NORTH Melbourne's miserable start to the season has continued with a 16-point loss to Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

Port's Sam Gray kicked four goals in his side's 12.16 (88) to 11.6 (72) win on Friday night at Adelaide Oval.

Last-placed North slumped to a fifth loss in six games, with stalwart Luke McDonald hobbled by a knee injury.

POWER HOLD OUT ROOS Full match coverage and stats

McDonald limped from the field in the second quarter but returned with his right knee strapped and in clear discomfort in the last half.

Port jumped the Roos early, booting five goals to two to take a 17-point quarter-time lead.

The Power, with Gray slotting three first-half goals, extended their advantage to 28 points at half-time.

North booted the opening two goals of the third term to reduce the deficit to 16 points before Port again kicked away.

The Power held a 41-point lead 11 minutes into the final term before a belated charge from North, who scored the last five goals of the game.

GAMEBREAKER Sam's swag, four in the bag

"We could sit here and be a little critical of our finish ... but we had numerous (scoring) opportunities again in the last quarter," Port coach Ken Hinkley said.

"And North Melbourne were going for it ... they really challenged us for a period in the last quarter."

ANALYSIS The masterstroke that has Power veteran a Brownlow fancy

Port's ex-captain Travis Boak was superb in his club's fourth win of the season, gathering a game-high 38 disposals including 11 clearances and nine inside-50s and was awarded the Peter Badcoe VC Medal.

Boak also scored a goal and, with his midfield partners Tom Rockliff (27 possessions) and Ollie Wines (26 touches), created a decisive advantage around the packs.

By half-time, the Power had won 26 more contested possessions than the Kangaroos. By game's end, the home side were plus-23 in the key statistic.

"The fight was evident, we were doing a lot of things right but we just lacked the polish," North coach Brad Scott said.

"Port are a very good pressure team ... and we probably played into their hands a few times and tried to be to perfect with our ball movement."

Port's parochial 36,099-strong crowd booed Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard at every disposal - the pair joined North from the South Australian club at the end of last season.

Polec (17 possessions) kicked a stunning goal from the boundary line in the second quarter but, like Pittard (23 touches), had minimal impact.

North's third-gamer Nick Larkey kicked three majors and captain Jack Ziebell (24 disposals) booted two, while Ben Cunnington (35 disposals) and Jed Anderson (26 possessions) were prominent.

Cunnington, though, could face scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after collecting Port Adelaide's Brad Ebert with an elbow to the head.

But Kangaroo spearhead Ben Brown was held goalless by Tom Clurey, given the task in the absence of co-captain Tom Jonas who was a late withdrawal because of a calf injury.

North playmaker Shaun Higgins (illness) was also a late scratching.

Port Adelaide
 Co-captain Tom Jonas was ruled out before the game with a minor calf strain. Defender Ryan Burton was crunched courageously going back with the flight of the ball in the second quarter, but returned in the third term. Brad Ebert went to the bench and received treatment after an errant Ben Cunnington elbow, but was able to play out the game.

North Melbourne: The Kangaroos lost gun midfielder Shaun Higgins with illness before the game. Luke McDonald left the ground late in the second quarter with a low-grade MCL strain, but returned to start the third term and finished the game.

Port Adelaide travels to Marvel Stadium next Friday night to take on Collingwood in a battle to see who will stay in the top four. At the other end of the ladder, North Melbourne will take on Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

PORT ADELAIDE         5.2       7.7       10.9     12.16 (88)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.3       3.3       6.6       11.6 (72)

Port Adelaide:
S.Gray 4, Ebert 2, Ryder, Duursma, Westhoff, Boak, Rozee, Lycett
North Melbourne: Larkey 3, Ziebell 2, Hall 2, Zurhaar, Polec, Wood, Turner

Port Adelaide: Boak, S.Gray, Rozee, Howard, Ebert, Wines
North Melbourne: Cunnington, Anderson, Ziebell, Goldstein, Wood, Larkey

Port Adelaide: Jonas (calf tightness) replaced in selected side by Lienert
North Melbourne: Higgins (virus) replaced in selected side by Hrovat, McDonald (knee)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Nicholls, Gianfagna

Official crowd: 36,099 at Adelaide Oval