• Sydney Swans Reserves v GWS Giants

    GWS did start very strong and while the Swans missed their shots, I thought the Giants were good value for their 4 goals. They moved the ball well through the midfield and capitalised on some sloppy Swans defence. The Swans on the other hand were haphazard by foot going into forward line, preferring to bomb long into the tall timber down there rather than spot up open players.

    Playfair must have reiterated to the players to stick to their structures during the break as from then on it was all one way traffic.

    1. Mark SEABY
    Seaby started the game at full forward, marked by Folau. His stint up forward was solid, while he didn't take many marks, he did provide a tall target and when the ball was in the GWS defenders hands he was quite effective in his harassing, tackling and chasing. I would estimate he spent less time in the ruck than Pyke, perhaps the time share was split between him, Pyke and Currie at 40/50/10

    10. Daniel CURRIE
    I wasn't expecting much from Currie today given his recent poor form and the fact that we had two fulltime ruckmen on hand. His start was as I expected, he seemed to lumber from contest to contest without really impacting on any of them. He had an early snap that hit the post. He was moved to the ruck late in the 2nd quarter which proved the catalyst for his renaissance. He only had a short spell in there but that seemed to give him a much needed confidence-boost and he was a reborn man in the forward line in the 2nd half where he moved much better, started taking marks on leads, and was involved in some clever pieces of play. First, he nimbly picked up a loose ball from the deck and handballed in one motion to Brain who in turn found Lamb. Next he cleverly knocked an incoming ball onto Lamb's path to run into an open goal. He finished the game by kicking the last goal of the game from a 40m set shot. A good performance from Daniel, but I just can't see him getting a game barring a long list of injuries.

    11. Jed LAMB
    I've come to love watching Lamb play as he is such a clever and skilful footballer. He had 4 set shots and nailed all of them from differing angles (Correction: I remember he missed the easiest of the lot, almost right in front not far out!), as well as running forward for two goals into an open goalsquare. One aspect of his game that has really shone out for me is his ability to control the bouncing ball in front of him with his sly, little paddles. Combined with his great balance and ability to keep his feet, he will either turn the defender inside out, or earn a free kick for being held without it. I'm fairly certain he will play seniors this year, I think his fitness is good enough and his size solid enough, it's just a question of when they will want to introduce him.

    17. Tadhg KENNELLY
    He started somewhat rustily but by the end of the second quarter we had the old Kennelly back, complete with his serpentine spin and twist move when he tries to elude an oncoming opponent. He must have spent some time onball in the 3rd quarter as he was quite close to the action but for the majority of the time he was doing his thing on the half-back flank. He seemed very keen to come back next week when interviews by Byron Cooke and Adam Spencer during the halftime break but with only a 3 man interchange I think that will work against his return at Subi.

    22. Byron SUMNER
    He started on the half-back line but at the end of the game seemed to be playing much higher. He showed flashes including a couple of his now trademark bursts from packs, but on the whole didn't really have a big impact on the game. I thought he was indiscriminate with his ball use, preferring to launch long, high kicks into the forward line where it was easy for Izzy and co. to spoil. His last quarter was probably his best of the lot, where he nailed a goal from a throw-in and then set up Lamb for his 6th.

    23. Lewis JOHNSTON
    Playing CHB again, he is a very assured performer with his kicks with his ability to switch play by hitting players 50m away of a couple of steps a real highlight. Had a bit more to do today defensively and did his job adequately. Didn't get forward as he had in the past 2 practice matches where he was always keen for a ping. I think as a learning experience, this role should be good for him but I can't see him playing in defence in the seniors in the near future.

    28. Dylan McNEIL
    Didn't mention McNeil a lot in my tweets but I think he had a fine game, doing the hard yards in the midfield, racking up plenty of tackles and possessions. Not sure what else I can add, he does what's asked of him week in and week out but what does he require to make the leap to the seniors. He was consistently in the reserves' best last year and has started well again this year. Is it just a simple case of his small stature being a barrier to his promotion?

    34. Alex JOHNSON
    He is a smooth mover on the field and is very athletic, he was nominally the fullback but got up the field quite a bit and used the ball effectively. He's not the biggest guy sizewise, but seems to hold up okay against the fellow teenage GWS forwards. Until he fills out though, he could play as a flanker at either end of the ground quite comfortably.

    36. Chris McKAIGUE
    I like McKaigue's endeavour and enthusiasm but after a year of reserves football under his belt, I'm not sure his football nous has developed to any great extent. There was one piece of play in the 2nd quarter that would not have Lewis Johnston inviting him over for dinner any time soon. A high ball was kicked in the air, Johnston was camped underneath it while McKaigue came charging through calling "mine! mine! mine!" Johnston pulled out of it but surprisingly so did McKaigue allowing his GWS man to run away with it. On this rate of development I fear he will not play a senior game for us. He kicked a nice goal today by starting the move from defence and following up to provide a return option for Seaby.

    38. Mike PYKE
    A little unlucky with Hille's withdrawal (I suspect the Swans knew beforehand) otherwise he would have probably played in the seniors. He is starting to make himself a viable and potent option up forward, with his improved kicking for goal a real highlight. He nailed his first from a tight angle on the left, then repeated the dose this time from the right a few minutes later. His third was a well judged mark 15m out running back with the flight of the ball. His ruckwork was solid rather than dominant as was the case in the past 2 practice matches. I felt that the ruck combo with Seaby and Currie worked well as they wore down the Giants' ruck Giles.

    43. Eugene KRUGER
    With Parker, Bird and Meredith out from last week's side, someone had to take their place in the centre square and Kruger was the main beneficiary. I had a close look at him in the 2nd quarter and I am fairly certain he was doing a run-with role on Dylan Shiel, who has big wraps on him. His effectiveness as a tagger was fairly limited as Shiel was probably one of the Giants better players. He continued his goalscoring run with a nice finish after a generous handball by Sumner.

    44. Max OTTEN
    Saw more of the ball as it was coming down there more often than in the past fortnight. I thought he battled hard, defended well and was a solid link down the wings but nothing outstanding.

    45. Nathan GORDON
    Nipper was the other midfielder given a chance in the middle but he wasn't as prominent as McNeil was. His first goal was a big set shot from 55 m and he took a nice grab for his second. Another competent player without being a standout.

    46. Ben HAREN
    Not as dominant as last week, but still took some fine grabs in and around the forward 50 area. I'm still very impressed with his kicking both from set shots and in general play. He is one of the better kicks in the side with his poise and balance a definite standout. If Playfair can rotate the athleticism of Haren, Johnston, Johnson and/or Otten around the tall resting ruckman (Currie/Seaby/Pyke) it's going to cause a lot of headaches for the other NEAFL sides.

    Topups/Academy Players
    47. Jackson POTTER
    48. Blake GUTHRIE
    49. Nathan KENNY
    50. James BRAIN
    51. Jack LYNCH
    53. Kane MURPHY
    54. Tim WALES
    57. Daniel ROBINSON

    Potter played the majority of his time in the midfield, Guthrie and Wales were stationed mostly in defence. Kenny had some nice inside 50s, setting up at least one goal for Nipper. Brain was lively in the 3rd quarter and was probably the standout for me. Murphy makes you sit up and take notice with his short height but combative nature, but to be honest I didn't see him much. Robinson I didn't even notice until the 3rd quarter where he goaled on the siren. He seems slightly younger than the rest of the toppies.

    I was very disappointed that Parker did not play, even for one half. A player or players in the seniors must have been in some doubt leading up to the game. I guess this takes him out of contention for the seniors next week. And for a different reason, it's also disappointing that LRT did not play today. Did he injure himself at training or did he not pull up well from the half-a-game hitout last week? As well as Teddy and Reggie are doing back there for us, I somehow feel more assured when LRT is manning our defensive 50.

    They'll be disappointed to capitulate like that after a great start. Giles (26) was nullified in the ruck as the game went on and their struggled to get good clean direct ball to their forwards who well contained by our defence. Josh Bruce (6) was surprisingly used through the midfield for at least 1 half, I thought they needed his height at either end. Eventually he went back when they switched Israel Folau (4) around without much luck. Poor Israel started the game with some nice spoils but finished with a duck's egg in terms of possessions, even after they chucked him in the ruck to try and get his hands on the ball. Ben Casley (29) and Stephen Clifton (24) were their best players in that first quarter, Curtly Hampton (2) was exciting to watch down back even if he eventually had his colours lowered by Lamb, and later on Jeremy Cameron (8) provided some sort of target up forward.

    Swans 2.7 9.11 15.16 23.16 (154)
    Giants 4.3 5.5 7.5 8.10 (58)

    Swans Goals: Lamb 6 Haren Pyke 3 Gordon Currie 2 Murphy Kruger Seaby Brain Robinson Mckaigue Sumner
    GWS Goals: Casley Cameron 3 Cunningham Tunbridge
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sydney Swans Reserves v GWS Giants started by ugg View original post
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