GWS Faces Giant Task

Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Lachie Whitfield was named the AFL's Rising Star for Round 10. Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Last Meeting

Round 10, 2012 – Geelong 126 d GWS Giants 61 at MCG


Form

     Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9       Rd 10   
GWS Giants   L  L  L  L  L
Geelong   W  W  L  W  W

If Geelong played this match like a grand final, you could pretty much break open the record books considering how they’ve manhandled far better teams so far this year. But the Cats showed on Saturday night against a super-committed Gold Coast team that they can be put out of their rhythm by a team that harasses them from start to finish. The Suns managed to do it very well for three quarters; it would be nice to see the Giants get back to the effort levels they showed last season and keep Geelong under wraps for at least a half.

It has been a tough period for the Giants with, realistically, five unwinnable games in a row. The teams’ last four defeats have come at an average of 103 points as the likes of Adelaide, Hawthorn, West Coast and Carlton have used the match to rest some players and boost their percentage.

Geelong is resting Harry Taylor and Mark Blicavs, while Shannon Motlop misses the match with a knee problem. The Giants have included veterans Dean Brogan and Stephen Gilham.


Key Men

(Giants) Callan Ward – When all else is falling around him, Callan Ward continues to carry the Giants on his back. After a sub-par outing against West Coast in round 9, he returned to form against the Blues with 33 possessions, nine marks and a goal in the 94-point flogging. At just 23 years of age, he plays with a composure and toughness that belies his level of experience. You just have to hope that the ritual beating his team is copping isn’t soul destroying for a player who is close to the upper echelon of midfielders in the AFL.

(Cats) Nathan Vardy – Commentator Luke Darcy went out on a limb last week and predicted Nathan Vardy would be amongst the top 25 players in the AFL if he could avoid injuries over the next few seasons. It was a bold prediction considering Vardy had played just 11 games since being drafted at the end of 2009, but with a number of his teammates struggling against the desperate Suns, the 198-centimetre ruck/forward stood tall. He kicked four straight from just ten possessions and provided a target for most of the night. With Mark Blicavs developing nicely in his first season, all of a sudden the Cats have some depth in the big man department.


Prediction

The Giants haven’t reached the 60 mark in any of their past four starts. Couple that with a defence leaking over 150 points per game, and you’re in real trouble. While they lack key position players at both ends of the ground, it’s through the middle where the young GWS side is getting carved up. They doggedly pressured teams at times last season, but that hasn’t been seen in recent weeks as some of the big guns of the AFL have strolled through matches. It’s hard to imagine Geelong taking them lightly, given the scare the Cats were given by the upstart Suns last weekend. Cats by 89 points

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