ST KILDA has given North Melbourne no respite, dominating the struggling team in a 53-point win at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
Saints coach Brett Ratten saw this as a danger game, but they led throughout on Sunday for a regulation 16.7 (103) to 7.8 (50) win.
Midfielders Jack Sinclair and Seb Ross starred for the Saints, while Brad Hill had a game-high 33 possessions and Max King kicked three goals.
Small forward Jade Gresham, who kicked two goals, and defender Callum Wilkie also impressed.
The much-improved Saints go into their mid-season break with an 8-3 record.
North captain Jack Ziebell kicked a goal in his 250th game, but after a competitive start the Roos were no match for the Saints.
It follows another week of crisis at Arden St, with three of North Melbourne's recruiting staff resigning and club great Wayne Carey saying North is a broken club.
SAINTS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats
After Ziebell's goal in the third quarter, the Saints capitalised on elementary errors from the North defence and their four-goal run ended any hopes of an upset Kangaroos win.
Mitch Owens, recalled for this game, kicked his first two goals in the space of a minute.
Saints youngster Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, the nephew of Indigenous great Gavin Wanganeen, marked Sir Douglas Nicholls Round with a bullet pass that found King amid a nest of North defenders. King converted for his second goal.
North's Jy Simpkin had 29 disposals and kicked his first goal of the season.
An underwhelming end to a bad week for North
North Melbourne was under immense scrutiny in the week leading up to Sunday’s game. The Roos, who have only won one game this season, were rocked by the departure of three key members of the club’s list management team, while prized No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis was revealed to have taken a trip home to Adelaide without the club’s knowledge during round eight. While the team didn’t respond on-field with a win the way fans would have hoped, they at least played like they were a united unit and didn’t shirk the fight.
Not bad for two old ruckmen
Two of the League’s most esteemed ruckmen in Paddy Ryder and Todd Goldstein faced off on Sunday afternoon. 33-year-old Goldstein’s output has been slightly reduced in his 15th season, but he gave the Saints’ ruck combination of Ryder and Rowan Marshall a run for their money, managing 30 hitouts and two goals. Ryder has been a revelation at St Kilda and is in exceptional form in his 17th AFL season. The 34-year-old is eyeing off going around again next year, and given his crucial contribution to the Saints, they’ll surely be doing everything in their power to keep him on the park.
A second debut for Saints youngster
After underwhelming debut game in round one, Mitchito Owens has spent the past nine weeks in the VFL developing his skills. A string of excellent games for Sandringham gave Brett Ratten no choice but to bring him back into the senior side for round 11 - at the expense of the highly rated Jack Billings no less. And boy did he look like a different player. Owens made an immediate impact, booting two goals in 30 seconds in the third quarter, finishing with 10 tackles, 14 touches and two goals.
ST KILDA 5.2 6.5 12.7 16.7 (103)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 2.3 4.4 7.8 (50)
St Kilda: King 3, Owens 2, Membrey 2, Gresham 2, McKenzie, Ross, Ryder, Sharman, Windhager, Hill, Marshall
North Melbourne: Goldstein 2, Zurhaar, Ziebell, Anderson, Curtis, Simpkin
St Kilda: Sinclair, Ross, Hill, Gresham, Wilkie
North Melbourne: Anderson, Simpkin, McDonald, Goldstein, Ziebell
St Kilda: None
North Melbourne: None
St Kilda: Ryan Byrnes (unused)
North Melbourne: Josh Mahony (unused)