A WASTEFUL North Melbourne have salvaged their first win of the AFL season, edging Adelaide by 12 points to ease pressure on coach Brad Scott.
The inaccurate Roos trailed at halftime of Saturday night’s Marvel Stadium clash but broke the game open in the third quarter, led by three goals in quick succession from spearhead Ben Brown, to post a 9.17 (71) to 8.11 (59) victory.
It was another sub-par performance from Adelaide, who surprisingly dropped star midfield recruit Bryce Gibbs and have managed just one win from four games.
The Crows went a man down late in the first quarter with Chayce Jones failing a concussion test after a late hit from Luke McDonald, who is certain to face match review scrutiny.
Onballer Brad Crouch spent much of the second half on the bench after copping a stray elbow which left him bleeding heavily from the nose.
Adelaide were beaten in the midfield all night but North’s poor conversion kept the game alive until the hosts piled on six straight majors either side of three-quarter time.
Brown finished with four goals, three of which came from debatable free kicks paid against Crows defender Daniel Talia.
While the Roos appeared to have the rub of the green, the floodgates always threatened to open after a first half where they scored 3.10 from 33 inside-50s – twice as many as the Crows, who led by 14 points at the main break.
With the Roos squandering chances, Crows veteran Eddie Betts delivered a vintage performance at the other end after being held quiet in the opening rounds.
The livewire forward booted three first-half majors including a mid-air volley in the goal square and a trademark banana goal from deep in the forward pocket.
Another North loss would surely have intensified the pressure that was steadily building on 10th-year coach Scott, who swung four changes to his 22 after the Roos posted losses to Hawthorn, Brisbane and Fremantle
The Roos benefited from the return of Jed Anderson from injury and fellow onballer Paul Ahern, who was surprisingly overlooked in the opening rounds.
Anderson gathered 19 disposals and seven clearances, while Ahern had 15 touches and six inside-50s.
© AAP 2019
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.6 3.10 7.14 9.17 (71)
ADELAIDE 2.4 6.6 7.9 8.11 (59)
Goals: North Melbourne: B Brown 4 J Ziebell 2 B Cunnington C Zurhaar S Higgins. Adelaide: E Betts 3 B Crouch J Jenkins R Sloane T Walker W Milera.
Best: North Melbourne: J Polec S Higgins J Anderson B Brown R Tarrant S Atley. Adelaide: R Laird A Keath R Atkins M Crouch E Betts.
Injuries: North Melbourne: J Ziebell (split lip). Adelaide: B Crouch (nose) C Jones (concussion).
Umpires: Shane McInerney, David Harris, Leigh Fisher.
Official Crowd: 17,207 at Marvel Stadium.