GWS will win fair share of games says Collingwood coach

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    The belief that Greater Western Sydney will struggle to win an AFL game this season came under fresh scrutiny after the Giants’ competitive start to the pre-season.

    That the newcomers, with limited experience and potential more than polish, will finish dead last in their maiden season was considered a fait accompli a long time ago.

    Over the past month the bar was lowered once again, with AFL legend Leigh Matthews the most notable to suggest GWS would be doing well to win one match in 2012.

    On Saturday night the Giants were given their first chance to answer the critics on the field.

    It was a response muffled by the fact the NAB Cup contests featured 20-minute halves, and were devoid of a handful of Collingwood and Western Bulldogs stars.

    Nonetheless, it was an answer of some sort – especially the three-point loss to the Magpies where Phil Davis was the only Giant with AFL experience to play.

    “You’ve got to give credit to that group of young players,” Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said.

    “They could have easily won the Bulldogs game as well. So they’d be rapt with their performance.”

    Time will tell just how meaningful the Giants’ competitive pre-season losses were, but already Buckley suspects the likes of Matthews may have got it wrong.

    “What you saw was great enthusiasm and exuberance from a young group of players,” he said.

    “The problem that you get with that over the course of a football season at an elite level … is that you’re going to get your ups and downs.

    “(But) it was a one-on-one contested brand of football all over the ground, and if you can play that brand of footy, well then you can compete against anyone.

    “So there’s no reason why they can’t compete well and compete hard, and win a few games. Their fair share of games.”

    Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney also praised the Giants after the Dogs’ five-point win over the hosts.

    “They were terrific. I think they showed with ball in hand what they’re going to be. They were good around the ball, had some stronger bodies,” McCartney said.

    “They’ll get better and they’ll improve, and if you keep doing that – well the game takes care of itself.”

    GWS chief executive Dave Matthews was impressed with how his side performed in the spotlight.

    “This is a group of guys who obviously don’t read the papers,” he said.

    “The critics aren’t inside the club, so they don’t actually understand the sort of training and preparation.

    “…We’re hopeful that we can sneak in for a couple of wins.

    “And more than anything, just show a lot of competitiveness and spirit like we did last night.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • February 20th 2012 @ 11:23am
      Macca said | February 20th 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      Let’s not get too far in front of ourselves here, remember the Suns lost to the swans by just 3 points.

      • Roar Guru

        February 20th 2012 @ 11:26am
        The Cattery said | February 20th 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Macca

        The Suns actually defeated the Swans in that first game – which sort of strengthens your point.

        • February 20th 2012 @ 11:47am
          Ian Whitchurch said | February 20th 2012 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          If GWS is about as successful on the field as Gold Coast were in year one, Im more than happy, because we still have another batch of free agents, and we are sitting on three more first-round picks.

          The Collingwood game upped a lot of peoples expectations for the club. Dunno, maybe we should play *two* players with AFL experience next time we play the Pies …

        • February 20th 2012 @ 1:03pm
          mark said | February 20th 2012 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          Everyone beats Sydney in the preseason, as a guide in all of Roos time as coach of the swans they won a total of one match in the nab cup. So beating sydney in the nab cub by 3pts as the suns did is nothing to hang your hat on. As such there is alot more merit in challenging the dogs and the pies in the nab cup as gws did.
          But that said its early days and when gws plays the hawks in a regulation match we will know alot more about how they will go.

          • February 21st 2012 @ 9:18am
            Macca said | February 21st 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

            You also have to remember that 2 twenty minute halves doesn’t get you much past quarter time, so in short the GWS were probably far more intense than sides treating it as they should, a preseason hit out, and they kept that intensity up for just over a quarter. Once the real thing starts they will have to lift the intensity and maintain for much longer, that is where the problems will start

            • February 21st 2012 @ 9:28am
              Ian Whitchurch said | February 21st 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

              Macca,

              Just face it. You’re emotionally invested in GWS being hopeless. They arent.

              They. Rested. All. Their. Experienced. Players. Against. Collingwood.

              • February 21st 2012 @ 10:06am
                Macca said | February 21st 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                Ian – And you have no emotional investment? How many games do you actually see them winning?

                They will finish last, they will struggle to win a game. NAB cup form is no indication of success, hell Carlton won a couple of preseason flags before going on to finish dead last, and that was when they played more than 20 minutes halves in the first round. Look at what cattery said below about bluey Mckenna’s comments, they proved all to true, Gold Coast often challenged for a quarter or so before getting done by 10 goals plus. Ans the GWS are no Suns.

            • Roar Guru

              February 21st 2012 @ 9:32am
              The Cattery said | February 21st 2012 @ 9:32am | ! Report

              Macca
              last night on one of the shows, can’t remember which, they quoted Bluey McKenna from exactly last year stating that his young charges could maintain intensity at AFL level for about a half (at that stage of the season), so yes, enough to scramble a win in the half game NAB cup opener, but barely enough to get within 20 goals of Carlton in their first real AFL game.

              Still, we can go into round 1 thinking that GWS can stay within 10 goals of the Swans, and that’s a good first up effort – plenty of teams in the AFL in the past 20 years have been blown away by 15 goals in round 1, indeed, the Hawks lost by around that margin in round 1 of 1991 in the Crows’ first ever game, and then went on to win the premiership that season.

              I hasten to add, I am not expecting the same from GWS, just saying…

              • February 21st 2012 @ 9:38am
                Macca said | February 21st 2012 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                They probably will stay within 10 goals of Sydney simply because Sydney aren’t exactly a high scoring side, there won’t be many they get within 10 goals of.

    • February 20th 2012 @ 1:01pm
      TomC said | February 20th 2012 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

      While GWS were better than I thought they’d be on Saturday night, I still don’t think they’ll manage a win in the regular season.

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 4:08pm
      Republican said | February 23rd 2012 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

      MMM, I don’t believe they will win a game myself.

      Remember – these were truncated versions of footy and very early in the season, against less than full strength opposition.

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