Now ladies, I am sure you’re familiar with the Big O, so you can scroll down a paragraph or so. Fellas, I know that to some of you, the Big O does not exist – you’ve never encountered one in the wild, right? Are they just something made up? Could it be that these fictional events and/or people have been conjured just to lower your self-esteem? Well, no… I am sorry, you’ve been misinformed, and I am sorry for your lack of… errrrrr, ability.
The Big O is alive and well, and he is residing right in Brisbane. He is also our reigning Mongrel Punt Ruckman Champion.
After the cruel mistress known as injury saw Darcy Cameron forced to relinquish the Mongrel Ruckman Championship, the hyenas began to circle, eager to sink their teeth into the coveted prize.
It was the Big O that emerged victorious, securing his first-ever Mongrel Punt Ruckman Championship back in Round Four. Since then, Oscar McInerney has been on a tear, defending the title like his life depended on it.
This weekend, he comes up against a Carlton unit possessing Marc Pittonet and possibly Tom De Koning, both looking to take the big man down and claim their first run with the belt.
Can the Big O make it four defences on the trot, or is he simply keeping this belt warm for someone else to snatch it away?
Commencing at the beginning of 2017, we tracked those who have reigned as the champion ruckman of the AFL. They are all listed below with each defence detailed.
So, how does it work?
Great question… I’m glad I asked.
After a champion was established – best ruck in the 2016 Grand Final – that player goes on to defend the title each week against the best ruckman from his team’s designated opponent. As an example, Tom Boyd, thrown into the ruck in the 2016 Grand Final, became the first-ever champion. His first defence in 2017 came against Collingwood, which means we had Boyd v Brodie Grundy as the match up to decide the title in Round One.
But how do you decide who wins? Well, that’s quite simple – the player on the team that wins has a huge advantage. In order to win the title, you not only have to outperform the champion, but your team also has to win.
In addition, it must be a clear win in the one-on-one clash. If Boyd collects 15 touches and 20 hitouts in a loss and Grundy has similar stats in a win, that’s simply not good enough in my book. The benefit of the doubt always goes to the reigning champ. The win must be a decisive one for the title to change hands. As such, the champion can retain the belt despite his team being trounced IF he performs well in his personal battle.
Of course you do – you’re not silly, right? But just in case you are, here are some bullet-point rules.
– To win the title, your team must win
– You cannot lose the title if your team wins, irrespective of how poorly you play.
– One-on-one wins must be resounding. If there is any doubt, the champion retains.
– The title must be defended every week except for byes. That means if a player is injured… bad luck. If a player is suspended… bad luck, again. If a player holds the title and his team does not make finals… well, that’s when I step in as an evil Vince McMahon-like character (only paying much less for sex) and strip the belt, putting it on the line for someone else to win.
– In the result of injury or suspension, the title will be decided in the game the injured/suspended player would have played.
– In the result of a team not playing finals, the title goes to the best performer on a winning team of the next week of finals, regardless of the game (so in week one of the finals, any ruck from four teams could win it should the champ at the end of the home and away season not make finals.)
So there we go. Below is the game-by-game, defence-by-defence records of the Mongrel Ruck Title Belt, with the focus initially on the most recent season before we jump back to where it all began in 2017.
Below are the title history and records for the Mongrel Ruckman Title from 2017 onwards. It is members-only content and will remain so. Want to join us and be part of it as the history of the Mongrel Ruck Title grows?