One of the biggest turnaround triumphs of the season left North Melbourne coach Brad Scott declaring he would no longer set limits on what his team could achieve in as little as a quarter of football after a 28-point win that added a further chapter of woe to Richmond's season.
The Kangaroos trailed by 35 points at half-time at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night as Dustin Martin ran rampant in the Tigers' forward line, but slammed on eight unanswered goals to record their first back-to-back wins since round four.
"I thought it showed unbelievable resolve and character for our group to be outplayed for most of the first half, (and then) to be able to respond and get your leaders to stand up and take control of the game," Scott said of the 63-point turnaround.
"They exceeded my expectations in the third quarter. I won't be putting a ceiling on what we can do in a quarter of footy any more, because we were hoping to be back somewhere near level-pegging at three-quarter time."
Scott was especially pleased for Drew Petrie, his vice-captain, who has been outwardly criticised for his lack of impact this season, yet who the coach said had contributed enormously through his defensive pressure and who he was rapt to see have a more obvious key forward's impact with four second-half goals.
"We think he's been one of the reasons why our defence has been so good this year, which sounds contradictory, given he's been up the other end of the ground," Scott said of Petrie. "His pressure's been unbelievable. You don't see it on the broadcast, you only see it in review. We see it from the coaches' box.
"He's been doing that, but he combined that today with a really dominant offensive display. He can only mark the quality of footy that's coming inside forward 50, and when that improved he showed his class and what a great player he is."
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick conceded the night contained his team's best and worst halves of a maddening campaign, and, while reiterating his vow that all at the club would continue to work tirelessly to turn things around, he was clearly frustrated.
"To give up eight goals in the third quarter was really disappointing on the back of a contested ball smashing really - the second half was 48 to 74, so you're never going to win a game of footy if you get beaten that comprehensively in contested ball," Hardwick said.
"That second half, we were just chasing backside the whole time. Unfortunately we're only playing in spits and spurts at the moment."
Scott acknowledged the importance of winning back-to-back games, but would not be drawn on his team's September prospects, predicting that much could change in the second half of the home and away season.
"I think it was really important - for the obvious reasons, in terms of win-loss ratio and what's to come in the second half of the year. Probably more importantly it's about, if you want to be a good team you do it consistently regardless of circumstance. We haven't been able to do that, so that implies we're not a good team.
"Two weeks doesn't prove that, it takes longer. We've still got a way to go.
"So much is going to change in 10 weeks, finals is the last thing we're thinking about. In terms of self belief it's a week by week proposition for us, because we haven't proven we can do it consistently."