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GWS Giants will beat the Suns this weekend

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    Greater Western Sydney will record their first victory this week when they take on Gold Coast at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

    Clearly both teams will be approaching this match thinking it winnable.

    While the Suns have shown they are no easybeats at home, pushing finals-calibre teams like Essendon and Fremantle right to the limit, the Giants have been slowly building their competitiveness, pushing Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs, and even troubling Carlton for a half.

    The point is that this is one of very few matches that GWS can win, and Kevin Sheedy will know it. He’ll be using every bit of his renowned rat cunning, developed over 641 matches in the coach’s box, as he searches for ways to get his men over the line.

    This game will have been isolated a long way out by the Giants coaching staff, and we’ve seen them rotate players through the side over the first six weeks, all in preparation for round seven.

    Make no mistake, we will see what Sheedy thinks is his best 22 this week, and each one of them will run out hungry and desperate for success.

    Gold Coast have struggled to back up their best efforts on a week-to-week basis, and the hard-fought encounter against Fremantle will have taken it out of a very young side.

    This will be especially felt if Michael Rischitelli and Gary Ablett don’t recover from injury in time, and the loss of Nathan Bock is a huge blow. It’s worth noting that the Suns worst two performances this year came when he was on the sidelines.

    Expect to see experienced leaders Luke Power and James McDonald play out of their skins, and if Ablett doesn’t come up you can pencil in Callan Ward for best-on-ground honours right now.

    There’s no doubt that he is the true leader of this football team, in every possible way โ€“ physically, mentally and spiritually.

    Just as Ablett has grown since transferring to the Suns, Ward too has relished the responsibility of being the front man, so expect his will to be imposed all match.

    GWS will play a physical, contested game of football, making use of the more mature bodied youngsters at their disposal. On top of this, Tom Scully is due to put his stamp on a game and will relish playing against an inexperienced team. He’ll play his best game yet for the Giants.

    Of course, the Suns aren’t just going to lie down and let it all happen. David Swallow and Harley Bennell are turning into elite players before our very eyes, and Karmichel Hunt is forcing his detractors to choke, so fast are they eating their words.

    Sheedy will identify these three players as the keys to Gold Coast’s chances of winning the game, and they can expect some rough treatment to come their way.

    Both teams will have been eyeing this fixture off, and the Suns deserve their favouritism. Although we haven’t seen many surprise results this year, I fancy that this one will mean more to the Giants, and I’m relying on the Suns to be a little flat.

    But more than anything, I just sense that the old master Kevin Sheedy is capable of pulling one out of the bag against the odds.

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.

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    The Crowd Says (60)

    • May 7th 2012 @ 7:51am
      D.Large said | May 7th 2012 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Judging by the headline I assume the author will be retiring if as expected the GC makes mince meat out of GWS? I can see the logic and the reason, but they wonโ€™t win. As much as GWS will be up GC will need it more, for GC beating GWS will be the biggest non negotiable at the club this year.

    • Roar Guru

      May 7th 2012 @ 8:12am
      Redb said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      GC are fighting out games this year and I think that will be the essential difference against GWS who fade in the second half.

    • Roar Guru

      May 7th 2012 @ 8:16am
      The Cattery said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      One thing is for sure, this is the most interesting bottom versus second bottom match since North met South in 1972.

      Two young teams showing their potential last couple of weeks, they’ll both be up for this game.

      Both have injuries at the moment, the Suns even more, so expect it to be a very even contest even if the Suns would have been red-hot favourites a few weeks back.

      • Roar Guru

        May 7th 2012 @ 8:26am
        Redb said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        GWS’s injuries have robbed them of height and forward targets. GC still have a spine of talls expect in defence but this where GWS are weak. If Harvey Bennell gets anywhere near the ball look out!

        • May 7th 2012 @ 10:42am
          Ian Whitchurch said | May 7th 2012 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          GWS should have a spine of Davis-Mohr-Giles-Folau-Cameron, with Cornes as the tall floater in defense.

          That said, we really cant afford to have another tall go down.

          It should be a very, very good game of footy between two young, talented sides, with GC a bit more skilled, and GWS a bit harder at the ball.

          • Roar Guru

            May 7th 2012 @ 12:23pm
            Redb said | May 7th 2012 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            Ian,

            Well put. The skill on offer will be fantastic and no question there will be desire. In such a game of endurance it will be those with run in the legs in the last qtr IMO that will decide.

            Cameron back is a plus, there is a question mark over Mohr though.

    • May 7th 2012 @ 8:19am
      Rob said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      In a season where as mentioned there aren’t many upsets, this shapes as one, or at least a potential. Not sure you can class it as a home ground advantage, but GWS were pretty good at Manuka against the Dogs and if they can bring what they showed early yesterday they’re a good show. Losing Setanta yesterday could almost be the difference they needed to get by the Suns.

      Give me $4 on GWS and i’ll be having a nibble…

      • Roar Guru

        May 7th 2012 @ 8:23am
        The Cattery said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Actually this season is probably the most open we’ve seen in five years, where mid ranked teams are capable of knocking off top four teams.

        • Columnist

          May 7th 2012 @ 8:32am
          Cameron Rose said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:32am | ! Report

          It’s funny, Rob and Cattery are both right. I’ve never seen a season with more middle teams pushing the top ones, but i’ve certainly never seen six rounds with less upsets. The favourites keep getting pushed, but they continue to win.

          And I agree with Rob a second time – Setanta is the biggest loss of all from a Giants perspective. I’d be a lot more confident if he hadn’t gone down.

          • May 7th 2012 @ 8:49am
            Australian Rules said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:49am | ! Report

            Ablett, Rischitelli, Bock…3 big outs.

            The Giants will have their first win in Canberra.

            • Roar Guru

              May 7th 2012 @ 9:11am
              Redb said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

              As GC proved on Saturday they can get very close without those players and against a team of seasoned footballers like Freo. GWS are very competitive for 2 maybe 2.5 qtrs, I think the Suns match fitness will get them homein the last qtr.

              The Albury pre season game cannot be used as a guide to how these teams match up that’s for sure.

              • Columnist

                May 7th 2012 @ 9:29am
                Cameron Rose said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

                Agree that the pre-season match has little relevence, although it did seem the Tigers got some confidence beating Geelong at Kardinia Park in the pre-season, and that translated into a good performance down there in the real season, albeit a loss.

                GWS may get a little bit of belief from that game, but overall I have to agree that it won’t have any impact on the result this week.

    • May 7th 2012 @ 8:58am
      GrantS said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      With injuries to the Gold Coast top players this becomes a winnable game for GWS and do not underestimate the crafty Sheeds.

      I think Gold Coast will still win but only by a small margin and it will be an exciting game with lots of gutsy efforts and mistakes.

      • May 7th 2012 @ 9:36am
        Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        While they might be a bigger chance becuase of the injuries GWS kicked what 1 goal after half time against the blues yesterday and lost by 11 goals to a team missing Judd, Carrazzo, Laidler, Waite & Yarran while the Suns just lost to Freo. I think form still has the Suns favourites.

        • May 7th 2012 @ 9:47am
          Ian Whitchurch said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          Macca,

          Quit making excuses for a soft Carlton side. Until injuries ran GWS out of talls and bench, a Carlton side unwilling to get the hard ball was two goals up.

          • May 7th 2012 @ 1:54pm
            Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            Oh & I forgot Curnow from that list so missing 6 out of their best 22 including their best on baller, best tagger and best marking forward.

            • May 7th 2012 @ 2:32pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | May 7th 2012 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

              Macca,

              And their replacements showed they were soft downhill skiiers, who waited for the game to be won rather than taking by the scruff of the neck.

              You’d better hope Judd doesnt get actually hurt this year.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 2:48pm
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                Ian – They still won by 11 goals, yes they didn’t play great footy in the first half and have admitted they weren’t switched on but they still won by 11 goals with 6 of their best players missing.

                This is the type of attitude I have been talking about regarding the new teams, no matter what the result it is only the positives that get looked at.

                And yes losing Judd would hurt but so would losing Waite and so does losing Carrazzo, not having Laidler and Yarran hurts as well, as does missing Curnow. If we lost all 6 for long periods or around finals then our season will be sunk, fortunately 4 of them will be back this week and the blues run before Carrazzo and Laidler come back has a number of the more winnable games (GWS, Port Adelaide, Melbourne and the Bye plus St Kilda).

                Also how many games would GWS win if you took out their best 6, I suppose the same as you didn’t but you get the idea. And as an aside do you think Tom Scully is actually in the Giants best 6?

              • May 7th 2012 @ 3:14pm
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Oh and Ian one of these replacements – Ellard – who is supposedly a “downhill skier” had 19 possessions and 10 tackles, if his name was Karmichael Hunt he would of been given best on ground for that effort.

              • May 8th 2012 @ 1:35am
                Nathan of Perth said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:35am | ! Report

                What do you mean “supposedly” a downhill skier? Last I checked he does play for Carlton still! ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • May 7th 2012 @ 6:06pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | May 7th 2012 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

              Macca,

              Brett Ratten was a heck of a lot unhappier with the effort than you are. Personally, I think he’s a decent coach, and well able to call a spade a spade.

              • Roar Guru

                May 7th 2012 @ 7:05pm
                The_Wookie said | May 7th 2012 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                we played like crap for 3/4s. Its not GWS fauly we had outs and rested players. You can only play the men on the field, and the Giants did that pretty damn well. Ratten was scathing after the match, and Blues supporters should be ok with the fact we had no injuries or suspensions, but by no means content with the way we played.

              • May 8th 2012 @ 9:17am
                Macca said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                Ian – I am not particularly happy but really I am not fussed either, got the win, got good percentage, got some key players rested, no new injuries and no suspensions so now we can concentrate on matches that actually matter.

                Wookie, didn’t say it was GWS’ fault we were missing 6 of our better players, just that their performance should be viewed with that in mind.

        • May 7th 2012 @ 1:45pm
          Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

          Ian they lost by 11 goals and the injuries while not helping weren’t crippling, they still had a more than handy ruckman in Giles and were only 1 man down on the bench for 1 quarter. The blow out came more because the Giants still don’t have a fitness base capable of playing 4 quarters.

          Also what were the scoring shots 13 to 25, inside 50’s 63 to 33. the GWS kicked 1 goal after 1/2 time and none after 3/4 time.

          So yes the blues were below par and yes they wokred very hard around the clearances but there is no doubt the 5 players missing would be among the first picked if available and would of had a big impact on the result. Also clearly they lack polish when big wins in clearances and contested footy still lead to such a big smashing in inside 50’s and scoring shots.

          • May 8th 2012 @ 1:38am
            Nathan of Perth said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:38am | ! Report

            The fitness is an important point; you can blend younger players into a mixed-age side and cover their developing tanks with rotation plans and substitutions. When your whole team is effectively young players there’s nowhere to hide it.

            That and any close match between teams with finals experience and those without almost invariably goes the way of the seasoned team.

    • May 7th 2012 @ 9:23am
      Paul said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      The injuries to star players is the only way that the GWS will win, like you said not Ablett, Rischitelli and Bock leaves massive holes in the Suns line up. If even just Ablett plays then Suns will get over the top. Swallow, Bennell and Co have matured enough at the start of the season to get the win. As for Scully playing his best game for the Giants he would need to as Ward has been their best player by far. Doggies really must be thinking this compensation system was a shame. Suns by 5 goals.

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