#38 Sam Draper


I agree. But the issue here is not whether to start Sammy in round 1 ! The issue is whether he is adequate back up for Tommy B. I am arguing that he is adequate backup,


Well, yeah.
'cos he’s just turned twenty.
Grundy’s one of the best rucks in the league and has four years on him. Probably played footy as a kid, too.
Gawn has seven years on him.

If he plays and gets anywhere near their effectiveness this year then purchase shares in kleenex.


It’s possible.
I could understand if the club decides not to roll the dice on it, though.
It’s a massive ask if T-Bell goes down.


This is my view as well. He may not be completely ready, and I do agree with the view that he isnt, but I would prefer to have Sammy in the ruck and keep McKernan fwd in the event that TBell was injured. Under that scenario, we would still have McKernan as an option anyway.

If he got a taste of how tough the AFL level is, it may help drive him to close the gap. If he doesnt get a chance, he may well grow frustrated thinking that he is more ready than he is.


We can’t afford to drop games because we played a weak link. If we lose next season it has to be because we were beaten by a better team on the day. If Sam isn’t near ready, as some watchers have commented many times, then our back up is Smack if we don’t grab a Zac Clarke type between now and the first siren. Smack knows what to do and we have something of a plan around him rucking.

(Of course I hope I’m dead wrong and SD kills it on debut and never looks back) :wink:


Seriously can’t wait for the intra-club bbq.


To be the backup you need to be prepared to play them in round 1


Exactly my point


Fkg concur.


See, if it was me…and we came up against Melbourne or Collingwood without T-Bell, I’d play Draper, and Daniher, and McKernan, and Hooker in the ruck against them.
But I’m sure someone will tell me you can’t do that anymore.

Edit: lol. And Stringer, apparently.


NatRat ?


So basically cross your fingers and hope for the best? Haha

Need someone who you can say with confidence they’d be able to nullify Grundy/Gawn/NicNat. These are the ruckmen we’d likely come up against in a final. Is Draper at that level yet? I honestly don’t know. Would hate it to cost us a final, not having adequate backup


One twenty year-old might not, but five ruckmen might.
And there is that old mid-season draft…

It’s a tough call and I’m glad I’m not making it.


I’d be looking at Draper if T-Bell went down for 2 or 3 weeks, but a Campbell/Clarke/whoever in concert with McKernan if it was a season-ender, with Draper to keep getting his game or two in between.

This is why I don’t see the need for a mid-season draft. Make sure you’re covered at the trades and drafts. Not to mention the damage it does to state-league clubs if one of their key players is ripped away from them with no recourse.


How many clubs have a second ruckman on their list that you can say with confidence will nullify Grundy/Gawn/Nick Nat?
Port Adelaide maybe with Lycett as the second ruckman but noone else that I can think of has a decent 2nd Ruckman because you can’t carry two top ruckman with TPP constraints.


I’m sure it happens. Just pointing out that this is the highest value training he can do to prepare for 2019. Most of the talk is around strength and fitness, but we never put much consideration to the hours spent studying tactics and gameplan.


Just about every club has a second ruckman with at least a moderate level of experience as a main ruckman. Giants don’t (that’s why they’re bringing Mumford back), we don’t since Luey retired, Saints don’t since they just traded theirs to West Coast but they’d be looking at bringing one in now too I’d have thought


So who does Richmond have ? Geelong don’t have a 1st ruckman let alone a second. Who does North have ? All clubs have a second player that can pinch hit in the ruck and the majority of those pinch hitters are not as good as Draper.


The likelihood of Bellchambers playing a full season without getting injured, is low.

Draper will get his chance


Agreed. And I suspect he will acquit himself more than adequately ! I look forward to it !