Power-packed rucks can dom­i­nate Dock­ers

The West Australian - - SPORT - CRAIG O'DONOGHUE

Port Ade­laide are de­ter­mined to take ad­van­tage of Fre­man­tle’s de­pleted ruck stocks and max­imise the strengths of Paddy Ry­der and Scott Lycett when the teams clash at Op­tus Sta­dium on Satur­day.

The Dock­ers copped a huge blow when ruck­man Rory Lobb was ruled out for an ex­tended pe­riod with a stress frac­ture to a foot ear­lier this week. He joined All-Aus­tralian star Aaron Sandi­lands (calf ) in re­hab while ruck/for­ward Matt Taberner (foot) is also side­lined.

Sean Darcy hasn’t played since in­jur­ing an an­kle in the WAFL on May 18 but could come into the team this week. The 21-year-old has played only two AFL matches this sea­son.

Scott Jones looms as the other ruck­man who could ap­pear. He hasn’t played an AFL match since round 19 last sea­son.

The Power have won the hitouts 490-386 this sea­son and de­fender Dan Hous­ton said hav­ing two qual­ity ruck­men al­lowed them to main­tain pres­sure for the en­tire game.

He said it was vi­tal to seize the ad­van­tage against teams that used part-time ruck­men.

“They’re im­por­tant for us ev­ery game. They’re such a good com­bi­na­tion,” Hous­ton said.

“Scott Lycett brings a tough game and Paddy Ry­der brings that lit­tle bit of flair that he has. They’re such a good com­bi­na­tion and with Freo strug­gling with their rucks, it’d be a good area for us to get on top of.”

Satur­day’s match will be Port Ade­laide’s third away match in a row. They lost to Hawthorn in Tas­ma­nia, then beat St Kilda in China in their pre­vi­ous two games. But they had a bye last week­end and Hous­ton said that had al­lowed the play­ers to re­cover from the ex­tra

Fre­man­tle also had a bye and are high in con­fi­dence af­ter beat­ing Collingwoo­d at the MCG last time out.

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

Scott Lycett

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