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1:32pm  Nov 23, 2017

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Witts shining as a SUN

Sam Brodie  May 19, 2017 11:53 AM

AFL 2017 Round 04 - Carlton v Gold Coast

At the start of the 2017 premiership season there was a level of uncertainty at the Gold Coast SUNS surrounding who would be the premier ruckman.

Following a solid pre-season and some great performances in the JLT Series, it was soon evident Jarrod Witts would be the man to lead the ruck stocks to commence the season proper.

With an average of 34.5 hit outs a game and 276 in total for the year (currently the sixth most in the AFL), the former Magpie has come up against and matched it with some of the best ruckman in the league.

READ: First year player check-in

Playing against the likes of Shane Mumford, Todd Goldstein and Stefan Martin, Witts has competed and continued to give the Gold Coast midfielders first use of the ball whilst striving to improve and develop his own game around the ground.

Although hit-outs are the most analysed statistic for ruckman, it has been impressive to see Witts average three clearances and three and a half tackles a game, showing his capability at ground level and desire to make an impact after the ruck contest.

This was evident from the onset of the season, where Witts registered nine tackles in the first round clash with Brisbane, the second most on the ground, a stat not often seen from a ruckman.

READ: Milestone forecaster

Witts continued to build on his form including an encouraging display against North Melbourne superstar Todd Goldstein where he managed 34 hit outs (four more than Goldstein) together with four tackles in a disappointing night for the SUNS.

In Gold Coast’s round seven victory over Geelong, Witts put in a dominant performance where he accumulated 18 possessions around the ground including five marks, four clearances and four tackles on top of a huge 43 hit outs.

The 24-year-old will reach his 50 game milestone shortly after the Bye and undoubtedly continue to build on the form shown already in 2017.