Luke Jackson has been closely criticised for his lack of output since becoming a member of Fremantle. MARK DUFFIELD unpacks why the Fremantle large man has already created a derby headache for West Coast.
Simply as one man’s meat is the following man’s poison, one recreation’s act of choice genius can change into the following recreation’s choice disaster.
With that in thoughts, the largest choice dilemma going through Adam Simpson and his match committee forward of this weekend’s conflict with Fremantle and an under-fire Luke Jackson is whether or not they go together with the identical one ruckman construction that served them nicely in opposition to GWS on Sunday.
Coaches like to inform us choice is a matter of horses for programs.
If Bailey Williams and the undersized Jake Waterman are the gamers picked to go up in opposition to Fremantle’s Sean Darcy and Jackson within the Western Derby, the 193cm Waterman would possibly find yourself being the Shetland pony in a land of giants.
Retired West Coast champion Josh Kennedy reckons a few of this weekend’s choices will probably be simple and a few laborious. He labelled the choice of at the least three of the 4 kids the Eagles performed in final weekend’s win over GWS – Noah Lengthy, Elijah Hewett and Reuben Ginbey – as a “no-brainer”. He would give some thought on whether or not Campbell Chesser would profit from a while within the WAFL.
However he’s glad it isn’t his mind that should determine how the Eagles match the Dockers’ ruckmen.
Fremantle recruit Jackson has been closely criticised for his lack of output as a marking ahead, with one mark and no objectives from two matches. However how the 21-year-old would possibly go within the ruck in opposition to Waterman, within the function the 199cm Jackson specialises in, is a unique matter.
And the Eagles don’t have to look too far again to work out how damaging Darcy might be in a derby.
In spherical 22 final yr, Darcy gained the Glendinning-Allan Medal for a 56 hitout, 5 mark, 16 disposal, 4 clearance and one aim recreation. His opponent in that match? Twin All-Australian and two time Eagles finest and fairest Nic Naitanui.
Naitanui was lower than totally match however nonetheless received taken to highschool by Darcy, a 202cm, 113kg monster who most completed ruckmen within the AFL discover virtually not possible to shift.
“Because of this I hate going to match committee and seeing these guys attempt to make these selections. It might probably make or break a recreation,” Kennedy stated on SEN.
“Two high quality ruckmen in Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson – as a lot as there was some criticism with Jackson, he’s 21 years previous and he’s a ruckman. They do take some time to get that consistency into their recreation.
“They’re each superstars of the competitors and so they each can be sure that they’re successful it out of the center and getting their group the victory.”
And this match might boil right down to that. The Eagles have been overwhelmed at contested ball and clearances of their round-one loss to North Melbourne, conceded subject place and received hammered for tardy ball motion from defence.
Towards GWS they gained the clearance battle and aggressive midfielders like Tim Kelly received rolling, Jamaine Jones streamed off half again with pace and confidence and Jayden Hunt did likewise off a wing. Waterman spent many of the match ahead and cashed in on the fast assaults. He led laborious, kicked straight and completed with 4 objectives.
The reverse utilized to Fremantle in opposition to North Melbourne. They received belted 16-8 at centre clearances, conceded territory and couldn’t shift the ball rapidly sufficient from their defence to offer forwards the type of seems that Waterman received.
“It’s a little bit of a troublesome one. Jakey Waterman would relish it as a problem to go up in opposition to both of these two (rucks),” Kennedy stated.
“However you positively have to begin contemplating each time there’s a ruck change who that second ruck is.”
West Coast performed two ruckmen within the round-one loss to North Melbourne. Williams had eight disposals however did win 37 hit-outs in opposition to an undermanned North after ruck Tristan Xerri went down injured early. Callum Jamieson had simply three disposals and was subbed out of the sport earlier than being dropped.
To additional complicate the Eagles’ choice dilemma, he rolled an ankle enjoying for the Eagles seconds on the weekend and was not seen on the observe on Tuesday.
Defender Harry Edwards, who’s 200cm tall and has rucked earlier than, did attend a gathering of ruckmen in the course of Mineral Sources Park’s major oval throughout the mild expertise session.
Fremantle, with Darcy and Jackson in tandem, gained the hit-outs 45-19 in opposition to St Kilda who had the spectacular Rowan Marshall main their ruck and 45-30 in opposition to North who had completed veteran Todd Goldstein.
Williams had an improved recreation in opposition to the Giants with 10 disposals and 29 hit-outs in a eager tussle with Matt Flynn, however Darcy and Jackson will probably be a much bigger problem and will swing the clearance numbers their group’s manner.
“Jammo has been there by way of this pre-season. To have that further little bit of top and physique and somebody who can match the calibre of Jackson or Darcy,” Kennedy stated.
“Particularly if you simply go off successful contested possession and successful the clearances. That has been a problem for Freo. You most likely actually need to try to match them there.
“They haven’t gained the final two video games so I’m certain they’re going to be fired up. Listening to Longy’s (Justin Longmuir’s) press conferences – the competition stuff that wasn’t occurring throughout their recreation, I’m certain that will probably be addressed this week so it’ll be a reasonably bodily recreation as derbies all the time are.”
In the meantime he was very happy to again the Eagles kids in once more, even in a hostile derby environment with greater than 55,000 predominantly Fremantle followers prone to be there.
“It’s nice publicity for these youngsters to have the ability to play in these video games. You by no means need to cover them away from it. To offer them an opportunity to get in there and play a recreation of soccer in opposition to the WA rival – I believe it’s a no-brainer,” he stated.