Former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon believes we may be in a “golden era” of ruckmen.
After three rounds of the season, Lyon has been impressed with the work of a number of the big men.
“There’s Gawn, there’s Grundy from Friday night, there’s Naitanui yesterday, Stef Martin got a 10 out of 10 from one of the pundits for his performance, McEvoy last week against Geelong,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
“This is the era, they’re back the big men.
“It might be a golden era for the ruckmen.
“They’re not bludgeoning around the back half like they used to the big fellas.”
Nic Naitanui’s performance in West Coast’s win over Geelong yesterday was especially impressive, despite only playing 56 per cent of game-time.
“Naitanui’s influence on that result yesterday was extraordinary.”
“When he was on the ground, it was a completely different game to when he was off it.”
Despite that, the former centre half forward would still take Max Gawn over Naitanui at this stage.
“Right now I’d take Max, but if Nic Naitanui gets through 10 weeks unscathed and gets back to 80 per cent game time it might be a different story,” Lyon said.
Former Essendon captain Tim Watson threw in Stefan Martin as another elite ruckman who doesn’t get enough credit.
“He has enormous influence on games, he gets a lot of the ball so he’s a little different to say Nic Naitanui’s influence,” Watson said.
Originally published on SEN.com.au