Roughead paves way for Ruck future

Thursday May 26, 2011

Hawthorn’s stocks are on the rise, and as Jason Rumble reports, they have a dilemma ahead with Jarryd Roughead starring in the role while David Hale is out injured.

Hawthorn’s forward, turned ruckman, Jarryd Roughead has a new found confidence, giving relief to the Hawks problem with their current big man stocks.

The past three weeks has seen Roughead battle a couple of quality big men, in Port Adelaide’s Dean Brogan and formidable Shane Mumford, of Sydney.

Battling hard as the re-vamped secondary ruck, Roughead has averaged 15.3 hit-outs over the three games. It has also meant he can use his athleticism around the ground, lay tackles (10 against Port) and burn off his opponent when sliding into defence or going forward. He’s crashing packs again, taking marks and more importantly, he looks happy doing it.

Being out of the forward line seems to have done him, and his team-mates, wonders. Since 2008, when Roughead kicked 75 goals, the Twin Towers just haven’t looked as potent. With Roughead now in the ruck, Franklin has enjoyed the extra freedom and space, and has had 28 scoring shots over the past three weeks.

The question now remains, what happens when a fit David Hale is ready to come back in? Does he come straight back? Does he play as a permanent full-forward?

With Roughead’s new found belief as the number two, was recruiting Hale a mistake? Most likely Hale will come back in, just as the secondary ruck and drift forward when the opportunity arises.

It certainly is a good dilemma to have, though, much better than sending Hodge and Schoenmakers in there, like the Hawks were forced to do last season.

In just a few days, Roughead will come up against another quality ruckman in Ben Hudson, of the Western Bulldogs. Hudson is a fighter, and he won’t go down lightly, with his back against the wall he’s likely to come out breathing fire.

Can Roughead match it with this monster of a ruckman? Confidence is high, but only time will tell.