YOU CAN always bank on Scott Pendlebury.

MAGPIES v KANGAS Full match coverage and stats

With his Collingwood side struggling to click into gear against an equally wayward North Melbourne on Monday night, the club's talismanic skipper sensed the moment and decided to do it himself.

>> WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

00:46 Mins
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Daicos down, but definitely not out

Collingwood goalsneak Josh Daicos finds himself a little sore after managing to conjure a ripping goal

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Through sheer force of will, and through his trademark class on the many occasions where he found the footy, Pendlebury spearheaded a second-half surge that inspired a hard-earned 30-point Magpies victory.

STEELE'S SHARP FAREWELL Star mid leaves on a high

Pendlebury had 11 disposals and a goal in the third quarter alone, steadying the ship with his composure at the contest as Collingwood wriggled clear of a gallant North Melbourne to win 10.5 (65) to 5.5 (35).

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury in action during the round 13 win over North Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

He finished with 28 touches for the night, duly supported by Taylor Adams (31 disposals, one goal) and Steele Sidebottom (23 disposals, one goal) in a Magpies midfield that eventually bested their younger Kangaroos counterparts.

01:04 Mins
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Simpkin scores without even realising it

Jy Simpkin is delighted after finding out his toe-poke was given the all clear by the score review

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While the victory was by no means convincing, it was important. The result lifts Collingwood to seventh on the ladder with just four matches remaining in its season, creating a valuable two-game buffer between itself and the ninth-placed Melbourne.

THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?

As for North Melbourne, its season was effectively over a long time ago. And while Jed Anderson (30 disposals, nine clearances) provided physicality and resilience all night, its hopes of an unlikely upset faded after half-time.

The Kangaroos had threatened a boilover with a competitive start, but were powerless to stop Pendlebury's dominance after the main break as the prospect of a fourth win for the season evaded them.

00:58 Mins
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Xerri with a very snazzy one-armed pluck

Tristan Xerri earns plenty of plaudits after managing to complete a tough grab with just one arm

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Kangas youngster shows true toughness
North Melbourne has a beauty in Jack Mahony. The small forward, who has shown exciting glimpses of his potential throughout his maiden AFL season, came from the field nursing a sore shoulder in the first quarter after a hard tackle from Levi Greenwood. But, having returned in the second term, Mahony – who was still favouring his left shoulder – went straight into a physical groundball contest with Taylor Adams. If that wasn't bravery personified, the fact he emerged with the football to set up a Bailey Scott goal was further evidence of his talent and toughness. Mahony played out the game with heavy strapping. 

00:31 Mins
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Returning Pie inflicts crunching tackle on young Roo

Former North Melbourne midfielder Levi Greenwood delivers a vicious tackle on youngster Jack Mahony

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Pies get around big American
It hasn't been the easiest season for Collingwood big man Mason Cox. In fact, it hadn't been the easiest game for him on Monday night. But his Pies teammates sure enjoyed his work. Without a disposal to his name in the dying stages of the first half, Cox eventually found space inside 50 and converted on the scoreboard with his first kick of the match. It led to a nice celebration with his Collingwood teammates, with almost every Pie mobbing Cox to congratulate him. It was the American's first senior match in six weeks, having dealt with both form and fitness issues throughout the season. A late tackle on a cheeky Jy Simpkin, who had attempted to round the 211cm forward, further endeared him to the Pies faithful.

00:29 Mins
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Roo left red-faced after trying to fool Cox

Jy Simpkin pays the full penalty for trying to run around Mason Cox

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Pies finally find a spread on the scoreboard

It's been the question that has lingered at Collingwood all year: why are the Pies finding it so difficult to score? In 10 of 12 games before Monday night's clash, the Pies had scored fewer than the AFL average of 62 points. A first quarter that yielded only one major from 11 inside 50s wouldn't have eased Nathan Buckley's worries, either. But when Collingwood managed to break the shackles after half-time, it would have been the spread of goalkickers that pleased the Magpies coach the most. Instead of relying on one key target, Collingwood had nine different goal scorers and found an array of options in players like Trey Ruscoe and Flynn Appleby. Although it wasn't always convincing, it was promising. 

COLLINGWOOD             1.2     4.3     8.3    10.5 (65)
NORTH MELBOURNE     2.1    3.4     5.5      5.5 (35) 

GOALS
Collingwood: Ruscoe 2, Thomas, Daicos, Cox, Appleby, Adams, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Hoskin-Elliott
North Melbourne: Dumont, Hosie, Scott, Simpkin, Xerri

BEST
Collingwood:
Pendlebury, Adams, Maynard, Moore, Sidebottom, Mayne, Daicos
North Melbourne: Anderson, Higgins, Simpkin, McDonald, Dumont 

INJURIES
Collingwood:
Nil
North Melbourne: Mahony (shoulder)