The GIANTS' VFL finals chances were dealt a blow on Saturday after going down to the Swans to the tune of 78 points at Blacktown International Sportspark.
Despite entering the clash sitting in 18th spot, the Swans soared against the GIANTS, stunning the home side with a sizzling 10-goal second term to set up a 22.13 (145) to 9.13 (67) win.
After just five points separated the sides at the end of a tightly contested first quarter, the GIANTS were unable to contain a red-hot Swans outfit who kicked 10.3 to the GIANTS’ 1.2 to hold a match-winning 60-point halftime lead.
While the GIANTS were able to stem the bleeding in a much-improved second half, the damage had already been done as the Swans ran out the game to register their fourth win of the year.
“In the end it just came down to skill execution,” GIANTS VFL coach Wayne Cripps said following the loss.
“The intent to try and play our way on offence was there but we just made some fundamental errors far too regularly.
“Then the same on the defensive end. Some of our defensive decisions weren’t bad but we just lacked some of the detail around it and we paid dearly for it.”
Now sitting 13th, the GIANTS will likely need to win their final two clashes against the Northern Bullants and Geelong for a chance to finish inside the top 10 and play finals.
Despite finals still being attainable, Cripps said his focus was on returning to playing the GIANTS’ way.
“It’s more about us trying to fine tune those details that we were lacking on the weekend and making sure we keep trying to play our way and execute the best we can,” he said.
“We can’t control the results but we can control the way we play so we’ll just try and clean up those areas.”
Cripps shared his assessment of the AFL-listed GIANTS who featured in the match.
AFL Listed Players:
5. Aaron Cadman
11 disposals, 3.3, 6 marks, 3 tackles
I thought it was ‘Cadsy’s’ best game of the year. He competed really hard all day in the air and then also following up on ground level with some of the pressure he put on in the forward line. He took some nice marks and he probably should have finished the day with a bag of six or seven if things went his way a little more. But he’s really building and his game is starting to come together.
10. Jacob Wehr
23 disposals, 7 marks, 3 tackles
Once again I thought ‘Wolfy’ had a great game and he finally got some reward for effort. He’s been working really hard in running up and down the wing and not always getting rewarded for that work he does, but on the weekend I thought we finally got the ball in his hands and he did some really good things for us. We sent him across half back later in the game just because we trust him to be able to get the job done and he gave us some really good contest down there and some good run and really got our offence going.
18. Conor Stone
12 disposals, 2 goals
Once again, he had a really consistent game. He’s looking to take the game on every time he gets the ball with that speed we know he has. He probably should have finished the game with three goals as he kicked two really nice goals and missed a snap he probably normally kicks every other day of the week. So he’s putting himself in a position to hit the scoreboard and he’s been putting some really good pressure on and playing his role within our system.
20. James Peatling
14 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles, 4 clearances
‘JP’ got a knock early on which restricted him a fair bit and he had to come off in the second half but I thought he gave us really good energy around stoppage. His read and react game is really strong and he’s looking very bouncy around stoppage and his ability to put pressure on is starting to become a real consistent part of his game
24. Harry Rowston
18 disposals, 6 clearances, 3 tackles
He was very quiet in the first half but it was good to see in the second half he came out and responded, which is great sign for a young player. Even though he was pretty quiet in the first half he finished the game with the equal-most clearances for us. His aggression at the ball and aggression on defence is obviously a highlight of his game and he’s got some areas he’s still trying to work on to find that consistency, but I’m really proud of the way he responded in the second half.
28. Cameron Fleeton
23 disposals, 6 marks, 4 tackles
‘Fleets’ was good. We keep trying to adjust his role as much as we can down there to give him different looks and different positions down back. Once again he gave us some really good aerial support and he’s really trying to show some of that ground level game he’s got as well. He just runs so hard for us on offence and tries to get our offence going which has become a really big feature for him this year and once again I thought he was good on both sides of the ball.
30. Matt Flynn
14 disposals, 2 goals, 13 hitouts, 4 clearances
‘Flynny’ spent a bit more time forward this week and was able to kick a couple of goals which was nice. Once again he helped ‘Mads’ out in the ruck and I think they both did a great job battling away all day. One thing ‘Flynny’ does he just always competes.
31. Toby McMullin
17 disposals, 3 tackles, 4 clearances
He was good. We had to use him a little bit through the midfield when ‘JP’ went down and just to try and give us a bit of a spark during the second quarter when things weren’t going well. Once again he’s showing those traits with his ability to want to step in and pressure, and then to get out with speed, which were at a good level again.
34. Josh Fahey
26 disposals, 6 marks, 1 goal
Once again he did a pretty good job on the wing and then we needed him at half back just to get our offence going. He’s just consistent and always gives us that same effort in terms of getting our ball movement going. He’s got those areas he’s still working on but he’s becoming a more rounded footballer each week.
41. Nicholas Madden
18 disposals, 25 hitouts, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 2 clearances
It was ‘Maddsy’s’ best game. One thing about ‘Maddsy’ on the day is that we weren’t always at our best but he was just competing really hard and he’s always got a great intent about him. He’s still got a lot to learn from a craft point of view and a patterns point of view but one thing he brings is a good attitude and effort and that’s all you can ask for from a ruckman. I’m really proud of how he performed on the weekend.
42. Jason Gilbee
18 disposals, 7 marks
It was a solid game from ‘Gilbs’ once again. We are still trying to help with his education and so he spent some time down back as well. We are trying to get him to get that balance between offence and defence and he’s getting better at that. The good thing is he’s trying to take the game on every time he’s got the ball in his hands.
45. Wade Derksen
7 disposals, 3 marks
It was a tough day for ‘Derk’ but every time the ball came in his area he competed really hard and unfortunately he didn’t get the rewards this week but he’ll bounce back
48. Jaelen Pavlidis
14 disposals, 3 clearances
He’s been working really hard at some of his contest work and getting back to the ability he has to break lines out of stoppage and to get involved in our overlap. He showed some really good moments on the weekend where he is getting back to that form that he showed earlier in the year. It wasn’t his best game but he’s showing signs of that form that we know he can produce.
VFL Listed Players Stats:
47. Ryan Hebron
16 disposals, 6 marks, 4 tackles
49. Mitchell Ryan
15 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles
50. Darcy Edmends
51. Jakob Anderson
13 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles
52. Barry O’Connor
17 disposals, 5 tackles, 6 clearances
54. James Creighton
8 disposals, 1 goal, 4 marks
55. Will Shaw
4 disposals (injured)
55. William Clark
7 disposals, 2 tackles
70. Taine Moraschi
8 disposals, 2 clearances
72. Dayne Posthuma
11 disposals, 4 tackles