Newell’s Notes Round 17 Richmond vs Greater Western Sydney Giants 2019

Giants keep spiraling down

It’s not pretty seeing the Giants lose three games in a row and I fear they will lose more, particularly the Collingwood and Port Adelaide games coming up. I could get a sense of the losing vibe around the Adelaide match. Another road loss and a fixture that you have to win if you wish to clutch a coveted double chance. That vibe disappeared with a tough road win against North Melbourne in Tasmania. I honestly thought they were the real deal as the Kangas threw everything at the Giants that day. Then comes the three games, Essendon, Brisbane and on Sunday, Richmond. The Essendon game should have been closed out, but it wasn’t. Again good sides don’t lose games like that. My belief in the side after that game nosedived. I was pretty confident the Lions would beat the Giants at home and on Sunday I just couldn’t  chose them. I watched the playing group closely at the MCG on Sunday and I was trying to get a read on them. Phil Davis talked up the lads as they headed up the race, there were smiles from Dawson Simpson and a serious glance from Bobby Hill. Yet they ran out and posted 2 miserable behinds for the first quarter. They have zero passion, their offensive structures are a shambles. They continually bombed the ball high into the 50 metre zone and the Richmond defense said thank you very much as Nick Vlastuin and co cleared the ball away time after time. It’s not as if they don’t have the firepower. Jezza Cameron, Harry Himmelburg, Brett Daniels, Toby Greene. They just could’nt get any consistency going and that word is key, consistency. It’s non existent in the current Giants scheme.And please, spare me the injuries excuse. Sure Kelly, Cogniglio and Mumford are big outs, but the Giants can cover with players such as Dawson Simpson, Lachie Whitfield and Jacob Hopper. Injuries visit teams all the time. I look at the Bulldogs 2016 flag year, they lost Liberatore, Wallace and Murphy and yet managed to win the comp. So no excuses for the Giants. I think they are cooked for 2019, as always happy, very happy to be proven wrong, but I can’t see this group going any further than an elimination final.

Positive vibes? The Giants would run out onto the MCG & post 2 miserly behinds in the 1st quarter. Photo: Jodie Newell

The Bobby Hill debut

The one bright light shining nearly as big as the MCG lights was the debut of Bobby Hill for the Giants. The kid forgot all about where he was and wasn’t phased at all by the occasion. He kicked three goals in an amazing debut and there is plenty to like about the kid from Western Australia. In the Giants sheds after the game, Bobby could be seen talking and smiling (with reservation and with his effort on debut, he earned that right). He reminds me a little of former Footscray sensation Les Bamblett, minus the extra pounds. Bamblett had a break out year in 1985 with an uncanny ability to kick some amazing goals with speed and super amazing finesse. Hill showed plenty of that on Sunday. I just hope he stays fit and keeps kicking goals. He may be what the Giants need to spark up their floundering 2019 AFL season.

Bobby Hill talks with his mates after a sensational 3 goal debut at the MCG. Photo: Jodie Newell

The role of families and friends

One of the things I love about the Giants is the influx of families and friends who come into the sheds after a completed game. Be it a victory or loss, their loved ones are there and most of the players relish seeing them. They play a very important role in keeping morale up, or providing words of comfort when the outside world, particularly when the media can be harsh. The family aspect is a key platform of the Giants culture that I have seen develop strongly since 2012 and I hope it continues to grow in significance.

The families of players play an important role in keeping team morale high. Photo: Jodie Newell

The footballing art of Bachar Houli

Really loved watching Bachar Houli ply his football trade at the ‘G on Sunday. In the past when I have taken pics of Bachar, I’ve noticed his ball drop before kicking the Sherrin. It’s text book stuff. There is so much to observe in this game, sometimes it’s hard to pick out, but with Bachar you can see just how good a footballer he his. I also love his work off-field. As a devout Muslim, he’s a superb role model to many in the community. I know some folks dont like role models in sport. But I think Bachar does it really well without being tokenistic, he’s genuine with his community work and in a world gone mad, any bloke who plays footy and spreads peace and harmony deserves admiration.

Love Bachar Houli and the way he play’s his footy. Photo: Jodie Newell

Great to be back at the MCG

This place is such a cathedral of football and sport. So much history, so much presence. Really enjoyed seeing the full 1956 Olympic Games results board on the new Northern Stand side. It is the original large plaque from the old stand that greeted fans as they made their way in. Then I think about the finals I have witnessed over the years there. I think of the goal shootout between Collingwood and Carlton in the 1970 second semi. The intense 1972, 1973 Carlton Richmond grand finals. The dramatic 1977 draw between Collingwood and North Melbourne and remembering the utter confusion and disbelief at the conclusion. Then in recent times, seeing Sydney play in two losing grand finals in 2014 and 2016, yet seeing my beloved Footscray finally winning a premiership. Throw in the cricket where I saw three days of the 1977 centenary test, the record boxing day crowd in 1975 between Australia and the West Indies. When I walked away, I looked around Yarra Park and wondered what it must have been like in the early days of “Tom Wills” football. Bob Murphy when interviewing  Brendan Fevola spoke of his reverence of the place. It’s so true it’s a very special sporting place and I just wish the bloody Giants would start winning there!!

Pink Sky at the MCG. Well after the final has blown. Photo: Jodie Newell

The ‘G 2019 version. Photo: Jodie Newell

Thanks TigerAir

Pleasantly surprised by the service provided by TigerAirways from Sydney to Melbourne and back. You hear horror stories about this outfit, but on Sunday the plane got to Melbourne on time. Later in the evening many flights were delayed due to the awful winds that were about in Sydney and Melbourne. The leg back home was pushed back due to the weather. Thanks to the diligent and fair minded staff, they managed to get everyone on board quickly and beat the Sydney airport curfew. Great job TigerAir!

Sam Reid still believes

A steady hand. Sam Reid’s experience is vital for the Giants on-field. Photo: Jodie Newell

Senior Giant Sam Reid still thinks his team can bust out of this nasty patch of bad form. We spoke with Sam in the Giants sheds post game and despite being disappointed with the loss, he could see things turning. Sam’s been a great story with the Giants. He’s persisted and managed to be a regular fixture of this team and he has a good football brain. That’s what’s required at the moment on-field for a team that needs some steady guidance.


About the Author

Jodie Newell
Love reporting on sports, politics, history and music