NORTH Melbourne forward Mason Wood has capped a brilliant return to senior footy with a four-goal performance in his side's thrilling two-point win over Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night. 

Wood booted the opening goal of the match but saved his best for the final term, when his outstanding solo effort put the Kangaroos in front almost 29 minutes into the quarter.

ROOS STUN SWANS: Full match coverage and stats

The Swans had chances to steal it but Tom Papley pushed his set shot wide with just over a minute left to play, and Dane Rampe failed to score with another opportunity with 34 seconds on the clock.

North held on bravely for a 9.14 (68) to 9.12 (66) victory to hand the Swans their third loss at home this season.

WATCH: The last two minutes

Wood took nine marks, four of those contested, and kicked his four important majors from 18 possessions.

WATCH: The match-winner

Shaun Higgins was electric for the visitors with 32 possessions, five clearances and a goal after returning from concussion.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott said he knew Higgins – who missed his side's loss to Port Adelaide after copping a heavy knock in round five against Hawthorn – would have an impact.

"He wasn't right to play last week and we wouldn't have played him irrespective of any concussion test, just given the severity of the incident," Scott said.

"You just know with guys like that once they declare themselves fit to play they're going to come back in and compete and he certainly adds a different dimension to our midfield."

WATCH: Mighty Mason the Roos' match-winner

Ben Jacobs finished with 29 touches and nine tackles, while Ben Cunnington and Jed Anderson gathered 24 apiece.

Sydney captain Josh Kennedy picked up 31 disposals and had nine clearances and nine tackles, while Will Hayward was his side's most effective forward with three goals, and Rampe did well to keep Ben Brown to a solitary major.

WATCH: Parker from long range

Swans coach John Longmire said his side had the opportunity to win the match but wasted their chances in front of goal. 

"We missed some important ones at different times that we should have been able to nail and give ourselves a bit of a buffer," he said. 

"To their credit they keep persisting and did find a way (to win). 

"We hit the front in the last quarter and should have sorted it out a bit better."

Higgins began the match in brilliant fashion and his 12 first-quarter touches helped the Kangaroos establish a clear advantage at stoppages, and Jacobs, Trent Dumont and Anderson also found plenty of the footy.

The Swans were left bewildered when Billy Hartung was awarded a goal to give them the lead, despite replays clearly showing the ball had been touched by Jarrad McVeigh's diving smother attempt.

WATCH: Time seems to run out on goal review

Brown's first gave the Kangaroos a 14-point break early in the second term but when Kennedy started to have more of an influence in the second quarter, the Swans answered with two in a row to Hayward and Robbie Fox. 

Sydney dominated the clearances 12-3 for the quarter but a terrible attempted pass from Sinclair deep in defence hit North youngster Jy Simpkin on the chest and he steadied his side going into half-time.

BROWN NEVER BORING: Five talking points

In a lacklustre third term both sides blew some simple chances in front of goal, and another poor turnover from the Swans inside North's defensive 50, this time by McVeigh, handed Cunnington the chance and he gave his team the buffer they were after. 

Hayward sparked his side just over a minute into the final quarter with a strong contested mark and goal, and just as they did last week against Geelong, the Swans took control of the centre square. 

WATCH: Hayward gets the Swans going

Zak Jones and Jake Lloyd both put the Swans in front late in the term but on both occasions it was Wood who countered, and his fourth won the game for the vistors.

Callum Mills (right ankle) and Josh Kennedy (right leg) both came from the field in the second half but returned to play out the game.

North Melbourne: Ed Vickers-Willis (right knee) was helped from the field in the final term when he crashed heavily into the goalpost, and he didn't come back on.

The Swans head to the MCG for a Friday night clash against Hawthorn, while the Roos get an eight-day break before taking on Richmond at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

WATCH: Sinclair gifts Simpkin

SYDNEY                                 2.1     4.4      6.8      9.12     (66)
NORTH MELBOURNE     3.3     5.5     7.10     9.14     (68)

Sydney: Hayward 3, Sinclair, Towers, Fox, Parker, Jones, Lloyd
North Melbourne: Wood 4, Hartung, Higgins, Brown, Simpkin, Cunnington 

Sydney: Kennedy, Sinclair, Hayward, McVeigh, Grundy, Jack
North Melbourne: Higgins, Jacobs, Wood, Wright, Cunnington, Anderson 

Sydney: Nil
North Melbourne: Vickers-Willis (knee)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Gavine, Nicholls, Findlay

Official crowd: 29,124 at the SCG