Club History Best full back of the AFL era?

Who was our best key defender from 1990-2020?

  • Andrew Dunkley

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Leo Barry

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Craig Bolton

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Ted Richards

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • Heath Grundy

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Dane Rampe

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • Other (comment below)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    29

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Daniel B

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Apr 3, 2011
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Genuinely interested to know what you guys think. I've included what I consider to be the six reasonable contenders. Other names that come to mind are Heath James, Andrew Schauble, Peter Caven, Neil Cordy (?).
 

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Kapers

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Sep 25, 2019
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I think this suffers from a bit of recency bias (I also voted for Rampe), it's just that he has also done it without any key defender with him. He has shown versatility that I don't think any of the other guys can match, even if they were better vs a certain size.
 

GotTheGoodes

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As a pure Defender, excluding all other features (rebounding, team dynamic etc), playing on the games best power forwards I'd say Dunks.

IMO the best set of defenders we've ever had was the Teddy/Reg/Smitty combo though... Combined, they made Teddy/Reg better FB's compared to Dunks. Team defence lifted Ted/Reg to another level, above Dunks, IMO. But purely one-on-one, I'd still pick Dunks (and put rebounders around him).

I think as an all round - not just a pure defender - able to adapt and break lines etc in the modern game - I'd go Ramps. He plays over/undersized and excels at it. As a player (not assigning a role) he is the best (& most versatile) on that list IMO.

Interesting thread. We've been blessed with our defenders during this era. So hard to pinpoint a "best" amongst them IMO.
 

RobbieK

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Rampe is definitely the best player out of all those listed, but I don't know if that makes him the "best full back".

Defensively speaking, Dunkley was the best pure stopping fullback, and also found himself up against probably the best quality opposition key forwards that any of these guys had to match up on. Next would be Grundy, who was also a more well-rounded player than Dunkley. Certainly more skillful with ball in hand, though that's not saying too much. Dunkley has to be one of the worst kicks I've seen at AFL level.

They really played in different eras, though. I think in the current game a guy like Dunkley would have his weaknesses exploited more and his strengths in one-on-one contexts would not be as relevant, so if the question is which one of these players would I want on the team in 2020 it probably isn't him.
 

bungee

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Most talent: Dunkley and Rampe

But I voted Ted - because he just won so many contests through pure grit, determination and courage. Loved having him in the side.
I have to agree. While I think Dunkley and Grundy's best usually was better than Ted, watching an injured Richards play on Buddy in the 2012 GF suggests otherwise. Super Ted could will himself to somehow play even better than his best. Mind you, he had the support of a back 6 containing Grundy, AJ, Mattner, Shaw & Malceski whereas Dunkley's supporting cast weren't quite of the same caliber.
 

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ashep

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Trying not to be swayed by recency bias but I really think Rampe is a brilliant player and has them all covered.
 

Tesla Tenet

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I have to agree. While I think Dunkley and Grundy's best usually was better than Ted, watching an injured Richards play on Buddy in the 2012 GF suggests otherwise. Super Ted could will himself to somehow play even better than his best. Mind you, he had the support of a back 6 containing Grundy, AJ, Mattner, Shaw & Malceski whereas Dunkley's supporting cast weren't quite of the same caliber.
And a bloke called Nick Smith

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bungee

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And a bloke called Nick Smith

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Woops, my bad. That shows just how good that defence was if Nick Smith doesn't stick out. The encouraging thing is the blueprint seems to have survived the cull of heads and the current defence is shaping up very well.
 

BloodySwan

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Bolton, Barry & Grundy would be in content for best defender at most clubs but for the Swannies they easily fall behind Dunkley, Rampe & Richards. We've really been spoiled in key talls
 

Bonz

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Bolton, Barry & Grundy would be in content for best defender at most clubs but for the Swannies they easily fall behind Dunkley, Rampe & Richards. We've really been spoiled in key talls
Think Bolton is being quite underrated on here currently.

I don't remember him being touched up by another team once, hell Riewoldt is on record saying he was the hardest defender to play against.
 

Banyo Bloods

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Rod Carter was a stingy defender and at the top of his game in either 86 or 87 (memory fading) flamboyant forward up one end kicking 100 and a defender having very small numbers kicked on him up the other end.

Shout out to Moose and Toohey who were hard at it defenders.
 

Swan4Life

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Fevola, Brown, Riewoldt, Pavlich, Richo and a few other guns I cant think of at the moment all have one thing in common - they were all stuffed into Craig Boltons back pocket on a regular basis!

Criminally underrated by his own fans it would seem. He could nullify smalls and talls in equal measure. An emergency in 2 grannies for a star-studded Brisbane outfit before playing in 2 for us.

He is at least on a par with Ramps - and for mine maybe even a fraction better.
 

MF

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Fevola, Brown, Riewoldt, Pavlich, Richo and a few other guns I cant think of at the moment all have one thing in common - they were all stuffed into Craig Boltons back pocket on a regular basis!

Criminally underrated by his own fans it would seem. He could nullify smalls and talls in equal measure. An emergency in 2 grannies for a star-studded Brisbane outfit before playing in 2 for us.

He is at least on a par with Ramps - and for mine maybe even a fraction better.
I'd only have Rampe ahead due to his rebounding ability. You're right though...Bolton was very rarely beaten. For mine he was a better defender than Barry, Grundy and Richards but those guys have a bit of longevity over him so it's very tough to split them.
 

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