North Melbourne Kangaroos close in on top six
A HOME final appears likely for North Melbourne now after a comfortable, if sometimes scratchy 50-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.
The Kangaroos, with games against Adelaide and GWS to finish the home and away season, sit in sixth spot, two games and percentage clear of the eighth-placed Crows, who they play next week.
The 17.9 (111) to 8.13 (61) win was North Melbourne's 12th of the season and was set up by bursts of four unanswered goals at the start of the first and third quarters.
North skipper Andrew Swallow, Sam Gibson, Ryan Bastinac and defender Scott Thompson were all in top form, while Drew Petrie, Brown and Aaron Black all kicked two goals.
Coach Brad Scott might need to work on a few things before finals, but he would have been impressed with the work of tall forward Ben Brown (two goals) and the return from long-term injury of Daniel Wells who was rotated heavily though the bench for the game..
Marcus Bontempelli (two goals) boosted his NAB AFL Rising Star claims with another assured performance, while Dogs skipper Ryan Griffen never stopped trying in his 200th game.
The Bulldogs remain 13th with a 7-13 season record, with no wins from nine games against current top eight sides.