North Melbourne’s Majak Daw has made a winning return to the AFL, with the Kangaroos defeating Adelaide by 69 points.
Daw, playing in his first AFL game in more than 700 days after suffering serious hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge in December 2018, was the focus at Metricon Stadium on Saturday as the Kangaroos claimed a 19.5 (119) to 7.8 (50) win.
The 29-year-old provided the highlight of the victory when he kicked a goal in the final term, with every one of his teammates coming to jump all over him in celebration.
Daw finished with eight disposals, four marks and his goal.
“There’s no better feeling than winning,” Daw told Fox Footy.
“Over the past two years, the battles I’ve gone through that’s worth it, winning with your teammates.”
Victory ends a six-game losing run for North and leaves winless Adelaide stranded at the bottom of the ladder.
North’s tally of 119 is also the highest score by a team in 2020, eclipsing West Coast’s 111 against Collingwood in round eight.
The Crows’ unwanted club-record losing run is now at 12 and it will be more than a year since their last AFL win when they take to Adelaide Oval to play Melbourne on Wednesday.
Daw didn’t take long to make an impact on the match, playing a key role in the build-up to the opening goal scored by Luke Davies-Uniacke.
That score sent the Kangaroos on their way as they kicked four goals to none in the opening term.
Adelaide made an attempt at a comeback in the second term but a flurry of three goals at the end of the half ensured North had extended their margin to 34 points by the main break.
Cameron Zurhaar kicked three goals for the Kangaroos while Jack Mahony, Aaron Hall, Davies-Uniacke, Nick Larkey, Jasper Pittard and Shaun Higgins had two majors each.
Luke McDonald finished with a game-high 35 disposals and Jed Anderson (28 disposals, eight tackles) and Todd Goldstein (19 hitouts, 19 disposals) were hugely influential.
The Crows suffered a blow before the match when key forward Taylor Walker didn’t join his teammates on the flight to Queensland.
Walker was ruled out due to a bout of gastro, handing tall Kieran Strachan his AFL debut.
Strachan, a 204cm ruckman, finished the match with four disposals in a quiet first outing.
While Adelaide face Melbourne next week, North Melbourne’s next match is against Geelong on Wednesday.