AFL Rd 3 - Collingwood v St Kilda
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Rowan Marshall of the Saints and Brodie Grundy of the Magpies compete in the ruck during the round 3 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Essendon legend Tim Watson thinks star Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy needs to work on his connectivity with his midfield after the Pies’ 15-point loss to Essendon on Friday night.

Grundy had a typically strong performance in the ruck with 28 more hitouts than the Bombers, but Essendon gained 10 more clearances than Collingwood’s 28 and scored 45 of their 63 points from stoppages.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Watson said Grundy needs to work better with his midfield so they can capitalize on his ruck dominance.

“If he’s not getting hits to advantage and they’re not winning the stoppages, then there’s two problems: It might be him or the other problem might be the connection that he has, and the midfielders aren’t connecting properly with him,” Watson said.

“The other part of his ruck work is his around the ground play which I don’t think he has a peer in the competition in that area.

“Why is it that you’ve got a great ruckman that wins control of the ball in the air but then you can’t take advantage of that?

“That’s their number one thing Collingwood, they like to be the number one clearance ball movement side around congestion and they’re just not doing that at the moment.”

2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney was in agreement with Watson in that Grundy needs to find a teammate more regularly.

“Brodie Grundy should be hitting more often than not to the advantage of his teammates,” Cooney said.

“It happens too often that Brodie Grundy is getting a nice clean hit-out and it doesn’t go to advantage, so that is a real issue.”

Grundy is currently second in the AFL in hitouts to advantage, only behind North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein.