There was a story Dermott Brereton told on League Teams about Tommy Bellchambers being a well built unit, and if his injury history wasn’t so glaring, the “well built” mightn’t be so hard to argue. When Bellchambers is playing, he does alright, his hitouts to advantage, his average time on ground, disposals, disposal efficiency, are all around the mark of a top SuperCoach ruckmen. He just needs to stay on the field, fit and raring to go.
This year the ruck department in SuperCoach is not so cut and dry, there is no dual position relevancy, there is no Luke Strnadica to keep our Captains hat warm, and there is not a lot of ruckmen who aren’t going to be sharing duties with their rookie counterparts.
|2018 Facts||$504,500 RUC|
|2017 Games||13 (14 including finals)|
|2017 100+ Scores||4|
|2017 Sub-80 scores||5|
|2017 Highs & Lows||High of 150, low of 45 (in the final)|
John Worsfold rarely uses his ruckmen as resting forwards, he loves them in the middle as a big bodied extra midfielder. Don’t get me wrong, he will use them as a resting forward sometimes, but he likes the big body in the centre. We saw some of it last year too, Essendon starting stringing things together when the big lamp post was in the middle of the ground pushing and shoving his way through contests. In 2017, Bellchambers averaged 32.9 hitouts, and has recorded the 5th most hitouts to advantage percentage since 2015. With Heppell, Merrett, Goddard and new recruits Stringer and Smith to hit to, that statistic could rise.
In my eyes, the number one ruck position is Bellchambers to lose, and Matthew Leuenberger is unlikely to play as second fiddle with Joe Daniher in the forward line.
Bellchambers averaged 10.2 disposals and 2.7 tackles a game last year, so doesn’t pick up most of his points from his work around the ground. If he has an off day in the tapping department, or comes up against a monster, he could be in for a rough score. His rough scores last year came against the Swans in the final (45), Matthew Kreuzer’s Blues (48), the Bulldogs (58) and a 57 against Stefan Martin in round round 15.
Essendon do line up against every one of the competition’s top rucks aside from Goldstein before the bye, too.
He’s injured, like all the time. He’s never played more than 18 games in a season for one reason or another. So, it would be hard to put trust in him to be a set and forget ruck prospect.
He had knee issues which hampered his pre-season last year, and came in for a single game in round six before being dropped. He came back in for Luenberger in round 10 and held his spot for the rest of the season, but that he was dropped last year isn’t a good sign.
So why consider Bellchambers?
Well for one, you could always just use him to keep Ryder’s seat warm until round 11. He’s the type of player who could hold onto that 505k price tag allowing you to jump onto Ryder fairly easily. You could also consider Bellchambers as he is unlikely to be affected by sharing ruck duties with anyone, unlike most the other top ruckmen.
Luenhameneggenburger isn’t likely to take his place as he’s useless around the ground, and the Dons’ backup includes some young developing rucks and *checks notes* Shaun McKernan. The guy who let Goldstein score 220-odd that one time.
Goldstein has Preuss to worry about, Grundy and Cox, Martin and Smith. Who does Bellchambers have? Nobody, really. You can make the argument that Joe Daniher partners up with him, but Daniher is about as useful in the ruck as wet towel. Not taking too much away from Bellchambers, in other words.
I’m not sold on Naitanui, with all the conflicting news surrounding his return from injury. Then we have all these questions about ruck partners for Goldstein, Grundy, Martin, etc.
S in terms of solo rucks, it’s left us with Jacobs, who struggles to get an advantageous knock, injury prone Bellchambers, the 150K more expensive Kreuzer, or taking Ryder and his inconvenient round 10 bye and Max Gawn, who everyone has.
I can’t write Bellchambers off that short list just yet, but he’s not in my team at the moment.