(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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