20/04/2024

Sam Hayes in action in the SANFL. Picture: portadelaidefc.com.au

It's the conundrum which Port fans will be itching to find out - can both Sam Hayes and Scott Lycett play in the same side?

The two-ruck conundrum is going to be the question on the lips of Port Adelaide fans across the next two weeks.

Port has had multiple ruck tandems over coach Ken Hinkley’s reign; Matthew Lobbe and Paddy Ryder, Ryder and Scott Lycett and last season, Lycett and Ladhams.

Now, the club is set to move into another rucking era – Lycett and reigning SANFL Club Champion Sam Hayes.

If the stats from Port’s 37-point victory over Adelaide on Saturday are anything to by, then it could certainly work.

The hitouts were 37-all between Lycett/Hayes against Reilly O’Brien and Riley Thilthorpe despite both spending less than half the game on the field.

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Lycett also had five clearances and Hayes one of his own, while the youngster also showcased his work around the ground with two intercept marks.

Both GWS recruit Jeremy Finlayson and young forward Todd Marshall also spent time in the ruck against the Crows, while previously Charlie Dixon has also taken the role in previous campaigns.

Hinkley said it’s still up in the air if both Hayes and Lycett go to the Gabba to face Brisbane in Round 1.

“Scott shouldered most of the load and that’s what we expect of Scott, he’ll take the lead responsibility in that role,” he said post-match.

“Whether we got to round one with the one ruck or the two rucks is something we’ll look at across the next couple of weeks.

“I think there’s no doubt Sam Hayes shows he can play AFL football, and it’s quite promising for us.

“We made some decisions in the off-season knowing that we think Sam Hayes is an AFL ruckman, he still has lots to learn.”

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