22/04/2024

Andrew Phillips will come in to take on Brodie Grundy on Anzac Day. Photo: Essendon FC

Andrew Phillips has been earmarked by coach Ben Rutten to come into the side as Essendon look to counter the influence of Brodie Grundy in the ruck on Anzac Day.

Andrew Phillips has been earmarked by coach Ben Rutten to come into the side as Essendon look to counter the influence of Brodie Grundy on Anzac Day.

Phillips got the job on Grundy in the corresponding fixture last season to great effect. Essendon came away with a 15-point win on the day, but the star ruckman has been on a tear to start the season and is in formidable form heading into the must-win clash for both sides.

The Pies’ 2018 Best and Fairest kicked two goals on Nic Naitanui last week and had 54 hitouts against the inexperienced duo of Connor Ballenden and Tom Fullarton against the Lions in round three.

Rutten has chosen against pitting Peter Wright against Grundy on Sunday afternoon.

“Flip [Andrew Phillips] did a great job last year or two years ago on Brodie [Grundy], so we’ll probably more than likely bring Flip back in,” Rutten said on Friday.

“I think Peter [Wright] has done a fantastic job for us over the last few weeks in the ruck, but we got Pete here to be a big strong forward for us which he’s done really well.

“Flip’s been in great for, in the VFL and he’s been training really well so he’ll come back in the team.

“We’ll play both of them.”

More Essendon News

The importance of the ANZAC Day game

Kaine Baldwin lands at the Hangar

Hooker’s form not dipping as Bombers crash back down to Earth

With Peter Wright moving back into the forward line, one of Alec Waterman or Harrison Jones will likely make way to maintain a forward balance.

“That is probably the flow on effect of [Andrew Phillips] in the ruck,” Rutten admitted.

“We’ll have a look at that today and finalise the team.”

Collingwood will go into Sunday’s blockbuster undermanned in the backline. Jeremy Howe will miss the next three to four weeks after he suffered a hamstring strain in round five.

All-Australian defender Darcy Moore has been trialed forward, and Rutten agreed when asked if he expected Moore to remain in the Pies’ forward line.

“Yeah look probably,” he said.

“They’ve got a fair few forced changes, going on last week he played forward but we’re well aware that he’s a serious defender as well so we’re preparing for both.

“Where he plays we’re not sure but we understand the calibre of player he is.”

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author

Leave a Reply