The Kangaroos stormed home in the last 10 minutes as Collingwood tired, having lost Ben Johnson at half-time with a leg injury and Ben Reid midway through the third quarter to concussion, but could not bridge the six-goal deficit Collingwood had opened up early in the final quarter.
Talking points: North Melbourne v Collingwood
The Kangaroos drew within 10 points with two minutes to play but a Brent Macaffer goal with less than a minute to go sealed the four points for Collingwood.
The final scores were Collingwood 15.13 (103) to North Melbourne 13.9 (87).
Bucks blasts 'average act': War of words over head clash
It was a fine effort given Collingwood played three first-gamers in Sam Dwyer, Josh Thomas and Jack Frost after Dayne Beams was late withdrawal and then Heath Shaw fell ill in the warm-up.
Travis Cloke kicked four goals in a dominant display up forward.
Scott blasts North's 'terrible' ball use
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said it was good to get the four points with so many hiccups in the lead-up.
Travis Cloke kicked four goals for Collingwood in its big win over North Melbourne on Sunday. Picture: AFL Media
NORTH MELBOURNE 5.2 8.4 9.7 13.9 (87)
COLLINGWOOD 3.5 8.6 12.10 15.13 (103)
North Melbourne: Thomas 4, Hansen 2, Cunnington, Bastinac, Tarrant, Gibson, Goldstein, Mullett, Petrie
Collingwood: Cloke 4, Sidebottom 3, Lynch 2, Goldsack 2, Pendlebury, Blair, Swan, Macaffer
North Melbourne: Swallow, Ziebell, Thomas, Atley, Wells, Cunnington
Collingwood: Cloke, Maxwell, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Swan, Toovey
North Melbourne: Nil
Collingwood: Beams (quad) and Shaw (illness) replaced in selected side by Thomas and Frost; Johnson (corked left quad), Reid (concussion).
North Melbourne: Liam Anthony replaced Ben Jacobs at three-quarter-time.
Collingwood: Sam Dwyer replaced Ben Johnson (cork) at half-time.
Umpires: McBurney, Bannister, Foot
Official crowd: 41,040 at Etihad Stadium