Review Round 3, 2021 GWS Giants v Melbourne Demons - Manuka Oval, Sunday 4 April, 6.10 pm AEDT

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BarryAglett

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The recent injuries aside, I still think we will know more by round 6.
Add Hogan and Whitfield and we'll look different. We won't know how Pruess will help us until the end of the year.
The effort was there and the lack of rotations blew out the score line.
Agree that XOH looked good and the experience for Cumming and Idun can only help them.
 

Giant Pete

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Bit of pressure off really. We know we are not making the eight. Get games and cohesion into the younger guys. Recruit strongly and get set for next year. Only question will be whether Leon is still there.
 

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ClockworkOrange

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We need to win some games or else Ash and a few others won’t re-sign.
Agreed.

IMO the pressure on the club is under greater than at any point in its history.

It’s going to require excellent decisions from all stakeholders at the club, plus a little luck, to navigate out of whatever you care to call the current environment.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 
Last edited:

Giant Strides

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Greater Western Sydney and Melbourne travelled to the nation’s capital and for the first half, things were tight. With plenty of fight, each side were getting into each other and battling hard for possession. The small forwards dominated with Toby Greene kicking five for the home side while Kysaiah Pickett snuck through four in a personal-best and game-winning display for the Dees.

Unfortunately for the Giants, injuries to key players continued to mount and by the halfway point of the third term they were down to one rotation and that’s when the Demons took control and took control of the game. The midfield setup was forced to adjust and performed well as a unit as the speedy Demons took advantage of a fatigued Giants side towards the end.

WHERE WAS THE GAME WON?

As above, the game was won by the Demons when the Giants had three players sitting on the pine midway through the third quarter. And those three players weren’t just anyone. It was Phil Davis, Stephen Coniglio and Matt de Boer. Their best defender, an inside midfielder and a tagger who had done his role all game in shutting down Clayton Oliver.

The loss of Davis, Coniglio and de Boer impacted the way Melbourne was able to play as the Demons continuously won the ball in the middle, becoming the better users in this third of the ground, setting up well and intercepting any rebound from the Giants. The Demons covered every corner of Manuka Oval and especially in the second half, when the game was there to be won, the Demons utilised the space and had purpose in moving the ball forward.

Melbourne’s structure at stoppages in the middle of the ground worked wonders as Simon Goodwin developed a clear-cut strategy to get some outside run. At stoppages, Max Gawn would pound the ball away from the contest where a fellow teammate, in a one-on-one would be ready to receive and run onto it. At centre bounces, Oliver would start about 15m away from the centre circle, in an attempt to mitigate the impact of de Boer but also keep the space free for other players while the wingmen would wait on the edges of the square so as not to crowd the play either.

Getting the ball away from the congestion of a stoppage didn’t allow for a massive scrap that would normally result and it was because of this that players like Jack Viney and Christian Petracca could get an easy clearance while the likes of Ed Langdon and Jayden Hunt could use their blistering pace to help transition through the middle of the ground and spot a forward target or at least get it forward to make something happen.

WHO WERE THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAYERS?

Fourth-gamer Xavier O’Halloran looked like he’ll be an important cog in the Giants lineup for years to come, working himself around the ground with speed, determination and vigour, doing the little things to help and following up his efforts, always looking busy and to make an impact. He claimed a career-high 12 disposals playing off the wing and should cement his spot now, finally getting a run this year after not coming on as a medical sub during the opening round, and then being dropped from the team. He kicked his first AFL goal in the second quarter and was responsible for a goal to Toby Greene when he intercepted a Jake Lever kick across the half back flank, looking for Steven May. O’Halloran ran from a few metres away to get a hand across and followed up to get the ball to Greene who ran into an open forward line to kick his third.

It’s hard to go past Toby Greene’s impact and the way he was able to work the Giants back into the game in the fourth quarter when all looked lost. It turned into a six-point game when Greene kicked his fifth (and second consecutive) goal to start the final term. He was constantly busy, squizzing about but also knowing when to wait on the ground and when to contest the pack. His two goals in the fourth were due to roving efforts, firstly waiting for the ball to drop from a Harry Himmelberg contest and secondly, seeing Jake Lever and Neville Jetta attacking the same ball and expecting a clash, he snapped up the loose ball. Matching up on Steven May, Greene’s pressure was there all game on the big man, his game awareness is not lost on anyone; always an exciting player to watch. Previous to this game, in 11 appearances against the Demons, Greene had only kicked six goals.

Special mentions go to Lachie Ash and Connor Idun who held their own down back for the Giants, each collecting career-high disposal tallies with 24 and 16 respectively. Each had six intercept possessions, followed up and performed the one-percenters while keeping their cool and rebounding with ease.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCH-UP?

In the first half, it was definitely Matt de Boer v Clayton Oliver. The Giants had a plan to nullify the impact of Oliver and did so, forcing Simon Goodwin to change his plans. That’s when you know you’ve got the upper hand. Unfortunately for de Boer, he went with a hamstring injury and was off to the bench and the change allowed Oliver to run riot in the second half – he had 17 disposals in the second half compared to six in the first half. Oliver was allowed to use his running and handball game in the second half, with no other appropriate tagger able to limit his output.

Overall though, Matt Buntine v Kysaiah Pickett and Toby Greene v Steven May were the two crucial matchups after it was evident from the start that this game would be controlled by the small forwards. The mismatch in height between Greene and May didn’t really favour either as May won the ball in the air but Greene won the ball on the deck. Greene was just able to recover easier and run into areas that put distance between him and May. May though, an intercepter (eight during the game) and calm head down back, never looked out of place – it was just that Greene was too quick and was always popping up where he was needed. The five goals to Greene is his equal career-best but still sometimes turned the ball over, resulting in an even contest between the two.

WHO SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME?

Matt Buntine, now in his eighth year at the top level, really needs to work on his game awareness and what he can and can’t do, especially as a defender. He turned the ball over a few times, but not always from a wayward disposal, it was turnovers like deliberately seeing the ball over the boundary line when a more settled player may have waited for contact and allowed the opposition to carry the footy out of bounds.

Charlie Spargo was able to kick a goal after Buntine palmed it over out of bounds. Leading the chase against Spargo on a bouncing ball towards the outer post at Melbourne’s end, Buntine looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was chasing but still chose to, when a couple of metres away from the post, flick the ball to his left and out of bounds, that’s when the umpire paid deliberate. Being that close to the goal line and being chased heavily with pressure, had Buntine flicked it to his right, it would’ve been judged a rushed behind. Buntine was also responsible for Kysaiah Pickett’s third goal, mopping up an attempted spoil with the fist that Buntine didn’t get enough of, skimming off his hand and to Pickett for an easy goal. If you’re going to be the spoiler, you have to make sure you kill the contest.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY?

Nothing really could’ve been done differently, after Melbourne already did change up its strategy surrounding Clayton Oliver and Matt de Boer. Each team took the game on at times but also knew when to hold it up, with some critical turnovers impacting both sides on the scoreboard. There’s not a lot that the Giants could’ve done when three players were forced to sit on the bench, however Nick Shipley did play well coming on as the medical sub for Phil Davis. This was not, however, in a like-for-like position. The Giants defence was weary as it tried to cover the loss, Melbourne leading heavily in forward half intercepts, forward half tackles and forward 50 disposals. The ball movement options by the Demons opened up and with tired bodies on the field, each player was giving their all as though they sensed the fatigue in the Giants and were desperate to take advantage.

WHERE TO NEXT FOR THE GIANTS?

The Giants will need to assess the damage to their injured stars but as seen today, they were still able to match it with Melbourne. However, any other club and they will probably struggle. The GWS defenders held up well against a Melbourne forward structure without Davis but Sam Taylor and Connor Idun proved they could step up. Harry Himmelberg isn’t a number one forward but with Jeremy Finlayson and Jesse Hogan out, has done well to at least be someone who can contest up high.

Lacking another option forward besides Toby Greene who amassed half of GWS’ contested possessions inside 50 indicate a need to have someone else who can do the same at his level. A meeting at the MCG against Collingwood is next on the agenda for the Giants and despite the form GWS is in, previous encounters with the Pies have indicated anything can happen.

WHERE TO FROM HERE FOR THE GIANTS AND THEIR INJURY CONCERNS?

It’s now becoming a pressing problem that will need a serious thinking from Leon Cameron and company as to how they can mitigate the pressure they’ll be under in the upcoming weeks with an ever-growing injury list. With multiple players out in every part of the ground, it could open the door for younger players like Jake Riccardi while they may have no other choice than to rush back Jesse Hogan or Jeremy Finlayson as another tall target down forward. As mentioned, GWS can cover Davis down back well enough, but perhaps not as much in the air as on the ground. Coniglio’s position isn’t one of concern with inside midfielders all able to get in and under and provide assistance, holding up their own.
 

Giant Strides

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Thoughts about changes v Collingwood - the injuries will force our hand somewhat, hopefully it's limited to Cogs, David & de Boer, and not Daniels as well (because he's one of our bright spots), and that Riccardi is available:

  • With Davis out, Lachie Keeffe to take over his role down back, keeping Sam Taylor & Nick Haynes in their normal roles, but relieved of his second ruck duties.
  • Matt Buntine should be banished - he gives us nothing useful based on that game and I'd prefer to let Idun play that tall/small mix. Hopefully Perryman is over his illness - he was certainly missed for his composure, defensive nous, and kicking out of D50.
  • Bring in Keiran Briggs to debut as second ruck/forward. HH is outnumbered and ineffective as a (mostly) lone KPF, (Keeffe being fairly ineffective forward, but is more effective as a back - especially if he can mainly cover Cox). Two ruckmen - albeit very inexperienced - against Brodie Grundy might at least win some a battle here or there, and Briggs can be a big lump forward to contest.
  • If Riccardi is fit, he comes back, to make it a 3-tall forward line and make the Pies defenders earn their money. It would be a very inexperienced forward line, but let's use this year to give them that experience.
  • Green & O'Halloran were solid, we need to see more of that, and with Cogs and de Boer out, perfect opportunity to give them experience; especially O'Halloran in the midfield rather than nominally forward where he started last night.
  • I'm not sold on Buckley, but probably the changes from injuries are enough for him to keep his spot on the wing. Shipley, who was OK coming on, or Conor Stone the possibles if he's replaced.
  • Bruhn probably gets a look in up forward (in place of X moving to midfield) given he was last out, while Conor Stone might be an option to start as a medium forward.
  • Bobby Hill is probably under pressure for his lack of pressure, but probably keeps his spot due to the many other changes.

Keeffe Taylor Haynes Idun Cumming Ash Perryman
Flynn Hopper Taranto Green Kelly O'Halloran Ward Buckley
HH Riccardi Briggs Greene (c) Daniels Hill Bruhn

Out: Coniglio Davis de Boer Buntine
In: Riccardi Briggs (debut) Perryman Bruhn

If that's too tall, then slot Shipley or Stone for Buckley.
 

fridgeman

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Thoughts about changes v Collingwood - the injuries will force our hand somewhat, hopefully it's limited to Cogs, David & de Boer, and not Daniels as well (because he's one of our bright spots), and that Riccardi is available:

  • With Davis out, Lachie Keeffe to take over his role down back, keeping Sam Taylor & Nick Haynes in their normal roles, but relieved of his second ruck duties.
  • Matt Buntine should be banished - he gives us nothing useful based on that game and I'd prefer to let Idun play that tall/small mix. Hopefully Perryman is over his illness - he was certainly missed for his composure, defensive nous, and kicking out of D50.
  • Bring in Keiran Briggs to debut as second ruck/forward. HH is outnumbered and ineffective as a (mostly) lone KPF, (Keeffe being fairly ineffective forward, but is more effective as a back - especially if he can mainly cover Cox). Two ruckmen - albeit very inexperienced - against Brodie Grundy might at least win some a battle here or there, and Briggs can be a big lump forward to contest.
  • If Riccardi is fit, he comes back, to make it a 3-tall forward line and make the Pies defenders earn their money. It would be a very inexperienced forward line, but let's use this year to give them that experience.
  • Green & O'Halloran were solid, we need to see more of that, and with Cogs and de Boer out, perfect opportunity to give them experience; especially O'Halloran in the midfield rather than nominally forward where he started last night.
  • I'm not sold on Buckley, but probably the changes from injuries are enough for him to keep his spot on the wing. Shipley, who was OK coming on, or Conor Stone the possibles if he's replaced.
  • Bruhn probably gets a look in up forward (in place of X moving to midfield) given he was last out, while Conor Stone might be an option to start as a medium forward.
  • Bobby Hill is probably under pressure for his lack of pressure, but probably keeps his spot due to the many other changes.

Keeffe Taylor Haynes Idun Cumming Ash Perryman
Flynn Hopper Taranto Green Kelly O'Halloran Ward Buckley
HH Riccardi Briggs Greene (c) Daniels Hill Bruhn

Out: Coniglio Davis de Boer Buntine
In: Riccardi Briggs (debut) Perryman Bruhn

If that's too tall, then slot Shipley or Stone for Buckley.

My thoughts on your post
Shipley for Buckley although I think he keeps his spot due to the amount of available players unless they bring in 2 talls
and I agree on bringing Briggs in as a forward target and relief ruck

Perryman Keefe Haynes
Cumming Taylor Ash
Kelly Ward Buckley
Greene Briggs Bruhn
Hill HH Daniels
Flynn Hopper Taranto
Green Shipley O'Halloran Idun
 

Giant Strides

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My thoughts on your post
Shipley for Buckley although I think he keeps his spot due to the amount of available players unless they bring in 2 talls
and I agree on bringing Briggs in as a forward target and relief ruck

Perryman Keefe Haynes
Cumming Taylor Ash
Kelly Ward Buckley
Greene Briggs Bruhn
Hill HH Daniels
Flynn Hopper Taranto
Green Shipley O'Halloran Idun
No Riccardi - you're assuming he's still injured? I thought Leon said Riccardi likely available for this week but unlikely/non-commital on Hogan (he didn't play the pre-season matches)?
 

JDavey

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Hey all - can someone please clue me in on what the Giants are trying to do with Kelly? As far as I could tell started in the forward 6 as a HFF on Salem at every CBA and was then running into the contest.. at stoppages he always seemed to be positioned two handballs away. This didn't change after two starting midfielders in Cogs and MDB went down, instead doubling down on players like Ward and O'Halloran taking wing positions. I haven't seen them do this before, instead opting for Kelly to take a mix of CBA and wing starts at stoppages. I was also shocked to see the number of times he was in position as an outside runner and didn't get used as an option, with a hack kick being taken instead. Do I overrate Kelly? Is the game plan not to use him? Is this a one off? Are the players under pressure that i don't perceive?

Two games in a row hes felt the most likely player to be the difference maker (bar Greene) only to see him not be given the chance to do so.
 

joey ramos

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anyone playing sanca lakes
boys I reckon u guys wouldve had a heaps good chance to knock us off if you didnt get injurys to ur best players pretty f’ed

like 3 injurys if im not mistaken? hard to win from there... greene is a star, i feel bad for gws and kind of wish u did knock us off as it wouldve been a reality check
3-0 is a good start but so not hectic sad about it
good luck lads
 

Determinant

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Hey all - can someone please clue me in on what the Giants are trying to do with Kelly? As far as I could tell started in the forward 6 as a HFF on Salem at every CBA and was then running into the contest.. at stoppages he always seemed to be positioned two handballs away. This didn't change after two starting midfielders in Cogs and MDB went down, instead doubling down on players like Ward and O'Halloran taking wing positions. I haven't seen them do this before, instead opting for Kelly to take a mix of CBA and wing starts at stoppages. I was also shocked to see the number of times he was in position as an outside runner and didn't get used as an option, with a hack kick being taken instead. Do I overrate Kelly? Is the game plan not to use him? Is this a one off? Are the players under pressure that i don't perceive?

Two games in a row hes felt the most likely player to be the difference maker (bar Greene) only to see him not be given the chance to do so.
Round these parts we call that tactics :$
 

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MYOB

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Depends on which way you're looking. Put it this way, if the northern goalposts (and hence the cheer squad bay) is at 12 o'clock on the map, the scoreboard is 1.30 to 2 o'clock.
When I say screen, I mean the TV screen. Based on your description, I'm thinking it's about bay 8, 9 and 10
 

Giant Strides

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When I say screen, I mean the TV screen
Yep, the TV screen (used as a scoreboard for AFL) is about 1.30, the cricket scoreboard is next to it at about 2 o'clock.

In the pic below, (OK, a cricket game), the away cheersquad is situated at left of screen, and you can see the TV screen to the right, and scoreboard further right.

Capture - manuka.PNG
 

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