Crackers' Call - I have a tall tale for you

Sportal December 17, 2012, 12:02 pm

Height is everything!

We can all run fast, we can all get the ball and kick it but there's one ingredient that wins premierships - height.

Even in the last premiership, when Shane Mumford went down it was Mike Pyke who saved the day.

Pyke wasn't supposed to be a footballer, not as good as Israel Folau or Karmichael Hunt.

He wasn't getting $1 million a year like Folau and Hunt, we all knew that, but Pyke had one thing in abundance that they didn't have - height.

Folau was reasonably tall but couldn't play as a big, solid ruckman.

However, Pyke proved he had the height and courage to take the baton when Mumford got injured.

Now the talent scouts scour the nation looking for height so they can put the big monsters against each other.

And with the new ruck laws that have come in where you can't use your body too much against each other, height is going to be what it's all about.

The Swans pride themselves on first use of the ball from stoppages and it wins games.

Sydney's game plan is to create bags of stoppages in the backline, clear the ball and get the exit players like Lewis Jetta to run like hell.

Now even when you're 30 years of age you are still a valuable commodity if you are tall, like Orren Stephenson who got delisted from Geelong and was snapped up straight away by Richmond.

Of course the Tigers had a look at former Brisbane and Collingwood big man Cameron Wood but thought Orren was a little bit bigger than him and would fit the bill better.

One thing about it is it won't be long before people who have looked at basketball in the USA will go back there and try and invest in there because we've had the Irish experiment and it's worked in most cases.

The jury's still out on rugby league converts, Israel Folau was an absolute flop and Karmichael Hunt is just an ordinary footballer.

But to get the big blokes in there to get first use of the ball will be a priority in the next couple of years for fledgling clubs.

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  1. lessca11:02am Tuesday 18th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    @BigKev - you're right to a point, however, the ruck is becoming an important area again. Whilst height is important, ruckmen like Mumford bring another dimension - he's also very good at ground level so he brings both the height of a ruckman and the ground skills of a small man - somethine the Swans seem to have worked on - all of their talls have either been good at ground level, or not succeeded. One reason for Trend Dennis-Lane not having much success, he couldn't adapt to a ground level game.

  2. Big Kev 13311:34pm Monday 17th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What a load of Bollocks ! Tell Hayden Ballantyne that he's not tall enough ! This 174cm , 78kg dynamo is much better than many tall guys. The ball isn't always in the air and tall guys are disadvantaged when its on the ground. Also what good was Aaron Sandilands to the Dockers when he didn't play for half the season through injury. I'd go for tough and fast over tall.

  3. Andrea07:14pm Monday 17th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    NO! Just being TALL(er than anyone else) can get you a game or many games. Give me a break. How often does a "super tall" ruck hit/tap the ball out (great on the stats sheet) which goes to an opposition crumber? ALL THE TIME! Takes more than TALLness Cracker Barrel

  4. Anthony06:23pm Monday 17th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    You are right - Crackers! Folau didn't rate as an AFL player - Hunt is ordinary - very ordinary - We had Sheedy telling us of how Folau was gunna do this and gunna do that - But apparently all of us no name people knew more than Sheedy - in that subject at least - The Suns coach had an idea that Hunt had no talent but wasn't allowed to say - as the AFL had put up a lot of money to say he was so talented..... The word on both of these clowns is ëlite" the new word going around is uber this and uber that ... Neither one is elite or uber - just ordinary and a rank with that......