What The Ruck 2019 – PART TWO

Written by Schwarzwalder on January 31 2019

(Written & Created By Hot Sauce)

Continued from 30.1.19………….


Here is why we shouldn’t go with G&G:


1. No two Ruckmen have both backed it up the next season.


As Chillo mentioned in an earlier article, no two Ruckman have ever been in the Top 2 and then been able to back it up again the following year with Sauce and Stef Martin coming close in 2015 after finishing 1st & 2nd respectively in 2014.

It just goes to show that this is a difficult feat to accomplish and that only in exceptional circumstances and/or exceptional talent, should it be considered a possibility.

Over the last 7 years, the only Ruck to consistently remain towards the top of the group has been Goldy who was able to average 106+ 5 out of 6 seasons between 2011 – 2016, and even he was only able to back it up once during that stretch. Will history repeat itself for one or both of Gawn & Grundy?


2. Mid-price/Cash-cow options available


Despite the alternative premium Ruck choices seemingly slim besides Goldy and possibly Martin, there are a couple of strong mid-price/cash-cow options available. The first is the big fella Mummy, and despite his early suspension for THAT video, some would see his $320,200 price tag as a potential steal too good to refuse. The flipside being that the issue isn’t only his early suspension, dubious video’s he stars in, but also his ageing body and time away from the game, which could all contribute to missing many games through the season.

Mumford (L) & Goldstein(R) doing battle


Another popular pre-season choice is Billy Longer at $260,900. Although he has consistently been an irrelevant SC player with averages ranging from a low of 51.8 in 2013 and a high of 78.1 in 2017, Longer has now been handed the keys to the Ruck spot at St. Kilda with Tom Hickey’s departure to the Eagles. With little to no competition for his spot, a fit and healthy Longer should at the very least generate some decent cash for us coaches who are willing to spend elsewhere early in the season.


The last mid-price selection that may cause you to overlook Gawn is his teammate Preuss. Now it needs to be stated that although Preuss has shown some talent he was unable to team up with, let alone dislodge Goldy last season at the Kangas. The concern here is that this year he is another year older and mature, and like we all know with Rucks, they take a few years to reach to their potential, so could this be the year that he elevates his level to sidekick the great Max Gawn? Gawn does have a history of injuries and being such an important player in what shapes to be a huge year for the Dees do they lighten his load by including Preuss in the team?


3. Don’t forget your BYE strategy


Now although it’s not the end of the world, but it is worth noting that both Grundy & Gawn share the same bye week in Round 13. All astute coaches should be planning for the byes and having both of your rucks may not sit favourably with your chosen strategy. Of course, this will depend on your other selections but could prove to be a pivotal factor, especially for someone who is undecided which way they should go. Just as an FYI – the previously discussed alternatives have byes as follows: Goldy – Rnd 14, Martin – Rnd 13, Mummy – Rnd 14 & Longer – Rnd 12.

 Stef Martin (Brisbane) produces his best numbers when he rucks solo


So, what the Ruck will it be?


There are plenty of important decisions to be made for Coaches on the Ruck line alone. Pre-season injury/form will obviously play a big part in your decision making, but the time spent researching now is invaluable. Whether it is a G&G set and forget strategy; a G&O strategy aimed at saving cash for other areas; or a O&O set-up to quickly generate cash to a likely G&G post-bye set-up, there is plenty of head scratching ahead.


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20 thoughts on “What The Ruck 2019 – PART TWO”

  1. Thanks for your articles lots of food for thought.

    Currently I have Tim English (310k) With Boyd’s back issue holding him ‘back’ (heh) from full training I think he will be managed and could miss the first few rounds without surprise.

    Tim English’s scores as a ruck or rotating ruck last year when Boyd was out early, were 78,86,90 and the first game that Boyd returned, he rotated with him scoring 107.

    With no Roughie I think his spot is cemented, even rotating with Boyd when he’s fully fit should produce decent scores. The risk is that he doesn’t score well when left perm forward.

    T/U: Fair call. Worth a punt. T/D: Nah too risky you crazy kid.


    1. Hey Alex

      These are the only SC scores for English that I can find from last year:
      83 , 33, 76, 78, 78, 44, 53
      Priced at $310k you’ll need him to average 84 min. just to cover the cost of a trade. Unfortunately it looks highly unlikely. But if Sweet on the other hand gets a call-up and impresses in the JLT, THAT would be a very different kettle of fish. A risky one, but …

      Good luck in your search, but I think you’ll find we all have to take a plunge. Just depends how deep.

      The only way I see around it, is if BOTH Fort and Sweet impress enough to be named Rd1, you pick both and pray to the SC gods that one of them makes it to Rd5, when you can (if you want to) jump onto Mummy. There are a couple of other rank outsiders who may get a go, Brooksby is one but I can’t remember the other (maybe GWS).

      Any which way, it might prove valuable to play around with your structures with a G&G and/or G&O RUC in place so you’ve got options to fall back on.

      Good luck!


      1. Zac Clarke a chance but probably needs either Bellchambers out or Daniher & McKernan.

        Having said that Bellchambers isn’t the most durable player going around


    2. As an avid Dogs man, I did toy with having English in the team…and he’s not in it.
      Hes just too raw, undoubted he will be first choice ruck for the Dogs in 2020 and may well be an absolute jet, but you’re a year early. This year – like last – the Dogs will play all of Trengove, Boyd and English in the same side and they will rotate back, forward and wing respectively and float in and out of the game – remember the Bevo-factor (Easton Wood as a half forward anyone…).


      1. Also an avid dogs man which is how my thinking started..but yes thanks for reminding me Bevo would toy with all 3 players rotating through Fwd & Ruck.

        Also thanks allsaints I was staring at his DT stats from 2018 my bad haha.


  2. Starting another premium i.e Goldy or martin other than Gawn means you can’t get him in without burning a trade. You’ve selected them as a keeper. So if you don’t select Gawn you have to accept you probably won’t get him in. Therefore a mid pricer is the way to go.
    If you do select the other guys they are called set and forget for a reason.


    1. So, based on the logic … if you don’t think Gawn is destined for #1 or #2 RUC for 2019 and/or you don’t want to spend a trade … then go for the GO option., else set-and-forget.
      For me I don’t think there will be a 21.5 pt difference per week between Martin and Gawn.. they have the same bye, so no ad there.. the $118k difference in price could be deployed elsewhere for a better outcome…
      If you disagree with the premise, then you need to lock-in GG and build your team around that presumption..


    2. There’s potential for overlap in starting a Goldy type over a mid pricer.

      Fully within the realms of possibility that a
      Goldy/Stef type – Gawn/Grundy swap can be done in 1 trade, where the chance of that happening with a mid pricer is slim to none. Only takes one poor game from a player priced at 700k to wipe off 20%, 140k about the value of a trade, of his value very quickly.

      Sure you make the money on a mid pricer but you have to spend the extra trade going 1 down 1 up essentially negating the money made.

      There’s definitely merits to going the mid priced route but having the mindset that you’re in effect saving a trade and if you start a keeper you have to keep them won’t do you many favours.


  3. Great write up Hot Sauce. For me I’ll be either starting Gawn & Grundy or Grundy & Goldstein. Would still look to upgrade Goldy to Gawn at the Rd 14 bye PROVIDED I don’t have any other mid-price stepping stones in my team.. that means you Mr Miles


  4. I love your work Hot Sauce. Who doesn’t like a good Ruck?

    I am absolutely sold on Grundy and he will not leave R1 unless he injures himself.

    Leaving Gawn out is starting to worry me. With Preuss arriving my knee-jerk reaction was to ditch Gawn but when I considered his role last season, I started thinking that he may score just as well this season. If you watch his late season games, Gawn started floating behind the ball a lot. I thought maybe I was over-estimating how often he did that, but the Prospectus backs up my hunch. It states that Gawn ranked second in the AFL for points generated from intercepts and equal sixth for intercept marks after round 15: SC gold!

    Sure he’ll lose a couple of his 16 hit-outs to advantage per game, but he only needs to take 1-2 intercept marks to compensate.

    Right now I think we need to wait and watch his JLT role closely. If he floats behind the ball when he’s not rucking, lock him in. If they look to manage his game time, avoid him.


    1. Great info as always Thommo!!

      And well done Hotsauce on your first article … stimulated some great discussions and food for thought on the site!


  5. Beautifully summed up HS. Rucks are always tricky because they have the least room for error.
    I’m going with Grundy and Goldstein at the moment. Grundy is basically a midfielder who rucks, and I think it’s sensible to pick as many midfielders in your team as possible. I’ve gone for Goldy for a number of reasons:
    the way he finished last season,
    I’m really trying not to pick midpricers this year, and
    point 1 in this article.


    1. Cheers Chillo!

      Grundy is locked in for mine too. R2 is a little more tricky and require a lot of playing around at the moment.


  6. Thinking of going Grundy and Sinclair.

    Sinclair had a solid season last year and his only real competition is Naismith who is coming back from a LTI.




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