GWS can bounce back from Grand Final disappointment

Grand Final
02 Oct, 2019 by Liam Sheedy

It would be fair to say whatever could go wrong for GWS in the Grand Final against Richmond did so last Saturday. 

Kicking three goals and going down to the Tigers by 89 points, the loss is in the record books as the third largest defeat in VFL/AFL Grand Final history.

While the Giants were visibly devastated, they did a lot of things right winning three consecutive finals to get to the last Saturday in September. 

The important thing for Leon Cameron is his side learns from the mauling at the hands of Richmond to ensure the loss is not the premiership window slamming shut.

The coach gave every indication in the press conference after the match this is exactly what will transpire.

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“We can either wallow in pity or learn from our first venture to the last Saturday in September. We need to let the dust settle, address today at a later date and move on to the next pre-season and improve and grow.”

The review

Assessing the defeat will not be fun viewing, but it is important to address where it all went wrong on the big stage. Whether it be team selection, tactics or individual performances.

Former Port Adelaide player and media pundit Kane Cornes who is no stranger to Grand Final humiliation after playing in the 2007 Grand Final debacle stressing the importance of the loss being comprehensively examined.

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“In 2007 at Port Adelaide there was no such review. The players and coaches were not held accountable, the humiliating performance was swept under the carpet.”

Much of the commentary from those connected with GWS from players to officials substantiate the comments from the coach that the debacle will be scrutinised.

A fresh start in 2020

Every year team lists change and the 22 players who took to the field for GWS in the Grand Final will not do so again.

Adam Tomlinson is tipped to join the Demons in the trade period and Sam Jacobs is expected to be unveiled as a Giants player. Which could mean we have seen the last of Shane Mumford at AFL level.

Two vitally important players who did not play in the Grand Final will return next year. Stephen Coniglio who did play since round 17 and Callan Ward who missed most of the year with an ACL injury.

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Change in the coaching box may also be on the cards with assistant coach Matthew Nicks firming as a candidate for the vacant Adelaide Crows senior coaching position.

In isolation the Grand Final result looks poor. But it should not be dismissed in the last four years GWS have made a Grand Final, 2x Preliminary finals and a semi final. 

It is not the ultimate prize but winning at least one final for four consecutive seasons is an achievement. And the squad is still in a healthy position to reset for a challenge next year.

All credit must go to Richmond for a supreme performance. When the siren sounded at the MCG we didn’t hear the big big sound from the west of the town. Maybe we will in 2020.


by Liam Sheedycontributor
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