The GIANTS claimed their first win of the 2021 VFL season with a 30-point victory over Southport at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday afternoon.
Jake Riccardi, Jacob Wehr and Tanner Bruhn starred for the GIANTS as they held-off a spirited Southport side to record a 14.10 (94) to 8.16 (64) win.
Youngster Jake Riccardi responded well to being omitted by senior coach Leon Cameron registering a game-high 19 marks and 40 disposals playing in a new defensive role.
Tanner Bruhn (23 disposals, one goal) and Nick Shipley (22 disposals, 1 goal) were both impressive in the midfield for the GIANTS, with Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs also pressing their claims for senior selection after strong displays in the ruck.
GIANTS VFL coach Luke Kelly attributed the win to his side’s ability to remain accountable and resilient after a disappointing start to the season.
“I’m really pleased with how we went about against a really strong and mature team,” Kelly said.
“We had an even contribution across the ground, and we continued to respond when when they challenged, that was the most pleasing part."
5 Tanner Bruhn
1 goal, 23 disposals
“Tanner provided us with a really strong performance through the midfield. I was really impressed with his drive around the contest and his ability to hit the scoreboard.”
9 Ryan Angwin
1 goal, 11 disposals
“Another strong performance from Ryan. He continues to help and strengthen us defensively and was another midfielder able to hit the scoreboard.”
10 Jacob Wehr
27 disposals, 19 kicks
“Jacob provided us with some great drive out of the back half and showed great composure when we needed it.”
18 Conor Stone
15 disposals, 1 mark
“Conor continues to get better week in, week out with the ball in hand. He had eight score involvements from his fifteen touches, and like Ryan was able to get back and help our defence when needed.”
26 Jake Riccardi
40 disposals, 19 marks
“Jake was really strong in the air and set us up out of the back half by foot really well. We're happy with his first run down back.”
28 Zach Sproule
1 goal, 5 tackles
“Another player that had a big impact with the ball in hand. He had ten score involvements and was able to hit the scoreboard, while also competing well in the air.”
29 Cameron Fleeton
9 disposals, 2 marks
“Cam had the job on Gowers and did a fantastic job. He continues to get better and better each week with his defensive craft.”
30 Matt Flynn
1 goal, 17 hit-outs
“Kicked a really big goal for us on halftime and provided a strong presence in the air.”
31 Josh Boag
1 goal, 8 disposals
"Josh provided us with some great pressure up forward. He’s continuing to learn within our system, and it was pleasing to see him hit the score board."
32 Kieren Briggs
16 hit-outs, 14 disposals
"Like Flynn, Kieren provided us with a great presence in the air. Really pleased with his follow up and defensive pressure, laying six crucial tackles throughout the match."
33 James Peatling
23 disposals, 9 marks
“James continues to give us great drive out of the back half. His ability to help at ground level has been really important.”
34 Nick Shipley
22 disposals, 1 goal
"Our leading clearance player, Nick’s being doing all the hard work in the inside this season. It was pleasing to see another midfielder hit the scoreboard."
35 Will Shaw
7 disposals, 5 tackles
“The stats probably don’t reflect Will's impact on the game. His work rate and more importantly his defensive pressure was really significant for us in key periods.”
36 Billy Clark
23 disposals, 7 marks
"Bill’s looking more comfortable with ball in hand every week. Another consistent performance as he settles into our defensive group.”
37 Liam Ross
3 goals, 18 disposals
“Pleased to see Liam rewarded for his effort. His work rate and selfless running has been really important this season. Starting to really have an impact at VFL level.”
38 Rhys Pollock
3 goals, 3 tackles
“Rhys has been a really consistent player for us this year as a small forward. He doesn’t need a lot of the ball to have a big impact. Was able to lay three tackles on top of his three goals which was great.”
39 Tim Garvey
11 disposals, 3 tackles
“Fought hard for us on the inside against a big bodied midfield. Brings consistent effort and pressure across all four quarters.”
40 Marshall Poynter
9 disposals, 2 marks
“Another one out of the GIANTS Academy, Poynter defends hard and I’m really happy with his role inside our back half.”
42 Josh Green
17 disposals, 9 kicks
“Like Shipley, Josh fought hard on the inside for us. Eleven of his seventeen disposals were contested and he’s continuing to build his consistent inside game.”
44 Alex Smout
2 goals, 19 disposals
"Really pleased with his selfless role on the wing. He worked back to support our defence and I'm pleased he got some reward late in front of goal."
46 Callum Brown
11 disposals, 9 kicks
"Cal's starting to put some really consistent defensive football together. Another pleasing performance."
50 Zachery Youlten
8 disposals, 3 marks
"Some really pleasing signs with Zach, especially with the ball in hand. Six score involvements from eight touches, he continues to look more and more comfortable at the level."