North Melbourne win by 19 points
2 - Dean Irving
Luke Norman (2nd game)
In the week where the Superleague crisis engulfed Sydney's Rugby League competition the Demons - likely to be a casualty if the same split came to the AFL - suffered their second consecutive defeat to start the year.
For three quarters the Demons were quicker, and by far the better side. They were 34 points in front 11 minutes into the second quarter, with David Neitz comfortably beating Wayne Carey. The game changed when Carey was thrown onto the ball shortly before half time, gathering a number of possessions and contributing to two late John Longmire goals that cut the margin to 19 points.
North kicked three goals to two in the third quarter, cutting the gap to 15 at the last change. They then charged home with seven goals to two in the last quarter. Carey finally came alive, kicking the first two goals of the term, and his side ran over the top to win comfortably. Neil Balme said "The truth is it shows that we're certainly good enough to beat North Melbourne.
Things didn't get any easier for the Demons, with games against Essendon, Footscray and West Coast on the horizon. "Whoever made the draw up should be bloody shot," said chairman Ian Ridley at a pre-match function.
North Melbourne 14.22.106 d. Melbourne 9.6.60
Goals - Doyle 3, Sampson 1, Rohde 1, Benjamin 1, Butterworth 1, Clarke 1, McHardy 1
Best - Rohde, Ruecroft, Carroll