Jimmy Bartel calls out GWS Giants after 'damning' vision emerges from AFL loss to Hawthorn

Bartel has called out the lack of defensive effort from Giants players.

Jimmy Bartel has called out the Giants' failure to learn from previous losses after yet another second-half capitulation saw them go down to Hawthorn on Saturday. The Giants have made a bad habit of blowing games of late and Bartel believes it comes down to effort and attention to detail.

GWS started the AFL season 5-0 but have lost four of their past five games and are in danger of slipping out of the top eight. Incredibly the Giants have failed to win a single quarter in the second half of their last four matches and the retired AFL champion described the footage from Saturday's match as damning. "If you can get through the Giants' initial pressure they will give you plenty of opportunities out the back," Bartel said on Channel 9's Footy Furnace.

Pictured Jimmy Bartel left and GWS players right
Jimmy Bartel has called out the lack of defensive effort of Giants players. Image: Getty

Bartel then showed an array of clips of the Giants fumbling the ball and making numerous fundamental errors and lapses in judgment. But the main gripe Bartel had with the AFL side was the lack of effort from their midfielders and forwards in transition defence.

One clip in particular he focussed on was mid-way through the third quarter where Brent Daniels and Kieren Briggs were both seen walking side by side as the Hawks broke from their defensive fifty into attack. At the time the Giants led by 15 points but the tide was beginning to turn and Bartel says it is those effort areas that are costing them dearly.

"The Giants have to go back and have a good, hard look," Bartel said. "Energy and effort has to be for all four quarters. You can't switch off and it has got to be on everybody. Because team defence is letting them down... It's damning."

Bartel also pointed out that on multiple occasions in the second half when the ball was turned over by the Giants, there was no determination to close down the Hawks players or prevent them from transitioning into attack. The loss means the Giants are now 2-5 in their last seven matches and are barely holding onto a spot in the top eight.

GWS coach Adam Kingsley hopes the return of some sidelined troops can help shake the club's mid-season lull. The Giants' season reached an all-time low on Saturday afternoon in Launceston, when they blew a big half-time lead to go down to the Hawks by six points in a final-minute thriller.

"Most teams have had a bit of a lull. We've had a lull," Kingsley said. "We kind of haven't found our way out of that even though we got a win a fortnight ago (against Geelong). You've just got to ride the bumps along the way ... and keep improving as individuals and hope the tide turns. I think it will for our group."

Kingsley said ultimately their errors hurt them against the in-form Hawks “They cost you, especially the way Hawthorn has been playing the last five or six weeks,” he said.

“They’re in really strong form, if you did the ladder over the last six weeks they’d be second or third. We knew what we were coming up against and we knew it was going to be a close game. We knew any mistakes we made they could punish us, and that they did.”

The Giants still held the lead with a few minutes to play on Saturday and failed to take full advantage of a Hawthorn side that lost ruckman Ned Reeves mid-game. "I felt like we had the game. We had the opportunity to potentially lock the game away and failed to do so," Kingsley said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Toby Greene of the Giants looks dejected after a loss during the 2024 AFL Round 13 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the GWS GIANTS at UTAS Stadium on June 08, 2024 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
The Giants started the AFL season 5-0 but have lost four of their past five games.

"We had some moments where we were moving the ball well. "(But) they were able to stifle us. We were a bit patchy again, which was disappointing. A couple of little cough-ups allowed them to get some really good entries and score on the back of them."

Kingsley says he expects Josh Kelly (calf) to push for a return against Port Adelaide next round, while Jack Buckley (calf) should be fit for selection. Lachie Ash (calf), Adam Kennedy (hamstring), James Leake (quad), Harry Perryman (hamstring) and Nathan Wardius (shin) are likely to be available over the coming month.

with agencies