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‘Hammer’ nails it for Tigers

Shaun Hampson of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL round 02 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the MCG, Melbourne on March 27, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Shaun Hampson of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL round 02 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the MCG, Melbourne on March 27, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Richmond’s mature-age ruck recruit, Shaun Hampson, was something of an unsung hero in last Thursday night’s victory over Carlton at the MCG.

Hampson’s ability to consistently jump high at the centre bounces, and successfully compete with Carlton’s No. 1 ruckman, Robert Warnock, played an important role in the Tigers’ success.

The big ex-Blue directed 42% of his total hit-outs throughout the match to the team’s advantage, compared to Warnock’s 33% to advantage.

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The 201cm, 26-year-old, is proving to be an extremely valuable acquisition for Richmond, particularly given the fact that the Club’s main ruckman Ivan Maric is out injured at the moment.

Another Tiger mature-age recruit – tough, inside midfielder, Matt Thomas – has praised the efforts of Hampson.

“He’s a monster of a man,” Thomas said.

“I always watched him from afar, being a Port Adelaide player, and he’d taken on some games that we played against them quite well.  Training with him this year, I think he’s taken it to the next level.

“The work he does in the ruck is really instrumental in us ‘mids’ getting our hands on the ball early, and he can also take a ‘catch’.

“It’ll be nice to have blokes like Ivan coming back, who can help him out, just so he doesn’t have the huge workload that he’s had so far.  But he’s been terrific in there.”