Senior coach Ross Lyon has backed Sean Darcy to stand up to the test of Port Adelaide’s dual ruckmen in Saturday’s clash with the Power at Optus Stadium.
Lyon confirmed that the 21-year-old was set to return from injury and take on Port Adelaide duo Scott Lycett and Paddy Ryder.
Selecting Darcy to return as a replacement for the injured Rory Lobb was a ‘no brainer’, according to Lyon, who ruled out picking another specialist ruck to line up alongside Darcy.
“There was a little bit (of talk about picking two ruckmen) but we like the mobility of the team,” Lyon said.
“(Selecting two rucks) might have been tempting if Rory was available as well as Sean, as that’s something we liked at certain periods earlier in the year but we went away from.
“We see our reality is that Sean has a big tank, he’s powerful. He’s more than held his own against some really strong ruckmen, particularly (Brodie) Grundy in the last game of the year in 2018.
“We’re really confident he can stand up, he’s a real workhorse and we look forward to the challenge.”
Ryder and Lycett were dominant in Port’s resounding 70-point win against St Kilda in round 11 in Shanghai, helping the Power win the hitouts 52 to 27.
Lyon said there was no easy week for anyone in the league.
“That’s the nature of the AFL, there are great players every week,” Lyon said.
“You’re not playing mugs every second or third week, every week is a really big challenge and that’s the test of AFL football, having that ability to come up week after week - that’s how you earn your reputation and become a good player.
“Talk is cheap and we’ve got to get it done against a quality outfit.”
Lyon said that he expects to see veteran Aaron Sandilands fit to return later in the season and that he was pleased with the development of Scott Jones and Lloyd Meek at Peel.
“(Sandilands could return in) round 18 or 19, he’s getting good volumes in now,” Lyon said.
“He’s starting to get along with it, he’s more bubbly, his mood is good and we saw him in there this morning. He’s moving along quite well.
“Scott Jones competes really well and is working on his game and Lloyd Meek is a young ruckman…I think he and Sean were in Vic Country together, where Lloyd started and Sean was on the bench. Lloyd is coming on.”
Saturday’s clash will be a Kids Day Out at Optus Stadium. When you purchase one level five Adult GA ticket through Ticketmaster you can get up to four free junior tickets.