NORTH Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein allowed North Ballarat Roosters to achieve what it wanted from a practice hit-out on Saturday.
Goldstein dominated his Geelong opponents at stoppages, giving Roosters first use of the ball at Simonds Stadium.
This helped the Roosters settle their methods, concentrate on tightening defensive pressure and secure a 14-point win against the reigning Victorian Football League premier.
While the Cats were not at full strength – resting AFL players and sorting VFL stock – Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said his team could experiment a bit.
Goldstein had been rested from the NAB Cup action that followed so Daniel Currie could play as sole ruckman for the Kangaroos.
His inclusion in the Roosters allowed him to play a game with similar structures and, in the sweltering clash, allow the Roosters to put more time into developing ruckman Ben Mabon up forward.
FitzGerald said the Roosters were keen to work on versatility with some players specialising in at least two key positions.
This also drew Marcus Darmody, a defender by trade, to the Roosters’ forward lines at the Cattery.
Darmody did so in a guest spot at Bendigo in 2011 and reaped a seven-goal haul but has since tended to work in the back lines.
“Bringing him forward is a good way and opportunity to improve him as a player and strengthen our own group,” FitzGerald said.
Lucas Cook and the emerging Pat Nicholls held down solid forward roles but it was smalls like Bill Driscoll and Lachie George that added bite.
Importantly, the Roosters finished the match unscathed by injury and were straight into recovery for a final practice match against Williamstown at Eureka Stadium on Saturday.
North Ballarat 4.0 7.2 8.7 10.10 (70)
Geelong 1.5 4.6 7.6 8.8 (56)