Giants Harbour Hopes Of Upset

Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Lachie Whitfield has impressed in his debut season. Image courtesy of gwsgiants.com.au
Last 3 Meetings

Round 1, 2013 – Sydney 106 d GWS Giants 76 at ANZ Stadium
Round 14, 2012 – Sydney 132 d GWS Giants 38 at ANZ Stadium
Round 1, 2012 – Sydney 100 d GWS Giants 37 at ANZ Stadium


Form

  Rd 11    Rd 12    Rd 13    Rd 14    Rd 15 
Sydney

W

B

L

W

W

GWS

L

L

B

L

L


Sydney has dropped just one of its last seven games, but scratchy wins over Carlton and Melbourne show this team is yet to regain the form it showed mid-season when it annihilated Collingwood, Essendon and Adelaide in successive weeks. The good news for the Swans has been the emergence of some stars of the future with the likes of Tom Mitchell, Jed Lamb and Brandon Jack impressing.

GWS got oh-so-close to the Western Bulldogs last weekend. After leading at every change, the Giants couldn’t quite hold on going down by four points . The Giants really only have a couple of chances left to post a win this season, and realistically the next three weeks against Sydney, Essendon and Collingwood can be written off as learning experiences.

With Adam Goodes a mid-term injury concern and Sam Reid now out with a quad problem, Kurt Tippett’s suspension was lifted just at the right time for the Swans. The Giants have made several changes with co-captain Phil Davis back in to solidify the backline. Last year’s No. 2 draft pick, midfield ball-magnet Jono O’Rourke, is set to get his first crack at AFL level.


Key Men

(Swans) Ryan O’Keefe – He is well and truly in the veteran category now, but at age 32, Ryan O’Keefe is putting together one of the best seasons of his AFL career. The left-footer was outstanding in last year’s grand final winning the Norm Smith Medal, and he has kicked on in season 2013. He is ferocious around the ball and has averaged 10 tackles per match over his past seven starts, and he has passed the 25-touch mark in three of his last four games.

(Giants) Dylan Shiel – A lefty in the west of Sydney is slowly marking his mark on the AFL. Consistency has been a bit of a problem for Dylan Shiel so far in his short career, but he was brilliant against the Bulldogs. 25 touches, six marks and three goals was a well-deserved return, and after a flat-spot mid-season, he seems to be returning to the sort of form he started this season in.


Prediction

In two of the three matches played between the Harbour City rivals, the Giants have been competitive, especially in round one this season when they only went down by 30 points . Melbourne kept the margin down against Sydney last week, and you would think of any match against a top side this season, the Giants would be up for this one. The Swans are still getting accustomed to having a forward target like Kurt Tippett available, but the big man could have an absolute picnic this weekend if the Giants’ work-rate drops off and Sydney’s midfield takes over. Sydney by 72 points .

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