An undermanned GIANTS NEAFL side has fallen to fifth on the ladder after a 64-point loss to Aspley on Saturday at GIANTS Stadium.

After a slow start, the GIANTS drew within eight points of the Hornets midway through the third quarter. However, with Adam Kennedy and Matt Buntine both ruled out by half-time, the young GIANTS couldn’t keep up with the Hornets in the 7.8 (50) to 16.18 (114) defeat. 

“It was a disappointing result but full credit to Aspley,” GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider said.

“They’d won five in a row before us and they play a really good brand of footy, they were just too good for us on the day."

The GIANTS will be buoyed by the performance of their emerging players with young ruckman Kieren Briggs’ performance a particular highlight.

With Dawson Simpson and Shane Mumford playing AFL, and Matt Flynn injured, Briggs played the majority of the game in the ruck for the first time this season and showed glimpses of his potential.

The 19-year-old Western Sydney product claimed the honours in his battle with Aspley’s former Melbourne listed ruck Jake Spencer winning 46 hitouts to Spencer’s 42.

“It was something new for ‘Briggsy’ playing that role for us this year,” Schneider said.

“It was a good opportunity for him to show us what he’s got and I was pretty pleased with his effort in playing on an ex-AFL listed player as well.”

Midfielders Jackson Hately, Jye Caldwell and Nick Shipley found plenty of the football as they continue their push for a senior call up.

The GIANTS now take on the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Sunday at 12pm in round 17.

GIANTS 0.3, 2.4, 5.6, 7.8 (50)

Aspley 1.4, 5.12, 9.16, 16.18 (114) 

GIANTS Goals: Delahunty 2; Moen, Rowston, Shipley, Sproule, Squire 1

NEAFL Head Coach Adam Schneider on the GIANTS’ AFL Listed Players: 

Jye Caldwell – 22 disposals, four marks, eight tackles, six inside 50s

“Jye played his third game in a row and I think it’s the first time he’s played three games in a row for a few years. It’s great for him, he’s had a frustrating year with injury but now each week he’s building his game. His work around the contest is super and he’s standing out. We’re still working on some defensive things which all young blokes need to do when they come into the competition, but I thought it was a real stepping stone for him. He’ll be putting his hand up for senior selection in the coming weeks that’s for sure.”

Jackson Hately – 29 disposals, four marks, nine tackles, four inside 50s

“Jacko is a beauty, he had a head to head battle with Matthew Payne who has won a few NEAFL MVP medals and is a very good player for Aspley. It was a really good match up and I thought he broke even in the end. He works hard, he’s brave and on the weekend it was a new challenge for him as well so it was a good learning game.”

Aiden Bonar – 13 disposals, 10 tackles, five inside 50s

“He had a mixed game this week playing a little bit forward and then in the midfield where we know his strength is on the inside. Forward in one-on-ones he was super dangerous and we look forward to seeing that in the future as he’s so strong, we just need to give him more opportunity when it gets in there to maximise the most of it.” 

Zach Sproule – Nine disposals, five marks, two tackles, three inside 50s, one goal

“Zach’s second game back from quite a serious knee injury was good. He had a good game last week in Darwin and this week was a little tougher with Aspley playing a solid game of footy against us and he was our only AFL listed player in our forward line on the day. He found it a bit tough with the ball not coming in clean and not as often. Not his best game, he’d be first to admit that, but the great thing about Zach is he’ll forget about it and come out next weekend and make sure he turns it around.”

Kieren Briggs – 18 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, 46 hitouts, seven inside 50s

“He had a really good battle in the ruck against Spencer, he finished ahead in the hitouts which was fantastic and his jumping at the contest is a strength. His follow up was really good on the weekend as well. We’re really pleased with what he produced this week and he might get another effort in the ruck this weekend against another good ruckman from the Gold Coast.”

Nick Shipley – 25 disposals, three marks, five tackles, one goal

“Shippers has adapted to the wing role really well, his running patterns are something that we think he can use to benefit the team. He just needs to keep on working on a few decisions around the contest, when to be in and when to stay on the outside. He’s doing really well in working on that with Damian Truslove. it probably wasn’t one of his better games but it wasn’t one of his poorer games.” 

Connor Idun – 16 disposals, three marks, one tackle

“Connor had a really good battle with their full forward Jonathon Freeman who I feel is a really good player. He got beaten a couple of times with little lead ups which is good learning for Connor as it’s rare that I’ve seen him beaten in a contest let alone a marking contest. He will be disappointed with his game, he’s a proud man and one thing I know about Connor is that he’s going to respond.”

Adam Kennedy – 18 disposals, nine marks, two tackles

“He was running around like a mad man and was covering some great territory which was really great to see. He had a spring in his step and gave us great drive off the half-back flank. Fingers crossed he’ll be available to play this weekend.”

Callum Brown – Seven disposals, three marks, five tackles

“It was a good learning game for Cal, we know how good he is when he get the ball in hand and drives forward. On the weekend it was probably the best defensive game that he’s had. He’s working really closely on some things with Alicia Eva our backline coach about some of his backline work and he really made an improvement on the weekend.”