Preview GWS vs Essendon, Sydney Showgrounds, Sunday 24/03/2019 @ 3.20PM

eth-dog

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Thread starter #1
Observations

Greater Western Sydney: The Giants pre-season has been solid, winning their first match against Sydney by 22 points. Their off season was very active, losing several players again for 2019. The most notable inclusion would be of ruckman Shane Mumford, who will miss through suspension, but had a strong draft with the likes of Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately and Ian Hill all coming to the club through the first two rounds.

Essendon: Essendon had some average pre-season form, losing both games against Carlton and Geelong respectively. During the off-season they got boom recruit Dylan Shiel from GWS, costing them a pretty penny, in hopes that he can take the midfield to the next level. Draft wise, young Brayden Ham was a late pick but impressed from limited game time in his JLT match.

Head to Head (last 5)

Greater Western Sydney 3-2 Essendon

Form Guide

Greater Western Sydney: 0W 0L
Essendon: 0W 0L

Sportsbet odds

Greater Western Sydney: $1.75
Essendon: $2.24
Line: 7.5 ($1.92)

Possible sides

Greater Western Sydney vs Essendon

B: Francis - Hurley - Saad
F: Daniels - Himmelberg - Lloyd
HB: McKenna - Ambrose - Ridley
HF: Greene - Cameron - Taranto
C: McGrath - Langford - Z Merrett
C: Whitfield - Hopper - Deledio
HF: Fantasia - Daniher - D Smith
HB: Kennedy - Davis - Williams
F: McDonald-Tipungwuti - McKernan - Stringer
B: Shaw - Corr - Taylor
R: Bellchambers - Shiel - Heppell
R: Simpson - Coniglio - Kelly
I: Myers - Parish - Guelfi - Zaharakis
I: Tomlinson - De Boer - Bonar - Hately

GWS in: N/A; Out: N/A
Essendon in: N/A; Out: N/A

Greater Western Sydney defence vs Essendon forward line

The Giants defence last season was one of the strongest, conceding the second least amount of goals and on average their opponents kicked a goal a tad under 20% of the time it entered foward 50. Essendon's forward line was around the middle of the pack, kicking a goal 23% of the time it entered foward 50, but at it's best it can be one of the best in the AFL. Star forward Joe Daniher returns for the Dons after a year out through injury, but will be facing one of the toughest match-ups in the league against Phil Davis, whilst important small forward looks to be in full flight this season and will be eager to have a good hit out against Adam Kennedy. Jake Stringer could be the dangerman for the Dons, likely to go head to head with young Sam Taylor, who was impressive in 2018.

Midfield/rucks battle

Essendon managed to improve this area of the ground in the second half of last season, after 8 rounds they were 16th for clearance differential and 15th for contested possession differential but improved to be 5th and 6th in those fields respectively, but the Giants are very strong on the inside as well, being 3rd in both those fields for season 2018. A big advantage for the Dons though is the fact that the Giants are missing captain Callan Ward and lost gun mid Dylan Shiel over the off-season, so they only have to worry about Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Jacob Hopper, Lachie Whitfield and Jackson Hately instead. However the Dons do boast a strong midfield themselves with the likes of Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett, Devon Smith, Dylan Shiel and David Zaharakis. Rucks wise, statistically the Dons hold the upper hand here, with Bellchambers not only averaging more hit outs, but also a higher percentage to advantage, more touches, marks and around the ground stuff to Dawson Simpson.

Greater Western Sydney forward line vs Essendon defence

Essendon's defence was under a bit of pressure last season but managed to have their defensive efficiency slightly above average, conceding a goal 22% of the time it entered their defensive 50. The Giants had a similar efficiency, kicking a goal 22% of the time it entered forward 50. Without Rory Lobb and Jonathon Patton, Jeremy Cameron will be under a lot of pressure to kick their goals, and will be going head-to-head with Patrick Ambrose, who he has an admittedly good record against. One match-up to watch is Aaron Francis against Toby Greene in all likelihood, the 6-6-6 and injuries the Giants have probably forcing the young Essendon defender to go head-to-head with one of the better small forwards in the game.

X-Factor Player

Dylan Shiel is coming up against his old side in round 1, and we can expect him to be one of the stronger performers as he seems the type to thrive on that. Go well young man.

Key stat

Essendon: Clearances. When Essendon win the clearances they win the game the vast majority of the time, and when they lose they rarely get the win.

Greater Western Sydney: Defensive conversion. GWS are at their best when they strangle opposition sides. Very important they do it here when the Bombers two big stars are still coming back from injury.

Tip

We have won 6 of our past 8 round 1 games. Dons by 22
 

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Bombers36

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#2
For a team with lots of hype going into the 2019 season the Bombers have been patchy at best in their 2 JLT outings. Yes - Woosha tried some kids and tweaked around with different game plans and styles, but now the season proper is nearly upon us we'd all like to see our team live up to some of the lofty expectations most of us have. Stringer, Tippa, Francis & McGrath have been the stand outs in pre season games, but theres plenty of senior players either underdone or a little rusty, and the forward line is probably the area that is giving both coaches and supporters the most headaches, with only 2 contested marks inside 50 for the whole game against the Cats. But - its only JLT - right...?? The Bombers should go into this game desperate for the win - and if we can get up away from home for this game we then have the luxury of playing our next 6 games in Melbourne which gives us a great opportunity to get a really solid start to the season. Possible line up;-


Hurley Hartley McKenna
Ridley Francis Saad
ZMerrett Heppell Smith
Tippa Daniher Laverde
McKernan Stringer Fantasia

Bellcho Shiel McGrath

Interchange: Zakka Myers Guelfi Langford

Emergency: Parish Ambrose Brown


Comon Bombers...!!!
 

Danny88

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#6
I think you mean eth-dog mate!

Also, Ward out for GWS. Bad for them, immense for us.
Ward out hurts us greatly. Means either A) a kid will get more inside minutes and that obviously benefits you or B) we need to play players like Whitfield, Deledio and Williams at centre bounces which obviously hurts our outside run and distribution.

He has been fit for so long it will be hard to cover his loss I think. That said, there are a lot of bombers fans in Sydney and with your pre-season hype I would expect a decent turn out at spotless. If you haven't been, you might consider it- its a great ground to watch footy at.
 

Loonerty

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Jeez no Ward is really helpful for us.

Will be interesting to see how our defence lines up. Just feel like with the 6 as suggested in the OP, we're short a good lock down small defender. Saad is capable with this but it would really impact our offense as well if he is needing to be more accountable for his opponent.
 

Isaac Cumming No 1

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#8
Jeez no Ward is really helpful for us.

Will be interesting to see how our defence lines up. Just feel like with the 6 as suggested in the OP, we're short a good lock down small defender. Saad is capable with this but it would really impact our offense as well if he is needing to be more accountable for his opponent.

Ward will hurt, but his impact is a bit hard to judge. More because we really dont have experience of playing without him. He's very durable and a captain for a reason. Coniglio will be there, but it was actually Shiel that did a lot if guiding the youngsters in the past, and I doubt he'll want to help.

I'm fascinated to see how the 666 rule plays out. Last year at Spotless in that last QTR you dominated, it was noticeable from the stands you played 2 men on each wing and two more on the forward and back edge of the square. We matched them up but I wonder if that might have been a mistake, they would have had to leave holes in both the arcs if we backed our mids to get it out of the centre square quickly. Anyway it was a legitimate tactic that worked so kudos.

We will add Perryman to the midfield. Leon's been clear and he doesn't bullshit. Hopper is missing tonight but I read that as just leaving a gap for Bonar, Caldwell and Hately to play. Bonar spend a lot of time as a ckearance mid in JLT1 and is the most likely to play I think. He also was good playing forward last year.

Josh Kelly is a better than even chance I think. He's been in a long term programme aimed at round 1, the club was always doubtful about the JLT.

I thought Francis looked outstanding last night, always good to see a player overcome adversity and good luck to him for the year.

Tipungwuti is always entertaining to watch and he's an oppo player I look forward to seeing at Spotless.

Saad for sheer pace and willingness to take the game on as well.
 

eth-dog

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Thread starter #9
Ward will hurt, but his impact is a bit hard to judge. More because we really dont have experience of playing without him. He's very durable and a captain for a reason. Coniglio will be there, but it was actually Shiel that did a lot if guiding the youngsters in the past, and I doubt he'll want to help.

I'm fascinated to see how the 666 rule plays out. Last year at Spotless in that last QTR you dominated, it was noticeable from the stands you played 2 men on each wing and two more on the forward and back edge of the square. We matched them up but I wonder if that might have been a mistake, they would have had to leave holes in both the arcs if we backed our mids to get it out of the centre square quickly. Anyway it was a legitimate tactic that worked so kudos.

We will add Perryman to the midfield. Leon's been clear and he doesn't bullshit. Hopper is missing tonight but I read that as just leaving a gap for Bonar, Caldwell and Hately to play. Bonar spend a lot of time as a ckearance mid in JLT1 and is the most likely to play I think. He also was good playing forward last year.

Josh Kelly is a better than even chance I think. He's been in a long term programme aimed at round 1, the club was always doubtful about the JLT.

I thought Francis looked outstanding last night, always good to see a player overcome adversity and good luck to him for the year.

Tipungwuti is always entertaining to watch and he's an oppo player I look forward to seeing at Spotless.

Saad for sheer pace and willingness to take the game on as well.
What sort of role will Perryman play? A tall winger ala Embley or more of an inside midfielder?
 

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eDPS

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#13
Keen for this game and excited to see how Caldwell goes in his debut, might be nice to watch him in a game where he doesnt get injured :p

Expecting us to come out pretty hard early on and same will go for GWS with the whole Shiel thing.
 

Keystone agony

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#15
No Ward, Patton, N.Haynes, A.Corr, Mumford

Doubts: Kelly and Hopper (No JLT games)

There missing some quality there. Its gonna be tough they have looked very good still in JLT especially early in games. If no Kelly or Hopper id expect us to be winning these games.

Cameron, Coniglio on fire. Greene will be humming for round 1.Whitfield we must tag i feel has been playing high half forward and drifting as quarter back for them. Its smart by them if we go with him then they have an open forward 50 with 5 vs 5 with guys like Cameron, Greene that can be scary
 
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#21
There is nobody that could possibly predict this particular game with even a small amount of confidence. I think out of all Round 1 games in 2019 this one will be the biggest unknown.

Our pre-season has been extremely underwhelming & GWS weren't overly impressive against the Crows either... but what frame of mind were both clubs putting into pre-season games (results wise)? So often in the past we've seen clubs perform extremely well in Ansett Cup/Wizard Cup/NAB Cup/JLT series games and bomb in Round 1. Opposite applies for teams that haven't performed well (win/loss ratio) to make a statement in the first H&A game.

Need to factor in home ground advantage for the Giants... but conversely our travelling record (5-0) last year including a great win (35 points) at Spotless should give us at least some confidence.

"Round 1 isn't that important. It's just one step on a big journey" ... I disagree when it comes to this fixture. This game is going to tell us plenty about both teams chances this year.
 
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