Kangaroos overpower Bulldogs
North Melbourne gave their AFL top-eight rivals little reason to fear them in beating Western Bulldogs by nine goals in their round 19 clash.
North (11-7 win-loss) led by only four points at halftime but kicked 11 goals to the Bulldogs' two after halftime to claim victory 18.7 (115) to 8.13 (61) before a crowd of just 21,599 at Etihad Stadium.
Drew Petrie, who was battling 'flu symptoms, was the dominant forward on the ground and booted five goals for the Kangaroos.
Petrie's performance lifts him to the lead in the Coleman Medal on 52 goals.
North notched their seventh win from their past eight games while the Bulldogs suffered their seventh consecutive defeat and 13th for the season.
Veteran midfielder Brent Harvey dominated the second half and Liam Anthony was another strong contributor for the winners.
Onballers Ryan Griffen, Mitch Wallis and Matthew Boyd tried hard for the Bulldogs while Liam Picken did a good tagging job on North's Daniel Wells (two goals) and Jordan Roughead held Robbie Tarrant for three quarters.
The undermanned and inexperienced Bulldogs dominated the inside-50s 17 to eight in the opening term but weren't able to capitalise on the scoreboard as both sides kicked three goals.
North rallied to kick four goals to the Bulldogs' three in the second quarter. The Kangaroos led by four points at halftime, despite constant turnovers and excessive use of handball.
A four-goal third term including two more to Petrie allowed the Kangaroos to clear out to a 24-point lead at three-quarter time after the Bulldogs were held to just one major in the third quarter.
Tarrant, who was given the bronx cheers by North fans for a rare mark in the third quarter, fought back with three goals in the final term as the Kangaroos outscored the home side 7.0 to 1.6.
The Kangaroos had been determined to inflict some pain on the Bulldogs who upset North by 18 points in their round-seven meeting in 2012.
Both sides have an eight-day break before North face Essendon at Etihad Stadium while the Bulldogs play Richmond at the MCG.