HE doesn’t have a premiership, Norm Smith Medal or Australian Football Hall of Fame membership to his name.
But Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown believes Tom Scully may be the greatest two-way runner the game has ever seen — even better than triple premiership teammates Shaun Hart and Nigel Lappin.
The GWS midfielder is gifted with lightning speed and one of the best tanks in the modern game.
But the former No. 1 draft pick’s lucrative defection from Melbourne has often clouded the conversations that surround his on-field performances.
This was particularly the case when Scully arrived at the Giants, and both he and the club were still finding their feet in the AFL.
Yet Brown says there’s no arguing with Scully’s standing in the game any more, even if it’s at the expense of his two highly decorated Brisbane teammates.
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“I played with a couple of great two-way runners,” Brown told Fox Footy’s On The Couch.
“The great Shaun Hart and especially Nigel Lappin, who was unbelievable. I’m prepared to put in on record: I think Tom Scully is the best two-way runner I’ve seen.
“His running ability — both ways — is second to none. I know we’ve had some great endurance midfielders who’ve chased the ball really hard, but Scully is unbelievable.”
Scully is averaging 25 possessions per match in 2017 — and kicking at an 85 per cent efficiency, which Champion Data rates as ‘elite’. In other words, Scully is in the top ten per cent of midfielders for his efficiency via foot.
He averages 410 metres gained, which puts him in Champion Data’s ‘above average’ category, or the top 11-45 per cent of his statistical category.
But is also rated ‘elite’ for his average score involvements (8.5) and score assists (1.5) per match. Scully not only wins his own ball, but generates goals for his teammates.
Against Port Adelaide on the weekend, these attributes were all on display.
Scully racked up 32 touches at an outstanding 90.6 per cent efficiency rate, as well as recording six inside 50s — the most of any player on the ground.
The Giants head into this weekend’s Sydney derby as the overwhelming favourites, after three consecutive wins.
While their opponents in the Swans have a number of stars teetering on the edge of return, GWS also have a plethora of top-end talent sidelined.
Brett Deledio (calf), Ryan Griffen (ankle), Lachie Whitfield (suspension), Stephen Coniglio (ankle) and Steve Johnson (knee) all watched the club’s 31-point win against Port from the sidelines.
While Brown suggested Johnson was an automatic inclusion, he was less bullish on whether fellow veteran Griffen would warrant selection when fit.
“The one thing I will say with the older players are important to have a bit of leadership out there,” Brown said.
“You’ve got to be careful with the Giants getting too young. They got flustered in the prelim final last year with a few bad decisions.
“I think Johnson definitely is a lock. And I would have Deledio in the best team as well.”
Originally published as Brown’s incredible endorsement of Giant Scully
SOURCE: newsnow sport