GWS Looks To Shed Giant Chip On Their Shoulder

Image courtesy of news.com.au
Ollie Wines has dropped off after a stunning start to the season. Image courtesy of news.com.au
Last Two Meetings

Round 2, 2013 – Port Adelaide 134 d GWS 78 at AAMI Stadium
Round 19, 2012 – GWS 107 d Port Adelaide 73 at Skoda Stadium


Form

     Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9       Rd 10       Rd 11   
GWS Giants   L  L  L  L  L  L
Port Adelaide    L  L  L  L  L  B

The Port Adelaide Football Club reached one of its lowest points towards the end of last season when it suffered a 34-point loss at the hands of Greater Western Sydney . It led to the axing of coach Matthew Primus, one of the most regaled figures in the short history of the Power.

Fast forward half a season and the Giants are still looking for their third win ever as Port Adelaide returns to the scene of its nightmare at Skoda Stadium. After a bright start to the season with five straight wins, Port has now lost five on the trot and desperately needs the four points here given it has a very difficult run over the next month.

Despite the losing run, Ken Hinkley hasn’t made wholesale changes after coming in to this match off the bye. Ruckman Jarrad Redden is out with a shoulder problem and he’ll most likely be replaced by Matthew Lobbe. Campbell Heath has been omitted. The Giants welcome back ball-winner Toby Greene who missed the encouraging 59-point loss to Geelong last week.


Key Men

(Giants) Jonathan Giles – In the two games the Giants won last year, Jonathon Giles was dominant in the ruck and picked up three Brownlow votes in both matches. It’s no coincidence GWS has struggled with Giles unable to reach the heights he produced last season. He is down in just about every major statistical category, but produced his best game of the season against Geelong racking up 41 hit-outs to go with 16 touches and seven tackles. He has a big chance to dominate again this week against the Power’s inexperienced tap man Matthew Lobbe.

(Power) Ollie Wines – After a stellar start to the year, Ollie Wines appears to have hit the rookie wall. After picking up 22-plus disposals on four occasions in Port’s five-game winning run to start the year, he hasn’t reached that mark since. He is a pure footballer at heart, but not an athlete, and he looks as though he has run out of legs. He must have greeted the bye with open arms and the break should have him raring to go for some tough games in the weeks ahead.


Prediction

On current form, it’s hard to argue either of these teams has a right to win. Three of Port’s losses have come by less than 20 points, so it’s not as if the men from Alberton are getting hammered, but there were worrying signs with how they fell away in the second half against the upstart Bulldogs in Darwin. After a succession of major thumpings, it was nice to see the Giants show some improvement against a disinterested looking Geelong last week, and this match represents one of the few genuine chances they have to break their duck this season. Unless Port’s guns have shockers, though, it’s hard to see the Giants posting their first win of the season. Power by 32 points

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