This week, Doctor SuperCoach brings you the Judge’s verdict on two premium rucks chosen by our community! They are Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer and GWS Giant, Shane Mumford.
Price: $606, 000
The Carlton big man was taken with pick one in the 2007 National Draft and made his debut in round three of the 2008 season. Kreuzer is part of an illustrious cohort of players who scored a goal with their first kick in an AFL match. Kreuzer often cops a lot from fans for never quite reaching the heights expected of number one picks, but could this be the year he finally breaks out and lives up to that pick? We all know rucks take a lot longer to mature as footballers than others. Kreuzer’s 2016 campaign was average, and he was well and truly overshadowed by other big men in Gawn and Goldstein. He still managed an average of 73 SuperCoach points per game, including a big day out in Round Eight against Port Adelaide with 133. Last season Kreuzer averaged just over 20 hitouts, two marks, two tackles and only 11 disposals. Jump ahead to this season and his performance in that area vastly improves. In 2017 Kreuzer has brought his average SuperCoach score up a whopping 34 points and is averaging 29 hitouts, six tackles, three marks and sixteen disposals. While these numbers are not phenomenal, there’s no denying Kreuzer has brought his game up a notch.
Price: $531, 200
The former Geelong and Sydney player landed at the Giants in 2014 and went on to win the club’s best and fairest in the same year. During this year he also averaged 114 SuperCoach points. The following year is one Mumford would probably rather forget, succumbing to a serious ankle injury in round 11 which would be a season ender for him. Last season Mumford wasn’t quite able to reach his lofty standards of seasons past, averaging 99 points per game. Mumford started 2107 off poorly, scoring just 69 in the opening round against Adelaide. Over the next five rounds, Mumford cleared the ton four times, posting scores of 97, 137, 135, 126 and 104. Since the beginning of the year Mumford has averaged 41 hitouts, four tackles, two marks and eleven disposals. The biggest knock on Mumford is his whether or not his body can hold up; in fact Mumford has never played a full season at AFL level (albeit he only missed one game in 2016).
What we’ve got here are two great ruck choices, particularly given how sparse premiums have been in that line. Kreuzer is in a rich vein of form, but for mine, there are big question marks over whether he can keep this dominant scoring up all year. Mumford on the other hand is more of a proven premium, but his inability to get his body right is just nagging at the back of my mind. Over the next few weeks Mumford will be facing Brisbane, Geelong and Hawthorn – all teams he should score reasonably well against, whereas Kreuzer has Richmond, Adelaide and Melbourne. The next three weeks will be a good test for Kreuzer, particularly against Max Gawn. This week it’s Mumford who gets the nod from me. This is due to his higher hitout statistics, his easier run home and the fact he is a tried and true premium.