Giants Still Have The Blues

Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
The Giants are relying on young guns like Lachie Whitfield in their second season. Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Last Meeting

Round 6, 2012 – Carlton 110 d GWS Giants 43 (Etihad Stadium)


Form

     Rd 5       Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9   
Carlton   W  W  L  W  W
GWS Giants   L  L  L  L  L

Carlton didn’t exactly cover itself in glory in beating Brisbane at the ‘Gabba on Saturday night, but the four points are what matters, and there were some positive signs for the Blues. Jarrad Waite was the most notable, with the key forward taking seven contested marks – one less than the Lions managed the whole evening - while young midfielders Jarryd Cachia and Tom Bell are showing snippets of promise.

It’s hard to find too many positives with the thrashings GWS is copping week after week. The Giants are right in the middle of a really tough run of six games, and they’ve lost the last three by an average of 106 points. The closest margin in nine rounds to start the season is the 30-point loss to a flat-footed Sydney in the opening round. Seriously, though, Jeremy Cameron is going to an absolute superstar one day. He has kicked 25.5 so far this season playing for a team which is averaging just 75 points per game.

Carlton has regained the pacy Chris Yarran but lost Kane Lucas (hamstring) and ruckman Robert Warnock (knee). The Giants have made three changes, including bringing back veteran big man Dean Brogan.


Key Men

(Blues) Jarrad Waite – After missing a handful of games with injury and suspension so far this season, Jarrad Waite reminded AFL fans why he is so critical to the Blues’ set-up last weekend. If he had kicked straight – much like some of his teammates – his return of three goals would have been greater, but it was the 12 marks for the match which really stood out. He now has 28 grabs in just three games this season, and not surprisingly, Carlton has won all three (albeit against Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Brisbane). He is aggressive at the ball in the air and is a good tackler inside the forward 50. Really, he should have his own way against the Giants.

(Giants) Taylor Adams – He was hardly the most high profile of the Giants’ young guns when he was picked up in the 2011 draft, but Taylor Adams has come on quicker than the vast majority of teenagers around him. He is good at stoppages and has a clean pair of hands. The past four weeks he has averaged 25 touches per game in a period when GWS has copped some heavy beating. It’s no surprise to see a number of Victorian clubs are trying to lure the 19-year-old home as he remains unsigned for 2014.


Prediction

Sadly, GWS looks more and more like it will go through the season without a win to its credit. In fairness, it took the Suns until the middle of July to win their first match in their second season in the competition, but they weren’t getting routinely flogged like the Giants are right now. The hard-running and desperation which were on show last season seemed to have diminished in year two, and the good teams are feasting on the young side. With No. 1 draft pick Jonathon Patton sidelined for the season, Jeremy Cameron is being forced to carry an unreasonable load up forward. Expect Carlton to see off any early challenge and run away with the game in the second half. This will be an AFL/VFL record 47th time that Mick Malthouse and Kevin Sheedy have faced off against each other. Chalk up win No. 20 for Mick. Blues by 88 points

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