North Melbourne has recorded its fourth straight defeat, falling to Essendon by 14 points on Saturday night.
The Roos got off to a positive start, leading by five points at the first change, but a dominant second quarter from the Bombers gave them a ten-point lead at the main break.
North was playing catch-up for much of the night, with missed shots proving costly for both teams.
Ruckman Todd Goldstein was excellent with 19 disposals and 30 hitouts, feeding the likes of Jy Simpkin (23 disposals), while Cameron Zurhaar and Trent Dumont battled hard all night.
The Roos went into the game without Jed Anderson (quad), adding to the absences of Ben Cunnington and Jack Ziebell.
'The Bull' crashes through again
Cam Zurhaar was at his physical, combative best for the Roos, creating havoc around the stoppages, and again he had Bomber Michael Hurley in his sights. Last year when the sides met it was Zurhaar's huge bump that broke Hurley's collarbone and saw him miss five weeks. The strongly-built North forward again lined up the Essendon defender on Saturday night with a crunching bump in the second quarter, flattening Hurley, but fortunately there was no injury this time around. It was Zurhaar's best game of the season, with the powerful Roo booting two goals and finishing with a season-high 19 disposals.
ESSENDON 2.5 5.11 8.11 9.13 (67)?
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.4 4.7 6.11 7.11 (53)??
Essendon: Zaharakis 3, Langford 2, Laverde, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Snelling, Townsend
North Melbourne: Zurhaar 2, Atley, Brown, Goldstein, Higgins, Scott
Essendon: McGrath, Zaharakis, Fantasia, Parish, Saad, Ridley
North Melbourne: Goldstein, Simpkin, Zurhaar, Dumont, Hall, McDonald
North Melbourne: Anderson (quad) replaced in selected side by Williams, Taylor (head)