IN-FORM Port Adelaide has inflicted more pain on an under-fire North Melbourne with a 69-point win at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
Despite missing skipper Tom Jonas in defence due to health and safety protocols, the Power pocketed their fourth straight victory on the back of a six-goal-to-one first quarter.
Tall forwards Mitch Georgiades (three goals), Todd Marshall (three) and Jeremy Finlayson (two) did the damage in the 17.13 (115) to 6.10 (46) result on Saturday afternoon.
Port Adelaide midfielder Ollie Wines was outstanding, picking up a game-high 32 touches, two goals, nine clearances and two goals assists.
The Kangaroos have slumped to their seventh loss in a row after a week in which they made headlines for the wrong reasons.
It was revealed coach David Noble issued an apology to his players for delivering a stern post-match address after their heavy 108-point loss to Brisbane in round three.
KANGAROOS v POWER Full match coverage and stats
North Melbourne copped a big blow pre-game, with midfield gun Jy Simpkin ruled out late with a hamstring problem.
It didn't get much better early on, as Port Adelaide dominated contested possession to race to a 41-6 lead at quarter-time.
North Melbourne won the second quarter 16-15 and could have been in a better position on the scoreboard if not for simple misses by Jaidyn Stephenson and Tarryn Thomas in front of goal.
Cameron Zurhaar (three goals) was a bright spark for the Kangaroos, with three majors for the match, including a brace in a tightly fought third quarter in which both sides kicked two goals.
Port Adelaide, who are on the rise after a horror 0-5 start to the season, pulled away with a run of five goals early in the final term.
The Power play Geelong on the road next round, while North Melbourne faces a massive challenge against undefeated reigning premier Melbourne.
Port’s forward line firing
Charlie Dixon may find it hard to break into the Power’s forward line when he recovers from an ankle injury. Port’s talls had a field day against North, with Mitch Georgiades, Todd Marshall and Jeremy Finlayson booting eight goals between them. The talls worked well with the smalls (and mids), with Xavier Duursma and Steven Motlop getting in on the goalkicking action too.
North Melbourne’s Nick Larkey kicked his 100th career goal early in the first quarter, and just 30 minutes later Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson did the same. Larkey is clearly a key pillar of North’s rebuild, and one of a few players that will form the backbone of the side for many years to come, so the Kangaroos will be hoping he can kick hundreds more goals. While 90 of Finlayson’s goals came during his 66 games at Greater Western Sydney, he’s become an important part of the Power’s forward mix in the absence of Charlie Dixon.
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.3 3.7 5.9 6.10 (46)
PORT ADELAIDE 6.5 8.8 10.11 17.13 (115)
North Melbourne: Zurhaar 3, Larkey, Thomas, Powell
Port Adelaide: Georgiades 3, Marshall 3, Finlayson 2, Duursma 2, Motlop 2, Wines 2, Byrne-Jones, Powell-Pepper, Farrell
North Melbourne: Zurhaar, Davies-Uniacke, Anderson
Port Adelaide: Wines, Powell-Pepper, Rozee, Amon
North Melbourne: None
Port Adelaide: None
North Melbourne: Jy Simpkin replaced in selected side by Kyron Hayden
Port Adelaide: None
North Melbourne: Charlie Lazzaro (unused)
Port Adelaide: Orazio Fantasia (unused)