AFL North Melbourne forward Mason Wood has capped a brilliant return to senior footy with a four-goal performance in his side’s thrilling two-point win over Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night. Wood booted the opening goal of the match but saved his best for the final term, when his outstanding solo effort put the Kangaroos in front almost 29 minutes into the quarter. The Swans had chances to steal it but Tom Papley pushed his set shot wide with just over a minute left to play, and Dane Rampe failed to score with another opportunity with 34 seconds on the clock. North held on bravely for a 9.14 (68) to 9.12 (66) victory to hand the Swans their third loss at home this season. Wood took nine marks, four of those contested, and kicked his four important majors from 18 possessions. Shaun Higgins was electric for the visitors with 32 possessions, five clearances and a goal after returning from concussion. Kangaroos coach Brad Scott said he knew Higgins – who missed his side’s loss to Port Adelaide after copping a heavy knock in round five against Hawthorn – would have an impact. “He wasn’t right to play last week and we wouldn’t have played him irrespective of any concussion test, just given the severity of the incident,” Scott said. “You just know with guys like that once they declare themselves fit to play they’re going to come back in and compete and he certainly adds a different dimension to our midfield.” Ben Jacobs finished with 29 touches and nine tackles, while Ben Cunnington and Jed Anderson gathered 24 apiece. Sydney captain Josh Kennedy picked up 31 disposals and had nine clearances and nine tackles, while Will Hayward was his side’s most effective forward with three goals, and Rampe did well to keep Ben Brown to a solitary major. Swans coach John Longmire said his side had the opportunity to win the match but wasted their chances in front of goal. “We missed some important ones at different times that we should have been able to nail and give ourselves a bit of a buffer,” he said. “We hit the front in the last quarter and should have sorted it out a bit better.” Higgins began the match in brilliant fashion and his 12 first-quarter touches helped the Kangaroos establish a clear advantage at stoppages, and Jacobs, Trent Dumont and Anderson also found plenty of the footy. The Swans were left bewildered when Billy Hartung was awarded a goal to give them the lead, despite replays clearly showing the ball had been touched by Jarrad McVeigh’s diving smother attempt. Brown’s first gave the Kangaroos a 14-point break early in the second term but when Kennedy started to have more of an influence in the second quarter, the Swans answered with two in a row to Hayward and Robbie Fox.