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Giants v Tigers NAB Cup Review

With the lack of TV or radio coverage, we were lucky enough to have our man on the ground, RLGriffin, to check out the Giants and Tigers in Canberra in their last hitout before the first lockout goes into effect next Saturday. We would like to thank Rob who was on his bucks weekend for this awesome report!

So after about five hours of sleep and following on from eight hours of solid drinking (bucks night), I fried up some eggs, sizzled some bacon, washed it down with a triple shot coffee, and headed down to Manuka Oval to get watch the Giants take on the Tigers. The result was never really in question, and the Tigers monstered the young Giants for most of the first quarter, with the ball hardly sighted beyond the GWS side of the centre square.

In the first quarter Coniglio and Deledio just seemed to have the ball on a string and were constantly in play. Giles was solid in the ruck, Riewoldt was toying with the Giants defence, but from my end (behind the Giants goal square) the player that stood out the most was Morris. The solid bodied blonde just seemed to have poise and speed, with brilliant bursts of rebounding footy. Hampton was their sole (noticeable) target up forward; however poor kicking and long bombs allowed the Tigers to just continually clean up. Had the kicking been cleaner, Curtly could have easily had three reasonable shots on goal; instead, I can’t remember him getting more than a handball.

In the second quarter the Giants seemed to wake, and more so, they seemed to actually be able to control the ball. They slowed it down and played wide, possession football. Cameron seemed to find his feet and lead up the ground a bit more, and managed to kick a nice goal from 45 out on an angle. Coniglio and Deledio continued to dominate the stats count and Giles played forward when resting, picking up a nice goal in the process.

Kennedy was getting plenty of the pill as the Giants continued to find a way out of defence. However poor kicking skills/decisions let him down at times, so it would be interesting to see what his supercoach score was. Will Hosking-Elliot however was able to find space where there wasn’t any, and frequently rebounded the ball, almost single-handedly, from the back half to the forward fifty.

Tomas Bugg was solid playing slightly deeper in defence and getting plenty of the ball (almost purely by how much the tigers were pushing forward), and on the other hand Ellis who had been great in the first quarter, just seemed to go missing. Izzy Falou managed to get himself put in the book thanks to what looked like a great tackle at ground level, which drew large cheers from the crowd, only to pick himself up whilst being asked what number he was.

From my angle there was nothing in it, but we all know how the AFL feels about sling tackles. It will be very interesting which way the AFL will o with this one, as on one hand his draw ability needed for next weeks round one game can’t afford to be lost, but the AFL also can’t afford to set a precedent on his tackling style being okay if it’s not.

In the second half Deledio continued to just tear through the centre square whilst Callan Ward suddenly turned on a contested footy showcase for his younger team mates. Dustin Martin was starting deep forward for much of the last half, with brief stints in the middle. From my position it looked a lot like he was just being rested, without being dropped, and when the ball came near him easily handled himself in traffic. Put simply, disregard his game from a Dream Team perspective.

On the other hand, and in a good sign for his rating amongst the coaching staff, Tommy Bugg (#twitterbugg) was put into a shut down role on Martin. And as much as we don’t like to hear the words ‘shut down’ on a possible rookie defender, the second he got the chance to break he was up on his toes and playing a Dream Team friendly rebounding role.

I’m sad to say that the Tassie boy close to the hearts of the DTTalk boys, Tim Mohr, was looking all out of sorts in the second half. Riewoldt just man-handled Mohr and caught him out of position, out bodied him, and just out played him on almost every occasion. Good kicking inside the forward fifty by Foley, who just seemed to keep getting the ball without any effort, opened up the game. Combining that with Newman rebounding most of the Giants forward thrusts, the Tigers made the result obvious midway through the third quarter, and the only question was – by how much?

Jumping Jack Riewoldt looked in great form, however sublime kicking into the forward fifty helped him a lot. If he continued the form I saw, he could be looking at an 80 goal season. Giles was simply superb all day, and played forward and back. McDonald was the stalwart in defence, and stood out with his decision making. He was rotated into the midfield at times, and showed that his role this year will be to lead by example, not by running messages from the coaches box.

Devon Smith didn’t get a lot of the ball, but when he did he was extremely damaging. Nahas ran throw the middle with ease towards the end of the game, and was hard at the ball. Curtly Hampton was thrown into defence late in the game to help stop the bleeding, and to get him involved. It worked, but was far too late.

Other than that, Clifton looked out of sorts and had a very quiet one. Davis had a shut down role, and Scully had a day to forget, after deciding to high five Israel Falou with his face half way through the second term.

Five things I learnt

  • Palmer is more important to the Giants than I had thought, as his absence threw Clifton into an unfamiliar role drastically affecting his output.
  • Anyone who starts without Deledio just doesn’t want an FJ Cruiser.
  • I need to find room for Morris, his composure was amazing!
  • Giles could easily handle the R2 spot – if that’s your strategy; and…
  • There are worse ways to get through a hangover then watching the footy on a Saturday afternoon.

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @RLGriffin85

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