Some old and new faces impressed in a fast and ferocious intra-club match at Tom Wills Oval on Wednesday.
Veteran midfielder Ryan Griffen, second-year forward Jarrod Pickett and returning forward Jonny Patton were among the standouts in the GIANTS’ first real hit-out for 2016.
It was Orange v White in four 25-minute quarters in warm conditions on Wednesday morning as GIANTS fans and staff from the local businesses nearby came for their first taste of football … and the free bacon and egg rolls.
With just five players missing, a strong forward line lined up against a near full strength defence to begin the match with the Orange team featuring a starting midfield of Ryan Griffen, Callan Ward and Dylan Shiel at the feet of Shane Mumford.
Adam Tomlinson and Rory Lobb started in the Orange forward line alongside Jeremy Cameron, Steve Johnson, Devon Smith and Rhys Palmer with Jonny Patton and James Stewart lining up at the other end in White.
Young talls Aidan Corr and Caleb Marchbank played with Phil Davis and Heath Shaw in defence with Corr against Cameron and rebounding defender Zac Williams matched up against Smith.
A noticeably slimmed down Griffen was the standout in the first half with three goals and plenty of the ball through the midfield while Patton impressed with his agility, leading and defensive pressure.
Veteran recruit Steve Johnson played predominately in the forward line, kicking his only goal of the game with a trap and snap right on the half-time siren.
Fellow recruit Dawson Simpson took on Mumford in the ruck and the 209cm, 111kg ruckman impressed with his experienced body work.
Several players switched teams at the half-time break including the in-form Griffen as well as Pickett, Patton and Palmer.
Former number four draft pick Pickett elicited applause from the crowd with a four-bounce 60-metre dash along the wing before being railroaded by Jeremy Finlayson who impressed with some strong defensive efforts.
Pickett followed it up by nearly intercepting a kick-in and extracting a free kick with some great defensive pressure to slot his second goal.
Cameron and Lobb impressed with some strong marking opposed to the veteran pairing of Davis and Shaw who were vocal as always in defence.
GIANTS fans would have liked the sight of Josh Kelly, Tom Scully and Lachie Whitfield all playing together and rotating through the wings with Kelly especially lively pumping the ball forward.
Stephen Coniglio paid close attention to Dylan Shiel who started slowly before working into the game and demonstrating his trademark burst of speed through the pack when he slotted a goal in the third quarter. Coniglio ended the game at half-forward, also kicking a nice goal.
Draftees Jacob Hopper and Matt Kennedy matched up against each other for parts of the game with Hopper strong inside the contest and Kennedy on the wing. Matthew Flynn played deep forward, pinch-hitting in the ruck for the White Team while Harrison Himmelberg played predominately in defence providing plenty of run.
There’s now just over a week until the GIANTS’ first NAB Challenge match against the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval on Thursday, February 25 and with no injuries reported from the intra-club, there’s sure to be plenty of competition for spots after a multitude of impressive performances.
Griffen, Lobb 3, Pickett 2, Mumford, Ward, Shiel, Smith, Johnson, Cameron, Kelly