Port Adelaide ruckmen Scott Lycett and Paddy Ryder during a break in their training camp in Noosa this week. Picture: Sarah Reed.
Port Adelaide ruckmen Scott Lycett and Paddy Ryder during a break in their training camp in Noosa this week. Picture: Sarah Reed.

Why two big men are better than one for Power

Scott Lycett once thought about Paddy Ryder every day while in rehab, desperate to get another crack at him, but now he couldn't be happier to be playing alongside him.

The 26-year-old played just one game for West Coast in 2017 - against Port Adelaide and Ryder in All-Australian form in Round 16.

"I was coming back from my shoulder (injury), it was Paddy's All-Australian year and he smashed me, I only played that one game for the year and I was out for surgery," Lycett explained while sitting next to Ryder by the pool in Noosa this week.

"I had a fair stint in rehab after that and it wasn't his fault I did my shoulder I just had a lot of complications, but all I remembered in rehab was Paddy smashing me and I thought 'I'm gonna get him back'.

As Lycett tells the story, Ryder is smirking but eventually can't hold his laugh in anymore.

But he wasn't laughing when they did get a return bout in Round 7 this season when Lycett and Nic Naitanui worked him over.

"They towelled me up," Ryder said.

"Nic Nat and Scotty, all I remember was I was fresh for about 30 seconds of the game and then coming up against a couple of big fellas who are pretty smart about the way they go about it. That wasn't a fun day for me."

The next bout wasn't fun for Ryder either. It was in Round 21 when Jeremy McGovern kicked the winning goal for West Coast after the siren.

But Ryder's brush with West Coast when Lycett and Naitanui were in full flight has become the inspiration for what he hopes he and Lycett can do at Port Adelaide next year.

"When it's done right it's really powerful," Ryder said of playing two ruckmen.

"We haven't played any games together but I've already tried to see what the games are going to be like with Scotty, and that releases me a lot to be able to go forward and Charlie (Dixon) who takes on such a huge workload for us.

"Scotty and Nic Nat and (Nathan) Vardy they've done it well, where as for me in the past I've rucked in the same team as other ruckmen and even in my earlier days you've got to be able to work in tandem really well together, it's like you're a team amongst the team.

"You want both rucks to be able to impact the game and compliment each other and I think the mids will enjoy that a lot because sometimes if it isn't working perfectly for me, the opposition mids can still get a hold of our boys but Scotty is hard to beat."

 

Scott Lycett holds up the premiership cup on grand final day at the MCG this year. Picture: Julian Smith (AAP).
Scott Lycett holds up the premiership cup on grand final day at the MCG this year. Picture: Julian Smith (AAP).

Lycett says it was a big decision to leave the Eagles after eight seasons and just weeks after winning the grand final but he is content with it.

"Changing clubs brings a whole different mindset and challenges with your footy," he said.

"I've got no regrets about moving over and everyone at West Coast was really amicable about it.

"Moving teams I want to impress a different group, players, coaches, members, fans, and I grew up playing and supporting Port and I know it's a club hungry for success.

"A lot of the boys have asked me what it's (premiership) like and it's hard to describe, but there are a lot of really good older players here like Paddy and Robbie (Gray), Westy (Westhoff) and Boaky that have had really good careers but probably haven't just topped it off with a flag, and I know how hungry they are so everyone is working very hard to try to achieve that"

Ryder said Lycett's arrival would hopefully extend his career after revealing he finished some games last season with his leg literally dragging on the ground behind him due to injury.

 

Paddy Ryder rests his achilles during the 2018 season. Picture: David Mariuz (AAP).
Paddy Ryder rests his achilles during the 2018 season. Picture: David Mariuz (AAP).

"As you get older I guess you get a good feel of how you're going in the game, and I think I've come to terms with although I might want to be the sole ruckman, that's not the way it's going to be," Ryder, 30, said.

"Early on it was the achilles and then it ended up being a hip flexor, and there were games where my plan was to go out and run until my leg would stop moving, as crazy as it sounds.

"I'd get to the end of some games and the hip flexor just didn't respond and my leg would be dragging, that was when I had to put my hand up to come off."

But he has overcome those niggles to put in a big pre-season which has included three solid days of training in Noosa this week.

Likewise, Lycett is fit and in full training after starting pre-season with the rest of the senior group - two weeks earlier than he would have if he was still at the Eagles.

But he was determined to show his new teammates at Alberton her was serious even if his first fortnight of training was a bit lighter.

"I couldn't imagine not going in there for two weeks and all the boys would be training and then I'd come in, it's not a good look," Lycett said.

"I think the boys respected that I came back early and also respected that I didn't do as much as everyone initially so it was good by everyone."

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