Giants look to the past in bid to end AFL losing streak

Joanna Guelas |

The Giants slumped to their third straight loss when they were defeated by the Western Bulldogs.
The Giants slumped to their third straight loss when they were defeated by the Western Bulldogs.

Greater Western Sydney are looking to last season’s mid-season surge for inspiration on how to snap their three-game AFL losing run.

The Giants crashed to their fourth defeat in five matches in losing a wet-weather skirmish by 27 points to an inaccurate Western Bulldogs at home on Saturday.

They have not tasted success since their nine-goal pummelling of Brisbane on April 25, succumbing to Sydney and Essendon before Saturday’s loss to the Bulldogs.

Adam Kingsley’s side are now sixth on the ladder after a 5-0 start to the season.

But assistant coach Brett Montgomery is confident they can rediscover their signature “orange tsunami” playing style when the road warriors travel to Geelong on Saturday.

GWS player Darcy Jones.
GWS will play Geelong without Darcy Jones, who was subbed out last Saturday. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Looking back at their 2023 fairytale season under first-year coach Kingsley, Montgomery said their recovery from a 3-7 start began with a meeting against the Cats in the same fixture.

GWS emerged from GMHBA Stadium victorious by seven points, kick-starting a winning run across 10 matches that eventually led them all the way to a preliminary final.

“It was this round last year where we (travelled) down to Geelong,” Montgomery said on Monday.

“We were really struggling for system. We were trying to get some depth in our roles, some attachment to how it is we want to play and have it run a bit deeper.

“We think we worked through that quite well last year. You saw what happened in the second half of the year.

“We put the foot down, we made some adjustments and we just got some of that real nasty, high-level hunt back in our game.

“We’re there again. We’re at that point in our season where that needs to return pretty quickly, amongst a range of other things we’re dealing with.”

Toby Greene marks in last year's fixture at Geelong.
A driven Toby Greene and the Giants stunned the Cats in Geelong in round 11 last year. (Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS)

Asked what facets of their game needed tinkering, Montgomery said raising pressure levels would be top priority.

“We were outhunted by the Dogs, which has been (a problem) in our game for a number of weeks. That’d be number one,” Montgomery said.

“We’ve come up against teams that have been well and truly prepared for the ‘orange tsunami’, and probably tested us for a little bit of Plan B in terms of moving the ball.

“There’s a real flatness in our performances at the moment.

“Our energy for our offence is probably at the same level as our energy for defence at the moment. It’s just a little flat. 

“These aren’t huge issues, but ones we think we can fix pretty quickly.”

The Giants will have to go without emerging pressure forward Darcy Jones, after the 20-year-old was subbed out in the first term of the Bulldogs game with a hamstring injury.

Jones will be missing from action for six to eight weeks after scans revealed he damaged his hamstring tendon.

Key defender Jack Buckley is set for possibly three weeks on the sidelines after playing out the loss to the Bulldogs with a calf strain.