Robbie Tarrant takes a strong mark out in front against the Demons
A DOMINANT 16-goal-to-one second half powered North Melbourne to a 122-point win against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but the win was soured by a ruptured left Achilles to skipper Andrew Swallow.
The Roos controlled general play nearly all day, with their patient short-passing game-plan and impenetrable half-back line led by Lachlan Hansen and Scott Thompson paving the way for their 22.18 (150) to 4.4 (28) win.
But Swallow's injury was far and away the most significant thing to come out of the game. The Roos skipper, who has played every game since round one, 2009, now faces several months of rehabilitation after scans confirmed a ruptured Achilles.
Swallow crumpled to the ground after a centre bounce early in the third term, clutching his lower left leg despite no significant contact from any other player.
The Roos skipper was assisted from the ground by two North trainers and was substituted out of the game soon after.
"He left early in the last quarter to go to hospital to get a scan, but it's very rare that the medical staff are so certain about an injury," Scott said.
After going into half-time with a 25-point lead that did not reflect their control of general play, the Roos blew the game apart with eight goals in each of the final two terms.
North also kept the Dees to just 1.2 in the second half including a scoreless last term.
Scott was pleased with North's final three quarters, but said he had been a little concerned with its opening term.
"I thought we were going away from some of the things that we want to do as a team and taking a few liberties," Scott said.
"That's not the way good sides play, and that's what we aspire to be. I think we rectified most of that in the second quarter, and the second half was really good.
"But we're going to come up against some really good teams on the run home, and we've got tokeep building on the style of play that we want to play."
North ruckman Todd Goldstein rebounded from a disappointing performance against Carlton with a best-on-ground performance that included a season-high 20 possessions and 49 hit-outs.
Goldstein was well supported by evergreen veteran Brent Harvey who racked up a game-high 35 possessions, Ryan Bastinac (four goals), Hansen and Thompson in defence, and midfielder Ben Cunnington (34 possessions).
Melbourne opened the game brightly and kicked the opening game of match through Luke Tapscott.
But the Demons did not go inside their forward 50 again until the dying minutes of the term, and did not so after that until the seven-minute mark of the second term.
Coach Neil Craig said it had been a really poor day for the Demons.
"We were the classical team that came to play versus perform in my opinion," Craig said.
"To use a term, we got what we deserved is probably a little bit strong, but we've been pretty good in the last few weeks in terms of our competitive nature and preparing to start the game aggressively.
Nathan Jones (24 possessions) and defenders James Frawley and Tom McDonald were among the few Melbourne players who could hold their heads high.
Todd Goldstein and Max Gawn battle in the ruck during North's huge win over Melbourne. Picture: AFL Media
MELBOURNE 1.0 3.2 4.4 4.4 (28)
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.5 6.9 14.12 22.18 (150)
Melbourne: Tapscott, Fitzpatrick, Dawes, Byrnes
North Melbourne: Bastinac 4, Black 4, Wells 2, Adams 2, Cunnington 2, Petrie 2, Mullett 2, Goldstein 2, Harvey, Ziebell
Melbourne: N.Jones, Sylvia, McDonald, Gawn, Dunn, Toumpas
North Melbourne: Goldstein, Cunnington, Harvey, Hansen, Thompson, Bastinac, Adams, Ziebell
North Melbourne: Andrew Swallow (Achilles)
Melbourne: Dean Kent replaced Aaron Davey in the third quarter
North Melbourne: Brad McKenzie replaced Andrew Swallow (Achilles) in the third quarter.
Umpires: Bannister, Burgess, Findlay
Official crowd: 16,959 at Etihad Stadium