Big Joe ready to ruck and roll against Magpies
ESSENDON coach John Worsfold has forecast the prospect of last year's Anzac Medallist Joe Daniher spending some time in the ruck to help curb the influence of Brodie Grundy in Wednesday's blockbuster clash against Collingwood at the MCG.
Grundy has arguably been the in-form ruckman of the AFL so far this season and while Tom Bellchambers will be his primary opponent, Worsfold expects Daniher to help out at stages.
When asked if the 24-year-old key forward could spend more time in the ruck tomorrow, Worsfold said: "He could do.”
"It is a bit of a workload thing with Joe, we are very conscious as a young key position player he carries a big workload on the forward line, and we are looking after his long-term career by not overworking him through the ruck as well.”
"We are constantly searching for that balance, but Joe in the last couple of weeks has gone into the ruck more than he did in the first couple of rounds.”
Worsfold admitted Daniher - who has kicked only six goals so far this year - was yet to "hit his peak form”, but stressed his four games haven't been "poor”.
"I think Joe knows if he keeps working at it, his best footy will come,” Worsfold said yesterday.
"It comes if you keep working; it doesn't come because everyone is telling him he should be playing better.”
Worsfold also suggested Steele Sidebottom and Zach Merrett could go head-to-head in the midfield, while saying Collingwood's forward line set-up could allow the Bombers some flexibility of their own in how they could use tall swingman Cale Hooker today.
Hooker has played forward for much of the past year, but returned to defence last week in the Bombers' success over Port Adelaide.
"We are still weighing up exactly where he will start in the game,” Worsfold said of Hooker.
"Zach Merrett and Steele Sidebottom might tag each other, that would be a first, wouldn't it?” he said with a smile.