Preview 2022 Round 11 - Brisbane Lions v GWS Giants, Saturday 28 May, 1:45 PM @ the Gabba

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dlanod

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Intro (aka headers to break up a wall of text because I know most of you can't read)

Ah, it's time for the one game each year (two this year! I must remember to save this somewhere) where the two teams I watch week in and out battle for the remnants of my dark and twisted heart.

I say battle, but historically it's been a matchup of streaks - Brisbane winning the first two then GWS surprising people with a big win, culminating in a 6-0 win streak before Brisbane upset them in return and are currently on a 3-0 (regular season) win streak. Every (regular season) game has been decided by over three goals, so it's not like there were particularly close games in there. Usually our games have been decided by half time (3/4 time in the case of 2014 being the exception - again, regular season only). It's just a shame we've never met in a final to see if these trends hold... oh well...

Form (aka WHAT BRISBANE LOST TO HAWTHORN???)

This year looked to continue Brisbane's streak until last week put a frisson of doubt into people's minds. No, I'm not talking about GWS's win over the West Coast Traffic Cones (more on that latter), but the Hawks exposing Brisbane's potential weaknesses.

A big caveat first up: Brisbane's potential weaknesses were exposed and exploited, the umpires were ******* awful, the Lions played a team of duckers, and they lost by less than a goal. At most only one of those will be true this week, because GWS has about as much luck with umpires as the Lions most weeks, and only Toby is known for his ducking acumen.

Doubts aside - on paper this should be an easy victory for Brisbane. Yes, there was last week but GWS so far has still only shown up when playing the bottom of the barrel teams. The measuring stick I've used is "does the team only have a single midfielder?" Gold Coast got shut down with Miller. Adelaide had Keays, but his efforts was overpowered. West Coast technically had Shuey come back in to join Kelly but both have done bugger all this year, and Kelly since joining the Eagles in general.

Midfield (aka Neale vs Green)

GWS has used their midfield dominance to strong effect in each of those. That should not be expected against Brisbane. When you combine a Brownlow medallist, an AA squad mid (should've been selected), and some solid and differentiated third, fourth and fifth options it bats as deep and in a lot more interesting fashion than seventeen inside mids that turn the ball over by foot. Funnily enough Brisbane has had few real complete and dominant midfield displays this year despite that, but they will need to be switched on for at least a majority of this one - and possibly roving Preuss's taps if he returns, as he's been fantastic this year.

Forward and back (aka the bits of the field with the sticks)

The Giants have a solid-ish backline, though its tendancy towards height and that height's tendancy towards flying for everything can be exploited with smart play (unlike what Brisbane demonstrated against the Hawks), and their forward line lives and dies with Hogan - he gives space for Greene to weave his magic, and anyone else is complementary (Himmelberg if he lines up there, Riccardi) or a space hog (Sproule, Brander, Hill) at best. Plus he can mark and kick a few himself. Play Hogan man to man well, and it's not as hard as it used to be as his injuries have sapped him of some of his lower body power, and you can cut down on a lot of danger. Some people argue for Gardiner getting dropped but Toby is the prime reason for his flexibility getting the nod each week - Payne, Adams, or Andrews would be ripe for exposure with his agility on top of his ability in the air, but only Starcevich could match him for power and Gardiner's defensive nous is still better than Starcevich's.

Brisbane's forward line has been piecemeal the last couple of weeks but if the rumour of McStay returning is true, that's a massive in. Hipwood becomes a second option rather than the target and it greatly increases contested marking and more importantly not being outmarked, opening up spilled ball options for McCarthy, Cameron and Zorko (when forward). Taylor has regressed a bit on the Giants side but is still incredibly reliable, and him matching up on Hipwood would be a mismatch at this point. If Haynes is still out, it's a massive blow given Sicily's disgusting game against the Lions demonstrated sometimes the team aren't the smartest going into the forward 50.

Vale Leon

The elephant in the room is the Giants' change in coach. Given McVeigh has been there for most of Cameron's stay, I don't think much is going to change - maybe shuffling some spots like we saw last week (Cogs back into the middle for example), but I'm most curious to see if GWS is still as mentally fragile as they have been this year - get up by a handful of goals and they may fight back, but will run out of legs before getting it done.

In conclusion (aka the end)

Overall I'm still going to double down on a fairly comfortable Brisbane win come the fourth quarter because I haven't seen GWS take it up to a competitor past 3/4 time. They were within a goal at that stage before collapsing against Sydney, Fremantle, and Carlton. This might be the game, under a new coach, with slightly rearranged deckchairs, but we'll have to wait and see.

<spoiler>
Note: in the interests of helping out mods on both boards, this preview is going up on both boards and so is deliberately written with limited use of we and our. Both of you boards know how this works by now and if you're new here, well I'm not - don't be precious. :p
</spoiler>
 

Maximus 2011

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Solid preview. I actually think it will be more of a Coniglio v Neale battle in the midfield. Cogs to play his more defensive role in the midfield like he used to back in 2018/2019 but also win the ball. It is his best position and saves us having to deploy a tagger in the midfield.
Green v Lyons in the inside midfield battle.
I think McCluggage will be an out this week with 'hamstring awareness' which is a big loss for the Lions as he barely misses a game and is probably in their top 3 most important players. No doubt Mitch Robinson will take his place on his wing.

The big difference I see in this game is Brisbane's small forward goal kicking power and wondering if we have the players to be able to counteract this. Idun, Ash?, Kennedy all players that will no doubt have big roles to play.

Hawthorn were able to apply huge amounts of pressure to Brisbane's backline and hold the ball in their forward line and be able to draw free kicks and kick goals that way. Unfortunately again the Giants are on par with Essendon in holding the ball in their forward line and are probably the worst in the league in drawing free kicks for goal so that shouldn't be an issue for the Lions this week.

The forecast is for no rain and with the game being Saturday at 1:40pm there should be no dew and hence a dry ball will be a welcome sight for the Giants and is maybe an area they can expose the Lions in up forward with Hogan and Riccardi both capable in the air and TFG due for a big big game! Also might mean that the Giants go in with 2 ruckman in Preuss and Flynn to further expose Brisbane in the aerial contests. This is where Peatling, Hill & Bruhn as small forwards could have a field day if they are able to rove contests in our forward line.

My prediction is the Giants will be right in it at 3 qtr time with the Lions kicking something like 5 goals to 1 in the last for the Lions to have a 30 point win.
 

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Giant Strides

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Here's how Foxsports sees the potential changes: Eagles’ key returns loom; Pies tall’s sigh of relief, Saints gun cops yet another setback: AFL Team Tips

Team Tips: Chris Fagan’s side is set to be boosted by the return of Marcus Adams to its defence after missing last week week’s shock loss to Hawthorn due to health and safety protocols. Tom Fullarton showed promising signs but could make way, so too Jack Payne, while Dan McStay is also nearing a return from an ankle setback. Unfortunately Hugh McCluggage is set for a stint on the sidelines after a hamstring blow, with last week’s medical sub Mitch Robinson as well as Tom Berry, Deven Robertson and Rhys Mathieson at the front of the queue to replace him.

Team Tips: The Giants were forced into nine changes last week — mainly due to injury and illness — as several key players will look to break back into the side that defeated West Coast by 52 points. And it’s created a healthy selection squeeze at the club. Caretaker coach Mark McVeigh said that the players who missed with illness — Nick Haynes, Lachie Ash and Braydon Preuss — should be ready to return, while there’ll be less certainty on the other casualties. Xavier O’Halloran, Bobby Hill and Jacob Wehr might be the unlucky ones to make way, with Matt Flynn likely to get the opportunity to play alongside Preuss after a strong showing. If healthy, Tim Taranto and Lachie Whitfield are the only others that would walk back in, but with the Giants’ bye next week, the pair might get given extra time to recover, plus you wouldn’t expect too many changes after their big win.

While the loss of McCluggage does hurt Brisbane, they have plenty of decent options to replace him. Having Adams and McStay return will strengthen both their forward and defence lines. it will be interesting to see what we go with for our forward set up. Their defence is very strong, and putting Flynn in the forward line (that is, keeping him in the team while bringing Preuss back as main ruck) might help to provide options. Similarly, I'm not convinced that HH is the best defence option, but I guess if they've trialled him there against the Weagles, they'll want to continue against a better team to see how he handles that. But would definitely want an extra tall defender, so Haynes or Stein to come in. It's going to be pretty difficult to break down Brisbane's system and the returning players for them don't help, Hope the coaching team has watched the Hawks-Lions game ... and have stuffed some brown paper bags for the men in green.
 

Giant Strides

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GREATER Western Sydney stars Lachie Whitfield and Tim Taranto will miss Saturday's clash against Brisbane because of injury. Whitfield (ankle) and Taranto (back) were sidelined from the Giants' win over West Coast last week due to their respective ailments. GWS will give the key duo an extra week off, given the Giants have a bye the following week. "They have both got niggly injuries," Giants assistant coach Amon Buchanan told reporters on Thursday.

Not entirely unexpected. Don't have an issue with given them the extra week.

Presumably that also means that the ill players from last week (Preuss, Ash & Haynes) are available to play.
 

GWS Goose

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GREATER Western Sydney stars Lachie Whitfield and Tim Taranto will miss Saturday's clash against Brisbane because of injury. Whitfield (ankle) and Taranto (back) were sidelined from the Giants' win over West Coast last week due to their respective ailments. GWS will give the key duo an extra week off, given the Giants have a bye the following week. "They have both got niggly injuries," Giants assistant coach Amon Buchanan told reporters on Thursday.

Not entirely unexpected. Don't have an issue with given them the extra week.

Presumably that also means that the ill players from last week (Preuss, Ash & Haynes) are available to play.
will result in an excellent break for them both.
 

Giant Strides

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Surprise!

Out of the side is defender Adam Kennedy (illness) and midfielder Xavier O’Halloran (omitted).

No Preuss.

:think:
 

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Giant Strides

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GWS v BN.png
 

Danny88

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I really wanted preuss

But tbh the two ruck set up only works if Flynn is a forward threat and he was junk up forward on the weekend

He was great in the middle though
 

Hendo_21

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Glad Flynn got another crack at it he was impressive last week, think they like the flexibility of Sproule/Flynn being able to rotate them without too many issues for the most part. Been quietly impressed with Kennedy the last couple weeks so losing him sucks but Ash to step should help relieve that. Still a couple a weeks away from getting Whitfield and Taranto back which’ll help.
 

Duggo81

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You do realise you played the Eagles last week that don't even have a ruckman that would get a game at a decent WAFL club. Blind Freddy could have dominated the Eagles ruck. Look at how Flynn went solo against Richmond wasn't pretty. If they want to give him a crack as solo ruck for a few games fair enough just like Straughn at Adelaide but the experiment will be over after this week just like it is at Adelaide.

On SM-A205YN using BigFooty.com mobile app
 
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