Opinion Unpopular Opinion: Naitanui is a better ruck than Cox

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The wily weagle

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Oct 16, 2014
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Dean Cox was ruck prototype V1.0
Nic Nat is ruck prototype V2.0
Someone with Nic Nats tap work and athleticism with Dean Cox's around the ground influence and endurance will be ruck prototype V3.0
Maybe the club can find Nic the best female endurance athlete in WA and set up a selective breeding program 🤷‍♂️😂
 

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Priddis Is Done

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Easily better imo, early 2000's Gardy was developing into being one of the top ruckman in the league.
Forgot about him. Had a purple patch for a while where he was palming it to cousins at will. At the same level of Nic Nat? It was too long ago to remember.

Gardiner was a better ruckman at tapping v Cox, both at the height of their powers but Gardner not at his peak for long enough.

Mate used to go on about how Laurie Keene could have been anything, barring injury. Unfortunately I didn't really follow footy pre Eagles. Snuck into lots of South Fremantle games as an 'underager' pre Eagles but never followed the game or that team.
 

Ambrose Burnside

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Forgot about him. Had a purple patch for a while where he was palming it to cousins at will. At the same level of Nic Nat? It was too long ago to remember.

Gardiner was a better ruckman at tapping v Cox, both at the height of their powers but Gardner not at his peak for long enough.

Mate used to go on about how Laurie Keene could have been anything, barring injury. Unfortunately I didn't really follow footy pre Eagles. Snuck into lots of South Fremantle games as an 'underager' pre Eagles but never followed the game or that team.
I'm too young to have seen Keene play, but my Dad says similar things about him.

We really have been blessed with ruckmen over the years.
 

Ok Boomer

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What a difficult comparison this is.

I would still go with Cox as his work in the ruck was still outstanding to go with his elite around the ground work. Cox won and saved several games for us with big marks at both ends of the ground.
 

FKASC

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I think some people are understating Naitanui’s handballing in tight as well. It’s not just ‘natural freakish athleticism’ with his ruck taps, deft touches, etc, that makes him good.

Some of his handballing in congestioj to the advantage of our players is as good as Kerr/Priddis. That’s not just freakish athleticism, otherwise Priddis is a freakish athlete.
 

MaxHunt

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Cox was better all round. If Nic tooks his marks, and I have no idea why he doesn't, then they would be on par imo. Nic's foot skills are underrated.
 

Byron_Clanger

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Ehhhh I don't know about that. We won a premiership without NicNat. Could we have won the 06 premiership without Coxy? Nope
 

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swingdog

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Not adding anything in terms of choosing between them, just the following anecdotes.

When Judd went to Carlton, he realised how well he'd been served by Cox, saying Cox would put it where he wanted it and with a certain amount of spin on the ball so it would bounce well for Judd to pick up and run on. By contrast, he had no idea where Kreuzer and Co. were going to hit the ball.

On Naitanui, Simpson tells a story about them prepping with different starting set ups and where the ball would go to and Nic asking, what about when he's in the air he sees a better option. Simpson just smiled and shook his head. No ruckman had ever thought to do that or be able to do that.
 

The Dodger

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Both awesome and polar opposites game wise as has been mentioned. I'm an NN fan as I think he has also been rucking during arguably our worst midfield era whereas if he was the 5th midfielder mid 00's that midfield would have been even more unbelievable. Kerr was the only mid who did a lot of in an under and if he had NN in there as well. :moustache: Would love to have seen the Sydney lock it down and cause 40 stoppages a minute game plan with NN as the guy who gets to go up and then in and under.
Also for all of the Cox could rack up the possies it used to shiite me to no end when he would run around the back of a midfielder who had a free kick or taken a mark, ask for the football and then proceed to grubber the kick or turn it over (more 2010 onwards).
NN just makes things happen.
 

MeltMan

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I think we are all forgetting something here. Tom Hickey, comes in and trains with the best tap ruckman in the comp. fu**s off and trains with west coasts OTHER team of the century ruckman, now with the bloods, now pantsing everyone else. Clearly west coast can make a mint developing and selling big men. Or maybe its just Coxy as NN was under him as well 😞
 

THE A5

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I think we are all forgetting something here. Tom Hickey, comes in and trains with the best tap ruckman in the comp. fu**s off and trains with west coasts OTHER team of the century ruckman, now with the bloods, now pantsing everyone else. Clearly west coast can make a mint developing and selling big men. Or maybe its just Coxy as NN was under him as well 😞
Will be interesting how Hickey goes against Nic Nat now. In the past he’s got his ass whooped but now he’s worked under him and has Cox guiding him too. Also Hickey seemsed to be be our ruck coach last year.
 

Beutbrute

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I'm too young to have seen Keene play, but my Dad says similar things about him.

We really have been blessed with ruckmen over the years.
Nic Nat doesn't take enough marks around the ground
Dean Cox didn't kick enough goals from outside 70m
4min 9 seconds in
 
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DirtySandman

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We really have been blessed with ruckmen over the years.
Just think, what awesome ruckmen, will we have in the next 20 or so years? every time we lose one, we just find another.

I think there was some very inappropriate jokes about the west indies, and how they would go and pick another fast bowler whenever they needed, but times have changed, and we can't go there.
 

Balls In

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If Nic played against Cox he would beat him in the set pieces but Cox would have him everywhere else. It would come down to the extent Nic got us going out of the middle vs the damage Cox did elsewhere. You cant pick between them. Both are genuine midfielders for completely different reasons. Its easy to forget just how good Cox was when you see what Nic is doing, but right now I would take Nic over any other player in the competition.

Laurie Keene was right their in the Cox mould, just brilliant until he snapped his achilles and never got it right. A bit of commentary burned in my brain was after he sidestepped a few blokes and kicked a bomb that rolled through from about 70m "Fred Astaire stuff from Laurie Keeene"! He is right there with Brad Smith on the "if only" scale. He was brilliant.
 
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Monocle

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Better ruck man .... NN. :yellowheart::blueheart::yellowheart::blueheart:

Better footballer ... Cox. :blueheart::yellowheart::blueheart::yellowheart:


If they were describing it in England - " it's six and two threes."

If they were describing it in Asia - " Same, same but different. "

If they were describing it here in Oz - " six of one and half a dozen on the other. "


And the winner is the :westcoast: WEST COAST EAGLES because they both played for us.
 

Ishmael_

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Two of my all time favs, I reckon without the two knee recos Naitanui might have had Cox by now, as it stands Cox has had the better career. I'd still take Nic though. Both at their peak would be the perfect dual ruckman setup as we got glimpses of in 2012.

And as an Eagles fanboy, I also like how they still keep in touch and seem to love each other. Super Cute. 😍
 

The Passenger

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Gardiner pre knee was arguably better than the 4 with a medal that don't make it
His 2003 season (until the knee) was a better 3/4-month run than any of our other great rucks have produced. Such was his dominance he got picked in the AA team that year off what was essentially 13 games (he did SFA on his return). But the longevity of Cox and NicNat obviously takes them past Gardy.

As for the OP, I think Cox still takes it out over NicNat, although the gap is narrowing with this late career burst that NicNat is having. If NN was to win a third AA, you could mount a case that his 3 AA's is just as impressive as Cox's six, given their respective opposition. Lade and Sandilands were the only real top class rucks Cox had to compete for a spot. Primus retired 2005, King and Ottens weren't the same players they were around the turn of the century, White was inconsistent from one year to the next and Luke Darcy can suck on my ball sack. NicNat has come up against Sandilands as well for a portion of his career (as well as competing against Cox when it comes to AA selection in his earlier days), plus three top tier rucks in Goldstein, Gawn and Grundy, and really good second tier rucks like Ryder, Kreuzer and Mumford (Mummy had a bit cross over against Cox). I think competition for the ruck role(s) in the AA team/squad has been a lot stronger through the peak of NN's career (12 to now with injury interruptions) in comparison to Cox's peak (04 - 12).

But yeah, Cox is still in front for mine. Agree with an earlier post that whilst Cox revolutionised the role because coaches saw they could use their ruckman as an additional midfielder around the ground. That's a coachable attribute. NicNat won't revolutionise things because when you draft a young ruckman you won't be able to develop his game to do the things NicNat does - he'll either be about to do it, or he wont. Almost certainly he won't.
 

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