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NEAFL Mid-Season Review

Take a look back at the GIANTS Reserves 2018 NEAFL season so far.

BY THE NUMBERS

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 4-5 (85.77%)
Streak: W-L-BYE-L-L-L-L-W-W-W

Top 5 NEAFL MVP Votes:

17: Nick Shipley
14: Aidan Bonar
14: Isaac Cumming
14: Jeremy Finalyson
10: Zach Sproule
10: Matt Buntine

SNAPSHOT: The GIANTS Reserves had a slow start to the season, but have sprung to life in recent weeks. Despite winning their first game of the season, the GIANTS had a five-game losing streak. However, the GIANTS have rebounded well, having won their last three games which included a strong win against the NT Thunder in Darwin. A big second half of the season is needed if the GIANTS have any chance of securing a finals spot.

BEST WIN: After a disappointing season in 2017, the GIANTS sent a clear message in round one with a gritty four-point victory over their cross-town rivals in the Swans Reserves at the SCG. The GIANTS were challenged at regular periods by the Swans and held their nerve throughout the match. Despite falling off after the win, the victory meant that the GIANTS started the season with a win and ensured that they wouldn’t have a long losing streak at the start of the year like last year.

WORST LOSS: There have been a few bad losses for the GIANTS Reserves in 2018 with the worst of those losses was the 93-point drubbing at the hands of the Brisbane Lions in Round 4, in which the GIANTS conceded 42 points in the final quarter alone in the 19.19 (133) to 6.4 (40) defeat. The GIANTS were also kept scoreless in the third quarter in a sorry display.

STAR POWER: Despite only playing two games this season, the clear star for the GIANTS NEAFL side has been Jeremy Finlayson. Finlayson was exceptional in the GIANTS’ win against Redland in which he had 27 disposals at an efficiency of 85.2 per cent. Finlayson also had six inside 50s, four tackles, three clearances and 2.2 in a dominant display. He has rightly been given opportunities in the AFL this year but when he has been in the NEAFL, he has performed like an AFL-listed player.

 

NEXT GENERATION: Aiden Bonar looks to be a genuine star and it's remarkable that he is only 19. Bonar has been among the best players nearly every week, especially in the early losses. Bonar has averaged 21.6 disposals this year with 11 of those being contested along with 5.7 clearances and 4.6 inside 50s. Furthermore, Bonar’s pressure is integral in his game as he averages 6.4 tackles a game. 

THE RUN HOME: The GIANTS Reserves are only one win out of the top six however, they have the disadvantage of poor percentage. The GIANTS will face a lot of tough teams in the run home including Sydney Uni and Aspley and will also face the Swans and the Gold Coast twice and the Brisbane Lions three times. The GIANTS must ensure that they win the majority of these games and that they win well to increase their percentage because in such a tight season, team’s percentages may be the difference.

NEXT FOUR: Bye, Brisbane (Away), Aspley (Home), Sydney (Away)

This article first appeared on NEAFL.com.au as Mid-Season NEAFL Club Reviews: Part 1 on June 14, 2018.