Autopsy Opening Round 2024, GWS Giants vs Collingwood, Saturday March 9, 7.30pm AEST, Giants Stadium

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Sep 6, 2012
AFL Club
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Welcome back everyone, for what feels like a very early start to the season.

This time a year ago, no one knew what to expect. The COVID malaise of 2020-22 was dispersing. Adam Kingsley was in his first stint as a senior coach and there were questions about the list. No one rated us. We were expected to finish bottom four (although this preview from the ABC proved remarkably prescient):

GWS — predicted 16th

Can they replicate Collingwood's 2022 rise?

There's quite a few similarities between GWS this year and Collingwood entering last year. Both hired ex-Richmond assistant coaches who replicated parts of their gameplay. Both sides were trying to recover from bottom four finishes, partially caused by availability issues.

Last year, the Giants were stodgy, with slow ball movement from turnovers making ball movement tough. During their preseason hit-outs, the Giants looked to move the ball as fast as any side last year, looking heavily inboard.

If everything goes right for them, they could be surprise finals contenders.

Cody Atkinson and Sean Lawson must have channeled Nostradamus when they wrote that.

Will the similarities stop there? Collingwood had their hearts broken by a single point in the 2022 Preliminary Final, got over it, and went all the way. Can we? The punters think we’re a chance.

“Opening Round” sees us play the Magpies in a massive blockbuster at Giants Stadium, so let’s have a look at the possible line-up:

FB [39] Connor Idun, [15] Sam Taylor, [44] Jack Buckley
HB [6] Lachie Whitfield, [7] Lachie Ash, [27] Harry Himmelberg
C [33] Xavier O'Halloran, [12] Tom Green, [22] Josh Kelly
HF [16] Brent Daniels, [26] Jake Riccardi, [14] Toby Bedford
FF [4] Toby Greene, [23] Jesse Hogan, [46] Callum M. Brown
FOL [32] Kieren Briggs, [8] Callan Ward, [3] Stephen Coniglio

IC [19] Nick Haynes, [21] Lachlan Keeffe, [31] Toby McMullin, [5] Aaron Cadman

SUB [28] Jacob Wehr

Callaghan (shoulder), Perryman (hamstring) and Cumming (quad) are out though injury. Unless I’m mistaken, Lachie Ash and Jesse Hogan will return, but who makes way for Hogan? Callum Brown had a bit of an outing against the Suns. Does Kingsley stick with him or Cadman? I suspect Cadman will start off the bench.

I’ve also assumed Daniels recovers from his heel soreness. If he doesn’t, I would give McMullin his spot, move Wehr to the interchange, and let Peatling be sub.

Looking ahead, there’s been a profound change in attitude towards us. During Leon’s era, we were expected to succeed because of draft privileges, which caused a lot of resentment. Whatever respect we had was grudging.

That's largely disappeared. If SEN can be believed, we’re currently the most popular “second” team for Victorians. Spectators at a cricket match were even heard singing the club song. We’re now viewed as a legitimate club.

So where to from here? If we really want a crack at the flag, we must finish top four, preferably top two. Anything less makes it too hard and would be seen as under-performing. And with Opening Round against Collingwood, we won't lack motivation. The team is hungry, and everyone has united behind the game plan.

It’s great for the big, big sound to be back in town, so come on Giants! Let’s get on with it!
i got chills feeling GIF

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Plenty of orange around showground

Atmosphere here is insane !! Pies fans have been lots of fun so far.

Both bars are insanely packed.

Plenty of both colours around.

I can’t wait till one day every game is like this with all giants fans

On iPhone using mobile app

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