The New Ruck Frontier

Written by Motts on April 7 2015

Roo Bloke has taken the time to do some rucking analysis. So sit the ruck down, shut the ruck up, and read this. Thanks a ruckload, RB!

 
A lot of people have been on the site in the last 48hrs discussing the ruck scores from round 1. For those that aren’t across it, in 2015 hitouts that go to the opposition are treated like a clanger and the ruck actually LOSES points. Some coaches are even considering the worth of downgrading a premo ruck to a cheaper option with the idea of using the coin in a more points friendly position.

Across round 1 Goldstein was the only ruck that raised the bat with exactly 100.

Is this a glitch in the matrix and normal programming will resume in round 2 OR is it the start of something new, a new frontier in SuperCoach? Well, let’s look a little deeper at the data.

Using the stats at http://supercoachtalk.com/supercoach-statistics/ I broke down last season’s ruck data. I’ve excluded the bye rounds where there is a limited sample size and also round 23 (Nath clearly went on an end of season trip and didn’t punch this data in). [To be fair to Nath, he wasn’t able to get a hold of the data for the final round – Motts]

2014 ruck scores of 100+ per round – avg 7.4
2015 round 1 ruck scores of 100 – 1

2014 ruck scores of 90+ per round – avg 10.5
2015 round 1 scores of 90+ – 8

That seems a pretty compelling case that times are a changing. That the high scores may be falling out of the ruck department.

The only round in 2014 that seems to buck the trend of 6+ tons and 8+ 90 scores is round 4 2014. In that round there were only 2 100+ scores and 4 90+ scores. But in that round there were lots of  scores in the 80’s and 70’s whereas the scores this past weekend featured a lot of 70’s and 60’s so it still supports the case that in 2015 the ruck scores are going to be impacted.

THE VERDICT
We will still see rucks scoring 100+ but it will be less consistent than in the past. I know some people are conservative with their trades but if you’re happy to roll the dice a little, downtrading a premium option to a mid-pricer like Blicavs ($371,900), Leuenberger ($358,000) and Bellchambers ($302,500) could be advantageous.

The other option that could apply to some people is if you have Bellchambers rolling in your forward line. Trade a premo ruck for a premo forward and wooshka, you’re away.

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33 thoughts on “The New Ruck Frontier”

  1. Blicavs looks like a decent ruck option this year, he covers the ground so well and his disposal has gotten much better, I think he’ll be used loose in defence a lot and as a running backman, both of which are supercoach gold!

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  2. Are they really losing points for a hit out to the opposition? I didn’t think that went through? They get 0 points for an in effective hit out and it’s seems they were getting 4 points instead of 5 for hit outs to advantage. That’s based purely on some comments I read about the live scoring on the weekend, but if the losing points for a hit out to the opposition thing went through, it would explain the low scores. Seems a bit harsh on the ruckmen, as the bounce can often dictake where the tap goes, and the mids might have planned for the tap on the exact other side of the contest. Have u confirmed that with your HS contacts Motts?

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  3. Wasn’t aware of the losing points scenario either. Highly concerning.
    Downgrade is looking even more likely in 1 weeks time.

    Fantastic work Roo Bloke!

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  4. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/supercoach-2015-what-ruck-changes-mean-and-who-to-pick/story-fni5f3gz-1227209409376

    According to the HS article on the 5th Feb 2015 (above):
    Old Ruck scoring: HO’s = 1pt and H2A’s = 3pts
    New Ruck scoring: HO’s = 0pt and H2A’s = 5pts

    This new ruck scoring rule was introduced to reward those with a higher % of H2A numbers as opposed to just getting your hands on the football at the ruck contest. I’m fine with this.

    However, as Stubbsy above and many astute AFL observers have noted and commented on various forums, the general consensus was that ruckmen were only being scored 4pts for H2A and not the 5pts as per the HS article and what is written on the SC website. This is the part which I’m not happy with!

    This may explain the lower than expected scoring for Rucks over the weekend or it may be just one of those anomaly. I just want someone to confirm and clarify how many points are H2A’s worth as this seams to be the main point of conjecture.

    I do realise that this new rucking scoring WILL have a negative effect on the ability of a ruckmen to score points. However, if the H2A’s points are not correctly allocated (that is, only 4pts instead of the 5pts), then isn’t this further compounding the impact on their scoring?

    For example, Nic Naitanui scored 92 points in the game against the WBD with 38 HO’s of which 9 were recorded as H2A’s. If these 9 H2A’s were only being scored 4pts instead of the 5pts as per the new ruck scoring system, then his actual score should of been 101 (92+9)!

    I’m still waiting on confirmation and clarity on this topic, so anyone who can shed more light on this matter, please do tell.

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  5. Good anal-ysis.

    What could be more interesting would be comparing the top 10 rucks average disposal/hit outs/tackle, etc. over last season vs round 1 this year – that’ll tell you if the low points were a result of a shitty week for the rucks or the new system…but I’ve got a job and a wife and a cat and a tv, so I’m not doing it.

    If it is the latter of those two things, I would hazard a guess that the magical black box of Supercoach scoring will be tweaked this weekend to ensure rucks start showing their starting price value: killing rucks in one foul swoop, that dog won’t hunt at SC HQ.

    I’m running with Mummy and Maric this week and if Mummy comes in under 100 this weekend and one of our perennial crabs get their 80-odd again (Leuy/TBC) Ill be making the jump.

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  6. Problem for me is, i ran with jacobs, because he was in the top ten scorers overall last year (i think). With his 72 on the weekend, i am going to drop serious coin, even if the scoring system magically repairs itself. I was warned there was something brewing, so my bad

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  7. This is all very intriguing. The 4 or 5 points for H2A will be interesting when definitely confirmed. Only problem with downgrading now to another ruck is that you will probably trade back for that same ruck later in the season. Yes it will save you some money but is it worth that extra trade later in the season?

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  8. Well…

    I ran with MUMFORD AND GOLDSTEIN.

    Now, they scored 98 and 100 which are two of the best scores among the rucks this week, but I spent what, 115 and 107 points worth of $$$ for them?

    If there is no ruck improvement this week I may have to downgrade one or both to some cheaper options to free up cash elsewhere. Blicavs, TBC, Nic Nat, Leuey all possible ins. Not feeling good about this! But I also don’t want to brush it off as nothing, hoping the system will repair itself or be satisfied with 90-100 averages and totally miss the boat of the ruck scoring evolution!

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  9. Not sure I had all of this in mind when selecting the rucks this year. The ones that rested forward and were a chance to kick goals were my main focus.

    Thought for the price Nic Nat, Leuey and TBC were decent 90ppg options with minimal risk while sometimes being capable of the spectacular.

    With that being said it’s only week one… definitely a strange start to the season.

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  10. I thought it’d be appropriate to reevaluate the ruck situation now that we’ve got a two week sample set.

    In R2 we had 7 100+ ruck scores and 10 of 90+. This is only a touch under last years average scores that I outlined in the original post. I repeat, it was UNDER last season’s average ruck scores. Yep, despite the positive scores, it was still below last year’s averages.

    Maybe R1 was just an anomaly and it’s not all doom and gloom after all. Maybe R2 was just a spike in the data and the ruck’s will spud it up again this week.

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