North Melbourne destroyed a lifeless Brisbane by 72 points to send Brent Harvey home a winner in his 400th AFL game.
The Kangaroos held off a nagging challenge from the Lions across the first half and then kicked away late to seal an easy 16.14 (110) to 5.8 (38) victory at the Gabba on Saturday night, propelling them into the top eight.
It was the Lions’ ninth straight loss as they continue their death march towards the wooden spoon, which appears bound for Brisbane at the end of the year.
They teased their fans with a mini-comeback in the second quarter, closing to within 15 points and threatening to assert themselves on the contest.
But they fell away badly after that point as North kicked 10 unanswered majors to run away with a welcome percentage-boosting win.
Damningly for Brisbane, they were held goalless from midway through the second quarter until three minutes from full-time, when Lewy Taylor broke through for the Lions’ fifth.
Harvey was all business as he became just the fourth player in VFL/AFL history to reach the 400-game mark, but his milestone game ended up a procession in front of just 15,563 supporters.
The veteran collected a team-high 27 possessions and kicked two goals while Drew Petrie booted four and Ben Cunnington three.
Taylor (28 possessions) and Mitch Robinson (10 tackles) were among a handful of players who flew the flag for the Lions on a bitterly disappointing night.
Brisbane’s feint hopes of victory were dealt a huge blow pre-match when Dayne Beams and Pearce Hanley were ruled out due to injury.
It could be season over for Beams, who has been carrying a shoulder injury for weeks and is believed to be contemplating surgery.
Vice-captain Hanley tweaked his hamstring last weekend and was in serious doubt during the week but passed a fitness test to earn selection.
A similar approach could be taken with the Irishman given his history of back and hamstring issues, and with little left to gain in 2015 for the Lions.