Josh Bruce ended 2020 with questions over his future in the Western Bulldogs' forward line, but has started this year with a career-best haul.
The left-foot spearhead on Friday became the first Bulldogs player since Simon Beasley in round 21, 1987 to kick 10 goals in an AFL game.
It was also the first 10-goal performance by any AFL player since Ben Brown's effort against Port Adelaide in 2019
Bruce has enjoyed playing North Melbourne in the past, but he took that love affair to new heights as he powered the Bulldogs to a record-breaking 128-point victory at Marvel Stadium.
The 28-year-old's previous two outings against the Kangaroos both yielded six goals but he relished the opportunity to expand on that.
Coach Western Bulldogs Luke Beveridge was thrilled for Bruce, who endured a difficult first season at the kennel after his high-profile move from St Kilda at the end of 2019.
As a focal point for the Bulldogs up forward, Bruce kicked just 14 goals - six coming in one game against North - from 17 appearances last year.
"We did clear (the forward line) out trying to get him to 10 late in the game," Beveridge said.
"I'm ecstatic for him because he's been scrutinised quite heavily by all and sundry after his year last year.
"He might not have kicked a lot of score last year but we loved his contest.
"Brucey was doing things that no one really could put a finger on.
"He knew that he wasn't at his best last year...he went away and just trained hard.
"He definitely came back looking lighter. I suppose he's just an example of a player who's just worked extremely hard to come and do what he did."
Bruce now has 14 goals for the year to put him in early Coleman Medal contention.