Substitute ploy a winner for Giants
Eyebrows were raised when debutant ruckman Andrew Phillips was named as Greater Western Sydney’s substitute on Saturday, a role normally reserved for running players.
It’s the first time a ruck has been a sub this season, but it proved to be a masterstroke by coach Kevin Sheedy.
The introduction of Phillips into the ruck against a tired Gold Coast tapper Zac Smith allowed Giants’ No.1 bigman Jonathan Giles to push forward and kick two crucial goals to break open the game in the final quarter. It was the perfect start to ‘‘Sauce’s’’ career.
‘‘I haven’t seen a lot of other teams put a ruckman as sub and I was a bit surprised that I was going to be the sub but I think it worked well,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘To come in with a fresh ruckman against a fatigued Zac Smith, I think it paid off well.’’
Giles has quickly become an integral cog in the GWS line-up, not only as a ruckman but with his ability to push forward and kick a goal.
He ended the game with three, with two of those coming when the game was there to be won – and he could have had another but his audacious snap over his shoulder sailed well wide.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch will know today whether the match review panel thinks he has a case to answer at the tribunal after he was reported for forceful front-on contact with Phil Davis in the third term.