NARRM has reclaimed top spot on the ladder with a commanding win over North Melbourne, defeating the Roos by 23 points at Ikon Park.
It's yet another disappointing top-four loss for North Melbourne which, after the 5.7 (37) to 2.2 (14) result, has a 2-13 win-loss record against the Demons, Brisbane and Adelaide in their AFLW history.
DEMONS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats
The Roos' much-vaunted midfield was beaten by its smaller and quicker Demons counterparts, with Tyla Hanks – who often saves her very best for North Melbourne – leading the way with 26 disposals, seven clearances and a goal, well supported by Liv Purcell and Lily Mithen.
Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton were all well down on their usual sterling outputs; the team behind by eight in the clearances at three-quarter time (four by the end of the match) and behind in both contested and uncontested possessions, while Ash Riddell piled on 15 disposals in the fourth term to finish with 31.
Early days, it looked as if North Melbourne had finally broken free of its mental shackles, with Niamh Martin's maiden AFLW goal coming just two minutes into the game.
The Demons were peppering, but the Roos' defence held up well in the first quarter, and the visitors actually took a six-point lead into the first break despite having less of the play.
However, the dam wall broke in the second and third quarters, the Dees finally capitalising on their dominance around the ground to kick 3.4 to zero across the two terms.
North Melbourne preferred to move the ball more deliberately with its kicking game, but Narrm's very tight one-on-one defence made that difficult, and the Roos just could not clear the Demons' wall across the centre.
By contrast, Narrm preferred to run and carry the ball at pace, with Shelley Heath used through the midfield to both keep a close eye on North’s stars and provide a serious spark of her own.
In the absence of Tayla Harris (hamstring) – yes, Narrm still has Harris to add back into this mix – Kate Hore was a strong marking target, while Eden Zanker kept the North Melbourne defenders on their toes.
Mia King was North Melbourne's best, trying hard for all four quarters with her 20 disposals and 13 tackles.
Taming the trident attack
How to beat North Melbourne's infamous three tall forwards, Kate Shierlaw, Emma King and Tahlia Randall? Simple. Starve them of the footy. Both sides played a spare in defence, and such was the pressure coming from further afield the few times the Roos were able to break through after quarter-time, the Dees' loose defender ate up the stray kicks, with Tahlia Gillard particularly strong.
The ladder now
Narrm will finish the round in first position after Brisbane defeated Adelaide, robbing the Crows of the one-match buffer they had created. North Melbourne remains in the top four, but is now one game behind the top two, and need to maintain that healthy percentage with Essendon sniffing around in fifth.
Narrm is back on its other home deck of Casey Fields, hosting Walyalup on Saturday afternoon. Another stern challenge awaits North Melbourne, travelling to face Adelaide at Norwood Oval on Sunday.
NARRM 1.1 3.4 4.5 5.7 (37)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 (14)
Narrm: Sherriff, Hore, Campbell, Hanks, Zanker
North Melbourne: Martin, Craven
Narrm: Hanks, Purcell, Hore, Mithen, B.Mackin, Gillard
North Melbourne: M.King, Kearney, Riddell, Garner, O'Shea
North Melbourne: Nil
Narrm: Aimee Mackin (ankle) and Gab Colvin (Achilles) replaced in selected side by Megan Fitzsimon and Charlotte Wilson
North Melbourne: Nil
Crowd: 2,704 at Ikon Park