West Coast's win over Roos comes at a big cost

West Coast believe they have dodged a bullet with Josh Kennedy's ankle injury, suffered during an uninspiring 15-point win over North Melbourne that kept their AFL top-four hopes alive.

The club's leading goal kicker landed awkwardly in a marking contest before halftime on Thursday night and limped off the field with a left ankle concern, seeing out the game on the bench.

Oscar Allen and Liam Ryan stepped up in Kennedy's absence to help ensure a 7.7 (49) to 4.10 (34) victory at Metricon Stadium that lifted the Eagles to third spot on the ladder.

They will discover their top-four fate over the weekend and face a nervous wait on further medical assessment of Kennedy's latest setback ahead of the finals.

"It's a new injury to his ankle and he's walking around, so I think it was more precaution than anything, but we've got to see how he pulls up tomorrow," West Coast coach Adam Simpson said.

"It could just be a garden variety roll but we won't know until he pulls up."

Winless in their previous seven outings, North Melbourne stunned West Coast in the first quarter and kept them scoreless.

They ran harder and smarter, dominated the contest and stoppages, and were more dangerous going forward.

The 16-point margin at quarter-time could have been greater but for some wasted chances in front of goal.

It was West Coast's third scoreless first quarter in club history and first since 1998.

Ryan was one of four Eagles who didn't have a touch in the first term but sparked his team into life before half-time, kicking one goal and setting up another.

The Kangaroos wouldn't go away in the third term but consistently let themselves with poor goal kicking, none worse than Todd Goldstein's hooked shot from 25m.

It ultimately proved costly as two final-quarter goals from Allen put a wedge between the sides.

The 21-year-old finished with three majors and Ryan two as the only multiple goal kickers in a scrappy contest played in slippery conditions.

"We got away with it," Simpson said.

"Our leaders stood up again in the last quarter and dragged us over the line.

"I'm not saying I was really disappointed with how we played.

"We could've played better, but they (North) just didn't allow us to."

Jy Simpkin, Jed Anderson and Shaun Higgins were the Kangaroos' best in a vastly improved performance to finish their season.

But the loss means the Kangaroos will collect their first wooden spoon since 1972 if Adelaide upsets Richmond.