The 2024 20/20 Ruck Club

At the commencement of the 2024 AFL season, there was a lot of talk about whether Brodie Grundy would be able to replicate the type of form that carried him to back-to-back All-Australian ruck selections.

He answered his doubters in Round Zero, taking on former teammate Max Gawn and emerging with the win. In that game, Grundy notched the 60th game of his career where he had 20+ disposals and 20+ hit outs in the same contest, drawing level with the great Gary Dempsey in second place, all-time.

Over the early stages of the 2024 season, Grundy has compiled two additional 20/20 games, and that number has been matched by Gawn, Rowan Marshall, and Luke Jackson, who had just two to his name prior to this year.

Why keep this stat?

Well, like all stats I keep, it interests me, but given the influence a mobile ruck can have on the contest, and are still having on the game.

One only has to look back at the current overall leader, Dean Cox, and the way he redefined the position to see just how his combination of ruck craft and ball winning abilities, placed him head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Being a brilliant tap ruck is one thing. Being a brilliant tap ruck with the ability to win your own footy all over the ground… that is a godsend to teams.

And so, to cease my yammering, here are the 20/20 rucks of the 2024 season after Round Five, and the overall all-time leaders in this stat category.




MAX GAWN (R1, R3, R5)









Interestingly, in his All-Australian 2023 season, English had 12 20/20 games. Slow start for the big Bulldog in 2024.




Dean Cox – 65 (3)

Brodie Grundy – 62 (3)

Gary Dempsey – 60 (2) ***

Stefan Martin – 48 (1)

Max Gawn – 36 (1)

Len Thompson – 33

Peter Moore – 33

Jeff White – 29

Todd Goldstein – 28

Aaron Sandilands – 27 (1)

Rowan Marshall – 25 (1)

Sam Jacobs – 21

Mark Lee – 21

Matt Rendell – 20

Tim English – 20

Jim Stynes – 18

Barry Round – 18

Toby Nankervis – 17

Sam Newman – 15

Polly Farmer – 14* (3)

Peter Everitt – 14

John Nicholls – 13**

Don Scott – 12

Scott Lycett – 12

Shaun Rehn – 12 (1)

Steven King – 11 (1)

Nic Naitanui – 10

Justin Madden – 10

Paul Salmon – 9 (1)

Brad Ottens – 9

Simon Madden – 8

Brendon Lade – 8

Reilly O’Brien – 8

Scott Wynd – 7

Jarrod Witts – 7

Tom Hickey – 7

Mark Blicavs – 7

Matthew Kreuzer – 6

Sean Darcy – 6

Rhys Stanley – 5

Luke Jackson – 5

Ben McEvoy – 4

Paddy Ryder – 4

Will Minson – 4

Shane Mumford – 3

Darren Jolly – 3

Kieren Briggs – 3

Mark Jamar – 2

Oscar McInerney – 2

Tristan Xerri – 2

Darcy Cameron – 2


Righto, HB… what do those brackets mean?

Great question – glad I asked.

They’re games where the player has notched a 30/30 game. Not bad, huh? There are not that many of them – it’s like the Holy Grail for ruckmen. I didn’t expect Steven King to get his head in that mix with one of those games, but maybe I underrated him – where does he get the time after writing all those books and arguing with people on Twitter?

*Only the final two seasons of Polly Farmer’s career had hit outs officially recorded. Ripped off… I wonder how many he would have achieved 20/20 games had he had full stats over the course of his career? He has the equal highest number of 30/30 games, with three of those games recorded in those last two seasons. Incredible…

**Similar to Polly, John Nicholls would have been much higher had hit out stats been recorded earlier. The first nine seasons of his career had no hit outs recorded, but in the first year they were, he had seven 20/20 games.

*** There is a large chance that Gary Dempsey may, in fact, be the number one-ranked player in this stat, all-time. There is a period of 32 games where, inexplicably, hit out stats were not recorded over 1974-75. In that period, Dempsey had 20+ disposals on seven occasions. I reckon at least a few of those would be coupled with 20+ hit outs, as well, but unless someone comes to the party with the lost stats, we may never know.

Interestingly, Jim Stynes never had over 26 hit outs in a game during his career.

And to finish off, isn’t it great to now have the number one and two men at the same club, with Grundy now operating under the tutelage of Cox at Sydney?

No one better to give you tips on the art of ruckwork than Cox, How many games until Grundy takes over at number one? I still love Gary Dempsey – I have such fond memories of watching him as a little kid.


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