Key Battle: La Rocca v Cornthwaite

Two defensive generals go head to head at AAMI Park on Sunday looking to keep their sheets clean in an encounter that normally equates to goals. We look at the numbers between Iacopo La Rocca and Robbie Cornthwaite.

Both players have played every minute of every match this season with the most senior members of the defensive line adding much needed experience to both sides.

Their defensive roles in each side differs and that shows numbers so far this season with Cornthwaite taking a more passive role compared to La Rocca’s ‘hand-on’ role. The Italian’s defensive numbers outweigh his counterpart in tackles won (5-2), tackle success rate (83.3%-50%), clearances (35-29) and interceptions (15-5), with Cornthwaite only leading on shots blocked (2-5).

The duo can’t be separated in terms of distribution and it’s only the ‘fouls conceded’ where there is a big disparity between the defenders with the City defender conceding two while the Wanderers captain has conceded eight.

With the Wanderers seeing change in the coaching ranks this week, Cornthwaite may have to see himself in a different role for this week as Josep Gombau implements his style to the visitors.

Cornthwaite has played a ‘general’s role’ in defence, leading his chargers with the armband and playing a last-ditch role while La Rocca has been at the cold-face, playing toe-to-toe with the service in the front third.

Both players will have an important role on Sunday, having their hands full with Oriol Reira and Ross McCormack respectively, and it will be an interesting encounter to see how they deal with the challenge.

City face the Wanderers on Sunday at AAMI Park, kick-off 7pm. Our women’s side take on Newcastle at 4.30pm in our second consecutive double header. Click here to get your tickets for the match.

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