NOW North Ballarat Roosters have a pretty fair idea of what the best will be like in the Victorian Football League.
Their work will start on how they use what they have learned.
The Roosters’ third and final inter-club practice match was tough against a more seasoned Williamstown, topped up this summer with some big recruiting.
Williamstown beat them soundly, by 99 points after a fourth-quarter blow-out at Eureka Stadium on Saturday.
Selkirk Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said it was a good lesson in his squad’s preparations.
The Roosters have two weeks to regroup, fine-tune then delve into work for their round one showdown against Collingwood at Victoria Park on April 6.
“When we go to Collingwood, Collingwood will be on no points and we will be on no points – we start the season even,” FitzGerald said.
“We’ve finished a really tough practice game series.
“We were outplayed by a bigger-bodied Port Melbourne side in round one, we were good in hot conditions against Geelong and we were outplayed by Williamstown.
“We don’t make excuses but sometimes you can learn resilience ... when you play practice games against teams that are more advanced, certainly strong competition, it can throw you a real challenge.”
FitzGerald was impressed with the marked improvement and development in his players.
Midfielder Chris Giampaolo, in his fourth VFL season, has shown continued determination in the pre-season series.
Second-year players, midfielder Coleman Schache (10 tackles) and small defender Luke Kiel (five tackles, four spoils) served up good games against the Seagulls.
The Roosters will continue a heavy training period this week, leading into an intraclub clash on Friday night, before moving into a lighter, individualised regime at Easter.
4.3 10.6 13.9 19.7 (131)
2.3 3.5 4.7 4.8 (32)