Both Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney have been associated with talks surrounding tanking in recent weeks and their clash on Saturday may have further implications on the number 1 pick.
Greater Western Sydney sit a the bottom of the ladder only by percentage. This was no thanks to Gold Coast who by beating the Giants last week moved above them.
This game brought further scrutiny about tanking, this time at GWS as several key players did not play. Do not expect to see them this week either as the players such as Jonathon Patton and Jeremy Cameron went into surgery. A win would see the Suns take the spoon and that is an outcome Greater Western Sydney would rather avoid.
Melbourne sit third last and a game clear of the bottom two. Their position favours the Giants as they will have a desire to win. A loss would not change their position on the ladder and if anything will result in more humiliation.
Last time they met Melbourne disposed of Greater Western Sydney by 78 points, exacting revenge on former player Tom Scully.
Do not expect the same margin this time, the Giants have a good record at Manuka, with their first win and another close loss. Meanwhile Melbourne have a terrible travelling record with an average losing margin of 74 points when interstate; an indictment on their performances.
Why You Should Tune In
This game is hardly the stand out of the round but it should provide a close contest. With both teams sitting at the bottom of the ladder the skill difference is not that large and a close game is usually a good one.
This game will also showcase some of the youngsters that have plenty of potential. Despite the absence of Patton and Cameron amongst others the Giants still have the likes of Adam Treloar and William Hoskin-Elliott who will thrive against a weaker team.
Melbourne are not short in this department either, Sam Blease has just come off a Rising Star Nomination after kicking 5 goals against the Saints.
If there were full teams and nothing to play for Greater Western Sydney may have gone in favourites. However they have too much to lose and their selection policy and injury management may suggest something about this.
Melbourne on the other hand have to win this if they want to keep any pride in tact and they should. They will too strong for the depleted Giants.
Melbourne by 26
B: Adam Kennedy, Phil Davis, Matthew Buntine
HB: Curtly Hampton, Chad Cornes, Sam Darley
C: Tom Scully, Luke Power, WIlliam Hoskin-Elliott
HF: Tim Golds, Nick Haynes, Shaun Edwards
F: Devon Smith, Israel Folau, Taylor Adams
Foll: Jonathan Giles, Anthony Miles, Toby Greene
I/C: Steve Clifton, Andrew Phillips, James McDonald, Dom Tyson
Emg: Jack Hombsch, Nathan Wilson, Rhys Palmer
In: Nick Haynes, Toby Greene, Taylor Adams, James McDonald, Dom Tyson
Out: Tomas Bugg, Jeremy Cameron (Hip), Jack Hombsch, Adam Treloar, Adam Tomlinson (Kidney)
Milestones: Luke Power – 300 games
B: Joel Macdonald, James Sellar, Tom McDonald
HB: Jack Watts, James Frawley, Colin Garland
C: Jack Trengove, Jordie McKenzie, Jack Grimes
HF: Neville Jetta, Brad Green, Rohan Bail
F: Jeremy Howe, Jared Rivers, Sam Blease
Foll: Jake Spencer, Colin Sylvia, Nathan Jones
I/C: Lynden Dunn, James Strauss, Luke Tapscott, Thomas Couch
Emg: Jordan Gysberts, Jack Fitzpatrick, James Magner
In: James Frawley, Jack Watts, Thomas Couch
Out: Matthew Bate, Brent Moloney, James Magner