Coaches' survey: Who is the best ruck in AFLW?

MELBOURNE'S Lauren Pearce has been voted as the best ruck in the League in an anonymous womens.afl coaches' survey.

Pearce finished runner-up in Melbourne's best and fairest after the 2019 season and followed that up by taking out the Lambert-Pearce Medal as the best player in the VFLW.

Six coaches voted for the All Australian Demon, while three voted for Adelaide's Jess Foley, the player Pearce has named as the opponent who gives her the most trouble in the ruck.

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"I don't know if she's underrated, I just think she (Foley) should have made the team of the year over me," Pearce said. 

Foley (pictured below) was the only other player to receive multiple votes from the coaches.

Melbourne coach Mick Stinear has previously labelled Pearce as an extra midfielder for the Demons, with one coach taking a similar approach to their choice for best ruck.

"I love Erin McKinnon. Lauren Pearce is good, but I think she's actually a tall midfielder. If you're concentrating on winning the tap-outs to a certain zone, Erin McKinnon is your go-to," the coach said.

PLAYERS' SURVEY Who is the best ruck in AFLW?

It was clear each coach had different ideas of what the best rucks should do, with Carlton's Alison Downie also receiving some praise.

"This one might be a little bit different, but I thought Alison Downie was amazing last year, the difference she made to the Carlton team with her athleticism when she went into the ruck, she was the most influential for mine," a different coach said.

Voting results
6 – Lauren Pearce (Melbourne)
3 – Jess Foley (Adelaide)
1 – Jess Allan (GWS), Alison Downie (Carlton), Gemma Houghton (Fremantle), Mim Strom (Fremantle), Erin McKinnon (GWS)

This is part of a series which saw each AFLW senior coach surveyed anonymously about who they regard as the best in the competition. Check back to womens.afl as more answers are revealed in the coming days.

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