Kangaroos score drought-breaking AFL win

·2-min read

North Melbourne have broken through for their first win of the AFL season with a stirring comeback over fellow cellar-dwellers Hawthorn in Launceston.

The last-placed Kangaroos came from 32 points down on Saturday afternoon to snap a losing streak stretching back to round nine last season.

Cameron Zurhaar was inspirational in the 13.9 (87) to 12.8 (80) victory, slotting four goals including crucial majors either side of three-quarter time.

Hawthorn's Luke Breust set up a thrilling finish when he reduced the margin to six points with a running goal inside the final two minutes.

But the Kangaroos held on to give David Noble his maiden win as an AFL coach on his 54th birthday.

"It all sort of seemed to fit and line up. It was a gutsy win," Noble said.

"I'm really pleased for a range of our people, our members particularly and our fans.

"They've been hanging in with us for a few weeks as we've progressively got better.

"I'm really encouraged for our players to really get that nourishment of what a win feels like. That's the direction we want to go."

Jy Simpkin topped the possession count for the match with 33, while North Melbourne teammate Ben Cunnington was next best with 29.

After scoring the opening point of the match, it took until the beginning of the fourth quarter for North Melbourne to once again hit the front.

The lead changed hands twice during the final term, with Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas notching a crucial major for the Kangaroos to open up an 11-point advantage with seven minutes to play.

It was a remarkable turnaround after a red-hot start by Hawthorn spearheaded by Chad Wingard, who kicked two goals from tight angles and had two assists in the opening quarter.

"We did some good things early and put ourselves in a position to win the game but from midway through the third quarter they were the better side by far," Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"We need to get tougher and harder, and stronger around the ball.

"The good sides are able to produce that sort of footy for four quarters and we've just been able to do it for one quarter or two quarters and that's just not enough to win games."

Hawthorn opened up a 33-7 point lead at quarter-time and were ahead 54-32 at the main break.

The Kangaroos, who found themselves behind by 32 early in the second quarter, mounted a third-term surge, booting four goals to one.

They entered the final term just a point behind thanks to a Zurhaar snap moments before the break.

Taylor Garner was another shining light for the Kangaroos, picking up three goals.