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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    Nov 23, 2015
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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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    Nov 23, 2015
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    • #16
    Gameday. Canberra is clear but chilly. Hoping beyond hope that we can pull a rabbit out of a hat today with an outstanding performance.

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