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My Indispensable

By Peter Ryan - AFL Media  February 9, 2016 10:06 AM

The numbers say Shane Mumford is nothing short of indispensable to the GIANTS.

The numbers say Shane Mumford is nothing short of indispensable to the GIANTS.

The GIANTS can't afford to lose Shane Mumford if they want to play finals in 2016.

Statistically, he is the individual with the biggest influence on his team's fortunes.

The GIANTS’ winning record with Mumford is 46 per cent and 25 per cent without the less-than gentle GIANT in the team.

Last season his importance was highlighted when the GIANTS sat fifth after 11 rounds with seven wins.

Then they lost 'Mummy' to an ankle injury and finished the season 11th with 11 wins.

Mumford isn't that accustomed to losing. The premiership ruckman is at 82-44 over 128 games.

But deeper analysis underlines GWS' reliance on the 29-year-old.

In their 2016 prospectus, Champion Data revealed the GIANTS were far more successful at centre bounces that Mumford attended.

When he played in 2015, the GIANTS had a +25 clearance differential, but when he was missing they recorded a minus 63 differential.

GWS' alternative rucking options all recorded centre bounce clearance differentials of minus 10 or worse.

That's why Geelong's Dawson Simpson was added to the GIANTS’ list.

However Simpson will need to become more durable than he was in six seasons and 28 games with the Cats to provide cover.

Champion Data statistics show the GIANTS are always right in the hunt when they get close in contested possessions.

They won 10 of their 12 games when they stayed within minus 11 for contested possession differential.

However in seven losses, they lost the contested possession count by 18 or more.

Mumford is a vital factor in improving that count, with his presence lifting the team's competitiveness.

When he played in 2015, the GIANTS lost the contested possession differential by just 0.4 per game, and when he didn't make it on the park, that number dropped to negative 10.

Thankfully for the GIANTS, Mumford's ankle has recovered well and he is back in full training now.

But if the GIANTS’ talented on-ballers are to give their exciting forwards an opportunity this season, Mummy must be preserved.