Uncharted Territory – Round 9

Written by The Salamander on May 14 2021

Some of you may remember this chart from a few weeks back:

Which showed that ruckmen, like Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy, get most of their points from ruckwork. Although this should come as a surprise to nobody, it gives us something to think about: to win a hitout-to-advantage, you first have to win the hitout, and your chances of doing that depend a lot on how good your direct opponent is at winning hitouts.

We can chart SuperCoach scores vs the season hitout-win-percentage of a ruckman’s direct opponent to visualize this:

Gawn and Grundy play like midfielders when they’re not contesting the ruck, so this effect may be more obviously apparent for a more ‘normal’ ruckman, like Marc Pittonet, who averages just under 12 disposals a game:

Below are the hitout-win-percentage figures for everyone who has attended at least 50 ruck contests for the year:

Open in a new tab to view full-size.

Ryder and Sinclair’s figures are significantly distorted by the fact that each has only played a handful of games, including one against the currently ruckless Suns, but most of the above figures should be reasonable indicators of hitout-winning-ability.

I had a similar chart for last year’s hitout-win-percentage figures lying around, so in the interest of completeness I thought I’d put that up too:

So, what should we do with this information? To be honest, if you’re running with the BroMax combination, not much (at least for most weeks). There are very few rucks in the competition who can match them in the hitouts, which makes them safe VC/C picks most of the time.

But if you’re running with a more budget-friendly combination, this kind of thing is worth thinking about. We can look at the fixture to see who each ruckman’s direct opponents are likely to be, and we can look at their likely opponents’ hitout-win-percentages, and get a decent idea of how hard or soft their upcoming draw is.


That’s all I’ve got for you today, but hopefully it’s at least somewhat helpful. It might be interesting in a future edition of this column to visualize some cheaper rucks’ strengths-of-schedule. Let me know in the comments if that sounds helpful – if there’s enough interest, I’ll try and get that sorted for next week.


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