Groenewegen shoulders the load

IT'S lucky Launceston big man Joe Groenewegen has broad shoulders because the 22-year-old has been carrying the lion's share of work in the ruck for the Blues this season.

 Launceston big man Joe Groenewegen has  been shouldering a heavy load in the ruck this season for the Blues.  Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

Launceston big man Joe Groenewegen has been shouldering a heavy load in the ruck this season for the Blues. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

Groenewegen has played about 70 senior games with the club and was part of the Blues 2011 TSL premiership.

He took a year off from State League last season to play with some schoolmates for NTFA club Hillwood but returned to Windsor Park this season.

With the loss this season of Nathan O'Donoghue and Majak Miar, the responsibility has fallen on Groenewegen to take on the solitary big man role in the ruck and around the ground.

``I got a bit of help last week from Hamish Leedham but it has been pretty solid so far in the ruck,'' he said.

``It's been a bit different because I probably haven't carried that on my own since junior footy where you just run around in the ruck all day.

``It was a shock to the system in the first few weeks and I was pulling up a bit sore but you get used to it and I guess you learn to run smarter.''

With an inexperienced side this season, Groenewegen said it meant not worrying about himself as much.

``I think I'm going OK but there is definite room for improvement.

``From a team point of view it's about not having those lapses when teams kick seven against us and being consistent with the process we're going through.

``It's definitely getting better and pretty exciting I think.''

Taking on another inexperienced side in the winless Tigers today, Groenewegen said he expected a tough contest.

``If we attack it and play our best footy we are a real chance of getting our second win of the year.''

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