‘The Ballsy Move’: Part Three – Rucks

Written by Motts on March 26 2015

Schwarzwalder’s back with more players he thinks it would take a lot of….. guts to select. I don’t know about you but I’m loving this series. I just hope our female readers aren’t too deterred by the constant references to male reproductive glands. 

By now you should know that these write ups are just an flimsy excuse to use different words for balls 😉  There aren’t many ruck spots up for grabs, I’ve narrowed down the ballsy moves to three.  If you’re starting with any of the following ruckmen, don’t be deterred by my feeble analysis.  Just be aware, for one reason or another, your spunk bunkers will be heavily tested (or is that tes-teed) in the process.  As always, please correct me if I’ve missed a vital piece of info.   

Durability is the key with our ruck selections.  Only one ruckman played every game last season and that was Sam Jacobs.  Only seven ruckmen played twenty games or more.  It’s impossible to foresee serious or niggling injuries but some players do have a history.  

Two popular options in ruck strategy this year are ‘Set and Forget’ (two high-priced premiums with no back-up) or the ‘Two Midpricers Option’ (with DPP back-up in the fwd line).  So which players promise to stretch our scrotes the most? 


Shane Mumford (GWS) $613,700

2011 – Average of 113 ppg from 17 games played

2012 – 91 (14)

2013 – 92 (19)

2014 – 114 (17)

For no apparent reason, let’s start with a bit of math!  17 x 115 = 1955 while 20 x 110 = 2200.  I’ll come back to that later.  

Mumford has played 117 games in his seven year career with the Cats, Swans and now Giants.  That’s not so bad in itself.  Over the last four years, he’s missed an average of five games per season due to injury and/or suspension.  We all know Mumford is capable of monster scores when he’s switched on (went over 150 four times last year).  Plus he’s trimmed right down over the pre-season after some much-publicised battles with his playing weight.  (‘He’s had an excellent pre-season’, MJ!).   By his own admission, it’s the fittest he’s been going into Rd1…..ever!  At that price though, you’re probably looking at a ‘Set & Forget’ strategy with no back-up.  Is he worth that price if he’s going to give you five donuts during the season?  

Back to the math…….if Mumford plays 17 games at an average of 115, you’ll get 1955 pts out of him.  As opposed to a more durable ruckman running at a lower average, 20 games at a 110 average will give you 2200 pts.  Without any back-up, 245 pts can be a big difference at seasons end.  I see (Test) Eagles flying overhead!!  

Balls Rating:  More grapes than a vineyard!!


Nic Naitanui (WCE) $488,300

2011 – 94 (20)

2012 – 114 (20)

2013 – 96 (11)

2014 – 91 (20)

Nic Nat has been my first-picked ruckman in SC since his rookie year.  Absolutely loved it when he was smashing out that 114 average in 2012.  He was well on his way to becoming a future SC Beast.  Osteitis Pubis plus various back and hamstring niggles have slowed him down over the last two years.  Despite those troubles, he still managed twenty games last year, albeit at a decreased average of 91……his lowest in the last four years.  

Our Eagles man (Matteo) assures us that Naitanui has had a big pre-season (there’s that phrase again) and is raring to go.  For anyone who didn’t see the recent NAB game against Freo, he looked in need of the run.  Was it a breakout year in 2012 or just a spike in form?  Is Nic Nat a fallen premium or simply at his right price?  Will the niggling injuries arise again?  Is he a keeper or will he cost you a trade at some stage?  Are you prepared to stack those knackers on the chopping block? 

Balls Rating:  Sovereign Hill Nuggets!!


Tom Bellchambers (ESS) $302,500

2011 – 72 (13)

2012 – 86 (16)

2013 – 81 (18)

2014 – 56 (7)

TBC has simply had trouble getting out on the park during his career.  Main reasons have been injury or living in the shadow of Paddy Ryder.  With Paddy now at Port Adelaide, TBC is said to have the #1 ruck spot all for himself.  Even with the off-season acquisitions of Giles and McKernan. 

At that price, and with DPP status, TBC is providing many Supercoaches with selection headaches.  Many are hoping to hold him as back-up (possibly to Nic Nat /Leuenberger combo) and upgrade him after 7-8  games.  Can he hold up that long though?  Will he even increase enough in value to be a stepping stone?  And then there’s the whole ASADA mess……hopefully we know more after March 31st.  Assuming he doesn’t receive a suspension and you start with him, make sure you warm up your wedding tackle.  

Balls Rating: You’re gonna need a bigger bum-bag for those marbles!


Not out of the question to take one or two of these blokes.  If you’ve gone with all three, then you’ve probably been diagnosed with ‘gigantism of the groin region’.  

Who are your ‘ballsy’ ruckmen this year and why?


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13 thoughts on “‘The Ballsy Move’: Part Three – Rucks”

  1. Another top article Schwarz!

    I think the whole ruck list could be placed here.

    Are there any “dead -certs”?



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