Adelaide Crows ruckman Reilly O’Brien on West Coast rivalry and that phone ahead of Nic Naitanui’s 200th game
Adelaide ruckman Reilly O’Brien has detailed why he rates West Coast superstar Nic Naitanui as the toughest opponent he’s faced in his 53-game AFL career.
O’Brien and Naitanui will renew their highly-publicised rivalry at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, a little over a year since the infamous phone incident.
O’Brien’s mobile melted down in the lead-up to the Crows’ clash against West Coast last year on the Gold Coast, resulting in an inadvertent tweet that revealed some of the his notes for trying to exploit the ruck match-up.
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It included describing Naitanui as “lazy and unfit” - a claim Naitanui appeared to take notice of when he booted the Eagles’ first goal from a stoppage and pointed in O’Brien’s direction.
West Coast easily won the match and Naitanui dominated in the ruck before handing O’Brien a new phone in a comical post-match moment.
The Amazon docu-series Marking Their Mark showed just how furious Naitanui, who plays his 200th game this weekend, was about O’Brien’s analysis.
“I can’t wait to bash this kid on Saturday, I’m sorry to say that,” Naitanui said.
“He’ll get his, he’ll get his.
“I love that stuff hey, it just makes it. It makes footy fun, I told you the little things that make footy fun.”
The pair will go head-to-head again at Adelaide Oval on Sunday as the Eagles look to snap a three-game losing run and get their stuttering season back on track.
“He’s probably the most unique ruckman in the league,” O’Brien told SEN WA.
“In terms of the actual ruck work, he’s definitely the toughest test in the league, I find.
“He’s just so dynamic and his ability in the centre bounce to really, not just get on top of you in the hit-outs and win the hit-outs, but actually be damaging with them and connect with his midfielders.
“In my opinion, he’s definitely the top in the league at that.”
As for what happened to the phone?
“I actually bought a phone by the end of the night, so I was very thankful for it but I ended up giving it away,” O’Brien said.
“I’ll keep tight-lipped this time, I probably gave enough of a message to him last year.”
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