Nic Naitanui
Turns up pressure
RWest Coast Eagles
June 13, 2021
Naitanui scored one goal and one behind to go with 20 disposals (nine kicks, 11 handballs) in addition to making 31 hitouts during Sunday's 85-81 win over Richmond in Round 13.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui and Fremantle's Sean Darcy were two stars of the weekend while other high-profile ruckmen were on bye or out injured. Now that he's finally starting to surpass 100 points, which he's done in two of the last three games, Naitanui should earn more attention as he matches his usually dominant positional performance with increased possession numbers.
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Another quality performance
RWest Coast Eagles
May 29, 2021
Naitanui logged 20 disposals (11 kicks, nine handballs), made six tackles, and recorded 40 hitouts during Saturday's 87-71 loss to Essendon in Round 11.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui scored over 100 fantasy points for the first time all season as he reached 40 hitouts for just the third time. As long as his positional matchup at ruck pits him against a lesser opponent, there's no reason not to consider Naitanui every time he steps onto the field.
Leads Eagles in loss
RWest Coast Eagles
May 23, 2021
Naitanui scored one behind to go with 15 disposals (six kicks, nine handballs), six tackles made and 34 hitouts from Sunday's 93-77 loss to Greater Western Sydney.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui led his team in fantasy points in a game where his team struggled to win many contested possessions for one of the few occasions this season. He's scored at least 86 points and no more than 96 in three of the last four rounds, so Naitanui is still consistently reliable though he won't be as valuable as rucks who get more touches each week.
36 hitouts, 14 disposals in loss
RWest Coast Eagles
April 11, 2021
Naitanui stacked up 36 hitouts, 14 disposals, seven clearances and three tackles Saturday as West Coast fell to St. Kilda 102-82 at Marvel Stadium.
ANALYSIS
A game-high 26 hitouts in Saturday's loss lifts Naitanui to the fourth-best mark for total hitouts (124) and hitouts per game (31) in the AFL. While a season-average stat line highlighted by 13.0 disposals, 2.8 tackles and 1.2 a game doesn't exactly jump off the paper, the 30 year-old's preponderance of hitouts and clearances (11th in the league with 7.0 per showing) on the year leave him ranked among the top 12 most-productive rucks in the league.
Dominates in heartbreaking loss
RWest Coast Eagles
October 3, 2020
Naitanui tallied 17 disposals (11 kicks, six handballs), three tackles, two marks and one behind in Saturday's 76-75 loss to Collingwood.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui confirmed his status as the best ruckman in the league with another dominant performance Saturday. He finished with 24 hitouts to go with seven clearances and six score involvements. After a few seasons littered with injury, this has been a statement season for the big man, capped off by his selection to the All-Australian team.
Makes impact in win
RWest Coast Eagles
September 10, 2020
Naitanui made 33 hitouts to go with nine clearances and 18 disposals (12 kicks, six handballs) from Thursday's 65-50 win over Saint Kilda.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui got the better of both Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall to put up one of his more productive performances of the season. When his team needed it most, key players stepped up for the Eagles like Naitanui to secure their place in the finals despite a host of injuries to key players. With the injury crisis still around, Naitanui will need to stay sharp heading into the finals.