GWS Has Giant Shot At First Win

Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
The Giants have recalled top draft pick Lachie Whitfield. Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Last Three Matches

Round 4, 2013 – Melbourne 144 d GWS 103 at MCG
Round 21, 2012 – Melbourne 84 d GWS 59 at Manuka Oval
Round 13, 2012 – Melbourne 135 d GWS 57 at MCG


Form

     Rd 14       Rd 15       Rd 16       Rd 17       Rd 18   
GWS Giants    L  L  L  L  L
Melbourne   W  L  L  L  L

Not for the first time this year, GWS really pushed one of the competition’s big guns but couldn’t get the job done. The Giants were almost three goals up at half-time against Collingwood and only two points down at three-quarter time, but the Magpies coasted home to win by 40 points . The Giants had a red-hot go against the Bombers the week before but still lack the quality to beat topline teams.

This week, though, they take on a side at the opposite end of the table. After a few weeks of improvement, Melbourne’s reputation took another battering last Saturday night when they were absolutely smoked by North Melbourne. The ‘Roos kicked 16 goals to one after the long break and the Dees failed to trouble the scorers in the final term. Even coming off the back of a match in Darwin the week before, there was no excuse for the meek effort produced by Neil Craig’s team.

Melbourne has lost two key bigs; James Frawley (hamstring) and Chris Dawes (calf) will both be missing, although athletic defender Colin Garland returns. GWS has included young guns Lachie Whitfield and Stephen Coniglio.


Key Men

(Giants) Callan Ward – Jeremy Cameron gets most of the plaudits when it comes to GWS, but Callan Ward is still the player that makes this team tick. He was a class above on Saturday against Collingwood, racking up 32 touches, nine marks and seven tackles in a top-line display against one of the best midfields in the competition. It was the fourth time this year he has collected 30-plus disposals, and Melbourne doesn’t really have any player with the ability to match him.

(Demons) Jack Fitzpatrick – There hasn’t been much for Demons fans to smile about this year, but the emergence of big man Jack Fitzpatrick has been a nice surprise. He has played predominantly in the forward line and shown the ability to take a contested mark. In eight games he has kicked 11 goals, including four against the Lions and three against the Swans.


Prediction

They’ve now gone 21 games without a win, but you can bet your bottom dollar the Giants would have had this date somewhere in the back of their minds for some time. GWS led the round four clash between these teams by 19 points, but fell apart in the final term as Melbourne slammed on 12 goals to two to win by 41 points . Going on their form since Neil Craig took over, the Demons should be able to register win No. 3 for the season, but that performance against North Melbourne was just insipid. You don’t go 13 months without a win for no reason, though. Melbourne by 15 points .

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