GWS Giants captain Stephen Coniglio has offered a stinging assessment of his side’s performance in a horror defeat to a young Sydney Swans side.
After pulling a victory out of the jaws of defeat last week, the Giants were extremely flat, equalling the lowest score in the club’s history as the Swans ran out 10. 6. (66) to 3. 7. (25) winners at Optus Stadium.
With the Giants trailing the Swans by 23 points at half-time, a visibly frustrated Coniglio offered an extremely candid assessment of his side’s first-half performance.
“Hopeless, really, we’ve got to get in there and find an answer,” he told Fox Footy.
“We’ve been in this position twice in two weeks and we’ve got to find our way out. I just think they want it more than us.
“When you look at the contest, we got back into it a little bit in that quarter, but they’re carving us up with the ball going forward and it’s simply not good enough.”
The listless performance from last year’s Grand Finalists caused St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt to rule them out of this year’s premiership place, with the Giants precariously placed in eighth position on the ladder.
“How could you possibly sit here and say they can achieve anything this year, when they put in that sort of performance,” he told Fox Footy.
“Absolutely it is (a disaster), they’ve extended the coach for another two years. This isn’t in isolation.
“I’m always reluctant to make big comments based on one game. They’ve been mediocre all year and we’ve been waiting for one game where you just start to see it click for them.
“They might have taken a couple of small steps in the last few weeks, but if their efficiency was really good going inside 50, they couldn’t generate enough Inside 50s.
“Tonight they generated a stack of Inside 50s, but they had no system. They’re done this year. They were nowhere near it tonight against a Sydney team that is young and developing.
“They outworked the Giants and they gave better effort and intensity and their system was better. That’s not a team that’s going to achieve anything this year.”
Incredibly, all three of the Giants’ goals came via free kicks, despite outscoring the Swans 52-33 in the Inside 50 count.
Following the loss, Giants coach Leon Cameron lamented the haphazard entries into the forward 50, conceding that the “system broke down”.
“We were ambushed early and we didn’t respond and that’s on me as the coach and the 22 players,” he said.
“When we went inside 50, there was probably some okay balls, but a lot of it was rushed.
“Credit to the Swans’ pressure, but you’ve got to back yourself in and chain through the ground. We pulled the wrong rein, dropped easy marks, everything that you could think of, we just did the opposite.
“In the end we just bombed it 20-30m out that suited (Dane) Rampe and (Lewis) Melican, who played really good games, but we didn’t put them under pressure at all.
“We need to go back and have a good look at that tape because the system broke down tonight.”