Jackson Hately, Aiden Bonar and Connor Idun have pressed their claims for an AFL call up with impressive performances in the GIANTS’ NEAFL loss to Brisbane on Saturday.
Hately and Bonar were busy in the midfield while Idun impressed in the backline as the GIANTS lost by 42 points in trying circumstances in Maroochydore, 17.9 (111) to 10.9 (69).
After a poor first quarter the GIANTS kicked six goals in the second term to tie the scores at half time, but with a number of players sidelined with injury the GIANTS could only manage three goals for the remainder of the match.
The GIANTS were reduced to just 16 players on the field in the final quarter as injuries took their toll.
Zach Sproule was forced from the ground with a knee injury, fellow forward Kieren Briggs suffered a concussion and top-up player Jai Reed suffered an ankle injury
Irish recruit Callum Brown was taken off as a precaution with a tight calf while young midfielder Jye Caldwell suffered a calf injury.
“Injuries really did hurt us on the weekend and after half-time we had one on the bench,” GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider said.
“We were playing with 16 at times in the last quarter.
“The first half we played a really good game of football, I was pretty impressed with the way the guys played.
“It was unfortunate, but I’m pretty happy with the way we attacked it and finished the game off.”
The GIANTS look to return to their winning ways when they take on the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday at 10:05am at GIANTS Stadium.
Brisbane Lions 17.9 (111)
GIANTS 10.6 (69)
Goals: M. Flynn 3; D. Buckley 2; I. Hill, A. Bonar, J. Buckley, Z. Langdon, X. O'Halloran 1
NEAFL Head Coach Adam Schneider on the GIANTS’ AFL Listed players:
Jackson Hately – 36 disposals, six marks, seven tackles
“Jackson had a big day; he was one of our best players on the weekend. His work on the outside was sensational and he put in a lot of hard work on the inside. He won ten clearances and laid seven tackles for the day and finished with 36 disposals. Great to see him in good form and as I said his work-rate was a standout, especially to run out the game with no rotations in the second half.”
Aiden Bonar – 30 disposals, six marks, three tackles, one goal
“A really good game by Aiden, he’s been working on his game a lot. He’s really keen to improve his game which is great, and he got rewarded for it on the weekend. We know how good he is on the inside, but we’re impressed with some of his work on the outside. It’s really showing and it’s a credit to him for the way he’s gone about it.”
Nick Shipley – 28 disposals, five marks, seven tackles
“Shippers played a bit on the wing as a bit of a change for him. We know how good he can run but he still managed to get inside and won nine clearances and laid seven tackles as well so his appetite to get after the footy was really good on the weekend. He had a good game for us.”
Connor Idun – 23 disposals, seven marks, three tackles
“Connor was sensational for us down back, he played on a small and just competed all day. He got a fair bit of the footy, winning 23 disposals which is probably one of his highest counts for the season and he used the ball really well. His versatility to play on a tall or a small is fantastic, we’ve thrown him a few challenges and he’s delivered every time.”
Lachie Keeffe – 23 disposals, 13 marks, one tackle
“Keeffe was one of our best players for the day. He was sensational, taking 13 marks and a lot of those were when he was out of position but still managed to beat his man. He saved us a number of times; he was really solving problems for us. He had limited time on the bench so in the last quarter we put him forward. It was probably his best game for the year.”
Matt Buntine – 21 disposals, 10 marks and two tackles
“A solid game from Bunts. He was super impressive with his leadership down back, he helped set everyone up and he makes everyone grow around him. He backs into packs and is very courageous. He worked hard all day and was very consistent.”
Bobby Hill – 19 disposals, four marks, four tackles, one goal
“A solid game from Bobby, he looked really dynamic when he was given space. He had six score involvements and took a few bounces which really stood out. He’s super quick which we know and when you give him some space and the ball you know something’s going to happen. We’re pleased with the way that Bobby ran out the game and some of his forward pressure was really impressive as well. It had been down the last few weeks but this week it was on and he got rewarded with a couple of good tackles.”
Xavier O’Halloran – 18 disposals, four marks, three tackles, one goal
“He battled hard inside on the day; it was a different sort of game for him this week. He didn’t get as much footy as he had been over the last few weeks, but he still managed to run out the game well. He snuck forward, took a good mark and kicked a good goal.”
Dylan Buckley – 16 disposals, seven marks, two goals
“It was a good game from Dyl, he took a big knock on his hip and was pretty sore but he pushed through it. He looked very damaging around the goals, kicked two goals, but when we gave him some space, he does some real damage. When he gets the ball in hand, we looked like scoring and he had seven score involvements for us on the weekend.”
Matt Flynn – 14 disposals, five marks, three goals
“Interesting game from Flynny, he managed to kick three goals and looked really good when he took a couple of big marks. He took two contested marks down forward and kicked some good goals for us. His follow up work around the stoppage was really good, winning four clearances as well.”
Jack Buckley – 14 disposals, eight marks, two tackles, one goal
“He’s been playing on the wing for us but he went forward and went back for us on the weekend. He played everywhere to help us out with our rotations. He’s playing some really good football for us on the wing.”
Zac Langdon – 13 disposals, four marks, five tackles, one goal
“When you put him, Dylan Buckley and Bobby Hill in that forward line they look super dangerous. Our second quarter was down to them three with their work-rate, pressure and speed. He finished with five tackles for the game and four score involvements.”
Dawson Simpson – 10 disposals, one mark, one tackle
“Dawson dominated the ruck-taps for us which we say every week. His leadership was sensational, he really halves a lot of contests down the line which is super. He does some clever things for his teammates in getting the ball to ground deliberately which lets our smalls get to work.”
Jake Stien - 17 disposals, 10 marks, one tackle
"Jake had a quieter game than usual, that said he was rarely beaten by his opponent. He bit lower than last week's standards but still and okay game from Jake."