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An Open Letter to Ruckmen

With Rucks getting knocked over faster then really, really tall bowling pins, I think it’s time these giants of the AFL learn to read, as they’re about to get an Open Letter!

Every Monday night DTTalk’s regular GWS guru @RLGriffin85 steps up to the plate to articulate the thoughts of AFL Dream Team coaches everywhere. Be it pointing the finger of blame at Senior AFL Coaches, setting a fire below underperforming players or just throw away comments about how bad Zac ‘Lurch’ Dawson really is; there’s no topic he isn’t willing to write about! Who’s in his sights this week?

An Open Letter to: Ruckmen

Dear Ruckmen,

Now listen; I know that the further up you go the thinner the air and the lack of oxygen can lead to a lower intelligence and health problems but this is ridiculous. What the hell is going on? Once upon a time there was an AFL Dream Team rule with your Rucks; set and forget! Aaron Sandilands and Dean Cox were more formidable to opponents than the ‘fat friend’ is to a drunk wingman at around 2am. But gone are those days of safe, trustworthy ruck strategies (and lowered standards).

What’s gone on this season is beyond a joke and quite frankly, we’re all a little bit concerned. Maybe the hole in the ozone is radiating you boys before it gets to the rest of us, who knows? What we do know is that no matter what’s going on it’s about as good for your health as it is for our Dream Teams.

We knew this season would be different and in the preseason plenty of rucks were putting their hands up (between air traffic) asking to be part of the new ‘Set and Forget’ duo. The likes of McEvoy, Goldstein, Mumford, Hille, Jacobs and Leuenberger were all begging to be part of the Cox/Sandilands elite club. These giants are not quite The Avengers, but they sure could be heroes to look up to. Literally! Unfortunately like Halle Berry in Catwoman; these heroes have us screaming in pain and asking for our money back.

Already this season we’ve seen Shane Mumford playing the cameo in The Lion and The Mouse, going down to a smaller prick than Hayden Ballantyne between his vertebrae. The stalwart that was Aaron Sandilands has obviously outgrown the lower half of his body and they’re now living two separate lives. The top half is an AFL superstar: dominant, skilled and overpowering. The lower half is in a loving relationship with Matthew Newton, and fairing about as well as Matt’s previous partners.

After a monstering year last season, Goldstein looked good. He was kicking ass and taking names like Nicolas Cage in Con Air. This season Goldy has been kicking ass and taking names like Nick Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. What the hell happened!? At least Goldstein still has his hair. For now.

David Hille burnt out before he even got started, Le Berger (French for: The Spud) thought he’d try and cut his ankle off just to avoid playing for Brisbane every week and Ben McEvoy (having obviously heard the Dream Team hype around him) decided to (take a leaf out of the Barlow playbook and) make sure coaches in Dream Team circles don’t forget him too soon. Even the great Dean Cox has only cracked the 100 on three occasions this season, barely managing to get out of bed with a 72 and 74 against GWS and Richmond. Priced at an average of nearly 115, that’s about as good as having a date to your high school formal with your teacher. I mean, it’s a date, and it’s not family, but you just don’t feel like you’ll be satisfied when all the scoring takes place.

The ‘Set and Forget’ this season has become more of a Trade and Regret strategy. Of course, some coaches tried to avoid this whole scenario. This season was different, and with some huge talent in the rookies, one premium and three rookies was the way to go; they went out and got themselves some brilliant rookies. Big O(MG why did I pick him) has been seen less than Delta Goodrem’s initiative and selected for it just as often. Meanwhile Jarrad Redden has discovered that he plays for Port Adelaide and just can’t show his face in public. In fact, the best ruckmen this season have been a twenty-four year-old who wasn’t good enough for the SA Magpies and a man who hasn’t played for nine months.

What the frick is happening!? Are you not getting enough time on the bench because of the sub rule? Does the long term side effects of high altitude training need addressing? If a Dream Team coach out there hasn’t burnt a trade to find two playing ruckman or copped a shithouse score to avoid the hurt pride in doing so, I’d like to meet him… And ask him about how he is approaching round 11.

Not only do us coaches have to deal with your fragility, we have to deal with the AFL’s rotating bye rounds, where it seems most of the good ruckmen will either be home in bed injured or home in bed with the weekend off. At this stage the best looking Ruckmen to avoid the bye are Patrick ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ Ryder and Ivan ‘What The Hell Is On His Head’ Maric. Darren Jolly is about as relevant as Darren Hayes, Matthew Kreuzer is about as trustworthy Shane Warne at a Phone, Booze and Porn Star Expo and Mark Jamar is disappearing into obscurity faster than we all hope Lara Bingles new Reality TV Show will.

Can one of your kind please tell us what is going on as we are honestly concerned? At this rate the best available ruckmen come AFL Dream Team finals will be Will Minson and Tom Downie! If it’s too hard to get down to ear shot, I’m more than happy to sell off one of my ex-girlfriends for some magic beans. Stupid cow.



The AFL Dream Team Community.

Ps. There was a kid at our high school who we called Downie. He probably had a better chance of making the senior list of an AFL Team too!

Born Adelaide, Lived Darwin, Resides Canberra. A Crows fan as a child, I have became a big supporter of the GWS Giants in their foundation year. I love my footy, multimedia design and beer(s).



  1. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Lovely work griff…too bloody true!

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Funny as Keppy up the good work

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    Ben Yeates

    May 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    hhahah love these!

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    started with Maric this season and Giles as my second, Maric averages over 90 and has scored only 5 points less than Cox, big risk, big reward.

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      May 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Same. Big o and redden not getting games on bench wasn’t part of the plan though

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        May 8, 2012 at 1:55 am

        yeah likewise, hopefully they start getting games in the next couple of weeks so I can upgrade Giles to a ‘Premium’ Ruckman, that’s if there’s even a premium ruckman, according to this article there isn’t at least. when nic nat’s playing cox’s scores will be affected, which is why he scored well without him, and sandilands is always injured, I can’t think of many better options other than h-mac at this stage….

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    hhahah love these!

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Very well done

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    First one i’ve read, and it wont be the last.
    My rucks are ok as long as the Big O(af) plays in rd 11
    Got hmac (best pick in the team)
    And gles (best JS)
    And kreuzer (best….ummm,… Inconsistent…player???)
    And the oaf (best player not playing… Or something like that)

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Love the Open Letter! Always good for a laugh! Well done again Griff.

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    the sandgroper

    May 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    you forgot the blink and you’ll miss it exploits of dean brogan

    • Avatar

      the sandgroper

      May 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      great read by the way

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hey RLGriffen,

    I have been told that you are a bit of an authority figure in regards to the GWS team.

    What is Taylor Adams job security like? Can he be trusted to hold down a position in the team?

    Nice article by the way!

    • Avatar

      the sandgroper

      May 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      I wouldnt trust the js of the majority of gws rookies (for a while at least). Sheeds seems to be rotating them through and only keeping a few on the field each week like Bugg, but eventually he will succumb to soreness.
      You probably have more chance of winning tomorrow nights oz lotto than guessing the js of the gws rookies.

    • Avatar


      May 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      the sandgroper is somewhat right. I doubt even Sheedy has set plans for each rookie, and as such what I say is an educated guess. Although more educated than some.
      Taylor Adams will be a great player but He is comabting a lot of others for a top 22 spot. Even Greene had a rest already, and there’s only been six rounds. Adams could continue to play week to week, but if his form drops, it’ll be time for another one to come in. Downgrade to at your own risk. My downgrades I want to have playing all the way trough to late season, I don;t see Adams doing that with any certainty.

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Nice work Griff

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    in round 2 i went mumford to maric and some guy told me “that is the worst trade ever”
    guess who’s laughing now!

    • Avatar

      Ridley U

      May 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      That is a pretty bad trade considering Redden was playing and the Mummy was only out for one week.

      Anyways, well played!

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I’m not even gonna say it.


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      May 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Lol. Sorry mate. It was that, or go on for about four hours on how your coach just will not play talented rookies. Personally I thought the Brisbane dig was worse. I tell you what, next week, no Port digs. Yeah?

      • Avatar


        May 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        Heh I’ll wait and see.


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          Ridley U

          May 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

          When I was reading I automatically had a flash back to last week lol

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            May 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

            After that second quarter against you guys I’m finding it hard to defend them.

            I’ll just have to win the car instead and do burnouts on Alberton Oval to show my disgust.


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        Blue boys

        May 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        Haha……..forgot about that.

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      May 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm


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    May 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Jacobs and Giles serving me very well!!

    • Avatar


      May 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm


      • Avatar


        May 8, 2012 at 1:33 am


        • Avatar


          May 8, 2012 at 10:39 am


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    Albert Lloyd

    May 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    lmao at the Sandi bit

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    May 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    going down to a smaller prick than Hayden Ballantyne between his vertebrae

    haha !!!

  17. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    With Santa going down with a knee, at least gives Giles some more time until the general strikes him down.

    Curse you Sheeds!

    Any hurry the f#ck Port n Girlong bring O and Red back into the fold.

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    May 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Jarryd Roughead? Ave 87, on the cheap now.

    • Avatar


      May 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      I have had roughhead from the start he is doing ok ill stay with him he gets around, i have Redden whom doesnt have a team but keeps the pine warm and the other Big Okeeps him company.. Giles is my other.. But love your letter…i scored 2102 this round with a couple of below 40,s so could have been better.. Iam Trading Magner and Goods for Horsley and Sidebottom…

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    May 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Think we will all be copping a donut in the rucks at some stage in the MBR’s when pre-season it all looked rosy :( Not worth the trade to try and fix either, so just going to have to grin and bear it.

    Pretty happy with Cox and Giles but with Redden and Big O not playing it will hurt hard come Round 11.

    Ivan ‘Don’t call me Eye-van’ Maric is looking like a winner at the moment for those that took the punt.

  20. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm


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    May 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Nicely done…My pick of the year.. thank you MacIntosh. I have Cox as well, what a
    difference it makes to HMac’s and Cox’s scores when Goldstein and NicNat dont play!

  22. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    bloody ruckmen!!

    need to trade Mcevoy thinkin Jacobs or Roughead.

    what do you guys reckon is my best option.

    also, need the horse in my team trading options:


    which cow is fat enough?

    • Billz


      May 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Isnt it obvious out of those three? Greene just smashed 122 (BE -22) McDonald consistantly getting 90s (BE -25) Magner 60/80/60 last 3 weeks (BE 17) cull Magner for Horsley…

      • Avatar

        Albert Lloyd

        May 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm


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      May 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Tough call…they’re all still making you plenty of money….One thing to consider is having too many GWS players when the bye rounds are upon us!

      • Avatar


        May 8, 2012 at 9:12 am

        +1 on the GWS thoughts. Although with Greene and Mac I think you have to change Manger. If you’d had Smith or Kennedy the choice would have been easier. Just bad timing.

        As long as you bin one of them before Round 11 it won’t be a problem. I’d probably keep Maca in the long run.

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        May 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm


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    Scotty K

    May 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    H-Mac and Giles in ruck! Loving it!

    • Avatar


      May 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

      Ditto :)

  24. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Good stuff as always.

    My nephew named his team, “Ruck Witts,”………I think he was on to something! :)

    I was very silly, and after having a 1 premo, 3 rookie ruck, I wimped out and went with McEvoy to partner Cox.
    Atleast I can sub Giles onfield for McEvoy- praying that he can be back for rnd 11……yeah, wishful thinking, I know.

  25. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Went Maric and Giles, looking good until byes. My mate went Macintosh and Maric with Giles on the bench… big cash moneys for him. (He copped it this week when I saw he had Giles on the field and Maric on the bench).

  26. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Had Cox and Giles from the start. Doing this has been a blessing and could have been an advantage if I’d had a buck more luck on the rest of the field. Feel sorry for those with Ruck dramas as well as other possies.

  27. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I hate to be a jerk… YOU ALL DESERVE THIS!!

    Every year people go 2 premiums because rookie rucks are so f-ing unreliable. So we finally get one decent rookie in Giles, and everyone goes 1-3??? Then complain when people start dropping???

    I went H-mac, krueze, Giles and orren… Might not be perfect, but it’s safe,

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2012 at 12:57 am

      So you went 2 mid pricers instead? Worked out alright for you so far. Dream team is a gamble and anyone who predicted the ruck carnage to date should have won the lotto many times over.

      1 – 3 was a vaild structure given at the beginning of the season it looked like at least Redden had some JS. I only regret leaving out HMac who was in my side all pre-season.

      PS: you will cop a ruck donut unless Big O plays in Rd 11 (bloody unlikely) so you are in the same boat as the rest of us!

      • Avatar


        May 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

        He’s still somewhat right though.

        The 1-3 was dependant on things going smooth , it hasn’t and people can hardly complain. The cash Giles free’d up was too tempting for most people.

        Personally I also saw this happening, but my combo was Mumford – Kruez – Giles – Redden.

        With Mumford’s problems I got unlucky otherwise I would have kept him.

  28. Avatar

    Ridley U

    May 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Great read mate!!!

    I really look forward to reading the letters and seeing the reaction of Redvest to the Port references! Absolute Gold!!!

    Keep them coming. Can see this letter being a part of the tv show being read out by one of the voice over girls!

    • Avatar

      Blue boys

      May 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Check the entry at 8:36pm then!!

      • Avatar


        May 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

        Bastards lol !

  29. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Almost made it unscathed. Mcevoy went down this week for me. Will be keeping him on the pine till mbr hoping he comes back in time for the round 11 bye. Hmac and Giles will have to hold the fort till then. I’m old fashioned set and forget and hate spending traded on rucks. Thus my decision to hold. If I was going to trade I would get in roughead only because he is a forward first so hopefully this curse or whatever it is doesn’t hit him.

  30. Avatar


    May 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Lovin’ the H-MAC and Giles combo…, ‘Kreuzer’ better give one more good score this week before i downgrade to ‘Longer’ next week. (Wanted to do it this week, but had to trade Goodes for Murphy and C. Smith for Horsley.)
    The extra cash will go towards getting my FWD/MID DPP back…..maybe Dusty…He’s tipped to improve from here on…..and good-bye Magner the tagging magnet!

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

      I did this last year and it nearly cost me my cash league. I thought that because my ruck was a little expensive I’d downgrade to a rookie and steal the cash.

      I’d stick with HMAC, Giles and Kreuz if you have them. They are probably the perfect combination (not too expensive, all playing, all scoring). You are in a very unique situation and that’s alway’s a good thing.

      The moment Giles takes a week off 80% of dream teams are shafted. Ruck cover is like Gold and there’s plenty cash cows in other spots.

  31. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I’ve traded mCovoey for cox and mCCarthy for horsley are they good trades?

  32. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Starting Rucks

    Kruzer, started well has had a couple of average games
    Hale Scores well when mcCauley doesn’t play
    Giles apart from last game not too bad

    And redden :/

    Fine for Rd 11 plan to bring in a Rd 11 Ruck after to cover Rd 13

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      did you play giles over hale this week?

  33. Avatar

    Ace Manuva

    May 8, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Great letter RLGriffin… but I’m enjoying your pain! not having any of those injuries has been great . Just luck mind you..

    HMac, Cox scoring pretty decently, averaging 186 a game between them.

    In that situation, I get to downgrade Giles for cash. Hows this for an idea – there are some 85K ruck/fwds… one of those could net me 300K from giles if Roughead looks worthwhile up forward. All the cover I’d need, Like Petrie last year. Lucky to have that choice I guess..

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Good one mate. Hadn’t thought of that, just the reason I read all this stuff to much, for a nugget. Thanks

  34. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Got Cox and Giles in the ruck

    Sue Cox’s output has been a little bit on the downside, but in retrospect hes still playing unlike a Sandilands, Mcevoy, Mumford etc

  35. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Good stuff RLGriffin
    I like…

    hahaha I’ll do it tomorrow’ Ryder

  36. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Can someone please clear this up for me?

    I have H Mac and giles in the ruck from the start of the season with redden and Big O on the pine.

    Obviously my 2 rucks playing rucks share the rd 11 bye.

    If i buy Roughhead in the fwd line, come the bye round can i sub roughhead to the ruck and one of the other rucks to my bench in the forward line??

    Or does it only work like DPP, i need 2 fwd/rucks??

    cheers in advance

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      You need a DPP in each position for the swap. Roughead can only go ruck if you have a ruck that can play forward.

  37. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Freo will be worth an open, and extremely abusive, letter if their challenge to Broughtons reprimand is unsuccessful and he ends up copping a week! Grrrr!

  38. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    “The major problem for the Cats is that their VFL side has four weekends off, due to byes and a representative game, in the next two months.”
    “Another problem with Geelong’s VFL draw is that some players returning from injuries, including speedy half-forward Travis Varcoe and ruckman Dawson Simpson, will be denied crucial match practice in the coming weeks.”

    Should buy Big O a bit more time. Need you in the team for Rd 11 mate.

    • Avatar

      Blue boys

      May 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Not to mention they play Carlton round 11, got to mean Big O is some chance to play against those Blues big men………only needs to play that week.

      • Avatar


        May 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm


        Big O , only needs to play round 11, = winning

  39. Avatar


    May 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    nice work RL griffo, enjoyable reading

  40. feathertopDT


    May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Great as always Griff

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