The GWS Giants have enjoyed a clinical 41-point win over Collingwood in Sunday’s AAMI Community Series clash at Giants Stadium, 15.10 (100) to 8.11 (59).
The Magpies showed promising signs at stages, but the Giants were a class above for most of the day, led by dominant performances from Josh Kelly (41 disposals), Tim Taranto (31 disposals, two goals) and Stephen Coniglio (27 disposals).
The result was further compounded for Collingwood by injuries to Nathan Kreuger (concussion), Patrick Lipinski and Nathan Murphy (both ankle), while Brayden Maynard is set to come under fire from the MRO for hitting Daniel Lloyd in the head during a marking contest.
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Although Pies fans would’ve loved what they saw from Nick Daicos in his unofficial AFL debut, racking up a team-high 31 disposals off half back in a classy display.
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The Giants enjoyed a 31-point win over the Sydney Swans in last week’s six-quarter practice match in Albury. Jesse Hogan was not been named to face the Magpies as he battled soreness.
Meanwhile, Taylor Adams (hamstring) and Brody Mihocek (illness) were absent for Collingwood, while Jordan De Goey played after missing last week’s practice match against Hawthorn and father-son prodigy Nick Daicos has also been named.
The match got underway at 12:40pm AEDT from Giants Stadium.
Magpies goalsneak Jack Ginnivan kicked the first major of the game with a well-timed nutmeg in the goalsquare.
“A freakish goal through Ginnivan, who’s got a bit of X-factor about him,” Fox Footy commentator Brenton Speed said.
Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton added: “Good accidental goal isn’t it.”
The Giants responded with the next two goals through Daniel Lloyd and Bobby Hill.
Pies fans would’ve loved what they saw from father-son star Nick Daicos early, racking up six disposals in the first quarter in a lively role across half back.
The Giants’ midfield was busy early including big opening quarters to Stephen Coniglio (nine disposals) and Josh Kelly (10 disposals).
GWS piled one two more goals, one after a dubious 50m penalty against Darcy Moore for delaying the game, the second after a huge contested grab from Jake Riccardi.
“I reckon he’s ready for a breakout year, Jake Riccardi is looking ominous,” Speed said.
Pies recruit Paptrick Lipinski limped off the field at the end of the first quarter an apparent ankle issue. The club later confirmed he wouldn’t return to the game.
Harrison Himmelberg booted the first goal of the second quarter to extend the Giants’ lead.
Callan Ward and Nathan Kreuger collided in a crunching bump midway through the second quarter that left the latter floored and and in the hands of medicos as he had to be helped off the ground. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game with concussion.
“Big hip and shoulder and it’s done some big damage to both players here,” Speed said.
Brayden Maynard will come under the microscope of the MRO after getting reported for hitting Daniel Lloyd’s head during a contest. Lloyd sat out the rest of the game with concussion, although it’s unclear if it happened in the contest or when he hit the deck.
It was an even third term early where both club had momentum in separate moments, while Bobby Hill put through his third goal for the afternoon.
The Magpies took control from halfway through the period, kicking three-straight goals to get within as many majors, but also missed several more opportunities to creep closer.
Setup by Hill, Tim Taranto kicked a nice snap goal to settle things for the Giants late in the third, with Fox Footy commentator Kelli Underwood noting ‘that had a bit of ‘Warnie’ spin on it’ in reference to the late cricket legend Shane Warne.
More injury concerns struck late in the term as Nathan Murphy was helped off the field with an ankle issue. He became the fifth player struck down with injury, joining Kreuger, Lipinski for the Pies, while the Giants lost Lloyd and Connor Stone (ankle).
“There’s injury concerns galore just 10 sleeps out from the season opener,” Underwood said.
The Giants continued their dominant form in the fourth quarter, piling on four more goals to Collingwood’s two including a flashy dribble finish from Tanner Bruhn to cap off the win.
THE 3-2-1 (What we learned)
3. THE GIANTS’ MIDFIELD IS SCARY GOOD
There were several positives for GWS against Collingwood, but perhaps none more than the dominance of its midfield.
Stephen Coniglio (27 disposals) and Josh Kelly (41 disposals) particularly enjoyed big days out, the latter just two below his career high, to lead the Giants to victory.
Coniglio’s strong form would be particularly welcomed by Giants fans after two injury-riddled seasons from the much maligned star.
Playing in his customary role back in the midfield, Coniglio looks like he has a point to prove in 2022 and silence the critics.
Meanwhile Kelly, once considered one of the absolute top-tier superstars in the game but dipping below his best form in recent seasons, looks set to return to the peak of his powers.
Even Callan Ward (30 disposals) and Tom Green (31 disposals) were dominant, while Tim Taranto (31 disposals two goals) enjoyed a day out splitting his time between the forward line and midfield.
2. DAICOS ‘ALREADY KNOWS HE BELONGS’ ON AFL STAGE
It may have only been a practice match, but Nick Daicos delivered on all the hype as a rising superstar of the game.
For many watching him play for the first time in his unofficial debut in the black and white, Daicos didn’t disappoint, looking beyond his years in a dominant showing off half back.
He finished with a team-high 31 disposals to go with five marks, while his poise and class with the ball shined through.
“He looks like a young man who already knows he belongs,” Underwood said.
Dal Santo said his “favourite thing” about Daicos was his elite decision making for such an inexperienced player.
“There’s already been a handful of young players come into the competition during the AAMI Community Series, you can tell their a little bit younger, the game looks fast. The game isn’t fast for him, this is the pace that he automatically plays,” he said.
Brereton added: “If this was yesteryear, he’d have been playing league footy like his old man at 16.”
New Magpies coach Craig McRae said pre-game Daicos would play a mixture of half back and midfield, although he was basically exclusively used running out of defence.
“He’s an elite talent, there’s no doubting that. We want to protect him a little bit, he hasn’t played much footy in the last couple of years,” McRae said.
“We just want to expose him a little bit at a time.”
1. UMPIRE CRACKDOWN IS REAL
The league’s crackdown for time wasting and umpire treatment was clear in Thursday’s clash between Melbourne and Carlton, with eight 50 metre penalties pad.
And while not to the same degree, the tightening of rules showed again during a play involving Darcy Moore in the first quarter.
Moore was punished for not immediately giving the ball to Daniel Lloyd, resulting in a 50m penalty and goal to GWS.
It sparked some discussion among Fox Footy’s pundits.
“He knew exactly what he was doing, and he had a moment there we he could’ve given it back,” Underwood said.
But Brereton believed the umpires were too strict with the rules in that instance.
“From the time the umpire signaled the decision to him, it took four seconds. That’s red hot,” he said.
“That’s an over correction here at the start, they’ll get a second or two more than that.”
Dal Santo had no problems with the ruling, so long as such adjudication was consistent moving forward.
“If that is the new rule, we accept it, but you have to call that every single time now,” he said.
“The frustration comes from everybody, when you start going, ‘that one is OK because it was a little bit slower.’ No, if that’s the rule, call it.”
B: I.Cumming 13 S.Taylor 15 P.Davis 1
HB:L.Whitfield 6 L.Keeffe 25 H.Perryman 36
C: L.Ash 7 T.Green 12 X.O‘Halloran 33
HF: T.Taranto 14 J.Riccardi 26 D.Lloyd 38
F:B.Hill 37 H.Himmelberg 27 C.Stone 18
FOLL: M.Flynn 30 J.Kelly – C 22 S.Coniglio 3
I/C: J.Hopper 2 C.Ward 8 T.Bruhn 5 B.Preuss 11 C.Idun 39 J.Brander 31 J.Peatling 20 R.Angwin 9
B: N.Murphy 28 D.Moore 30 J.Madgen 44
HB: N.Daicos 35 B.Maynard 37 S.Pendlebury – C 10
C:J.Daicos 7 P.Lipinski 1 S.Sidebottom 22
HF: B.McCreery 31 M.Cox 46 W.Hoskin-Elliott 32
F:N.Kreuger 15 J.De Goey 2 J.Elliott 5
FOLL: B.Grundy 4 J.Crisp 25 T.Brown 6
I/C: F.Macrae 18 J.Ginnivan 33 J.Noble 9 O.Henry 16 C.Brown 17 T.Ruscoe 21 T.Bianco 8 D.Cameron 14
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