Highlights: North Melbourne v St Kilda
The Roos and Saints clash in round 10
Drew Petrie and Brent Harvey celebrate a goal in North's big win over St Kilda
BRENT Harvey has celebrated his 350th game in style, booting four goals in North Melbourne's 68-point rout of St Kilda on Sunday.
After two consecutive narrow losses, the Kangaroos put St Kilda to the sword in a commanding first quarter to set up the 19.19 (133) to 10.5 (65) victory at Etihad Stadium.
It was 35-year-old Harvey's day – his second-quarter goal came after a vintage four-bounce run from the wing – but almost everyone in blue and white contributed as the Roos outplayed Scott Watters' men to record their fourth win of a frustrating season.
"It was really good, really efficient ball use and ability to win the ball was good and then to score from it against a side that have introduced a lot of young players, but they're quality young players," Scott said post-game.
"We always thought going into the game it was going to be tough to score so to get away to a start like that was really pleasing."
Talented marking forward Aaron Black made the most of his side's ascendancy, kicking four first-quarter goals and finishing with a career-best haul of five. Veteran big man Drew Petrie kicked four and could have had more, if not for early inaccuracy.
It was not just in attack where the Roos flourished. Scott Thompson stopped nearly everything that came his way to continue his All Australian-worthy form, and Aaron Mullett (31 disposals) and Lachie Hansen (27 and 12 marks) gave rebound from the back half.
Midfielders Ryan Bastinac, Andrew Swallow and Daniel Wells also shared 75 possessions and 15 clearances, exposing the St Kilda midfield for depth and spark.
All the damage was done early, with North leading by 55 points at the first change.
And while the scoreboard was uncomfortable reading for the Saints at quarter-time, the stats sheet might have said even more about St Kilda's lack of fight.
North had 132 disposals to 51, had 20-5 inside 50 entries, and won nine more clearances for the term. St Kilda has been in decline since successive tilts at the premiership in 2009-10 but this looked set to be a new low.
"We were blown out of the water," Watters said.
Fortunately for the Saints faithful that didn't eventuate, with their effort and effectiveness improving there on. It helped they also had champion Nick Riewoldt at centre-half forward.
Riewoldt had been in some doubt for the game after his concussion in last week's loss to the Western Bulldogs but he played, and played well, kicking three goals and continuing his excellent season.
Jack Steven, perhaps the second-best Saint this season behind Riewoldt, had 24 disposals while Leigh Montagna - celebrating 200 games himself - was solid with 23 touches and a goal.
Two of Riewoldt's goals came in a third-quarter burst, which reduced the margin to 49 points and might have had some North supporters recalling the horror of their capitulation against Adelaide last week.
But that was never part of the equation and although the Saints did well to restrict the damage after quarter-time, they could manage only 10 goals themselves. The Roos were never threatened.
While the first part of last week at Arden Street was spent working out how and why the Crows produced their shock win, the second was about Harvey becoming only the 13th player in AFL/VFL history to reach the 350-game milestone.
There were 'BOOM 350' t-shirts produced, he fronted the club banner with 200-gamer Wells, and family, friends and former teammates gave him a guard of honour as he entered the ground.
Harvey didn't let anyone down with his performance, and gave another reminder he isn't done yet.
Saints defender Sam Fisher tackles North ruckman Todd Goldstein. Picture: AFL Media
NORTH MELBOURNE 9.7 13.10 17.14 19.19 (133)
ST KILDA 1.0 4.3 9.3 10.5 (65)
North Melbourne: Black 5, Harvey 4, Petrie 4, Thomas 3, Mullett, Wright, Bastinac
St Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Stanley 2, Steven, Geary, Milne, Webster, Montagna
North Melbourne: Harvey, Mullett, Black, Petrie, Cunnington, Thompson, Goldstein, Adams
St Kilda: Steven, Riewoldt, Ray, Montagna, Dal Santo
North Melbourne: Nil
St Kilda: Wright (back)
North Melbourne: Taylor Hine replaced Will Sierakowski at three-quarter time
St Kilda: Jimmy Webster replaced Jackson Ferguson at half-time
Umpires: Schmitt, Chamberlain, Foot
Official crowd: 25,658 at Etihad Stadium