Reviewing the rucks: Kangaroos, Port and Tigers
- Port Adelaide Power news
- Richmond Tigers news
- North Melbourne Kangaroos news
- AFL news
- AFL Premiership news
We continue looking at depth, potential, experience and sheer brilliance, let’s review the ruck stocks of North Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Richmond.
Number one: Todd Goldstein.
Back ups: Hamish McIntosh, Majak Daw (rookie listed), Ben Mabon.
2011: There must be something in the water at Ardon Street. Lord of the Rings fans will understand what I mean when I say it might well be Ent Draught, the magical brew which made two of the hobbits grow tall and invigorated the pint-sized heroes.
The phenomenon started with Hamish ‘Big H’ McIntosh, who overcame a string of bad form and injury related setbacks to be within contention for All Australian selection in 2008 and emerge as one of the game’s best big men.
Next, it was the surprising emergence of Todd Goldstein, who filled the 203cm void left by Big H, again held back by injuries in 2011. Easily one of the league’s foremost ruckman, Goldstein not only filled this role but places some serious doubt on McIntosh’s once guaranteed recall.
The fortunate problem now for North Melbourne is how to get these two superb talents onto the field at the same time. McIntosh in a rotating forward role seems most likely, giving Drew Petrie a valuable tall companion in the goal square.
Unfortunately for the duo depth seems a little light on, with only inexperienced draftee Ben Mabon left to call with Majak Daw’s unfortunate off-season dramas leaving him indefinitely suspended. However, with the sheer talent of Goldstein and McIntosh arguably forming the most imposing ruck duo this season, that might not be an issue for the rising Kangaroos.
Number one: Brett Renouf/Matthew Lobbe.
Back ups: Mitch Curnow, Jarrod Redden.
2011: It’s almost not worth writing about Port’s last season, except to say it really was one to forget. The ruck division was not only dealt a very serious blow with the retiring/defection of premiership player and club hero Dean Brogan, but suffered from an unsupporting and lacklustre midfield.
2012 must be a year in which the Power invest the greatest amount of time into ruck tyro Lobbe, who has done little but eat, lift heavy things and wear a bubble wrap suit and helmet in his down time to avoid injury. The acquisition of Bret Renouf from Hawthorn will seriously help the young giant, taking most of the slack this season and providing some premiership experience.
The steady emergence of Jarrod Redden will also help the pair providing depth and perhaps some competition for spots, but really the Power need – nay, must – focus on Lobbe, by hook or by crook for the future success of the club.
Number one: Ivan Maric.
Back ups: Angus Graham, Andrew Brown, Tom Derickx.
2011: Richmond of 2011 was something of a mixed bag of improvement, excitement, frustration, disappointment and, ultimately, optimism.
The two obvious needs for improvement in the squads make up was a serious improvement in defence, and the recruiting of a big bodied, able ruckman to take the pressure off developing players Angus Graham and Andrew Brown. The Tigers absolutely got the right man in ex-Crow Ivan Maric.
Now, I need to admit some personal bias here; as an Adelaide Crows tragic, I have a real soft spot for Ivan the Terrible, who, while often maligned and more than often ranked behind others at the club, never once gave anything but his heart and soul, battling strongly against bigger men, and always flying the flag for team mates dealt wrongly in a game.
His biggest strength is, well, his strength. Being relatively short for a ruckman at 200cm, the Croat developed a game style built on his physical strength at the contest, and his sheer competitiveness.
Bringing experience, a mature mind and body, and the AFL’s most tasteless mullet, Maric fills the needs of this young ruck squad perfectly and is aptly backed up by the emerging and talented Graham and Brown, giving surprising depth to the once maligned Tigers ruck stocks.
Grade: Solid B.
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