Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay during the round three match between North Melbourne and Carlton at Marvel Stadium, March 29, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

TWIN towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay have combined for nine goals to power Carlton to a thumping 56-point win over North Melbourne in the Kangaroos’ marquee Good Friday match.

Coleman medallists McKay (five goals) and Curnow (four) monstered the undersized Kangaroos defence in a powerful performance in front of 47,565 fans at Marvel Stadium.

Curnow left the ground midway through the final quarter with a slight hobble and stayed on the bench, but that appeared to be only as a precaution.

KANGAROOS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

North gave its supporters periods to be excited about but was still blown away and never looked like causing an upset, with the Blues leading at every change to win 21.11 (137) to 12.9 (81).


Unlike previous Good Friday games when they were embarrassed by the Western Bulldogs in 2021 and 2022, North kept fighting and attacking the scoreboard.

The Kangaroos also showed some serious aggression at times, with star forward Nick Larkey (three goals) giving away a 50m penalty late in the third quarter for slamming Mitch McGovern to the ground.

Already undersized in defence, North suffered another major blow when key tall Callum Coleman-Jones went down with a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon in the second quarter.

The former Richmond player was taken from the field on a medical cart and given immediate pain relief, replaced by sub Eddie Ford.


It was North's second serious Achilles injury in three weeks after Josh Goater's season came to an abrupt end in the round one defeat to Greater Western Sydney.

"This time of the year, in particular, it's really demanding on the players," North coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"It's so disappointing for the lads who put in whole pre-seasons and then in a lot of instances have season-ending injuries."

Carlton didn't come out of the match unscathed either, after defender Caleb Marchbank was concussed in a heavy collision with teammate Jordan Boyd in the final term.


Preliminary finalists last season, Carlton extended its undefeated start to 3-0, while the Kangaroos remain winless.

Coach Michael Voss heaped praise on McKay, who has overcome debilitating inaccuracy in front of goal to return to being one of the premier forwards in the AFL.

"(McKay) went through a journey, like all of us last year, and he found some challenges he had to work his way through," Voss said.

"He's as confident as I've seen him since I've been here. 


"If anything, he's finally getting some reward for a couple of great pre-seasons that he's had."

In an encouraging sign, star defender Jacob Weitering made an impressive return from injury, while former Gold Coast utility Elijah Hollands improved as the game progressed in his first appearance for the club.

The Blues have an opportunity to go 4-0 for the first time since 1995 - the year of their last premiership - when they face Fremantle in Gather Round next Saturday.

North will play Grand Finalist Brisbane, smarting off a disappointing 0-3 start to their season, next Friday at Norwood Oval.


Double Dutch has Blues fans jumping
There has always been an air of excitement around Ollie Hollands since he arrived at Princes Park and the 20-year-old wingman started delivering last year. So when brother Elijah landed at the club through the trade period, expectations doubled. Elijah missed the Blues' first two games through suspension, only adding to the anticipation, and when he finally ran out in a blue, or white as it was, jumper the fans were on the edge of their seats. And Hollands delivered - 22 disposals, five tackles and a goal. It looks like the new Blues brothers could deliver their fair share of hits.


Roos hand out the Easter Eggs early
It was never going to be an easy task for North Melbourne to take down an in-form Carlton, but ill-discipline made it near impossible. The Roos finished the match heavily in the negatives in the free kick count, but more of a worry was the six 50 metre penalties they handed over, most resulting in goals. History would suggest Alastair Clarkson doesn't mind a bit of 'unsociable football', but it's unlikely he'll be impressed with the gifts his players handed over on Friday.

Nick Larkey and Jacob Weitering exchange words during the round three match between North Melbourne and Carlton at Marvel Stadium, March 29, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

North's talent bag is raw, but full
There's no questioning the quality of some of North Melbourne's youngsters with names like Sheezel, Wardlaw, Powell and McKercher enough to keep any Kanga fan's optimism high. And now Paul Curtis is putting his name among the mix. The 21-year-old forward was his side's best option around goal on Friday and finished with three majors to his name. That gives him seven for the season, equal with Nick Larkey, and he's proving to be a threat opposition coaches will need to plan for.



NORTH MELBOURNE  3.2     6.3     11.5     12.9 (81)
CARLTON                    5.6    10.8    16.10   21.11 (137) 

North Melbourne: Larkey 3, Curtis 3, Ford 2, Zurhaar, Powell, Lazzaro, Wardlaw
Carlton: McKay 5, Curnow 4, Owies 3, Durdin 2, Hewett, Cerra, Carroll, Acres, Cripps, E.Hollands, Fantasia

North Melbourne: Sheezel, Powell, Curtis, Xerri, McKercher
Carlton: McKay, Cripps, Curnow, Hewett, Cerra, E.Hollands

North Melbourne: Coleman-Jones (Achilles)
Carlton: Marchbank (head knock), Curnow (ankle)

North Melbourne: Eddie Ford, replaced Callum Coleman-Jones in the second quarter
Carlton: Orazio Fantasia, replaced Corey Durdin at three-quarter time

Crowd: 47,565 at Marvel Stadium