Can the Greater Western Sydney Giants open their account in 2013 against the Adelaide Crows? We’ll have live scores and a blog from 1.10pm AEST.
After the top-of-the-table clash on Friday and a number of big match-ups yesterday, it’s a bit of a letdown with both of the expansion teams scheduled this Sunday afternoon.
First up we have the Giants hosting Adelaide, a match-up the Crows should be expected to win comfortably.
GWS have fallen into a consistent pattern this season, being competitive, or sometimes even more than competitive, for most of the game before fading badly at some point in the second half.
Last week they even held a solid lead at half time over the mighty Bombers before being overwhelmed.
It should be expected that a team mostly made up of raw youngsters would struggle to run out games, and maybe Sheedy and co are content that their charges are at least staying in the contest for long stretches, but nonetheless that’s the big reason why the Giants are zero and six.
If GWS are going to record a win this year, at some point they’ll need a stronger finish.
Adelaide are entering an interesting phase of their season.
No doubt they’ve made a disappointing start to 2013, and the injury to Taylor Walker has put a serious dent in their aspirations, but they would have been encouraged by a dogged performance last week against Hawthorn, even if they ultimately fell short.
And they have the chance to notch up a couple of wins against the Giants and the Saints before a run of fixtures against teams they’ll want to beat to play finals in 2013, including North Melbourne, Fremantle, and Richmond.
Today they would be expecting a win, confident of a solid percentage boost, and hopeful that one of their second-string key forwards can step up, kick a few goals, and gain some confidence ahead of those important games.
Josh Jenkins had some good moments last weekend, and mid-sized forward Tom Lynch has also looked impressive further up the ground. Shaun McKernan will offer another tall target this afternoon.
Sanderson will be keen for them to do some damage on the scoreboard this afternoon.
At the other end of the ground, Jeremy Cameron was in sparkling form with six goals last weekend. He might find the going tougher today with Rutten and Talia possible opponents.
Skipper Nathan Van Berlo returns to the Crows midfield, which looks pretty formidable.
While Treloar, Scully, Ward, and Coniglio should be competitive in patches for GWS, you’d expect Adelaide to get first use of the ball pretty regularly.
Today both teams will be looking to the future.
The Giants, as always, will be hoping to continue the development of their promising youngsters, while the Crows focus will be more short-term.
In a tight finals race, percentage can be vital, and Adelaide won’t want to look back and rue not taking full toll of their one game against the league’s weakest side.
Even more so, today is a chance to get some confidence up among their young forwards following a rocky start to the year.
I expect this game to follow a familiar pattern, with the Giants hanging in there for a half or so, before the Crows clear away to win by a big margin.