Port Adelaide toyed with returning Jackson Trengove to defence on Saturday and he said no.
By quarter-time, his stubbornness was fully justified.
Trengove did what few AFL ruckmen had managed lately – dominating Todd Goldstein.
While teammates such as Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard had better matches, Trengove’s powerful first quarter set the tone for their barnstorming 28-point win.
He had four clearances of his own as Port smashed North in the centre clearances 7-0.
They raced to a 34-point lead at the first break and eventually won by 28.
Coach Ken Hinkley said they had thought about playing Trengove in his main role as a key defender because of North’s tall forward line.
“He (Trengove) said ‘no’, leave him in the ruck,” Hinkley said.
“I like that, when a player says ‘no, put me back in the ruck – I’ll get it done’.
“He’s been pretty special all year, Jacko.
“We couldn’t have asked any more of him.”
Matthew Lobbe’s form lapse, followed by an injury, means Trengove has been their main ruck option for several weeks.
Lobbe is returning this weekend in the SANFL, but Hinkley admits he is tempted to keep Trengove in the ruck.
By contrast, Goldstein in that first quarter looked a shadow of the ruckman who won All-Australian selection last season.
He has struggled since injuring his knee in round 10 against Sydney.
But North coach Brad Scott said Goldstein would be the last person wanting to offer excuses.
“He’d be really frustrated if he thought that anyone was giving him an excuse or alibi for a poor performance,” Scott said.
“He’s a really proud footballer … so he’d be disappointed.
“My job as coach is to help him.”