Ruck VC Loophole Analysis

Written by Motts on January 31 2016

Received an email from Michael yesterday offering us his wisdom on the best ruck loophole option in 2016. Check this out! Thanks Michael, you’ve done a ton of work here and we really appreciate it!


I’m Michael, a long time reader but a never poster (or commenter). This site has helped my super coaching (around 3000 ish last 2 seasons after much more than that before I found the site) so I thought it was time to give something back.

I love a good VC loophole (who doesn’t) and after reading Sean’s “Loophole Strategy” I took it to the next level.

Firstly I identified loophole rucks people were likely to pick. These were all ruck/fwd’s under $123,900 as well as M.Korcheck from Carlton ($102,400) because he is cheap and Carlton plays a lot of Sunday games (10).

Then I assumed the majority of people will start with at least one if not all of Ablett, Goldstein and Rockliff (I’m starting all 3). And I think these are prime VC/C choices each week.

So, I had a look at the fixture (up to round 22) for each round and worked out if you could chuck the VC on any of the three premiums mentioned when loopholing with each ruck option. I’ll take you through an example of how I did this with round 1 and using L.Lowden (ADL) as the ruck option. Ablett plays beforehand (so you can VC him and see if you like the score) so he got point for that round, Goldstein plays at the same time (so you can’t loophole) so he got nothing and Rockliff plays after so he got nothing. (It should be noted that I counted the 1pm and 2pm games as the same time because I was lazy and who has that much time on a Saturday. Also, for the bye rounds, I gave a point if the ruck player had the bye because (I think) you can still loophole them but didn’t give a point if the premium had the bye.)

The results from the analysis for the whole season are shown below:

Player Position Price Ablett Goldstein Rockliff None of the 3 Plays First Game
M.King (Mel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 12 14 10 4 0
T.Read (Geel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 9 13 9 7 2
M.Chol (Rich) RUCK/FWD $102,400 4 9 6 12 6
C.Loersch (GC) RUCK/FWD $102,400 0 12 5 10 0
D.Wyatt (Coll) RUCK/FWD $102,400 7 10 6 9 3
L.Lowden (Adl) RUCK/FWD $123,900 12 9 7 6 4
S.Naismith (Syd) RUCK/FWD $123,900 8 11 9 8 2
M.Korcheck (Carl) RUCK $102,400 12 13 11 5 1


I’ll use T.Read from Geelong as an example of how to use the data. If you pick him initially you could VC loophole Ablett for 9 rounds, Goldstein for 13 rounds and Rockliff for 9 rounds but some of these rounds may overlap for each premium (i.e., in Round 1 you could VC all premiums with T.Read so that round counted for all premiums). T.Read also has 7 rounds were you couldn’t VC loophole these 3 but Geelong didn’t play in the first game for 5 of them so you may still be able to loophole with a different player from the first game. Lastly Geelong play first 2 times so you couldn’t use a VC loophole at all that round with T.Read.

Looking at the results for the whole season (assuming you start with Ablett), M.King from Melbourne seems the best choice as he never plays first and only has 4 rounds were none of the 3 premiums could not be loopholed. However for those of you that don’t want to start with Ablett, by all means save some $$$ and go with the Gold Coast guy, C.Loersch (GC), because his none of the 3 value I expect is inflated because he never scored any with Ablett as they play in the same team.

I know some people out there like to split the season into before and after byes, so I did that analyse too, as shown below with results up to and including round 12 and results after round 15.

Player Position Price Ablett Goldstein Rockliff None of the 3 Plays First Game
M.King (Mel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 6 7 4 3 0
T.Read (Geel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 4 7 4 4 1
M.Chol (Rich) RUCK/FWD $102,400 3 5 3 6 5
C.Loersch (GC) RUCK/FWD $102,400 0 6 2 6 0
D.Wyatt (Coll) RUCK/FWD $102,400 6 6 5 4 1
L.Lowden (Adl) RUCK/FWD $123,900 5 3 3 5 3
S.Naismith (Syd) RUCK/FWD $123,900 5 6 5 4 1
M.Korcheck (Carl) RUCK $102,400 6 7 7 3 1
Player Position Price Ablett Goldstein Rockliff None of the 3 Plays First Game
M.King (Mel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 4 5 3 1 0
T.Read (Geel) RUCK/FWD $117,300 4 4 2 3 1
M.Chol (Rich) RUCK/FWD $102,400 1 2 2 5 1
C.Loersch (GC) RUCK/FWD $102,400 0 4 1 3 0
D.Wyatt (Coll) RUCK/FWD $102,400 0 2 0 5 2
L.Lowden (Adl) RUCK/FWD $123,900 5 5 3 0 0
S.Naismith (Syd) RUCK/FWD $123,900 1 3 2 4 1
M.Korcheck (Carl) RUCK $102,400 4 4 2 2 0


Looking at just before the bye’s again M.King seems like the obvious choice and looking after the byes L.Lowden seem like the best choice. So if you are looking for a non-playing downgrade (even for forwards) after the byes keep L.Lowden in mind as you can loophole at least one of the three premiums every round (and after looking at the raw data a bit deeper, you can loophole either Ablett or Goldstein every round after the byes!).

I’m going to look past M.King’s bad first 2 rounds (can’t loophole any of the 3) and pick him for the long run in my team. I hope this analysis is helpful for everyone here at SCT in picking their rookie ruck.



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16 thoughts on “Ruck VC Loophole Analysis”

  1. I’m back baby!

    Very helpful post, thanks Michael. Some superb wisdom there.
    Been a busy past couple months but good to get back into SC. Really excited to be part of this magnificent community again.


  2. Nice report, I’ll probably take Grimley as an extra cash cow [assuming he’s signed] rather than a loophole option, but wow, nice research


  3. Great work Michael.

    As I’m not running goldy at present, bu am running rocky and ablett this breakdown has been great.

    I’m going with Wyatt, due to the early rounds. Loopholing opportunities are usually much easier from about round 8 or so, due to byes and injuries. Worth considering that in your strategies.

    Also, a special heads up to Luke Lowden. Not many of these rookie pricers can be considered a serious #2 ruck option, so dpp, #2 ruck status, $123k is gold. Especially if you are running Jacobs as one of your rucks for a “set and forget” strategy.


  4. Quite an impression to make with your first comment here, Michael. Yourself and Sean have saved us all a helluva lot of time with your detailed analysis. Thanks heaps!!


  5. This some dank shiet man. Good stuff

    Personally going with Wyatt for the same reason BigRuss didn’t choose him. Pendles is Mr Consistent. I like to take a bit if a risk with my VC – checking which teams/grounds they are best in. Pendles is the safe option and will give me a sure-fire 110 if my VC bombs out


  6. Call me crazy but if Petracca doesn’t get named for round 1 (but has recovered from his toe injury and doesn’t injure himself in the meantime) I might be tempted to use him as a VC/C loophole instead and play a rookie priced playing ruck at R3, if one gets selected. If fit, Petracca should get games early, so it shouldn’t be too much of an extra risk. In the last couple of years, 1 of my rookies is normally dropped from round 4 onwards.
    It doesn’t change much for me round 1 as my current loophole is Loersch so I would have touse Lids or Martin as VC anyway.
    Cashflow wise, the plan seems to be OK (provided my rookie ruck plays 3-4 games early) and the only problem is that I may have to go old school and just select my C from rounds 2-5. After that if all my guys are playing (doubt it), I’ll just bring in a non-player in my first upgrade/downgrade trade.
    (I’ll use the same plan if another rookie priced Def/Mid/For (under 130K) looks likely in the NAB and training, but just misses out in round 1)


  7. This is fantastic work Motts!

    But this is the rare year that a bench rook could earn us money….and that opportunity shouldn’t be squandered. Particularly if you’re not going to get Goldy.

    Most likely to spend the extra coin if Currie gets R1 selection. Use the money from culling him to upgrade to Goldy (after his price will fall. That’s the hope). Will find my loop in other lines, probably mids.

    Again, great research that I will no doubt re-read and re-re-read in the upcoming weeks.



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