Crowd: 33,966 at Etihad Stadium.