Fodder systems: Ballarat’s Sam Blease and Brisbane’s Mitch Hanlon are locked in fierce battles for the ruck spots in the Queensland Cup, with the Roosters, Raiders and Dragons all looking to the back of the pack to take them on in the final stages.
Hanlon has emerged as one of the most exciting ruck prospects in the competition this season, with his combination of size, skill and ball speed putting him in the best position to take on the best ruckmen in the country.
Hanlan and Blease are currently the two highest ranked ruck options for both sides of the ball, with Blease coming off a career-best season in which he recorded 19 disposals and six goals, while Hanlon was a key cog in Brisbane’s defence.
Blease has averaged almost 16 disposals a game this season and also has four goals in the last six games for the Roosterbacks, while he also has two goals and four marks in the Roop’s last five games.
Hanls has had a great season for the Ruckers, averaging almost 21 disposals (sixth in the NRL), four goals (second), seven marks (fourth), and has also had a strong campaign for the Dragons.
Batchon and Hanlon were also battling for the same position in the 2017 NRL Draft, with both having impressive seasons in the NAB AFL Rising Star award.
Braid and Hanlan were also competing for the second-highest ruck spot for the Knights, while Benji Marshall and Jordan Kahu are also vying for the third-most.
The Knights have been one of Melbourne’s hottest sides this season with the Knights having played in four of the last five Grand Finals and the Knights have a solid record of winning three finals.
In the Rooms, Sam Kerridge, Luke Keary, Jordan McLean and Jarrad Waite are the two most experienced ruckers in the league, with Keary leading the way in the Knights’ impressive run to the grand final.
The Dragons have been the club with the best record in the League, with Luke Kearo and Luke Dahlhaus both having excellent seasons for the Blue and Gold.
The Roosting Dragons’ young guns have had a stellar year, with Brad Crouch and Brad Walker both playing at an elite level this season.
Walker has scored 10 goals for the club this season (fourth in the AFL), while Crouch has been a constant for the Club, averaging 26 disposals, six marks and two goals.
Crouch has also played in all but one of Adelaide’s finals games this season so far, with two of them coming this season after he made his debut for the Blues against the Gold Coast.
Bryce Gibbs and Ben Henry are the only other players from the Dragons to have been on the club’s best-performing list this season to date, with Gibbs averaging 17 disposals per game (third in the Bulldogs) and Henry averaging 22 disposals.
Luke Dahlhaus has also been an effective ruck player for the Rabbitohs this season as he averages a career high in disposals while Henry has averaged more than 17 dispositions (third, second).
Both players have been instrumental to the Rabbitowas success, with Henry playing his best footy for the team this season while Dahlhaus is averaging 20 disposals in the club finals.
The Rabbitoh are currently second in the premiership table and have played their best footie in the past two weeks.
The Raiders are also looking to get back on track this season but are struggling to make a run in the finals, with Jack Wighton and Adam Reynolds not playing for the Raiders this season due to injuries.
Sam Kerridge is also the best player on the Raiders’ list, having averaged 20 disposons for the side this season at the time of the Grand Final, and has been rewarded with a place on the Roos’ best-ranked list.
The Kangaroos are also struggling to get over the line in the regular season, but are looking to build on a strong performance against the Bulldogs.
Jack Riewoldt has been an impressive performer this season for Melbourne, averaging 16 disposons and five goals (fourth, second) for the Kangaroose.
Riewoldts top three performances in the season sofar this year have come against the Giants and the Roones, and he has scored 20 goals for Melbourne in total.
Josh McGuire is also a very exciting player for his club, having a career year for the Demons this season averaging 27 disposals for the season.
McGuire’s top three seasons in 2017 have come in round one against the Knights and the Rabbitoohs, with him averaging 26.6 disposals over that period.
He also has eight goals this season including two in round four against the Rooneys.
Sam Durdin is also one of those players who have