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Five Talking Points: Round 17

Riley Stuart, AFL.com.au  July 15, 2017 10:55 PM

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Saturday night's loss comes on the back of a tough two weeks for the GIANTS.

1. Three tough weeks
It's hardly panic stations for the GIANTS but three winless weeks is never good, particularly at the business end of the season. The GIANTS remain safely in the top four despite nail-biting draws against Geelong and Hawthorn, followed by tonight's loss to their cross-town rivals. However, the heartbreaking results certainly add another dimension to next weekend's clash against Richmond at the MCG. 


2. Big boys' brutal battle
We knew Lance Franklin's duel with GIANTS key defender Phil Davis was going to be a doozey, and their bruising encounter at Spotless Stadium did not disappoint. With Buddy, it's not a matter of ‘if’, it's a matter of ‘when’. The big unit was initially well held and did not get on the board until the 22-minute mark of the second term. Davis was gallant, but Franklin's booming set shot from outside 50 on the boundary early in the last tipped the scales in his favour. He finished with four.

3. Clangers galore
Back-line clangers cost the GIANTS early. Aidan Corr was the first to slip up, when a kick inside defensive 50 was picked off by Jake Lloyd who converted his resulting set shot. Later, Adam Tomlinson's clearing effort was smothered in the goalsquare by Swan Nick Smith, who soccered it through to produce a moment that would have made the Arsenal players taking the field at nearby ANZ Stadium for an exhibition match crack a smile. In a tight game, those two banana peels were telling.

4. Hamstrung Cameron a Giant headache
The hole GIANTS target Jeremy Cameron left up forward could not be underestimated. Cameron (hamstring) was a late withdrawal on Saturday night and in the opening term, despite his side dominating the clearances 13-6 and the inside 50s 18-10, they could only find two goals. Yes, two goals, from 18 inside 50s. Jonathon Patton battled manfully in Cameron's absence with a couple of long-range set shots in the second and third terms, but it was not enough.

5.Coleman race cracked open
While we're on the subject of spearheads, could Cameron's injury cost him the Coleman Medal? Franklin went into the match two goals ahead of the GIANTS big man, in second place on the overall leaderboard. Now, he leads the race for his fourth Coleman, with 47 majors to his name and six rounds to play. In a wide-open race, his nearest rival is Essendon's Joe Daniher, who is two goals behind. You'd have to back Buddy from here.