Agonizing anticipation: The sole focus for Blue following the victory against the Giants.

Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet had a singular focus after the Blues’ significant victory over Greater Western Sydney.

He was eager to finally delve into Taylor Swift’s newly released two-hour album, which had dropped the day before.

“As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I had planned to listen to it, but I hesitated when I heard it was a breakup album. Being happily engaged, I thought, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t listen to it before a game’,” Pittonet shared with AFL.com.au, sporting a grin.

“I’ve decided to save it for [Sunday], so I’m relieved I won’t be listening to it after a loss with all its heartbreak. It would’ve been quite fitting, I would’ve spent four hours in the shower listening to it, and I wouldn’t want to upset my fiancée.

“But that’s my plan for tomorrow, locking myself in a room all day, just immersing myself in it. I doubt I’ll be socializing much; it’ll be a good recovery and a chance to unwind.”

Pittonet’s 2024 season had a delayed start due to an ankle injury, but the Blues have recently deployed two ruckmen, with Tom De Koning as his partner, in the last couple of matches, facing tough opponents like Reilly O’Brien and Kieren Briggs.

“It’s a fantastic challenge. I believe teams aiming for success need to have depth,” Pittonet remarked.

“We see it as an opportunity to make it work. I think we complement each other well and collaborate effectively with the other big men on the field.

“If we can replicate what we did against the Giants and really capitalize on it, it becomes an obvious structural choice. It adds some extra pressure to maintain our performance and ensure consistency throughout.”

De Koning delivered a standout performance, scoring three goals, his highest tally yet, benefiting from Pittonet’s presence in the ruck, which allowed him to act as a third attacking option alongside Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay.

“He was exceptional, wasn’t he? I love it when he plays like that,” Pittonet praised.

“We have a great understanding, constantly working together, whether it’s adjusting based on who’s performing better against which ruckmen – there were moments when he had the upper hand against Briggs, so I stepped in, and he went forward for a while. The same applied to other ruck matchups.

“Even in those marking contests, being able to release him so he can attack the ball, he took some fantastic marks. I believe we elevate each other’s game, and the team benefits from our dominance in the ruck and aerial pressure.”

It remains to be seen whether Carlton will persist with the dual ruck strategy regardless of the opponent or adopt a more tailored approach depending on the opposition. Coach Michael Voss indicated that he wasn’t committed to sticking with two rucks for the remainder of the season.

“Their form speaks volumes,” Voss remarked.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about two rucks – we have a preferred style of play, and certainly, we demonstrated dominance around the ball, particularly from centre bounces. Their performances were certainly impactful.”

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