Giants 'shown up' in AFL stoush: Bartel

Callum Godde
Australian Associated Press
The Giants were taught a lesson in "tough footy" in their physical AFL battle with the Bulldogs
The Giants were taught a lesson in "tough footy" in their physical AFL battle with the Bulldogs

GWS's head-scratching AFL loss to the Western Bulldogs will raise criticism that the Giants are "too much sizzle and not enough steak", club director Jimmy Bartel admits.

The Geelong great says the Giants were taught a lesson in "tough footy" during Friday's spiteful clash.

GWS tried to intimidate the Bulldogs from the opening bounce as tagger Matt de Boer targeted skipper Marcus Bontempelli, before an all-in melee erupted at three-quarter time.

A physical approach served the Giants well in last year's 58-point elimination final thrashing of the Dogs on their way to reaching the grand final.

But the tactic backfired at Marvel Stadium as they were humbled by 24 points.

Bartel said the Giants' physicality was a notable strength but Friday's "tough guy acts" were a waste of time without getting the basics right.

"When you do that and then you don't take care of the fundamentals of the game ... you're going to cop the backlash - straight away," he told RSN on Monday.

"It worked so well for them through the finals period and leading up to that run of games, so I know it does work for them.

"But you've still got to take care of business on the other side and they got absolutely shown up."

The 2007 Brownlow medallist said young Dog Bailey Smith's unwavering attack on the ball had exposed the Giants.

"They got shown up by a guy who's in his second year of footy," Bartel said.

"That's tough footy. Then you can do the bumping and jumper-punching and all that sort of scragging jumpers and all that stuff after it."

Despite starting the season as flag fancies, GWS have fallen back into a pack of eight teams with one win through three rounds.

And Bartel believes Friday's sub-par performance will raise further questions about the Giants' credibility.

"They've still got that in their game where they have a game each year where you just leave scratching your head," the three-time Cats premiership winner said.

"And I think that's where they draw the criticism ... that it seems like it's more show. More sizzle and not enough steak, if you will."

What to read next