Did the Giants win the battle but lose the war?
Toby Greene was hopeful post match that his hamstring injury was only minor but, if it isn’t, it would make the Giants win over Gold Coast the most expensive of the season. GWS are a completely different team without Greene and, with a compact suite of matches ahead, they can’t afford to have him spending an extended period on the sidelines.
How the Game Was Won
Just as this match rarely threatened to hit any great memorable heights, neither did Gold Coast come close to challenging the Giants at any stage. That is not to say that, despite kicking just four goals, they were ever completely blown away until late in the match.
It was a workmanlike performance from the Giants who controlled the ball in the middle, looked more dangerous in attack and safe in defence. Winning the contested ball by 20, the likes of Whitfield, Williams, Taranto and Kelly were able to feast on the ball. With the Suns laying just 13 tackles in the first half, they were afforded a level of time and space rarely experienced in the AFL. Despite the freedom this afforded them, the Giants did little more than was necessary to bank the four points.
What the Coaches Said
Stuart Dew bristled at suggestions that his team were on a similar trajectory to the 2019 Suns that lost their last 18 games after a strong start. “I think we have been in all games right to the end,” he said.“So we think we can win every game and even though we were really poor we had one less shot against GWS who played in a grand final.”
“I think our numbers suggest that we are a far, far greater side than last year and we are really confident. We just have to compete better than we did, that has been a feature of our game but we were really poor and credit to GWS.”
Dew singled out Sam Collins, Connor Budarick, Jack Lukosius and Will Powell for praise but lamented that too much had been left to too few. “They were lacking a few mates (out there),” he said. “We need to be a collective if we are to challenge these teams.”
Leon Cameron was happy but disputed suggestions that it had been a dominate performance. “Probably not dominated but definitely probably one of our better performances of the year in terms of key indicators,” he told reporters. “We really rate what the Suns are doing. Clearly they’re a year or two younger than us in terms of age but the brand of footy they’ve been playing has been really good so we were under no illusions that this match would be really tough hard game.”
“We focused in on getting the ball inside fifty more and we got that 43 or 44 entries even though there still were some moments we missed. Our front half game was better with 24 first half turnovers which clearly hasn’t been at the level it needs to be but that was pleasing against a side that plays good pressure footy. Our clearance and contested work has probably just been bubbling along in the positive the last two or three games and that continued on so it was pleasing. We’ll take the win and we look forward to the short turnaround against the Bombers.”
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GOLD COAST 0.3 2.4 2.7 4.11 (35)
GWS 2.4 4.5 5.7 9.7 (61)
Gold Coast: Ainsworth, King, Swallow, Weller
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 2, Himmelberg 2, Coniglio, Finlayson, Hopper, Kelly, Taranto
Gold Coast: Collins, Witts, Bowes, Ainsworth
Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Williams, Taranto, Hopper, Haynes, Corr
Gold Coast: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Greene (hamstring), de Boer (hamstring)