Autopsy 2022 Round 18 - GWS Giants v Brisbane Lions, 1.45 pm Sat 16 July @ Manuka Oval

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Giant Strides

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This weekend, the Giants face the Lions for the second time this season, on our second home ground in Canberra. At least it's an afternoon match, and rain is not forecast, so hopefully it will be a warm Saturday afternoon in the capital to encourage the fans to come out. Unfortunately, the way the team is playing will not do the same. The bubble seems to have burst on the 'dead cat bounce' from Spike McVeigh taking over as interim coach, with a horrible display of football skills last weekend against Port, that showcased all of the worst from earlier in the year. No run, sideways kicks, lack of pressure, poor composure, and inaccurate kicking for goal.

Last time we faced the Lions in Brisbane, McVeigh was in just his second game, and coming off a morale-boosting win against last-placed Eagles. We replicated the hard-running, fast ball movement of the week before, and with an outstanding opening quarter of football really took it up to Brisbane. Despite being hauled back in the next two and a half quarters, we also showed fightback to keep the pressure on them before eventually succumbing in a high-scoring, high-quality match. Too, Brisbane in that game were coming off a shock loss to the Hawks and looking to right their season - the parallels to this game are there in that they're coming off a shock loss to Essendon (albeit one induced by losing half their team to COVID or injuries). I expect that they'll have all (or at least most) of their COVID-affected players back, and no doubt looking to once-again right their season coming into the back end of the H&A games.

GWS has lost two players at this stage, in Phil Davis and Adam Kennedy. Both hurt. Phil was solid in defence, though showing his age in some of what he can no longer do, but strong as a leader and marshalling the backline. Kennedy is just a solid, reliable workhorse, who knows his abilities - and more importantly, his inabilities - and only bites off what he can do. Available to return will be Jacob Hopper, after two solid displays in VFL showing that he's regained his fitness, and Connor Idun returning from his own COVID situation. Others available from the VFL team would be: Jake Riccardi, Zach Sproule, Brayden Preuss, Keiran Briggs, Xavier O'Halloran, Cooper Hamilton, Jake Stein and Jarrod Brander.

With a three-pronged Brisbane forward line, GWS will wish to retain a three-tall defence, so Phil will need to be replaced. The options would seem to be Keeffe going back, allowing for a replacement forward, or bringing Jake Stein in. With both Daniher and Hipwood so tall, there's a case for Keeffe, although he really cannot match their dynamic leading patterns. McVeigh seems to not go for a two-ruck approach, but if Lions retain McInerny and Fort, they beat up our solo ruck last time and will do it again if we do the same thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. IMHO, we need to bring in Preuss or Briggs to have a similar dual-ruck set-up, but I'm sure we'll take the insane approach once again. Similarly, surely we cannot persist with Nick Haynes forward again. As I've said numerous times, I love him for the player he's been, but he's a ghost of himself this year, and our lack of avenues to goal cost us big time against Port - we would be insane to not bring back a specialist KPF such as Riccardi. I'm assuming that Idun will be a straight replacement for Kennedy, however, we could consider giving Cooper Hamilton another run - his style of play would be closer to Kennedy's, and hopefully he could lock down on one of the Lions small forwards who cut us up last game. Elsewhere, I'd expect Hopper to come in, most likely in place of Tanner Bruhn, who's been quiet the last few weeks. Otherwise, Callum Brown could be under some pressure after being largely invisible. He might get a reprieve on the back of the rest of the team being so poor, but Giants tend to make players like Brown the scapegoat in these situations. If he goes out, then Bruhn may be reprieved, or Hamilton may get a run.

My ins: Jake Riccardi, Brayden Preuss, Connor Idun, Jacob Hopper
My outs: Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Adam Kennedy, Tanner Bruhn

Taylor Keeffe Himmelberg
Cumming Idun Wehr
Kelly Green Whitfield
Flynn Hopper Coniglio
Greene Peatling Taranto
Hogan Preuss Riccardi
IC: Ward Ash Lloyd Brown

I am entirely pessimsitic about our chances, but since I'll be going to watch the game, I'd love to see us get back to our running game and at least give ourselves a chance to upset the Lions. One thing we have not been able to do this year is knock off a higher team. We have beaten those teams we expect to be above (Norths, Eagles, Adelaide, Hawks - Suns I guess is the only one, although at the start of the season we would certainly have expected to finish above them). Hawks, Crows, Bombers & Eagles have all had upset wins this season - it would be great if Lions was our first in a home game.

C'mon Giants, do it for the fans!

What are your thoughts?
 
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Giant Strides

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The Lions have since suffered a further setback, with ruckman Oscar McInerney the latest Brisbane player to have tested positive to Covid-19.

McInerney and defender Noah Answerth – who returned a positive test to the virus the day before Sunday’s loss to the Bombers – are certain to miss the Lions’ clash with the GWS Giants this Saturday at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Those who tested positive last week – Harris Andrews, Callum Ah Chee, Keidean Coleman and Dan McStay – should be available to play this weekend.

Decisions will also need to be made on Zorko, Daniel Rich (hamstring), Jarrod Berry (hamstring) and Jaxon Prior (quad). However, regardless of how many players will be unavailable the weekend, Zorko won’t be rushed into returning. “It’s going to come down to how I get through Thursday’s (training) session, what sort of speeds I can reach, (and) whether I feel confident in (the hamstring) myself,” said Zorko, who added he wouldn’t feel “extra pressure” to return because of the Lions’ injury list and the team’s recent run of inconsistent form.
 

Giant Strides

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The news that McInerney is out under H&S protocols might change our team dynamic. Presuming McStay returns, they'll have a 3-pronged forward line, but Darcy Fort will solo ruck, with Daniher as relief ruck. That means we wouldn't need the second ruck that I advocated in the OP, and I'd guess that Flynn keeps his spot with Preuss seemingly not that that impressive in VFL.

Perhaps Derksen could get a go alongside Riccardi and Hogan - if the selectors are prepared to drop Haynes!
 

fridgeman

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Hard to see how this game goes without seeing the outs for the Lions but they should be heavy favourites as they should get a few back and also with the form of the Giants not much effort is being shown by the players and I can see the coaches changing that for this week

My effort at the team for this week

Like most not a fan of Haynes form this year but likely he will retain his spot I dont have him in my team
Keefe may come under pressure from Stein but his versatility gets him on the bench
Hamilton and Sproule others to be considered along with the Flynn V Preuss option
Although Derksen has shown a bit in some of the reserves games I think he would struggle at AFL level and maybe 1 of the last games he gets a game
Brown to retain his spot due to a lack of other options

Idun Taylor Cumming
Ash HH Ward
Kelly Green Whitfield
Greene Riccardi Taranto
Peatling Hogan Lloyd
Preuss Conigilio Hopper
Keefe Wehr Brown Bruhn XOH
 

Land of the Giants

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Great preview GS.

It's forecast to be about 10 degrees on Saturday afternoon, which is positively balmy by the standards of a Canberra winter. 🥶 Hopefully I can find a spot in the sun.

I get the feeling your description of our recent form being a "dead cat bounce" might turnout to be horribly accurate after the performance against Port. The team seemed to suffer a crisis of confidence under relentless pressure. Perhaps it will shock them into realising there is no easy way to learn a new game plan.

For his own sake, Haynes needs an extended run in the seconds to recover his form. With Davis and Kennedy out, Idun needs to return. I would also include Hopper and Preuss.

I think we'll come out hard to try and make up for last week. It's just a question of whether we can sustain it.
 
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Giant Strides

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Tom Green has a message for everyone!

 

Giant Strides

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The GIANTS have made four changes for Saturday afternoon’s clash with the Brisbane Lions in the nation’s capital.

The GIANTS will be boosted by the return of star midfielder Jacob Hopper with Connor Idun, Xavier O’Halloran and Jake Riccardi also returning to the side.

Out of the side is Adam Kennedy, who suffered a concussion during the loss to the Power and entered the 12-day protocols.

Key defender Phil Davis is also out after injuring his hamstring in the same game, with the former co-captain to miss the remainder of the season after requiring surgery.

Lachie Whitfield will miss Saturday’s match with a hip flexor injury he’s been managing in recent weeks while Callum Brown has been omitted.

GWS v Lions.png
 

Ingy

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So has Preussy been caught shagging Spike's missus, or what?
 

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fridgeman

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Despite some people saying this is a danger game for the Lions I see it as a potential % booster and a win to put them back up in the top echelon of contenders
Looking at the forward line they have too many avenues to goal and I can see them winning the midfield battle also and although this is a Giants home game the record at Canberra is looking poor in recent times and they hardly put up a fight last game out v the Power. Less than a 10 goal loss would be a positive and just hoping for no injuries as the cupboard is bare and not much coming back in the next few weeks
 

Giant Pete

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Watching the VFL… their midfield is way more switched on than ours… danger signs for the ones.
 

Andre the Giant

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I’ve seen enough of O’Halloran. He keeps getting opportunities because he has great specs and should have all the tools to play firsts but he’s just really dumb.
 

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