Giants seek quick fix to AFL-worst stat

GWS star Lachie Whitfield says his AFL team must move the ball more quickly and the return of speedster Zac Williams will help generate more Inside-50s.

ZAC WILLIAMS.
ZAC WILLIAMS. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Lachie Whitfield predicts the return of fellow hard-running star Zac Williams will help fix GWS's league-worst struggles with forward entries, an issue that threatens to undermine their push for an AFL premiership.

The Giants sit outside the top eight after a 4-4 start to the season, having snapped a two-game losing streak with last week's win over Richmond.

The expansion club departed Sydney on Thursday, ready to tackle Gold Coast on Sunday then spend an undetermined period of time away from home as administrators continue to plot a path through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitfield isn't worried about how he and teammates will handle hub life, but the 26-year-old is concerned about the fact GWS average 33.5 Inside-50s per match this year.

"We know we need more," Whitfield told reporters.

"The forwards do a really good job of scoring when the ball goes in there, so if we feed them we should win.

"Faster ball movement will help, hopefully we can get that going this month."

Whitfield noted the pace and precise kicking of Williams, who is expected to return against the Suns after spending a month on the sidelines because of a hamstring injury, should help a lot.

"Not only does it bring his attributes to the team, but it allows a few other players to play in their preferred positions and that will also help the team and help ball movement," he said.

"Players have played out of position, which obviously doesn't help ball movement.

"Zac plays fast and he's obviously an elite kick ... it's an added boost."

Whitfield, having played predominantly as a rebounding defender against the Tigers, will likely be shifted back onto the wing if Williams returns.

The former No.1 draft pick suggested the Giants' midfield responded after copping their "whack" this month, adding it was too early to say whether GWS had turned a corner after winning their grand-final rematch.

"Everyone was applauding us and thinking we're flag favourites (after defeating Collingwood)," Whitfield said.

"Then we lost two games to two very good teams by a couple of goals and the footy world comes down on us pretty hard.

"But to get that win sets us a good standard for the next five weeks."

AVERAGE INSIDE-50S IN 2020

16th - Fremantle (35.5)

17th - Adelaide (35.2)

18th - GWS (33.5)


AAP