AFL Round 16 – Sydney v GWS Giants: Still Green

Unfortunately for the Giants, it was a very familiar story. They were too slow, too inaccurate, too short, and the Swans were too good.

Still without a win this season, early on GWS gave us a chance to believe they were capable of winning. Certainly, with last week’s five point loss to the Bulldogs, our belief was chambered and ready to fire. They scored the first goal, and under a nearly ten minute siege on their backline, GWS were formidable in defence.

The Swans were pressured into six minors before their first goal. But the Giant’s metaphoric fingers didn’t take long to spread. A Curtly Hampton attempted clearance hit Kurt Tippet on the mark, and our belief, along with the Giants’, began flowing away like sand through fingers.

Tom Scully was subbed off a minute later, the concussion rule enabling a swift decision. It was good to see the players being looked after, but it was not good news for the Giants.

Another minute later Ben McGlynn found the sweet spot after a couple of early misses; the rot continuing well into the second quarter. Sydney went into half time 45 points ahead.

A couple of days before the game, the Giants revealed they might be willing to trade the top draft pick in a bid to recruit Hawthorn star Lance Franklin. They could’ve used his height during this game. The Swans’ talls – Mike Pyke, Kurt Tippet, Jesse White, Andrejs Everitt and Shane Mumford – out-marked the Giants throughout the game.

It’ll be hoped the Franklin bid, announced by Giants list manager Stephen Silvagni, will be what Round 16 will be remembered for. Certainly, all the on field highlights featured the Bloods. Tom Mitchell reinforced the theory that impossible angles become probably on the run. Several pack marks and three goals from Mike Pyke and 100th gamer, Craig Bird, contribution of two pretty goals. Rookie recruit Brandon Jack provided the anti-highlight of the match for the Swans, when he hit the post on the run without a Giant within stomping distance early in the first.

The Swans strolled to their 129-point victory. They will be looking at their goal kicking after several periods of inaccuracy. But in the context of the match, such criticism is dull, with a serious boost in percentage likely to be valuable in their berth for a home final. With Adam Goodes still out, and a list of household names on the b-list (Rhyce Shaw, Lewis Roberts-Thompson, Gary Rohan), the premiership has a worthy defender.


Best: Kurt Tippet (1), Mike Pyke (2), Nick Malceski (3).

About Doug Ackerly

Radio announcer, sports host, racing anchor and TV sports reporter, racing producer in Melbourne 1983-2003. Freelance sportswriter and author of biography of AFL legend, John Coleman. Played 174 games for Coldstream in EFL (1968-80).

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