Is it time to put the line through GWS?
Like many pundits, the GWS continue to confound us. On paper, the quality at their disposal suggests they should be up at the pointy end of the ladder. At the risk of putting the commentators hex on the West Coast, who GWS play next round, their onfield performances suggest a completely different story altogether.
With due respect to the Swans, the 19th ‘Battle of the Bridge’ was the perfect example of this. If GWS was the genuine premiership contender we have thought they were, this was a game they should have won. If they were any kind of premiership contender at all, there was no circumstance that saw them struggle to kick three goals and lose comfortably.
Even allowing for the shortened match time, a team that can be held to 25 points in a game is not good enough to win the flag. While it has happened before, three times in the last 50 years, this side is no match for the 1970 Blues, 1992 Eagles or 1995 Blues. We’re not yet prepared to rule out the possibility of them causing some chaos in October, but they aren’t running away with the cup.
How the Game Was Won
Despite having the better team on paper and having more to play for, the Giants were outworked by the Swans in Perth on Thursday night. More eager to run and more eager to work, the underdogs collected 40 more uncontested possessions and a similar advantage in marks.
With the Swans on the front foot there was a turnaround in one of the Giants biggest strengths coming into the match. Whereas they entered Round 12 as the competitions most efficient teams inside 50, on this night they were anything but. While the Swans would score 10 goals from 33 entries, the Giants could manage just three from 52.
What the Coaches Said
John Longmire was pleased but measured post match. “We’ve played a quarter here and a quarter there but we haven’t really put together a performance like that probably since round one,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but you need some good feelings to cross that period of learning and growing and tonight was one of those things – if we work hard and get the basics of the game right, that’s the way we like to play.”
Leon Cameron didn’t mince words post match. “We’ve got a lot of work to do over the next six weeks if we’re even considering playing finals footy,” he said. “We were ambushed early and we didn’t respond. That’s on me clearly as the coach and the 22 that played. It’s a really disappointing loss and we need to find a way to pick ourselves up. With performances like that, if you don’t improve you’re just going to get left behind. Clearly we’ve been up and down all year and if we don’t find it we will get left behind at the end.”
“We need to cop our right whack, because one team turned up and the other didn’t tonight,” he said. We are off the mark. We hover around that seven to 10 spot for a reason. We need to find that and find it quick, because it’s six games to go. If we serve up that tripe, then there’s going to be inconsistent performances like we’ve had for the majority of the year.”
SYDNEY 3.1 5.2 6.5 10.6 (66)
GWS 0.1 1.3 2.6 3.7 (25)
Sydney: Dawson 2, Blakey 2, Rowbottom, Foot, Thurlow, Stephens, Hayward, Bell
GWS: Cameron, Finlayson, Langdon
Sydney: Parker, Rampe, Blakey, Rowbottom, Sinclair, Dawson, Melican
GWS: Kelly, Coniglio, Perryman, Whitfield, Williams