They star-power of the Gold Coast Suns proved too much for the inexperienced GIANTS to overcome as a number of AFL-listed Suns shone to lead them to a 40-point win at Manuka Oval in the VFL.
With 22 AFL-listed players to eight, the Gold Coast was quick to show its maturity as the VFL’s top side opened with a five goal to two opening term to jump out to a quick 19-point quarter time lead.
While the GIANTS continued to fight back, cutting a 27-point halftime margin back to 19-points through a spirited third term, the Suns flexed their muscles with a four goal to one final quarter to run out eventual 17.17 (119) to 12.7 (79) winners.
AFL-listed trio Brayden Fiorini (45 disposals, 8 clearances), Charlie Constable (39 disposals), and Alex Sexton (19 disposals, 3 goals) all starred for the victors - who registered their 13th win of the season to remain atop the VFL ladder.
For the GIANTS it was one of their own AFL-listed players that stool tall, with James Peatling putting in one of the most complete games by a GIANT this season. The 22-year-old worked hard all day to finish with 31 disposals, two goals, 10 clearances, and eight tackles in a superb all-round performance.
Cameron Fleeton (22 disposals) also continued his stellar VFL form, while Conor Stone (13 disposals, three goals) and Toby McMullin (12 disposals, two goals) were dangerous throughout the contest.
Despite the loss, GIANTS VFL coach Wayne Cripps said there were plenty of positives considering the difference in experience between the two sides.
“I thought for a 40-point loss it was one of the more pleasing performances of the year. We had only the eight AFL-listed players and three of four young GIANTS Academy boys only playing their first or second game, and they had 22 AFL-listed players,” Cripps said.
“So just from an effort point of view, and wanting to compete for four quarters and trying to play our system to the best of their ability, I thought we did a great job and gave ourselves a chance, being within a couple of goals in the last quarter.
“Unfortunately with a couple of rotations down on the bench we just ran out of legs in the end, but overall it was a really pleasing performance.”
Following the bye this upcoming weekend, the GIANTS will finish the home and away season with games against Sydney, the Northern Bullants, and Geelong.
“It was important that we played like that because the next three weeks is a big three weeks for us,” Cripps said.
“It was good to get ourselves back to playing the brand of footy that we know in the last few weeks. Then we can come back after the bye and hopefully finish the year with three wins.”
Cripps shared his assessment of the AFL-listed GIANTS who featured in the match.
AFL Listed Players:
10. Jacob Wehr
Jacob only played one quarter as he was a carry-over player for the AFL side later that afternoon.
18. Conor Stone
13 disposals, 3 goals, 2 tackles
He played one of his better games. I say it week in, week out, but we’re really starting to see that speed and that power and his ability to get up the ground and then rip back to goal with speed. He hit the scoreboard with three goals and his ability to keep turning up to the contest is getting better and better each week. He’s getting more confidence in his body and he's trending.
20. James Peatling
31 disposals, 2 goals, 10 clearances, 8 tackles
One of ‘JP’s’ better games. When he’s in that mindset he’s pretty hard to stop. He gave us some great energy at stoppage and two weeks in a row he’s had team high tackles. He’s had 18 in the last two weeks which has been a real big growth for him and so to pull out those numbers shows the improvement that he’s making in that area.
24. Harry Rowston
17 disposals, 4 tackles, 4 clearances
Played a really important role, and with his physicality, he just bashes bodies. Some of his defensive stuff, especially that transition, is something he’s been working on, and he took a major step forward with that this week. It’s not always about high number games for him, he has a lot of impact in different areas and that was the case again for him on the weekend.
28. Cameron Fleeton
22 disposals, 3 marks
‘Fleets’ gave us some really good moments both in the air and on the ground. With his want to come forward and hit bodies, and then give us really good drive on offense, he’s just playing some really consistent football and he’s so reliable every week.
31. Toby McMullin
12 disposals, 2 goals, 4 tackles
Another really promising game. He’s just building week by week and his confidence is getting better. Once again he showed those traits, just his ability to break tackles and those sharp feet just create great opportunities either for himself or his teammates. I’m loving the confidence that he’s playing with.
41. Nicholas Madden
14 disposals, 24 hit-outs, 7 tackles, 4 clearances
Probably his most pleasing game. With Flynny [Matt Flynn] also being a carry-over for the AFL side, he had to shoulder the ruck duties himself for most of the day and I think he did a terrific job going up against some quality ruckmen. For him to be able to compete against them all day and give our midfielders a really good look from there was pleasing, and also his follow up and his compete was at a high level.
42. Jason Gillbee
7 disposals, 2 marks
It was one of the days that’s always tough as a winger where you run up and down at high speed all day and sometimes you just don’t get used. I thought his effort and intent to play his role was there, we just played a pretty skinny game for a lot of the day. So with our inability to come off the line, he probably didn’t quite get the ball use he probably deserved with the patterns he was running.
45. Wade Derksen
5 disposals, 1 goal, 3 marks
One of ‘Derk’s’ more pleasing games from just a compete point of view. We really relied on him as the only key forward and we knew he was going to be outnumbered for a lot of the day. It wasn’t going to be one of those days where he took 10 marks, he just had to make sure he was really strong in the aerial contest and bring the ball to ground and let our small forwards go to work, which he did. We generated most of our goals from ‘Derk’ competing really hard all day.
VFL Listed Players Stats
0. Daniel Gauci
11 disposals,1 goal, 4 marks, 3 tackles
47. Ryan Hebron
11 disposals, 6 tackles, 3 marks
48. Jaelen Pavlidis
14 disposals, 3 clearances, 2 tackles
50. Darcy Edmends
16 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles
51. Jakob Anderson
15 disposals, 4 marks
52. Barry O’Connor
21 disposals, 3 tackles, 2 clearances
54. James Creighton
10 disposals, 3 tackles
55. Will Shaw
14 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles
56. Billy Clark
15 disposals, 1 clearance
57. Mitchell Con
16 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles, 2 clearances
66. Giorgio Varagiannis
1 goal, 9 disposals, 3 marks
70. Taine Moraschi
10 disposals, 3 tackles
72. Dayne Posthuma
8 disposals, 2 tackles, 2 clearances