The North Melbourne Kangaroos have got themselves back on the winners list in the VFL this weekend, soundly beating the Northern Bullants by 42 points on a wet and muddy day at Arden Street.

The home side began the day as they ended it by kicking an early pair of goals through Eddie Ford and Phoenix Spicer. After hitting the scoreboard first they would never rescind their lead to a Bullants side that flattered to deceive throughout the day.

Some wayward goalkicking in the third term left the Bullants in with a sniff heading into the final stanza, but an early goal to Spicer, his second of the day, took the wind out of the opposition's sails.

North Melbourne had lost eight consecutive games in the lead-up to playing the 20th-placed Bullants, and senior coach Leigh Adams says the scoreline is a result of a full team performance.

"The boys can see the system is in place and it works when we get everyone playing their role. Our forward pressure was really good and our contested possession was really good, and that allows your backline to have the confidence to attack the ball in the air," Adams told North Media.

"We started well in the first quarter and our first half was really good. Our shape behind the footy in the first half was great and it allowed us to control the game. We fell away a bit in the second half but there were still glimpses of the way we want to play.

"I'm really happy with the win, and I'm really happy with how we played in the first half in particular."

The game offered fans their first look at mid-season recruit Kallan Dawson. After only playing three quarters on his return from an ankle injury he's in line for a full match load next week.

Dawson, alongside fellow AFL-listed defender Josh Goater, were two of the star performers in the back half of the ground, with Goater in particular impressing with his power and athleticism.

"In the first half today 'Goat' (Goater) really looked like an AFL player. His build in the last month or so has been really good and it's a credit to him and 'Browny' (head of development Gavin Brown) that he's in such a good space," Adams said.

"He's so athletic. Once he defends his man he can read the ball really well and beat him with pure athleticism. Hopefully he can start playing with a bit more confidence after playing really well today.

"With Kal, he played his role really well. He looked assured with the ball in hand and defended nicely. It'll be good to get a full game into him next week.

"He looks like he's got VFL footy under control so hopefully he can get his body right and start knocking on the door soon."

12:07 Mins
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VFL R14 mini-match: North Melbourne v Northern Bullants

Extended highlights of the Roos and Bullants VFL clash in Round 14

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It was a complete performance in the forward half of the ground for the Kangaroos, with no fewer than nine players finishing the game with at least one goal to their name.

Mat Walker was the pick of the bunch with three majors, and had he kicked more accurately he could have come away with a monster bag.

Jack Mahony and Spicer kicked two goals apiece, but Adams says the most impressive part of their games was the pressure they put on the Bullants' defence.

KANGAROOS v BULLANTS Full match coverage and stats

"'Mahns' and Phoenix were both fantastic today. Our whole forward line was fantastic. The pressure they managed to put on the defence was sensational," he said.

"Forward pressure like that gives your mids and defenders more confidence that they can focus more on their man because they know there's going to be pressure on the ball.

"It's something we've been really inconsistent with but today I reckon we got four quarters of that forward pressure which helps enormously.

"There were a few blokes who kicked some goals, but it was a really even and selfless performance from the forwards today."

Callum Coleman-Jones was an immense presence in the middle of the ground and finished with 21 disposals and 11 clearances, while Charlie Lazzaro continued his strong run of form with 24 touches and a goal.

The Kangaroos will be hoping to take some momentum from the victory into next week's clash with Werribee.


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NORTH MELBOURNE         5.2     9.3     11.9     13.12     (90)
NORTHERN BULLANTS     0.3     2.8     5.9     6.12     (48)


Atu Bosenavulagi: 11 disposals, three marks
Callum Coleman-Jones: 25 disposals, 11 clearances, 26 hitouts, one goal
Kallan Dawson: 13 disposals, four marks, two tackles
Eddie Ford: 9 disposals, one goal, two tackles
Josh Goater: 18 disposals, six marks, three tackles
Charlie Lazzaro: 24 disposals, five tackles, two clearances, one goal
Jack Mahony: 21 disposals, eight tackles, two goals
Matt McGuinness: 20 disposals, eight marks
Phoenix Spicer: 15 disposals, two goals, six tackles
Pat Walker: 16 disposals, five marks

Best of VFL-listed:

Marty Hore: 22 disposals, five marks
Harry Jones: 34 disposals, one goal, four tackles, four clearances
Dom Tyson: 22 disposals, one goal, four marks, three tackles
Mat Walker: 12 disposals, three goals 
Jack Watkins: 27 disposals, three tackles


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