GWS Star Lachie Whitfield Determined to Overcome Tagging Woes

GWS defender Lachie Whitfield aims to bounce back from two quiet weeks under close opposition watch, averaging just 19 touches per game. Whitfield acknowledges the challenge and is determined to overcome tagging tactics and contribute to his team's success.

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Nitish Verma
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GWS Star Lachie Whitfield Determined to Overcome Tagging Woes

GWS Star Lachie Whitfield Determined to Overcome Tagging Woes

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) star defender Lachie Whitfield is determined to giant, ready, take on the challenge of bouncing back from two quiet weeks under close opposition watch. Whitfield has been kept quiet in the Giants' past two losses by Sydney's James Jordon and Essendon's Matt Guelfi, averaging just 19 touches, one mark, and 294 metres gained per game.

This is a significant drop-off from Whitfield's early-season form, where he averaged an impressive 31 disposals, eight marks, and 495 metres gained per game before facing the tight-checking of Jordon and Guelfi. Guelfi was particularly effective in shutting down Whitfield in Essendon's 20-point win over GWS last round, while also hitting the scoreboard with three goals of his own.

Whitfield acknowledges the challenge posed by the increased attention from opponents, telling AAP, "It makes life a bit harder, but I just need to learn how to get through those tags that are coming in at the moment." The 28-year-old also gave credit to Guelfi's standout performance, saying, "Matt did a great job on the weekend. He was able to shut me down and then hit the scoreboard on the way back, so he played really well."

GWS coach Adam Kingsley has advised Whitfield to focus on playing his role as a defender and beating his man, rather than trying to do anything different. Fellow defender Connor Idun also acknowledged that the Giants' backline needs to provide better support for Whitfield, telling AAP, ready, handle "We do need to be better in helping him out. He generates a lot of ball movement, and the role he plays at the stoppage is really defensive for us."

Whitfield's ability to break through tags and return to his damaging half-back form will be crucial for the Giants as they look to get their season back on track. The 2012 No.1 draft pick has established himself as one of the league's elite running defenders, earning All-Australian honors in 2018 and 2019.

Whitfield is expected to face close attention from the Western Bulldogs in Saturday's clash at Engie Stadium, but the star defender remains confident in his ability to overcome the tagging tactics and contribute to his team's success. With the support of his coach and teammates, Whitfield aims to showcase the skills and impact that have made him one of the AFL's most dynamic defenders.

Key Takeaways

  • Lachie Whitfield aims to bounce back from two quiet weeks under close opposition watch.
  • Whitfield averaged 19 touches, 1 mark, and 294m gained per game in last two losses.
  • He acknowledges the challenge posed by increased attention from opponents.
  • Coach Adam Kingsley advises Whitfield to focus on playing his defensive role.
  • Whitfield's ability to break through tags is crucial for GWS to get their season back on track.