St Kilda's mission to start its 2023 AFLW campaign on a winning note fell short at Blundstone Arena, with a Jasmine Garner-inspired North Melbourne bounding away to a comfortable 40-point win.
The Kangaroos scored the first 37 points of the game and kept the Saints scoreless in the first half on their way to recording the 8.8 (56) to 2.4 (16) victory.
The Saints came out snarling after half-time, but inaccurate kicking meant they only outscored North by nine points to trail by 27 going into the final quarter.
North punished them for their profligacy with the Kangaroos kicking the first three goals of the final quarter.
Five-time All-Australian Garner won the first clearance of the game and within 20 seconds booted a fine goal on the run from 45m.
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Garner produced a complete midfielder's game notching an equal game-high 29 possessions as well as game-highs in clearances (11) and metres gained (473m).
Ash Riddell also chalked up 29 touches while Emma Kearney (20) and Mia King (21) also did plenty of good work.
North's Emma King and Tahlia Randell both kicked two goals, though the latter managed just two points from her first three shots.
The amount of defensive work Saints did was highlighted by the fact they had the game's top two tacklers in Nicola Xenos with 11 and Hannah Priest, 10.
North was ahead 21-0 at quarter-time and 36-0 at halftime, as the Saints struggled to fashion scoring opportunities.
The Saints finally got on the board six minutes into the third quarter, when Hannah Stuart converted a set shot after being awarded a free kick.
They had the next four shots as well, but missed the opportunity to put more scoreboard pressure on as all of them produced a behind and North regained the ascendancy in the fourth quarter.
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.3 5.6 5.7 8.8 (56)
ST KILDA 0.0 0.0 1.4 2.4 (16)
North Melbourne: King 2, Randall 2, Garner, O'Loughlin, Shierlaw, Tripodi
St Kilda: Patrikios, Stuart
North Melbourne: Garner, Riddell, Shierlaw, King, Kearney, Smith
St Kilda: Xenos, Priest, Patrikios, Stuart, Vesely
North Melbourne: Nil
St Kilda: Nil
Crowd: 2,454 at Blundstone Arena