Raiders to re-examine ruck stocks

Jordan Rouse has been rucking solo for the Raiders this season, and coach Daryn Cresswell is looking to give him a bit more support. Picture: MARK JESSER
Jordan Rouse has been rucking solo for the Raiders this season, and coach Daryn Cresswell is looking to give him a bit more support. Picture: MARK JESSER

RUCKMAN ROSTER

Wodonga Raiders coach Daryn Cresswell will revisit the club’s ruck stocks.

Raiders don’t have a natural ruckman, with Jordan Rouse filling the role.

“It’s an area that worried me coming up here (to Myrtleford) because ‘Rack’ (Jack Di Mizio) was lucky to play, he was really sore after the Vic Country game,” he said.

“We need to look at our options there with (Aaron) Spargo and Josh McKay and give them support.

“Centre bounces and stoppages are so crucial, I didn’t think the last quarter we did very well in that area.”

LESSON LEARNT

We need to look at our options there with (Aaron) Spargo and Josh McKay and give them support. Centre bounces and stoppages are so crucial.

Daryn Cresswell

Raiders were handed a timely lesson in lacking the killer instinct.

Myrtleford never looked likely until it threw off the shackles late.

“Putting four quarters together has been an issue for us over the last couple of years, being a young side,” vice-captain Jack Di Mizio said.

“The last three weeks (prior to Myrtleford) we’ve shown we can do that and take on the best teams.”

GREAT GOAL

Wangaratta midfielder Ben Speight landed the goal of the day against Wangaratta Rovers.

In his first game for five weeks, Speight swooped on a ball, raced around the defence and landed a belter from the boundary line.

If the Pies are to contest the grand final, they’ll need more of that from the classy former North Melbourne on-baller.

The club will also be sweating on the fitness of defender Dylan Van Berlo, who didn’t play the second half.

Van Berlo has had a history of hamstring issues.

CLASSY CHRIS

Rovers’ Chris Knowles impressed with three goals and a busy performance in the 79-point loss.

The Hawks’ intensity in the second and third quarters halted the Pies’ early onslaught.

Rovers will need something similar in the final five weeks as they’ve now lost nine of their 13 games by 13 goals or more.

GUNS FIRE

The league’s top three goalkickers grabbed round 13 bags.

Albury’s Doug Strang Medal leader Josh Mellington booted seven against Wodonga, Wangaratta’s Michael Newton grabbed eight against Rovers and Yarrawonga’s Brad O’Connor seven against North Albury.

Albury’s Erish Uthayakumar moved into the top four with six.

His combination of agility and size (188 centimetres) is proving a handful and he’s taken some superb marks.

CROWDS

The fall in crowds has generated plenty of talk in recent years, but two derbies have proved a winner.

Home club Wodonga and Raiders had a strong crowd a fortnight ago, while Wangaratta’s exciting brand and the great rivalry attracted plenty against Rovers.