NORTH Melbourne players and fans alike will be buoyed by the team's first victory of the 2021 season, coach David Noble says.

With the win against Hawthorn coming on his 54th birthday, Noble has plenty to celebrate.

"It all sort of seemed to fit and line up. It was a gutsy win," Noble said.

"I'm really pleased for a range of our people, our members particularly and our fans.

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"They've been hanging in with us for a few weeks as we've progressively got better.

"I'm really encouraged for our players to really get that nourishment of what a win feels like. That's the direction we want to go."

Hawthorn started strong but ran out of steam in the second half, leaving coach Alastair Clarkson to lament the Hawks' lack of grunt.

"We did some good things early and put ourselves in a position to win the game but from midway through the third quarter they were the better side by far," Clarkson said.

"We need to get tougher and harder, and stronger around the ball.

"The good sides are able to produce that sort of footy for four quarters and we've just been able to do it for one quarter or two quarters and that's just not enough to win games."