Infotainment Factory: The surprise tactic that caused Dees boilover

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

The surprise tactic that caused Dees boilover


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There were many reasons as to why Port Adelaide was able to spring the first major upset of the 2019 AFL season against Melbourne, but none were bigger than the domination in the ruck battle.

Heading into the clash, the Demons, who possess arguably the league's most dominant ruckman Max Gawn, were hot favourites before being stunned by the visitors.

After an unhealthy reliance on 2017 All-Australian ruckman Patrick Ryder, Port swung a trade for Eagles premiership-winner Scott Lycett, and the tandem proved to be lethal in negating Gawn's influence in Round 1.

With the new starting bounce positions, the importance of a ruckman has never been higher, but Port Adelaide's tactics in double-teaming Gawn with Ryder and Lycett as well as roughing him up around the ground may provide a blueprint for the rest of the league.

Max Gawn

Gawn, who was the league's No.1 ranked ruckan last year for AFL Player Rating points in 2018, was held to just 13 disposals and 21 hitouts against the Power, well below his average of 44.8 hitouts last season.

Port Adelaide's tactics against Gawn were so apparent that Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown said the star was "bullied".

“Melbourne is getting bullied and Max Gawn is symbolic of that,” Lions legend Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy.

“I’d love to see what Simon Goodwin’s message is to Max Gawn at half-time. I think he is going to put it on him.”

Max Gawn

Melbourne great Garry Lyon added: “Lycett is giving Gawn an old fashioned working over, right now.”

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley called the win the best of his coaching career and explained that the tactics behind negating Gawn were pre-determined.

"Max Gawn is a really good player, we have to wear him down," Hinkley told reporters.

"It takes two people to do that sometimes.

Max Gawn

"We decided as a group the way we wanted to play, and they backed it. We get some confidence and reinforcement out of that."

However, despite the domination of the Demons star, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin denied that he had been intimidated.

"Max wasn't intimidated today," Goodwin said.

"He has dealt with that sort of stuff in the past."

There were many reasons as to why Port Adelaide was able to spring the first major upset of the 2019 AFL season against Melbourne, but none were bigger than the domination in the ruck battle.

Heading into the clash, the Demons, who possess arguably the league's most dominant ruckman Max Gawn, were hot favourites before being stunned by the visitors.

After an unhealthy reliance on 2017 All-Australian ruckman Patrick Ryder, Port swung a trade for Eagles premiership-winner Scott Lycett, and the tandem proved to be lethal in negating Gawn's influence in Round 1.

With the new starting bounce positions, the importance of a ruckman has never been higher, but Port Adelaide's tactics in double-teaming Gawn with Ryder and Lycett as well as roughing him up around the ground may provide a blueprint for the rest of the league.

Max Gawn

Gawn, who was the league's No.1 ranked ruckan last year for AFL Player Rating points in 2018, was held to just 13 disposals and 21 hitouts against the Power, well below his average of 44.8 hitouts last season.

Port Adelaide's tactics against Gawn were so apparent that Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown said the star was "bullied".

“Melbourne is getting bullied and Max Gawn is symbolic of that,” Lions legend Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy.

“I’d love to see what Simon Goodwin’s message is to Max Gawn at half-time. I think he is going to put it on him.”

Max Gawn

Melbourne great Garry Lyon added: “Lycett is giving Gawn an old fashioned working over, right now.”

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley called the win the best of his coaching career and explained that the tactics behind negating Gawn were pre-determined.

"Max Gawn is a really good player, we have to wear him down," Hinkley told reporters.

"It takes two people to do that sometimes.

Max Gawn

"We decided as a group the way we wanted to play, and they backed it. We get some confidence and reinforcement out of that."

However, despite the domination of the Demons star, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin denied that he had been intimidated.

"Max wasn't intimidated today," Goodwin said.

"He has dealt with that sort of stuff in the past."

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