Rookie Lewis Pierce - Player Advocate: CaptainRisky

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#76
A disappointing 2017 for forgotten St Kilda ruckman Lewis Pierce, partly caused by being played out of position, was the catalyst for one of the weirder arrangements in the AFL.

While the rest of his teammates not picked in the senior side represent the Saints' affiliate club Sandringham, Pierce is playing his reserves football at the Frankston Dolphins.

On his early form, Pierce is not only excelling, but he's pushing a strong case to line up in his second AFL game.

Juggling Pierce, Tom Hickey, Jason Holmes and Rowan Marshall in the same side last year inevitably posed problems. One usually played in the now-defunct development league, which Pierce did three times, and he was also forced to spend time in defence.

After signing a two-year contract in 2016, Pierce struggled and was demoted to the rookie list at the end of last season.

His football was floundering, so when St Kilda's ruck coach Adam Skrobalak was in the running for the head coach's job at the Dolphins and suggested, if successful, there could be an opportunity for Pierce to be the primary ruckman at the club returning to the VFL after a one-year hiatus, the big man was immediately interested.

"I just sort of kept pushing it. It probably wouldn't have happened if I (didn't) push it a little bit because obviously they like everyone to play at the same club at VFL level," Pierce told AFL.com.au.

"Having one guy that goes off and plays elsewhere is obviously very strange."

Strange indeed, and he'll be committed to Frankston all year, but it's a move that makes a lot of sense. Pierce plays in his preferred position and a young Dolphins outfit fields someone on an AFL list.

The results show his improved form. In round one, Pierce had 40 hit-outs to his Essendon counterpart Matthew Leuenberger's 38, before he racked up 54 last Saturday against Box Hill, with Marc Pittonet winning 37.

Skrobalak, who juggles his Dolphins duties with working four days a week at the Saints as their ruck coach, told AFL.com.au Pierce can do more than give his midfielders first use.

"If you look at all the top rucks at the moment, they're very strong and aggressive but they also find the footy around the ground and that's where Lewie's shown some real potential," Skrobalak said.

The 23-year-old has grown in other areas as well.

"Not only is it really helping his football but his leadership is really shining through. We always knew it was something within Lewie, but it's something that's really coming to the fore now," Skrobalak said.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson won't be able to watch many Frankston games this year, so will rely heavily on Skrobalak's account of Pierce's performances, as well as vision and stats.

In the final year of his contract after originally being drafted at No. 75 in 2012, Pierce is desperate to play with the Saints again.

"Based on my form across these first two rounds of the VFL season – obviously we had a few ‘praccy’ games as well which I was able to go well in – I can't see why my name wouldn't be discussed in match committee," Pierce said.

"I'm confident (enough) to go to the coach and say 'I'm ready to go' and I think my form suggests that as well."


Go Saints
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#77
Lewis kicked 2 goals in Frankston’s great win over North Melbourne. I think he was rucking against Preuss from North and as neither player was listed as among their best I would take that as a win for Lewis given all the talk about the young North ruckman’s future.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#78
Frankston got thrashed by Williamstown 18 Goals to 4 . But on the good side Lewis was one of Frankston’s better players continuing his good form this year .


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#79
OPPOSITION BST G BHD KE KIE HE HIE HR CM UM MKS TKS FF FA HO
Sat 7/Apr Essendon 3 1 0 7 3 2 0 2 2 3 5 3 1 1 40
Sat 14/Apr Box Hill Hawks 5 0 0 4 5 2 1 4 1 0 1 3 1 1 54
Sat 21/Apr North Melbourne 0 2 0 8 2 2 1 5 1 2 3 1 5 2 34
Sat 28/Apr Williamstown 3 0 0 3 0 4 2 0 0 1 1 2 2 1 48
Sat 5/May Northern Blues 2 1 1 6 3 5 2 1 2 5 7 2 1 2 40



These stats are a bit hard to read but the last numbers for each game are hitouts . So the worse result for Lewis so far is 34 and the best is 54 which is showing he is playing well .

Go Saints
 
Last edited:

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#80
Meanwhile, Lewis Pierce is starring in the ruck for Frankston, where he is playing instead of St Kilda's VFL affiliate so he can line up in his preferred position.

I wonder if the selectors would consider Lewis instead of Marshall ? Or if Hickey gets injured might they try Lewis before the season ends to see how much he has improved. They already know what they will get from Longer , maybe they might be tempted to try Lewis at some stage this year given how well he has been playing.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#83
Was named in the squad for the Melbourne game although wasn’t picked in the finished side. But it shows how much he has improved this year at Frankston.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#84
Played for Frankston in their loss to Coburg. Lewis was listed as Frankston’s third best player . So another good game for him . I haven’t been able to find stats for the game yet.


Go Saints
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#88
Lewis is a big chance to play for the saints against the drug cheats this week with both Longer and Hickey out for the year with injuries. I would assume both Lewis and Marshall will both play in the final three games . Well deserved for Lewis as he has had a great year playing for Frankston.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#89
FORGOTTEN St Kilda ruckman Lewis Pierce is set to play his first game in more than two years against Essendon on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, AFL.com.au understands draftee Ben Paton will debut.

Spots in the side opened up after Tom Hickey injured his left hamstring tendon last Saturday night against the Western Bulldogs, while Josh Battle was concussed in the opening minutes of that clash.

Billy Longer is sidelined after left ankle surgery last week.

Pierce, 23, played his only career match against Carlton in round 12, 2016, mainly lining up in the forward line and kicking a goal.

He was handed a two-year contract at the end of that season.


In 2017, he spent time in defence for Sandringham and played three games in the now-defunct development league, which was effectively the thirds.

Pierce was then delisted and re-drafted as a rookie.

He wasn't able to play his preferred position last year, since he was competing with Hickey, Rowan Marshall and former Saint Jason Holmes for spots, so an agreement was reached that allowed him to represent Frankston this year.

Dolphins coach Adam Skrobalak is also the ruck coach at St Kilda.

Pierce has put together impressive VFL form in 2018 despite being part of a young side that has won just two games.



A hamstring injury earlier this year ruined his chances of a potential berth in the senior side.

Against Footscray last Saturday, Pierce had 14 disposals, six tackles and 54 hit-outs.

His counterpart, Tim English, finished with nine disposals, six marks, two goals and 33 hit-outs.

Pierce's contract expires at year's end.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#90
Fellow tall Lewis Pierce will play just his second senior game – his first in over 2 years – having debuted for the Saints in Round 12, 2016. He lines up against the drug cheats.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#92
Ruckman Lewis Pierce lined up in his first match in more than two years and performed well against Tom Bellchambers, with Richardson conceding it might have been worth looking at him earlier in the season as Tom Hickey and Billy Longer struggled.

"You look at tonight's performance and perhaps we could've had him in a bit earlier," Richardson said.

Pierce plays his VFL football at Frankston rather than the club's main affiliate Sandringham, so he can play his preferred position in the ruck, unlike last season when he was forced to play in defence at times.

However, that has meant Friday night was the first time the coach has watched Pierce live in 2018.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#93
St Kilda’s General Manager of Football Simon Lethlean said young ruckman Lewis Pierce’s standout return to senior football would undoubtedly impact the Saints’ list management movements.

“I think he’s been here for six years now, Lewis,” Lethlean said on the Dare Drink it Through Podcast.

“He had a couple of years where he was probably third or fourth ruck at Sandringham, and only playing forward or back just because of the nature of trying to get all your listed players in the best possible team.


“He made the decision with us this year to go to Frankston and ruck there with our ruck coach, who’s the senior VFL coach at Frankston, Adam Skrobalak, and that seems to have worked for him.

“He’s in the top two or three rucks in the VFL for hit-outs to advantage and marks … so that’s certainly made him press for selection when Hickey and Longer were not available.”

READ: Sammy's VFL Review (Round 19)

Lethlean was full of praise for the big man, citing his resilience over a long period of time.

“He got his first chance in (over two) years, had two contested marks, 18 stats, and plenty of hit-outs against a guy who’s a really good player.

“Bellchambers is a well-established senior footballer with big impact, so to perform well against him was a big plus for Lewis, a credit to him for taking his opportunity and having a big go at it, and he’s deserves to be looked at again this week.

“I’m really pleased for him, because he’s been in the wilderness a bit up until now getting a chance.

“It’ll be a much different conversation at list management committee this week about Lewis than it would have been if he hadn’t played. Lewis has done himself no disservice by playing a good game against a good ruckman.”


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#94
Glad I decided to be Lewis’s advocate as it’s been fun following his improvement this year . I , along with almost every one else had written him off last year and yet look how well he played against Bellchambers and how well he has played for Frankston . I never saw it coming and I guess no one else did either because at the start of the year no one wanted to be his advocate. I guess that will change next year , good on him . It’s always great to see someone prove everybody wrong like he has done so far . As Jack Lonie is doing now as well .


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#95
Lewis struggled against Big Ben from the Hawks but at least he contested well meaning although Ben won more taps they didn’t really hurt us as much as you would expect. Remember this is only Lewis ‘s third game . He shows a lot of promise.


Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#96
St Kilda ruckman Lewis Pierce has capped off a stellar season in the VFL by winning the Frankston Dolphins’ 2018 Best & Fairest on Saturday night.

An unconventional arrangement saw Pierce ply his trade for rival club Frankston this year, instead of representing the Saints’ VFL affiliate Sandringham, to play more time in his preferred position as a ruckman.

The deal was facilitated by newly-signed full-time coach Adam Skrobalak, whose part-time duties as ruck coach at the Saints in 2018 were complemented by a senior coaching position at Frankston.


READ: Pierce, Ross fight on

Having previously played a compromised role as a ruck/key forward behind either Billy Longer or Tom Hickey, Pierce has revelled in his opportunity this year to compete as the No. 1 ruckman at Frankston.

Averaging over 41 hit-outs per game, Pierce proved to be one of the premier rucks in the competition, despite his side winning just two games for the year.

The 203cm big man featured in the Dolphins’ best in all but four games in the VFL this year, before injuries to both Longer and Hickey meant he was elevated to play the last three games of the season for the Saints.

180910-biglew2-620.jpg
From left: Adam Skrobalak, Lewis Pierce, Rowan Marshall

Skrobalak said Pierce’s more singular focus playing in the ruck for Frankston had developed his game significantly.

“Lewis had really solid form in the VFL,” he said.

“He showed that he’s definitely up to the level AFL-wise in those last three games.

“He proved he can get his hands on the ball at AFL level and in the VFL, but he needs to cover the ground to get to more contests, so he can have more influence from there.”

Pierce will look to improve his athleticism in the off-season and add to his current tally of four senior games in 2019.




Go Saints
 

Brains Trust66

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
6,149
Likes
9,034
AFL Club
St Kilda
#97
Lewis has signed a new one year deal with the Saints . In the absence of Longer and Hickey (left hamstring), Pierce lined up for the final three games of the campaign and showed his competitiveness at the level.

"I was given the opportunity to prove myself at AFL level those last few weeks of the season and I am really keen to repay the faith the club has shown in me," Pierce said.

"Billy and I have actually been doing some running sessions together over the past few weeks, so hopefully this drives us to both become better players.

"I'm confident that with another pre-season behind me I'll be able to put my best foot forward and really push my case for more senior football."

The 23-year-old has played four matches in his career.


Go Saints
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Posts
1,246
Likes
2,126
Location
Melbourne CBD
AFL Club
St Kilda
Well here is my first post being Lewis's player advocate so don't be too harsh .
From reports posted on here from people able to attend training the Big Lew is ticking over nicely doing all the seasons which will hold him in good stead to take the top job at least for the early part of the season, This season is going to be even more cut throat than last year in regards to the ruck position with it turning out to be a Three way battle of Lewis , Billy and Marshall .
Some will say Marshall is not in competition with the other Two but i disagree big time , with all our big forwards fit and Max coming through we are not going to be able to play Two rucks , ie Billy and Marsh or Lewis and Marsh .
With a bit more confidence and a strong pre seaon i'm hoping Lewie can get around the ground a bit more and use his marking power to further push his case as being our number one ruck , i have seen him put on marking clinics at VFL level so he can do it , its just about doing it week in week out
 
Top Bottom