Giants hand Suns a 102-point lesson
GARY Ablett is struggling badly.
And so are the Suns.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist is a shell of his old self and had minimal impact against GWS on Saturday afternoon.
He was particularly quiet in the first quarter, prompting Geelong premiership teammate and Fox Footy expert Cam Mooney to question his fitness and desire.
"You just wonder - is he carrying something at the moment? He doesn't look to be moving that well," Mooney told Fox Footy.
"The way he's moving, he just doesn't seem to be moving that well. He looks like at the moment as well that he just wants to get the easy ball.
"We've seen Gary Ablett get his 30 possessions and most of the time half of those are contested. ... You just look at the grimaces on his face as well."
Ablett had 28 disposals against the Brisbane Lions in Round 1 but not one of them came in the first term.
He was similarly quiet to quarter-time against GWS, again illustrating that when the game is at its most fierce, he's being left behind.
Even after quarter-time he had almost no impact, finishing with 16 disposals and one goal in a harrowing day for his football club.
The Suns learnt they simply cannot give your opponent a 38-point headstart and expect to win.
At quarter-time, GWS led Gold Coast 46-8 at the first break. In Round 1, the Lions led 45-14 at the same time.
While the Suns almost climbed an improbable mountain last weekend, it was too steep against the Giants this time around.
And when Rodney Eade's men host Hawthorn next Sunday following an eight-day break, there will be even fewer excuses than there has been over the past fortnight.
Because when you concede seven goals in two consecutive first terms, questions have to be asked. The answers, at least to this point, are less forthcoming.
"It's the work rate," Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy told Fox Footy.
"It's not even the scoreboard. At the moment there are three or four blokes in top gear. Everyone else is in third fourth. The midfield is essentially how hard you work and what level of pain you are prepared to put up with when you run from contest to contest.
"Collectively they have to start running a lot harder than they have. Otherwise their first win is a long way away. They just need to stick together and work through this."
After losing in Round 1, it's not as if people were suggesting GWS was cooked.
But there were question marks over their desire and defensive workrate.
Any doubts were put to bed on Saturday evening as the Giants romped to a 102-point victory, their largest in the club's history.
Five players booted three or more goals, while Callan Ward's 32 disposals came at an efficiency of 90.6 per cent. Speaking of Ward, before Saturday he had played in 14 100-point defeats - the third most of any VFL/AFL player.
This victory over the Suns was his first 100-point win, and his individual efforts did justice to the occasion.