After spending some time proving form and fitness at VFL level, Bailey Scott came back into North Melbourne’s senior side this weekend for the first time since Round 5.
Fans are used to seeing Scott on the wing, and he even played as an inside midfielder at times in the VFL, however he executed an unfamiliar role to near perfection against the Saints.
Deployed in a defensive forward position, his motivation was to limit the impact of the dangerous Brad Hill, a task he took to with aplomb.
Hill finished with just six disposals - his fewest since his debut in 2012 - at just 50 per cent efficiency as he struggled to shake the presence of Scott.
Scott, on the other hand, finished with 14 touches - two higher than his career average - at 85 per cent efficiency, showing his effectiveness not just as a defensive forward, but also his capability to use the ball well.
David Noble says Scott’s high standard of running ability means he’s well suited to the defensive forward role, and he could be utilised in the position more in the future.
“Bailey’s role was to not just be nullifier, but certainly the bounce out of their back end came from a different sector … I thought he was outstanding,” Noble said.
“His pre-season was really impressive. He was in our top three runners, he’s certainly got that capacity and running power.
“Through pre-season we had him as a wing, but those high half-forward roles are pretty demanding as well. He’s certainly got good capacity to generate either as a half-forward or wing rotation.”
“I can’t comment on his (Hill’s) game … [but] we forced them to move him in the end … it’s probably the first role as a defensive forward [Scott] has played for us and I thought he executed it to an absolute tee.”