Port rucks an AFL puzzle, says Wines

Port Adelaide Brownlow medalist Ollie Wines doesn’t have the answer to his AFL club’s ‘puzzling question’ after losing another ruckman to injury.

Power’s slim ruck stocks will be put to the test on Sunday when they host Gold Coast and their towering co-captain and ruck Jarrod Witts.

Port’s first-choice ruckman Scott Lycett is a month away from returning from a shoulder injury.

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His initial replacement Sam Hayes, seven players, fell out of favor with the selection.

Power mid-season rookie ruckman Brynn Teakle broke a collarbone on his AFL debut last weekend.

Port has another potential ruckman on their roster, Dante Visentini, but he’s an untested 18-year-old.

“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Wines told reporters Tuesday of Port’s ruck issues.

“…Whatever happens this weekend, not sure. It’s a really confusing question for (coach) Ken (Hinkley) and the team.”

Port striker Jeremy Finlayson replaced at the ruck but at 196cm tall he is 12cm shorter and almost 10kg lighter than Witts.

“He (Finlayson) is almost like another midfielder,” Wines said.

“And this could almost be a time in football where that fourth type of more mobile ruckman comes into play.

“You see a lot of really good ruckmen in the league who are still doing really good things, but times are maybe changing a little bit, where ruckmen who keep up with their work and are that extra number on the ground level is really important.”

Wines said that whichever direction the port selectors choose, they will consider how best to fight Witts.

“What he does in the ruck and gives them first access to the ball, it probably keeps us a little more on our toes and maybe we don’t expect us to get that many hits and negate their impact. “, did he declare.

“But he’s also a real figurehead on the pitch, advancing or kicking long down the line, he’s always there, either to score it or create a contest.

“He’s someone we’re going to work a lot on.”

Shirley M. Pinder