A couple of years ago, North Melbourne would have lost Sunday’s absorbing AFL match against Fremantle.
“Yeah. Like round one, like round three,” noted coach Brad Scott.
Instead, the Kangaroos are top for the first time since 1998.
Their 4-0 record is their best start to a season since 2005, when they went 5-0.
Sunday’s 31-point win, plus the comeback win over Adelaide in round one and last week’s five-point win over Melbourne, show how well North have evolved.
The preliminary finalists of the last two seasons are looking like they can now go a step further.
But the tests keep coming.
Next Saturday they will be away against Gold Coast, who have won their last three clashes – two of them by decent margins.
Scott noted the Suns are also a much better side, as shown by their round-two win over Fremantle in Perth.
But so are North and as Scott noted, self-belief is a wonderful thing.
“They’ve given us some trouble in the past – they’d have some confidence against us I would have thought,” he said of Gold Coast.
“But we’re a different side. We’re a side that I think is a lot more mature.
“The guys have got a real attitude now that if you’re going to beat us, well you’re going to have to play well, because we’re not going to hand you anything.”
Midfielder Jack Ziebell was outstanding with 26 disposals and three goals, including two 50m bombs in the second term.
Daniel Wells continues to impress in his comeback from injury and after a quiet first half, Jarrad Waite kicked three goals when it counted.
Sam Gibson kicked three goals in a lively performance and Jamie Macmillan also impressed.