By Ollie Nash and Liam Melrose
Toby Greene was the match-winner for the Giants against Collingwood in round four. Photo: AFL Photos
Captain Toby puts on a Giant performance
There was a lot of talk going into GWS’ clash with Collingwood about Toby Greene stepping in as the stand in captain for the injured Stephen Coniglio. For a player that has been reported a number of times for on-field incidents some weren’t sure it was the best decision. However, on Saturday night he rose to the occasion kicking five goals in a best on ground performance in a sign that captaincy is perfect for him. He is a big game player and when he turns it on he is one of the best players in the competition. In what was a much-needed win for the Giants to get their season back on track it was Captain Toby who stole the show.
Nik Cox and Alec Waterman could not be more different. Cox is a 200cm wingman that can do everything a 185cm midfielder can do. Waterman is 18cm shorter and one kilo heavier, one of the thicker mid-sized forwards you’ll see play this year. I love what they both bring. Waterman is a footballer, plain and simple. While the competition has headed down the athletic, potential path, every now and then a classic, country style footballer shows up and has an immediate impact. Waterman is that. A great mark for his size, a beautiful field and goal kicker and competitive. Cox on the other hand is that athletic style youngster that clubs love while having all the skills that Waterman does. Runs well for his size, great over-head mark and a beautiful kick on both feet. I can’t wait to watch their development.
Joe Daniher has had an up and down start to his Brisbane career. Photo: AFL Photos
Brisbane forward line function
Whenever a key player comes into a side there is always a gelling period. Players need time to figure out how the recruit plays, style of game, their mannerisms etc. Brisbane are going through that growing pain with Joe Daniher right now. It’s awesome at times and it’s hard to watch at others. At times against Collingwood the connection between the midfield at Daniher looked great. Different story on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs. The windy conditions at Mars Stadium didn’t help but the connection was non-existent. Daniher was clearly frustrated and didn’t have an impact. It’ll all work out over time, there’s no doubt about that, but Brisbane need to get back on track quickly even if Daniher is struggling.
The Cats need to flick the switch
After four rounds Geelong sit 2-2, and they very easily could have been 0-4 as both of their wins have been by less than a goal. They were grand finalists in 2020 and only strengthened their list in 2021 adding star recruits Isaac Smith, Jeremy Cameron and Shaun Higgins. However, the Cats haven’t looked even a shadow of the team they were in 2020. While the likely return of Cameron and Patrick Dangerfield to the lineup will certainly help the team, it won’t solve all of their problems. Their struggling with their ball movement and not playing with the same confidence we saw last year. Fortunately for Geelong they play North Melbourne at the Cattery on Sunday, a match-up they should have no issues with and have the opportunity to win big and get their season back on track.
Hugh Greenwood was one of the Suns better players but it wasn't enough against Carlton. Photo: AFL Photos
Gold Coast the in-betweeners
The Gold Coast are in that unfortunate position where they are the in-betweeners and it’s not entirely their fault. They’re competitive and are in every game they play. However, when you’re an in-between team like the Suns, Carlton, Fremantle etc. you need everything to go right, like injuries. Seven of their best 22 are out and it shows. Without Sam Day, Ben King is left to fend for himself. Zac Smith and Jarrod Witts are both injured which leaves them skinny at the ruck position. Matt Rowell’s time out is undetermined and even someone like Jacob Townsend, who they could really use, is still five or six weeks away. The three games the Suns have lost, to West Coast, Adelaide and Carlton, have all been winnable and with a healthier list, they could have been 3-1 or at least 2-2. Instead they sit 1-3 and while they will win more games this year, it will be another finals campaign missed in 2021.
Kangaroos let the Crow slip
North Melbourne are showing all the signs of a team that may not win a game in 2021. Across their first four games they’ve lost by 52, 59, 128 and 41 points. However, on Sunday they were well within reach of a win against the Adelaide Crows after leading at three quarter time by four points. What followed was a huge opportunity that the Kangaroos let slip as the Crows piled on eight goals to one in the last quarter to defeat North Melbourne by 41 points. The Kangaroos actually won both the second and third quarters and even kept Adelaide goalless in the third quarter, but unfortunately their last quarter fade out cost them dearly. Going into 2021 most people had North Melbourne as a bottom two team and so far, injuries haven’t been kind to them either, however their loss to Adelaide was a big opportunity missed and while it’s only early in the year and it’s rare that a team finishes a season without winning a game the signs are there at Arden Street.
Cover Photo: AFL Photos