Dockers Drop Anchor In Top Four

Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au/Daniel Wilkins
Hayden Ballantyne made a successful return from injury last weekend. Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au/Daniel Wilkins
Only Previous Match

Round 17, 2012 – Fremantle 132 d GWS 37 at Patersons Stadium


Form

     Rd 15       Rd 16       Rd 17       Rd 18       Rd 19   
Fremantle    W  W  L  W  W
GWS Giants    L  L  L  L  W

There were jubilant scenes last weekend at Skoda Stadium as GWS snapped a 364-day losing streak when it toppled the hapless Demons by 37 points . There were promising signs the two weeks before when the Giants pushed Essendon for a half and Collingwood for three quarters, and the Demons provided little resistance for the most part.

From their easiest assignment of the season to arguably the toughest; the Giants head to Perth on Sunday afternoon to take on Fremantle . After losing their previous two in Victoria, the Dockers did a job on Carlton, running away with the game in the final term to record a 36-point win .

In an ominous sign for the Giants, Matthew Pavlich will return for the Dockers along with rebounding defender Garrick Ibbotson. Promising left-footer Dylan Shiel has been left out of the GWS squad heading to Perth.


Key Men

(Dockers) Hayden Ballantyne – He cops plenty of stick wherever he goes, but Hayden Ballantyne has the game to silence most opposition fans. After a fortnight out with a hamstring injury, he was instrumental in the Dockers’ disposal of Carlton. He finished with three goals from six scoring shots, and between him and Michael Walters , Freo has possibly the most consistent and damaging set of small forwards in the competition.

(Giants) Tom Scully – He is one of the more maligned players going around in the competition, but that’s what comes with being an underperforming former No. 1 draft pick. Tom Scully’s back end of the year is looking much better than the first half, though, and he is showing signs he may yet live up to the billing he came out of the under 18 competition with. He has had three good quality games in the past six weeks, and his effort against his former team, Melbourne, was probably his best in a Giants uniform. He found the ball on 29 occasions, took 11 marks and laid six tackles. The challenge is now to reproduce that form against the AFL’s better teams.


Prediction

Essendon is the only team to return east with the four points this season after toppling the Dockers by just four points in round three at Patersons Stadium. GWS is on a high, but the chances of the second-year team emulating the Bombers’ effort are pretty slim. The Dockers have some solid bodies in the middle, and while the Giants probably have a pace advantage, they will really struggle with Freo’s ability to force opponents in to pressure errors. It’s a big ground for a young team without great endurance to cover for an entire game, so expect the Dockers to run away with the match in the second half. Fremantle by 72 points .

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