Power-packed rucks can dominate Dockers
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.