The more things change, the more they stay the same.
After seven weeks of the 2023 season, the Blues' 202cm serviceman ranks No.1 for his rate of hit-outs to advantage among the league's most relied-upon rucks - a crown he wore in the early rounds of last season as well.
Pittonet managed 42 hit-outs to advantage from his opening 199 ruck contests last year for a rating of 21.11%. While he hasn't managed to surpass that rating so far in 2023, he has held his place at the summit.
Among all 21 ruckmen that have taken part in at least 200 ruck contests so far in 2023, Pittonet is a standout as the most efficient, with 19.38% of his 289 ruck contests going to the advantage of his teammates.
That percentage is 2.67% greater than the next most efficient ruckman in the competition in Hawthorn's Ned Reeves, whose hit-out to advantage rating sits at 16.71%. Reeves also featured among the top five in last year's ratings to start the season at 14.78%.
Having trailed Pittonet in the No.2 spot last year after the opening rounds of the season, North Melbourne veteran Todd Goldstein finds himself still on the podium with a rating of 16.30%, while Fremantle's Sean Darcy (16.03) and Melbourne recruit Brodie Grundy (15.93%) round out the top five.
Pittonet's ruck partner Tom De Koning has struggled to find the same level of efficiency as his more senior teammate, rating at just 10.21% to be 18th out of the 21 ranked ruckmen.
O'Brien has managed to hold up a strong rating (14.31%) despite the heavy workload, while English's numbers are less flattering (12.33%).
Jackson's numbers so far this year are good for 17.09%, ahead of Gawn (16.22%) and Cameron (16.02%), with the new Fremantle star recording 27 hit-outs to advantage from his 158 ruck contests.
2023 AFL ruck efficiency ratings after seven rounds
|Rank||Player||Total Ruck Contests (RC)||Total Hit-Outs||Hit-Out Win %||Hit-Outs to Advantage (HTA)||Hit-Outs to Advantage %||HTA per RC (%)|
|18||Tom De Koning||235||91||38.7||24||26.4||10.21|
|19||Bailey J. Williams||500||175||35||47||26.9||9.40|
Top 21 ruckman ranked for HTA per RC% (min. 200 ruck contests attended)