North set up the victory by firing the first 11 scoring shots of the match in the opening 22 minutes, blazing 4.7 to nothing.
A key to the blue-and-white blitzkrieg was the history-making Daw – the first Sudanese player to make the AFL – who had an eventful first quarter.
Then came another contested grab and scoring assists with a spectacular tap-out and a deft knock-on, before being accidentally knocked out in a clash of heads with teammate Ben Cunnington.
The Lions also suffered an early casualty with Ashley McGrath being given the red vest after sustaining a shin injury.
North had a stranglehold on every line, with their runners particularly damaging. Midfielders Jack Ziebell and Daniel Wells were influential, while Shaun Atley, Aaron Mullet and Scott McMahon set up numerous attacks from the back half.
Scott Thompson completely blanketed Lions skipper Jonathan Brown and also provided great rebound.
At the other end, Roos pair Lindsay Thomas and Drew Petrie were constant dangers, bagging four goals apiece.
The best for the visitors were ruckman Matthew Leuenberger and Tom Rockliff, who battled manfully against overwhelming odds.
After winning the NAB Cup Grand Final at Etihad Stadium, the Lions have been belted in both of their subsequent matches at the Docklands venue.
But despite the gulf between the teams, they are level on one win apiece.
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Among the few positives for the Lions were the efforts of their two debutants – Sam Docherty, who was among his side's best ball-winners, and Marco Paparone, who kicked three goals after starting as his side's substitute.
Next week, North Melbourne faces Hawthorn at the MCG while the Lions host Melbourne at the Gabba.
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5.10 8.13 15.16 18.17 (125)
1.2 4.5 6.5 9.8 (62)
Thomas 4, Petrie 4, Daw, Macmillan, Thompson, Wells, Adams, Hansen, Gibson, Ziebell, Mullett, Wright
Paparone 3, Bewick 2, McKeever, Rockliff, Green, Zorko
Thompson, Ziebell, Wells, Thomas, Atley, Gibson
Rockliff, Adcock, Leuenberger, Hanley, Docherty
McGrath (corked calf), Hanley (corked knee)
Majak Daw (concussion) substituted out for Liam Anthony at quarter time
Ash McGrath (corked calf) substituted out for Marco Paparone at quarter time
Jack Redden (Brisbane Lions) reported for high contact against Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne) in the third quarter. Drew Petrie (North Melbourne) reported for rough conduct against Rohan Bewick (Brisbane Lions) in the second quarter.
Burgess, Schmitt, Pannell
22,776 at Etihad Stadium
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs.