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Pies stunned by Roos

North Melbourne has stamped itself as a dangerous finals wildcard, comprehensively outplaying its bogey team Collingwood by 30 points at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos had lost their past four encounters against the Magpies by an average of 80.5 points and looked like they might be in for another tough game when the Pies raced to a 24-point lead within the opening 12 minutes.

But North's high-disposal game soon clicked and they kicked 13 of the next 17 goals to record a 13.13 (91) to 8.13 (61) win.

The win maintains the Roos' hold on sixth spot on the ladder (13-7) and, with a round 23 encounter against Greater Western Sydney to come, virtually assures them of playing finals for the first time since 2008.

They will enter September in red-hot form having now won nine of their past 10 games.

Todd Goldstein was outstanding for the Roos, dominating Darren Jolly in ruck duels and working hard to provide a marking target around the ground.

Former North skipper Brent Harvey was also prominent through the midfield and in attack, and was well supported by onballers Ben Cunnington, Sam Gibson and current captain Andrew Swallow.

The Roos' three-pronged tall forward again worked well, with Drew Petrie, Robbie Tarrant and Lachie Hansen each kicking three goals, while North's defenders Scott Thompson (on Travis Cloke), Luke Delaney (on Chris Dawes) and Scott McMahon made life hell for Collingwood's forwards.

For the Magpies, Dayne Beams worked tirelessly to finish with a game-high 38 possessions, while Dale Thomas, Steele Sidebottom and, after a quiet start, Scott Pendlebury were also among Collingwood's best players.

The Magpies remain in third after the loss but look likely to be leapfrogged by Hawthorn, who plays Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday evening.

COLLINGWOOD                4.2   5.8   7.12    8.13    (61)
NORTH MELBOURNE       4.3   9.6   12.9  13.13   (91)                              
 
GOALS
Collingwood:
Beams 2, Tarrant, Fasolo, Didak, Blair, Sinclair, Pendlebury,
North Melbourne: Tarrant 3, Thomas 3, Petrie 3, Hansen 2, Garlett, Ziebell
 
BEST
Collingwood:
Beams, Blair, Pendlebury, Thomas, Sidebottom

North Melbourne: Goldstein, Harvey, Thompson, Petrie, Delaney, McMahon, Hansen
 
INJURIES 

Collingwood:
Toovey (corked thigh), replaced in selected side by Mooney, Mooney (ankle), Maxwell (hip flexor)
North Melbourne: Nil
 
SUBSTITUTES
Collingwood:
Nick Maxwell replaced by Caolan Mooney at three-quarter time
North Melbourne: Cruize Garlett replaced by Matthew Campbell in the third quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Stevic, Nicholls, Pannell
 
Official crowd: 44,956 at Etihad Stadium

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs.