THE Burnie of old turned up to play yesterday and handed the Northern Bombers a football lesson, smashing them by 69 points in their State League game at Aurora Stadium.
The Dockers outworked, outtackled and outplayed the youthful Bombers and used their bigger bodies to dominate the stoppages and contested ball in a display that was reminiscent of the form that took them to the 2012 flag and last year's grand final.
The 19.10 (124) to 8.7 (55) victory belied their 1-4 start to the season going into the game and sent a warning that anyone in the TSL who writes them off, does so at their own peril.
A six-goal unanswered burst through the opening quarter saw them open up a 39-point lead at quarter time with Kade Munday getting them going with two goals mid-quarter to start the onslaught.
They booted seven goals to four against the wind in the second to snuff out any hope of a Bombers revival, blowing the half-time margin out to 50 points - and it was game over.
Burnie's tackling was outstanding as they pressured the ball carrier and denied North any opportunity to get its running game going and forcing them into disposal errors.
It was not just the just the experienced campaigners in Luke Shackleton, Darren Banham, Kade Munday, Jason Laycock and Nick and Harry Walters who did the damage - a brigade of youthful Dockers including Dylan Smith, Clay Hardy, Kyle Harman, Aaron Viney, John Holland and Kade Brakey all put their hands up and contributed to an even spread of ball winners.
Smith finished with four goals to be one of Burnie's best players along with Rudy Barrett who kicked two and was outstanding in his return from injury.
Burnie coach Andrew Herring was full of praise for his side's performance and knows they can be a threat in the competition if they produce that form consistently.
"We've been good probably for 60 per cent of games previous but today was a genuine four-quarter effort apart from maybe the first ten minutes of the third quarter where we dropped off a bit," he said.
"That is pretty much the standard we've set all year and it just a matter of converting it on game day and today things went our way.
"We didn't give them space and we knew North Lonnie are good around stoppages and create space and run hard forward and back - so we put a lot of effort into our work around the footy, to pressure and tackle."
North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn was disappointed with his side's work rate and inability to compete.