Baby Steps As Giants Host Suns

Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Herald Sun
Karmichael Hunt has been solid in Gold Coast's midfield. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Herald Sun
Last Two Meetings

Round 20, 2012 – Gold Coast Suns 109 d GWS Giants 79
Round 7, 2012 – GWS Giants 94 d Gold Coast Suns 67


Form

     Rd 1       Rd 2       Rd 3       Rd 4   
Gold Coast   W  L  L  L
GWS Giants   L  L  L  L

If you’re Guy McKenna, you must be wondering what you’re saying wrong to your team at quarter time. In four rounds Gold Coast has scored just 25 points in the second term of matches and conceded 136. That number would have been worse if Brisbane hadn’t been so wasteful at Metricon Stadium two weeks ago. It was no surprise to see the Suns fading away in the second half of matches in their first two seasons, but by midway through last week’s disappointing 38-point loss to Port Adelaide, the home side was almost out of the game.

Another team which had one bad quarter last week was the Giants . They had every opportunity to take the four points back to Blacktown but a 12-goal final term got Melbourne home as the young GWS side ran out of legs. If anything, their fourth terms have been worse than the Suns’ second quarters. The past three weeks Kevin Sheedy’s side has been outscored 157-46. So, the way the stats read, don’t be surprised to see the Giants in front at half-time before the Suns run away with the match in the final term.

Both teams have made a host of changes. GWS has included former Carlton tall Bret Thornton, but dropped experienced former Hawks defender Stephen Gilham. Three regulars from the Suns’ first two seasons in the AFL return in the form of Danny Stanley, long-bomber Trent McKenzie and hard-working forward Tom Lynch. Veteran backman Matthew Warnock is a long-term absentee with a broken arm.


Key Men

(Suns) Jarrod Harbrow – After an inconsistent first couple of seasons on the coast, Jarrod Harbrow has been among the Suns’ best in every match this season. His run and carry off halfback is vital in Gold Coast’s ability to move the ball forward quickly. For a player who, in the past, has been prone to making basic errors, it is pleasing to see he has been charged with making just five clangers so far in 2013.

(Giants) Setanta O’hAilpin – With Jonathon Patton gone for the season, former Carlton big Setanta O’hAilpin has a prime opportunity to stake a permanent place in the Giants’ forward setup. He couldn’t have made a better start kicking 5.3 against the Demons, which was his first game back at senior level since injuring his knee against his former club last season. With Dean Brogan still out due to suspension, he can also pinch hit in the ruck if Jonathan Giles tires against Zac Smith and Charlie Dixon.


Prediction

The Suns were more than competitive in the opening term against a red-hot Port team and held a seven-point lead at quarter time. Take out their horrible second terms and this is a much-improved outfit from the 2012 model. Everything prior to that match had been relatively positive, but a loss here would ruin what was achieved in the opening three weeks. The Giants, as they were last year, have been competitive in bursts, but they will be ruing not being able to put the struggling Demons away last weekend. The Giants ran away with the match-up at Manuka Oval last season in the final term, but on this season’s efforts, expect the opposite to happen this time. Suns by 20 points

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