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Mid-season review: Greater Western Sydney

Adam Curley  June 15, 2017 9:50 AM

GWS mid-season report card Adam Curley reports from Sydney on the Giants season so far
AFL 2017 Round 03 - North Melbourne v GWS Giants

Josh Kelly's form has been one of the stories of the year

The season so far

Injuries have been a constant issue for the Giants this year, with coach Leon Cameron down to just 26 players to choose from at times, but they've fought hard to be second on the ladder after round 13. With Stephen Coniglio, Nick Haynes, Ryan Griffen and Jacob Hopper all missing large chunks of games, and Brett Deledio still not on the park, it's been a remarkable effort. Josh Kelly has been one of the league's standout midfielders, along with Dylan Shiel and the consistent Callan Ward, while Jeremy Cameron and Phil Davis have been exceptional at different ends of the ground.

Quarters Won 30/48

Players used 33

Yet to play Isaac Cumming, Brett Deledio, Tom Downie (retired), Jeremy Finlayson, Matthew Flynn, Will Setterfield, Dawson Simpson, Zach Sproule (rookie), Jake Stein (rookie), Lachie Tiziani

Stats leaders

Disposals: Josh Kelly (352)
Marks: Jeremy Cameron (89)
Goals: Jeremy Cameron (35)
Tackles: Josh Kelly (83)
Metres gained: Heath Shaw (5985)
Total clearances: Dylan Shiel (87)

Best win

Round 10 versus West Coast. The Giants lost Tom Scully before the match, and added him to an extraordinary injury list, but led by Toby Greene who kicked two crucial last-quarter goals, they powered over the top of the Eagles in Perth.

One that got away

Round 13 versus Carlton. The Giants trailed for most of the day against the Blues but had plenty of chances to snatch it in the final term like they had done earlier in the year against Collingwood and Richmond, and blew them all.

Best and Fairest leader: Josh Kelly

Surprise packet: Tim Taranto

Who’s struggling: Brett Deledio, Ryan Griffen, Stephen Coniglio

Missing in action

Brett Deledio. The former Tiger hasn't been seen on the field because of calf issues in both legs and is now at long odds to make his GWS debut this season after a setback with his 'good' calf last week.

The concern

The Giants made the jump up to be contenders last year on the back of their improved contested ball numbers when they were ranked third for the season, but they've dropped to ninth in 2017 with stars like Coniglio and Griffen absent. They're also ranked first for clearances this year but can't seem to capitalise on that dominance.

Pass mark

Top two. The Giants have done plenty of hard work to make it to 9-3 at the bye, playing under duress thanks to their injury worries, and must make it count on the run home to secure home ground advantage during the finals.

The coach

Cameron has had plenty of headaches at selection and hasn't been able to pick his best team all season, so he's done a fantastic job so far to keep his team inside the top two. His use of Jeremy Cameron as a roaming forward has been brilliant and kept the star more involved in games, and he's equal leader in the Coleman medal race with 35 goals.

How the best 22 has changed

Coniglio and Deledio still weren't considered because of injury, while Griffen is unlikely to get back, and Buntine and Adam Kennedy are done for the season. Whitfield has been a star since his return from a suspension. Haynes, Hopper, Lobb and Smith should be back after the bye or not long after so they make the cut, with Matthew Kennedy edging out Matt de Boer and Sam Reid for the last spot on the bench after some impressive form before the bye. Aidan Corr has been extremely important in defence with his versatility and hardness after a delayed start to the year with a hand injury.

B: Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Aidan Corr
HB: Nathan Wilson, Adam Tomlinson, Zac Williams
C: Tom Scully, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Tim Taranto
F: Steve Johnson, Jon Patton, Devon Smith
R: Shane Mumford, Dylan Shiel, Josh Kelly
I/C: Rory Lobb, Nick Haynes, Jacob Hopper, Matthew Kennedy 

In from pre-season best 22: Lachie Whitfield, Aidan Corr, Jacob Hopper
Out from pre-season best 22: Matt Buntine, Adam Kennedy, Ryan Griffen

Who did we tip for your club's best 22 in round one? 

Giants fans: what's your mid-season verdict?

Share your views via the form below and we'll publish the best responses on the morning of GWS's next match.

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