#38 Sam Draper


Campbell smashed him the first time, I believe.
I saw bits of the second one.
Draper’s improving at a huge rate of knots. Campbell isn’t.


With you all the way! And reckon he’ll get a few games too!


I just see someone like Campbell as a genuine disaster plan. Too risky just going in with Bellcho and Smack, with Sam as backup. I’d give Sam a game or two if Bellcho did a hammy, but I doubt he’s ready for an extended stint…and we can’t go with Smack as our main ruck for an extended period. He would have been useful in that last game against Port, but he’s there purely to give Bellcho a chopout.

Someone like Clarke would probably be aggrieved if we played Sam instead of him for a small number of games.


The 2014 draft wasn’t a great one.

But I think wasting a pick 1 on a guy who had medical issues before he started was a bad idea for the saints.


The mid-season draft may bean option for our back up plan for belly


Worsfold was cagey about Draper when asked by a caller last night but did say they strongly considered playing him against Port in the last round. He even suggested Draper would’ve acquitted himself well against Ryder. Highlighted his massive gains/improvements over the year and said he’s a chance to get games in 2019. I assume, “getting games” means if someone goes down or gets injured he’ll get a chance. Hope so (gets games/not at the expense of someone getting injured).


Also said he was a “baby” in yesterdays presser and that McKernan is undersized

We clearly have big concerns going into season with only Belly as an experienced capable ruck


Getting Draper games can just mean being the first back up for when TBC needs to be managed, but not as longer term cover.

We will find out on Thursday if there are any consecutive 6 day breaks or even a 5 and a 6 day break, these occasions and/or maybe just the need for one or two weeks off to manage niggles will be necessary to keep Belly fit and firing in the best case scenario, not the disaster scenario.

I’m with @Alan_Noonan_10 with the need for a disaster plan that involves a mature bodied AFL ready ruckman, for if we need one for an extended period.

Smack, Joe and Stewart are only for in game back up only, at least at the moment.

Although if Stewart developed the capacity to at least nullify the majority of rucks for a full game, I would readily consider him for what he offers in clearances and around the ground. This could be worth him trying to develop to take over the role that at them moment seems to belong to McKernan. Currently he isn’t a part of our best forward set up or even first or second or third backup as third tall, with Brown, Lav and Begley waiting in the wings and Francis being a good option given we have cover down back.

It would be interesting to give Stewart a go as the main ruckman at VFL level if he was willing to give it a real crac. Not at Draper’s expense, but when he is rested or if he gets a senior game. If it is something Jimmy could do at least adequately and embrace it, it could be a useful string to his bow and help him increase his physicality and break back into the senior team.

On the other hand, he might hate it and look for a new home if we made him take it on.


A lot of people are really interested in getting Stewart to ruck. But my recollection is that he has pretty much stunk it up in that capacity. I would put MacKernan ahead of Stewart for ruck in a heartbeat.


Yep. Ruck does not suit Stewart at all.


If we were planning to play Stewart as a ruck, surely he would have rucked in the VFL more often? Or ever?


I remember in a few interviews he said we was training with the rucks, but nothing came from it. which probably means he wasnt very good at it


I think they just wanted to diversify his skillset to give him some versatility and in today’s day and age most Key Forwards should have some ruck training.

But with McKernan stepping up and with Jimmy having more important things to work on, I’d be surprised if he spent any significant time working with the rucks


I suppose the club electing not to replace Loonyburger with another ruckman will show Essendons confidence in Sams progression as a ruckman. That’s the inference I would make.
If the club do get another ruckman they need to ensure it is someone who can be competitive if TBell gets injured. Let’s not forget the curious episode with J Giles.


Dodoro’s and Woosha’s comments yesterday hint at the complete opposite. Tried to get a replacement for Leuey, couldn’t find one. Smack too small and Drapes a “baby”.


What I was trying to get at is maybe he should get some full games as a ruck in the VFL.

The expectation isn’t that he will be good in the ruck, it is more to see if he can at least break even and hopefully dominate around the ground and help with clearances.

This is more or less what we were getting out of Smack as a covering ruck in 2015 which kept Giles out of the side. At the moment I see Smack as well in front of Stewart as a forward, so it would be a waste to use Smack in the ruck when he is a better forward.

Whereas if Stewart could find enough competitive beast to at least provide a contest across a whole game over a number of weeks, I think it would benefit him in that it would improve his physicality, and because he is a player who is a fair way back in the queue when it comes to getting a game as a forward, we can afford to try to develop him as a stop gap ruck who is good around the ground.

This is only being floated because at the moment I think we could be more desperate to get cover than we have been recently.

The main caveat for this idea is what people are mentioning, if he just isn’t good enough at it to improve enough to be competitive and the other thing that could be limiting him, is that you can’t teach aggression, you either are or you aren’t (and taking testosterone might get him in trouble).

But if we don’t have any good alternatives, and he is willing to have a real crack, it could be worth a try if we don’t pick up a back up AFL ready ruckman.


Just no.


Image result for shutdown gif



But seriously, you’d ruck McKernan and use Brown as a forward if you had too. Stewart is struggling with the physicality of being a key forward, even at VFL level, so expecting him to function as your ruckman in the 1’s is just not ever likely to be a winning bet. He needs to improve his game to get back as a forward, let alone rise to a position that requires a very physical player, and one who thrives on contact. You may be attracted to his size and athleticism, but you are trying to put a square peg in a round hole.


Throw Daniher in to give Belly a rest.