JLT Rookie Review – Rucks

Written by Huttabito on March 22 2017

Just a short one today of the ruck-only rookies and I was even nice to leave the one gamer stats up to make it look bigger.

Name Team  Price JLT1 JLT2 JLT3 AVE
Simpson GWS  $155.1k 96 44 70
English WBD  $130.8k 70 70
Preuss NTH  $123.9k 70 95 45 70
Soldo RIC  $123.9k 31 31
Mullenger-McHugh WBD  $103.9k 28 28
Darcy FRE  $117.3k 16 5 16 12
Korcheck CAR  $117.3k 12 12

Dawson Simpson took the ruck reigns in 1 and a half games whilst Mumford was watching from the sidelines. In 43% TOG, he averaged 18 hitouts on his way to a 70 point average courtesy of an average 3 kicks, 5 handballs, 2 marks and 3 tackles per appearance. Not to shabby. He had the 5th highest points per minute played across the series just edging out Hall, Dangerfield and Zorko. GWS would be very unlikely to play Simpson but if Mumford were to go down for an extended period of time, he might be worth a look at. I have him handcuffed to Mumford in our draft league just in case…

Timothy English just got the 1 run in JLT2 and got monstered in the rucking department against Stef Martin. If he gets early games, his first 6 opponents will be Grundy, Naismith, Sandilands, Goldstein, Martin and Mumford and lets be honest, it won’t be pretty for him and he would struggle to walk away with any points from hitouts. Especially when he’s up against arguably 5 (sorry Roo Bloke) of the best starting midfield groups in the competition. He knows how to play around the ground though as he scored 70 points from 3 kicks, 10 handballs, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 9 contested possessions and 3 clearances from 74% TOG so he would at least walk away with something.

Braydon Preuss averaged 21 hitouts from 75% TOG sharing the ruck with Goldstein and Daw over the entire series which is quite impressive. He struggled to find the ball otherwise and only managed to average 4 kicks, 1 handball, 2 marks and 3 tackles in the same time. He played in a VFL trial match on the weekend and was easily best on ground as his size just could not be matched. Brown is good to go and played in the trial match as well kicking 3 goals, so will be likely return so all eyes are on Preuss/Majak now. There is a lot of people sweating on team announcements and Thursday just can’t come quick enough. For him to be really effective, he needs to be spending a lot of time in the ruck and it’s hard to see that being the case if Goldy is fully fit. Food for thought. For the next 35hrs…

The others are all getting a hard pass, sorry folks.

Move over Majak….

**UPDATE**

I have seen The ruck conundrum at Gold Coast Suns been posted around recently and Jester has bought it up again, so I thought I would put in my 2 cents.

There are 3 rucks at Gold Coast – Witts, Currie and Nicholls.

Witts was recruited to the club for a reason, to ruck. They had 2 rucks who have played AFL before on their list and they bought in a 3rd. In my opinion, he has been bought in as their No1 ruck. Being the 4th tallest player in the AFL and with no 3rd man up, I think he should do quite well this year. He is a good tap ruckman and I think this will have more weight behind it this season.

Currie is a non-issue for Witts and only played the first 2 JLT games. Despite having two really good games, he missed the 3rd when Witts came back from his injury. He’s never really got much of a run at AFL level as he struggles to play forward.

Nicholls will be the one to break in if anything, while 2 goals in the NEAFL practice match is good, the team did win by 100+ points so I wouldn’t be reading to much into it at the moment. Nicholls is good around the ground but not the greatest of tap ruckman so that clashes with my view on the rucks this year. He’s still getting over his back injury and will take some games to get his body up to the speed of the AFL.

All in all, I think Witts will have the show to himself for the first part of the season and it will be his spot to lose.

Now I could have it completely wrong and I’ll go down swinging, but that’s the risk I’m currently taking.

Have I thought the GCS ruck situation through properly?

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I would love to hear other peoples thoughts below as the rucks have been a very hot topic this pre-season and one that will really set people apart in the rankings early on.

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9 thoughts on “JLT Rookie Review – Rucks”

  1. Thanks Hutta, great again!

    Witts is technically not a rookie but I would love to hear your pre lockout thoughts about him as a viable R2…

    Nicholls kicked two goals in the practice match on the weekend … another step in his recovery … does this have any affect on your thoughts around Witts and his JS?

    Link to practice match article – http://www.neafl.com.au/index.php?id=16&tx_ttnews%5Byear%5D=2017&tx_ttnews%5Bmonth%5D=03&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=5891&cHash=5c98b935ab3476b81922f465e405bbd2

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  2. Huttabito, I’m going to put full faith in you and put Witts at R3. I realise he is very expensive for a bench player, but I also have Sandilands at R2, so it’s sort of an insurance policy in case the big guy misses a week or two.
    I also think I can make a bit of cash out of Witts before his Round 9 bye, assuming that he is the lone ruckman of course. Hutta said he will be, in Hutta I trust!

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    1. I take no responsibility for other peoples actions. There was a disclaimer of “Now I could have it completely wrong” at the bottom of the article :p

      Witts @ R3 is low risk IMO, so you should be ok with him there. He’ll play, make some money and you can cash him out. I’m starting him at R2, that risk factor is off the charts though and not recommended for the feint-hearted.

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