The Roos and Dockers met at Etihad Stadium on Sunday in a game that ended with North the league’s only undefeated side and Freo winless with Carlton for company.
North Melbourne threatened to rip this game apart when it led 26-1 after 10 minutes. The Dockers then wound back the clock to wear them down and eventually take the lead in the third quarter.
But when the Roos blew the game apart with the first five goals of the last quarter there was no Fremantle fightback. The dam wall had burst.
The final score was 20.12 (132) to 14.17 (101).
Jack Ziebell (26 possessions, three goals) was immense and delivered at crucial times, the running of Sam Gibson (26 possessions, three goals) broke the game open and Jarrad Waite (16 possessions, nine marks and four goals) was big in the second half.
Nat Fyfe had 27 touches, four contested marks and four goals for the Dockers. The Brownlow medallist was brilliant in the middle, but even better forward, and shook off the Ben Jacobs tag by halftime.
What to make of it all?
North Melbourne has won the first four games of the year for the first time since 2005 and while they will face sterner tests in the weeks to come, for the first time in a long time they’re not trying to overcome a poor start to a season. The decision to introduce a higher-intensity pre-season has already paid dividends.
The Dockers have tightened the noose in the last fortnight, but their defensive philosophy is paddling against a ferocious offensive tide. Like the West Coast game last week, they got their claws into the Kangaroos, but just couldn’t do it for long enough.
North kicked six goals to two in the last quarter and 10.6 to 7.5 after halftime to rip the game away from the Dockers.
It’s the third match out of four Fremantle has coughed up more than 100 points.