North Melbourne’s rise to serious AFL premiership contenders has continued with Saturday’s 38-point win over Gold Coast.
The Kangaroos maintained their perfect record in 2016, retaining top spot on the ladder with a convincing 18.11 (119) to 11.15 (81) win over the Suns at Metricon Stadium.
It’s the first time since 2005 the Kangaroos have won their first five matches in a season.
It’s also the first time in 16 years North have scored more than 100 points in five consecutive matches.
Despite their electric start to the year, coach Brad Scott is ominously saying there’s still more to come from his team.
“Sometimes, if you were absolutely flying and 5-0, you’d be concerned that maybe you went a bit overboard in your preparation and the cliff’s coming but I actually feel the opposite,” he said.
“I feel that we’re building into our season. We’re playing good footy but not our very, very best.”
The free-scoring Kangaroos shared the goals, Ben Brown leading the way with four majors.
Shaun Higgins kicked three while Jarrad Waite, Todd Goldstein, Drew Petrie and Lindsay Thomas also bagged two goals each.
Ruckman Goldstein was outstanding against former Roo Daniel Currie, dominating the centre clearances.
After the Suns twice closed to within three points, Scott said it was his team’s relentless pressure which helped them kick clear with seven unanswered goals either side of three-quarter time.
“Over the last six years, we’ve had a program that has been building and building and we really back our endurance; we back our ability late in games,” Scott said.
Roos midfielder Ben Cunnington was placed on report in the second quarter for rough conduct on Suns’ captain Gary Ablett.
Suns coach Rodney Eade, who came into the game without key defenders Steven May (suspended) and Rory Thompson (ankle), said mistakes at crucial times had been the difference.
“It was disappointing,” he said.
“Even with our players out, I thought it was a game we could have won the way it went tonight but we just made too many mistakes.”
Tom Lynch continued his hot start to the year, booting four goals to take his season tally to 22 while two-metre forward Peter Wright kicked three in his first start of the year.
Speedy midfielder Adam Saad appeared to hurt his groin in the final term but Eade didn’t appear overly concerned.
“He’s marvellous at getting up the next week,” said Eade, after what was his 600th match as a coach or player.
“He’s been like that a few times. He might be alright, I think.”