GWS “won’t shy away” from Collingwood task

The GWS Giants walking out to face the Western Bulldogs in Round 14. (Image: GWS Giants)

GWS caretaker coach Mark McVeigh has declared that although he expects the best of Collingwood this weekend, they “won’t shy away” from the task at hand.

Speaking to the media this week ahead of the Giants’ trip to the MCG for the second time this year, McVeigh had plenty of praise for his troops and several points of focus ahead of their match against the Magpies.

The game plan

While it may appear that finals are out of reach for the Giants in 2022, McVeigh believes that his players can still learn from their experiences throughout the rest of the year.

When speaking about the Giants’ fixture for the remainder of the season, McVeigh said, “it’s a great opportunity to see where we are at.”

It’s well-noted that the Giants have had success from an attacking front lately, however, it leaves them vulnerable in transition.

“We really pushed the Brisbane Lions, and we pushed the Western Bulldogs”, McVeigh said.

GWS forward Toby Greene celebrating one of his seven goals against the Western Bulldogs in Round 14. (Image: GWS Giants)

The Giants have conceded 102 points per game on average against current top eight teams this season. Although Collingwood is not currently a top eight team, they sit close by, approximately eight percent from St. Kilda, in eighth spot.

McVeigh realised GWS’ poor defensive form.

“ It’s certainly been discussed,” he said.

“We expect the best of Collingwood. Their form has been terrific…you can see a shift in the way they’re playing.”

More AFL News:

The A-Z of Round 14: Who’s firing off the bye round?

AFL Mid-Season Review: Brisbane Lions – Biggest test still awaits

Mid-Season Review: Melbourne Demons – Has the Dee-Train hit some bumps?

Himmelberg is “a real weapon” for the Giants

Across their last few games, the Giants have tested Himmelberg as a half-back. Usually a forward, Himmelberg had a real impact in those matches where he played in defence.

In round 13, the Giants defeated North Melbourne by 49 points and Himmelberg posted a career-high 37 disposals. This was followed up in GWS’ 20-point loss to the Western Bulldogs where we managed 23 disposals – the second-highest in his career.

“he is a real weapon for us,” McVeigh said.

“He’s open-minded for anything”.

The versatile Harry Himmelberg collected a career-high 37 disposals in Round 13 against North Melbourne. (Image: GWS Giants)

McVeigh revealed that Tim Taranto is set to make his return to the AFL side if he makes it through the Friday training session. McVeigh also announced that former captain – Phil Davis – is a “big chance” to be available this weekend.

Ruckman Matt Flynn is still not ready to return, however, McVeigh mentioned he hopes Flynn may be available next weekend when the Giants face the Hawks.

Braydon Pruess has accepted a one-match ban for rough conduct on Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English. His absence sparked the thought of the versatile Harry Himmelberg, who has played in several roles throughout this season.

Giant threats

With Pruess out, McVeigh sees Mason Cox as a threat to the Giants.

McVeigh sees it as a massive challenge with no recognized ruckman but it affords the chance to once again get creative.

The Collingwood Magpies celebrate a thrilling victory against the Melbourne Demons in the Queen’s Birthday match. (Image: Collingwood Magpies)

The Giants will look to keep their eyes on a few Magpies, with McVeigh highlighting Jack Crisp and his ability to get “involved in the midfield” as one of several players to be watchful for.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury, in McVeigh’s eyes “controls a bit like a quarterback.”

Collingwood’s forward line was mentioned as a threat, from their tall forwards to their small forwards. Brodie Mihocek was given praise by McVeigh, describing him as “a hard forward to line-up on.”

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