Josh Fraser wants better ruck partnership - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Josh Fraser wants better ruck partnership

Darren Cartwright 09/06/2011 05:02:32 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast ruckman Josh Fraser says improving his ruck partnership with rising Suns' star Zac Smith will be high among his priorities against North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

Fraser said if he and Smith can form a feared combination sooner rather than later, the spin-off will be the midfielders winning the stoppages on a more consistent basis.

"I think the key for Zac and I is to keep working together and get some cohesion and try to give our midfielders an even contest in there," Fraser said.

"Hopefully I'll get more time through the ruck this week, as I build my tank up and get some match conditioning. Zac's been in pretty good nick and handling the workload well."

With Smith excelling in his first season, Fraser has been able to gain important match time in a less physically demanding role in attack.

Fraser said he saw his own role as a mentor and a back-up to Smith more so than being the No.1 ruckman.

"I don't think either one of us sees the other as a threat," Fraser said.

"I'm certainly trying to help him be as good as he can be.

"I've had 10 years of taking the ruck so that's my favourite position, but I'm enjoying spending a bit more time forward and it's nice coming back from an injury and being able to play forward and not have to worry about spending 80 or 90 per cent in the ruck."

The former Collingwood ruckman said he has been unfairly maligned for his form this season and he's been working up to peak fitness after an interrupted pre-season.

In some respects, the 29-year-old said his best was still to come for the Suns.

"It doesn't so much affect me (criticism), I'm more surprised than anything and I shouldn't be, having spent so long in the game, but I just think some of the things that get thrown out are so far off the mark," Fraser said.

"If people did their homework they'd realise I came off a month of not playing footy and really come off two or three training sessions.

"The plan was that I was going to spend more time forward and go through the middle at different stages and that'll increase as the weeks go on."

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