Opinion Unpopular Opinion: Naitanui is a better ruck than Cox

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All Australian
Nov 11, 2003
Im in heaven
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
WCE S.Freo
Fortunate enough to be a West Coast Fan and watch two of arguably the best ruckmen the game has had.
BUT comparing an inside midfielder beast to an elite running wingman is almost whats being asked.

Like comparing Marc Murphy and Patrick, Dion Prestia and Cotchin, Burgoyne and Mitchell, Libba and MaCRae etc etc.

For what it's worth Cox had the ability to read the game better and hence get into more damaging positions. BUT Nic could make the 5 or 6 person tussle on a contested ball end up falling our way..


Brownlow Medallist
Sep 8, 2011
AFL Club
West Coast
People talking on here like Coxy was a slouch in the hitout department. Whilst not as good or as glorious as Nic’s, his H/O to Advantage were miles ahead of any other ruckman of his time.

One things for certain, Naitanui’s tap work wouldn’t be as grand as it is without his tutelage under Coxy.

If Cox had the number of hit outs that Grundy had last week, Collingwood would have won by a country mile

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Premiership Player
Apr 29, 2008
AFL Club
West Coast
In regards to tapwork there's little question. Naitanui may be one of the best of all time.

But we're pretty lucky in regards to his limitations. With a forward line of Kennedy, Darling, Allen, Waterman we don't need a ruckman resting forward (and in fact would have a lopsided forwardline if we did). Likewise with Hurn, Barrass and McGovern down back, we're not so reliant on a ruckman dropping back in the gap.

A ruckman doing most of his work in the middle and adding some contested grunt works perfectly for us. I think his lack of work around the ground and limited TOG would be a much bigger issue for most other clubs though.

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