This year's Coleman Medal is Ben Brown's to lose after the North Melbourne star torched Port Adelaide with a breathtaking 10-goal haul in their lopsided AFL clash at Marvel Stadium.
Brown started the round six goals behind injured GWS star Jeremy Cameron but stormed to a four-goal lead with a career-best return of 10.1 in Saturday night's 22.12 (144) to 8.10 (58) demolition.
Brown was equal-second with Geelong's Tom Hawkins with 52 goals heading into round 22, but the big Cat was held goalless in a loss to Brisbane and Cameron is stuck on 58 goals as he deals with a minor hamstring strain.
That leaves Brown tantalisingly close to claiming a first Coleman Medal, out in front with 62 majors and with the Roos to host woeful Melbourne in Hobart to close out the season.
"It's been something that's come up at the end of the season for the last couple of years, but I try as much as possible not to focus on that," Brown said of the prosect of winning the Coleman.
"We're trying to build something at this club and I'm just trying to do whatever I can to make sure that we keep the wheels turning in the right direction.
"It was an exciting night. It was fun being out there ... when the ball is coming in like that it makes it a lot easier to be a forward and really difficult to defend against."
Brown has won North's goal-kicking award three times but has never kicked 10 goals in a game at any level before Saturday night.
It was the first time a North Melbourne player has reached double figures since Wayne Carey booted 10.5 against Essendon in round 17 of the 1999 season.
The Roos haven't had a Coleman Medal winner since John Longmire won it in 1990 with 98 goals.
Todd Goldstein was also outstanding in the 86-point drubbing that came a week after North managed just one goal in an entire match in a big loss to Geelong.
Goldstein had 18 possessions, 16 hitouts, nine clearances and a goal to halftime and finished with a career-high 34 disposals and 28 hitouts in a stunning display of ruck prowess.
The veteran is an unrestricted free agent this year, but coach Rhyce Shaw is hopeful he will remain at Arden St.
"We're in discussions with Todd all the time and I'm pretty sure he hasn't done himself any harm in terms of the contract now, which is not great (for us)," Shaw quipped.
"But Todd has been open with us, we've been open with him and we're hoping to get something done very shortly."
Australian Associated Press