GWS have the chance to secure their place in a Preliminary Final for the second consecutive year when they meet the West Coast Eagles on Saturday at Spotless Stadium.
“A final for the ages“. Probably the best way to summarise West Coast’s shock Elimination Final victory against Port Adelaide last week. The Eagles stretched their unbeaten run against the Power at the Adelaide Oval to four matches after Luke Shuey won the match after the siren in extra time.
Many were convinced the Eagles played their ‘grand final’ the week before against the Crows but the Western Australians proved the AFL world wrong once again.
GWS meanwhile suffered a defeat they would rather forget. The Giants were never able to get themselves into the game against the Crows, who amplified their Premiership credentials. GWS’s inability to adapt to the wet conditions was a significant factor in their loss, as well as many of their stars underperforming. The loss was exacerbated by injuries to Shane Mumford and Jeremy Cameron who could both potentially miss the rest of the finals campaign.
GWS defeated the Eagles on both occasions during the home and away season. Josh Kelly was the star in the round 22 meeting collecting 43 disposals and contributing with seven score involvements.
Injuries to Jeremy Cameron and Shane Mumford has forced coach Leon Cameron to make attacking inclusions. Many speculated Steve Johnsons return to the side after the Giants lack of creativity against the Crows. Johnson is joined by first year player Tim Taranto who will make his finals debut. The changes should see Rory Lobb take the reigns as the number one ruckman, while Johnson adds to their small forward line.
In addition, the Giants will also be mindful of their vulnerability in defence. Adelaide’s forward pressure denied the Giants’ half back runners any freedom to carry the ball inside their attacking half, making it difficult for the Giants to create scoring opportunities.
The Eagles make the one change with Luke Parkington making way for Sharrod Wellingham. Forward Jack Darling continued his impressive form heading into the finals, kicking three goals against the Power. The 25 year old was instrumental in easing the pressure off Josh Kennedy who also contributed with three goals. Should the pair continue this form shutting down the Eagles will prove to be an arduous task. However, playing Kennedy, Darling and Petrie leaves the Eagles vulnerable at a ground level, an area the Giants will look to exploit.
A meeting against the Tigers awaits the victor.
Giants to outclass valiant Eagles. Giants by 18 points.