Three tall Crows to face Bombers ruckmen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Three tall Crows to face Bombers ruckmen

By Daniel Brettig 04/06/2009 05:34:22 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide are set to persist with a trio of talls against Essendon this week in an effort to stretch the Bombers' depleted AFL ruck division.

Paddy Ryder has emerged as a jack-in-the-box since David Hille suffered a serious knee injury on Anzac Day, but he has been robbed of support act Tom Bellchambers due to another knee complaint.

By contrast the Crows have Kurt Tippett, Ivan Maric and Brad Moran to call upon, with Jon Griffin, Shaun McKernan and James Sellar among the tall options putting their names forward via the SANFL.

The Bombers will need to use their speed on the fast track of Etihad Stadium to test the Crows, but Neil Craig said he had no intention of dropping a tall to add pace to his side.

Craig noted how the structure had put Carlton and Hawthorn - two teams that are hardly slow - off-balance over the past two weeks.

"We've been reasonably happy with the structure, against two different opponents, and both those sides can play with speed," Craig said on Thursday.

"We like the structure that one of those big guys up forward gives us, irrespective of who it is, because it gives us a nice blend.

"A big guy, a Taylor Walker/Scott Stevens type player, a (Jason) Porplyzia who's different again, (Patrick) Dangerfield who's different again and (Chris) Knights who's different again.

"So the big guy up there suits us and we've placed a big importance on clearances so the more we can keep the heat on that in the ruck the better for us."

Essendon's ruck battery may now require some pinch-hitting from the likes of Jay Neagle or even Matthew Lloyd, something Craig said was always dangerous as an unknown.

"Someone will bob up, just as Paddy Ryder bobbed up when Hille went down," he said.

"Everyone says `Hille's got an ACL, that's the end' (and) all of a sudden Paddy Ryder jumps up and becomes an outstanding ruckman.

"So it's a dangerous situation to go into against your opposition because you're never quite sure who's going to take the opportunity."

Adelaide's midfield has also benefited from having two fresh ruckmen rotating through, allowing the team to win plenty of quick ball out of the middle of the ground.

Craig said Essendon's speed, while dangerous, was no reason to change tack this week.

"The ruckmen give us a structure around stoppages and the way we want to play the stoppages, the big guy gives us a structure up forward, and in none of that have we considered Essendon,' he said.

"It doesn't mean we don't respect Essendon or don't give them any thought, we do.

"But at the moment where we're going and what we need to develop is about us giving people game time and getting good at the structures."

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