Hard-running North Melbourne ran over the top of slumping Geelong to record a 16-point win at Simonds Stadium on Sunday.
After opening brightly with the first four goals of the match, the Cats could only manage five more after quarter-time as they slumped to a 1-3 win-loss record.
Jarrad Waite and Robin Nahas kicked three goals apiece for the Kangaroos in the 12.11 (83) to 9.13 (67) victory.
It had all looked so different early on for the home team, with Mitch Clark kicking two majors in the first term.
But the Kangaroos were able to put the clamps on the home side through the middle two quarters.
They led by four points at halftime and six at the final break, before breaking the contest wide open in the fourth quarter, silencing the home crowd in the process.
The biggest cheer of the day came in the third quarter when Tom Hawkins kicked his only goal.
Hawkins was returning to the Cats side four days after his mother’s funeral.
After a below-average start to the season, Geelong star Steve Johnson was handed the substitute’s vest for the first time in his career.
He did manage to kick two of Geelong’s three goals in the final quarter but was unable to swing the match the Cats’ way.
The Kangaroos moved to a 2-2 win-loss mark ahead of next weekend’s big clash with Hawthorn.
The Cats must regroup in time to tackle Richmond, who were humbled by Melbourne early in round four.