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St Kilda have returned to the AFL top four, showing North Melbourne no respite with a 53-point win that underscored a gulf in class.
The Kangaroos won the clearances 45-31 and could not be faulted for their work ethic after another week of turmoil, but the Saints led from the start and won easily 16.7 (103) to 7.8 (50).
The Saints will go into their mid-season bye brimming with confidence on the back of an 8-3 record.
But coach Brett Ratten, noting Fremantle's outstanding upset win over Melbourne on Saturday, warned a long road lies ahead.
"We have taken a step as a team, but we know how hard the competition is, as we saw yesterday," he said.
"We're really pleased with the growth, not just the team, but individually as well."
Running half-backs Brad Hill and Jack Sinclair were outstanding, while midfielder Seb Ross continued his strong season.
Key forward Max King kicked three goals and recalled teenager Mitch Owens kicked his first two goals within a minute as the Saints booted clear in the third term.
Ratten had warned this was a danger match, especially given North captain Jack Ziebell's 250-game milestone.
But after an even opening, North's skill errors and inability to make the most of their clearance advantage cruelled them.
It follows another week of crisis at Arden St, with three of their recruiting staff resigning and club great Wayne Carey saying North are a broken club.
North have lost their past seven games by 47 points or more, but coach David Noble said the mood among the players remains strong.
He insists that despite their succession of heavy losses, the club's rebuild remains on track.
"It may not feel like in regards to the cold win-loss and scores - (but) certainly our fans understand," he said.
Noble said he was receiving overwhelming support, saying the backing from fans in the past few days of crisis had been "phenomenal".
"Our pressure was around (the mark) for most of the game," Noble said.
"We overused the ball in the first half, particularly, and then we just couldn't get enough ball in our hands for long enough.
"We've had more of how we want to play in games over the last few weeks.
"It probably didn't feel like it today - we had small portions today."
North's Jy Simpkin had 29 disposals and kicked his first goal of the season.