West Coast's AFL season will be on the line at Subiaco Oval in the next round after the Eagles suffered their third straight loss to start the season at Etihad Stadium.
The WA team just could keep pace with a North Melbourne line-up that, too, had been struggling. But the Roos bounced out of the doldrums with a 25-point win.
The Eagles' next assignment is against Essendon on Friday night and following the trio of defeats - the first time the club has recorded such a poor season opener since 1989 - West Coast coach John Worsfold admitted the situation was grim for his team in 2010.
"It is getting to be a stretch," Worsfold said after the loss to the Roos.
West Coast face the Bombers, the Swans in Sydney and a red-hot Fremantle in the western derby in their next three matches.