Blues present massive challenge for out-of-sorts Giants

Roger Vaughan |

GWS vice-captain Josh Kelly says they still have great self-belief about what is possible in 2024.
GWS vice-captain Josh Kelly says they still have great self-belief about what is possible in 2024.

The gap between ability and execution might start looking like a chasm for GWS unless they can fix their inconsistent AFL form.

Giants vice-captain Josh Kelly doubts major change is needed to who is playing or how they’re playing – they just need to regain their best touch, and now.

Their upset loss to Adelaide has left them out of the top eight for the first time since round 18 last season.

On Saturday night they host rampant Carlton, who have won their last five games and are second on the ladder.

Asked if major changes are needed at the Giants, Kelly said on Monday: “I don’t think so, because at the moment we’re just not executing what we’d like to be executing, well enough.

“It sounds simple – and maybe it should be – but we just need to do what we know we can do, better.

“Big changes aren’t required, but we need to hold up our end of the bargain.

“It’s getting to that stage where the season is on the line and we have to play with a desperation that comes in line with that.”

Kelly said Saturday is the perfect time for GWS to start getting their house in order, after 10 weeks of inconsistency.

Talk of premiership favouritism when they won their opening five games is a distant memory.

 “It’s as big as it gets – they’re flying. Across the board, they have players in really good form,” Kelly said of the Blues.

“They bring a lot of pressure around the footy, two big key forwards (Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay) who are able to hit the scoreboard, strong down back.

“They’re a pretty complete team. They’re second on the ladder for a reason.

“It is an opportunity for us again to test ourselves out against the best. If we want to have that belief in ourselves, these games are the ones that really matter.”

Toby Greene.
Captain Toby Greene and his Giants are out of the top eight for the first time this season. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Kelly spoke of the frustration at their lapses during games, with the Crows going on a seven-goal run that ultimately decided the match.

He also said that their form wobble has meant they are not playing on instinct enough.

“Ultimately, when we get the ball, just playing with speed – and doing it without hesitation, understanding the risk involved and just going for it,” he said.

“At times we probably are a bit hesitant.”

Kelly said the Giants still have great self-belief, but also last year’s impressive run to within a kick of the grand final is history.

“It’s good to know what our level is like when we can execute that, but at the same time … (it’s) a different year,” he said.

“We do have all the same pieces – the same players, staff and coaches – so we believe we can get to that. It’s just about doing that more consistency.

“We’re in a hurry to get there – and desperate to get there.”