Luke ‘Car Keys’ Delaney made an impressive debut on Saturday night, holding his own against competition heavyweight, Jonathon Brown. Has Keys’ emergence reshaped the future of North’s backline?
We shouldn’t get too over the top – Brown was an imposing forward presence all night and clearly lifted his team. But you couldn’t question the contest Car Keys provided. I have no doubt that North fans are now salivating at the prospect of having their first real full-back since the Mick Martyn era. At 21 years, there’s clearly plenty of upside left in this monstrous kid.
And he does create options. The likes of Firrito and Thompson have been forced to line-up on much bigger opponents for too long. They’re not up to it. While Grima has become a seasoned key backman in little more than a season, he’s more suited to the second tall forward. Delaney’s potential emergence changes that, freeing up the likes of Firrito and Thompson to take the third tall and create play off half-back.
It also raises a few more prickly questions: Is there room in the backline for McMahon, Pratt and Rawlings? Should Tarrant be groomed as a key forward? And will Richardson ever break his way back into the team? Interesting times.
In the meantime, my money is on Delaney cementing his spot as North’s new backline enforcer.