20/04/2024
Toby Greene leads out the Giants in round seven

Toby Greene leads out the Giants in round seven against the Adelaide Crows. Photo: GWS Giants.

After a slow start to the 2021 season, the Giants are hovering just outside the eight leading into their bye. Despite a number of injuries they will push in the second half of the year for a spot in the finals.

As we hit the bye rounds in the AFL season, The Inner Sanctum will be conducting our mid-season reviews of all 18 clubs and assessing the first half of the season and what fortunes may lie ahead.

Up first, the GWS Giants.

Snapshot:

After a very slow 0-3 start to the season, many wouldn’t have expected the GWS Giants to string five wins together. Leading into the bye they sit 10th on the ladder, they are now only one win out of the eight.

What’s worked:

Toby Greene was elevated to acting captain in round four as Stephen Coniglio was sidelined with an ankle injury. In the six games, Greene led his side before sustaining his shoulder injury, the Giants recorded four wins and two losses, going down to only the Western Bulldogs and Richmond. Greene’s leadership on and off the field has improved greatly, with the interim skipper proving his teammates look up to him as a leader and mentor.

What hasn’t:

Lachie Keeffe’s ACL injury against the Tigers was another blow to the injury-stricken defence, who already had Phil Davis, Nick Haynes, Adam Kennedy, and Sam Reid all sidelined. Sam Taylor will now undergo ankle injury, causing coach Leon Cameron to move Jeremy Finlayson into the backline for support, however now stretching players available in the forward line.

The Giants’ defensive work though remains in the mix. The club sits sixth overall for average tackles per game (52) and eighth for tackles inside 50 (8.6).

Best and fairest contenders

Toby Greene (averaging 18 disposals and two goals) and Josh Kelly (averaging 24 disposals at 71.4 percent efficiency and four tackles) will be battling it out come awards season for the Kevin Sheedy Medal. Both will be looking for their second best and fairest.

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Who needs to lift?

Sam Reid needs to assist more in the backline, currently only averaging six touches of the footy and one mark. With the Giants’ regular defenders sidelined, it’s the veteran’s time now to lift for his side.

Expectations for second half of the season

Despite Cameron being questioned as the Giants coach, he should manage to have his side hover just outside the eight. With the tightness of the competition between 9th-12th looking to remain the same, finishing in this mix would be fair despite the injuries across the entire team list.

Prediction

10th

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