Geelong have overcome some anxious moments in Hobart to beat dogged North Melbourne by 20 points and extend their AFL winning run to five games.
The high-flying Cats trailed by four points at quarter time at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon before eventually squeezing the life out of their opposition.
The 8.14 (62) to 6.6 (42) result consolidates second position for Geelong, while the Kangaroos remain anchored to the foot of the ladder.
Both teams had issues moving the ball forward cleanly in a match that North got to within 12 points midway through the final quarter.
Geelong's Tom Hawkins nailed a crucial goal on a tight angle about 10 minutes from the siren in what proved the death knell.
Cameron Guthrie was among the Cats' best, kicking two goals to go with 28 possessions, five clearances and four tackles.
Geelong dominated inside 50s 31-17 in the first half but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard.
They trailed by four points at the end of the first quarter, which they turned into an eight-point lead at the main break.
In his 250th AFL game, Geelong's Shaun Higgins managed a goal from a set shot against his former club.
Both sides scored just one goal each in a third quarter played out largely in the middle third before Geelong's Quinton Narkle snapped the key first goal in the fourth to open a 17-point gap.
Kangaroos youngster Eddie Ford grubbered a major midway through the last quarter to send some jitters through the Cats' camp.
North Melbourne, who were without key players Ben Cunnington, Cameron Zurhaar and Tarryn Thomas, remain on 18 competition points - equal with Hawthorn who meet the Lions on Sunday.
Aaron Hall was busy for the Kangaroos with a game-high 35 disposals.
Australian Associated Press