Forget Jack, Nick Riewoldt is back
Nick Riewold is grabbing his opportunities again (Slattery Images)
Whilst Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt rides the Tiger revival engulfing the AFL media, cousin Nick has flown under the spotlight returning impressive numbers following an injury riddled season.
The Saints captain was written off with fears surrounding his troublesome knee, which plagued the former number one draft pick’s 2011 season.
Fitness was not the only concern, as the game evolved the style implemented by coaches seemed to work against the champion centre-half forward.
Many questioned Riewoldt’s ability to adapt to the “press” style of football, which seemingly curtailed his space to move often resulting in him being double-teamed.
But the 29-year-old, fresh from seven goals last night, has been in terrific form this season.
Riewoldt currently sits third on the Coleman medal with 31 goals, just five behind his 2011 season total halfway through the year.
Not only is Riewoldt hitting the scoreboard, his marking is back to its peak of 2007-’09.
Riewoldt currently sits fifth in the competition for total marks with 74, the best among key-forwards.
His contested marking ranks sixth in the competition, surprisingly ahead of Richmond messiah and cousin Jack Riewoldt.
The most crucial statistic to the Saint’s and Riewoldt’s success is where he gets his possessions.
In past years Riewoldt has used his elite aerobic capacity to run opponents off their feet. Often moving high up the ground to take marks and influence a contest rather than stay at home inside fifty and compete as a forward target.
This season Riewoldt is equal leader with Lance Franklin for most marks inside fifty, 38.
The longevity of the centre-half forward has been questioned based on how the game is developing with presses and other tactics limiting their influence.
The Nick Riewoldt, Jonathan Brown style power forward capable of running back with the flight seemed destined for extinction.
However Nick is proving there is hope yet for the traditionalists of the game.
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