A CONVERSATION between Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and star forward Darcy Moore has led to the 21-year-old's dramatic turnaround in form in the past month.
Moore revealed to AFL.com.au he had discussed with Buckley the idea of sharing ruck duties with Brodie Grundy about five weeks ago as the Magpies slumped into the bottom four with just two wins in the first seven rounds.
Since moving into the ruck, Moore has become more involved, taking contested marks and kicking goals as the team has averaged 106 points a game to win three of its past four games.
"I said 'It is your call, but if you put me in there I will have a crack'," Moore said.
He has attended 19 centre bounces in the past three rounds moving into the ruck late in quarters but has also taken 12 marks inside 50 in the past three games, just one fewer than he took in that part of the ground in the first eight rounds.
He has also kicked three goals in the past three rounds after kicking just six in the first eight rounds.
Moore said he wasn't sure whether there was a direct correlation in the move and his improved form, but he conceded it was possible.
"It just breaks up the game a little bit for me," Moore said.
"The team has connected a bit better in the last few weeks [also], which has made everyone's job a little bit easier."
Like a horse being schooled over the jumps, the change has given Moore a fresh approach and he is enjoying working alongside Grundy, one of the game's in-form ruckmen.
On Monday, the duo will take on the Demons who have battled hard to cover the loss to injury of their best two ruckmen, Max Gawn and Jake Spencer.
With just 37 games' experience Moore knows he remains in the early stages of his development and he has managed to stay calm as he battled to have the impact he wished to have early in the season.
"One of the things I have learned over three years is there is no real big secret or magic solution," Moore said.
"The AFL is such a tough game and tough industry so you just have to keep it simple and turn up every week with an appetite to work."
He will do that on Queen's Birthday when the two teams his dad, Peter, won Brownlow Medals with clash in front of at least 80,000, fulfilling the mobile ruck-forward role his dad defined in the late '70s and early '80s.