Where and when: Giants Stadium, Saturday June 1, 1.45pm AEST
Last time they met: Giants Stadium, round 12, 2018: GWS 20.14 (134) defeated Gold Coast 4.2 (26)
The home side was inaccurate early but kicked 18.8 after quarter-time to romp to a three-figure win. Jeremy Cameron's six goals and 26 possessions snared him three Brownlow Medal votes, while Josh Kelly (40 disposals and two goals), Lachie Whitfield (36 touches), Callan Ward (34 possessions, 10 clearances and two goals) and Jacob Hopper (29 touches and 12 clearances) also dominated.
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What it means for GWS: They won't talk about it publicly, but Saturday's clash is a massive chance for the Giants to boost their percentage. Spots are going to be tight at the top of the ladder at the end of the season, so any opportunity to get an advantage must be taken.
What it means for Gold Coast: Taking on the Giants on the road is a big test for the Suns and they can continue to build respect from the rest of the League with a spirited showing. They pushed the ladder-leading Cats last week before falling away late. They will need to maintain their intensity for this one.
How GWS wins: The Giants' tall forwards looks to be the Suns' biggest worry with Jeremy Cameron, Harry Himmelberg and Jeremy Finlayson in superb form, and all dangerous in the air and at ground level. If the Giants' mids gain control, those forwards will get plenty of chances.
How Gold Coast wins: The visitors must bring intensity and pressure around the contest from the opening bounce and deny the Giants any easy footy. If they don't get blown away early and can stay in the game as long as possible, anything can happen.
The stat: The Giants won the clearances 54-36 in last year's thrashing despite some lopsided hitout numbers (76-29) after (former) GWS ruckman Rory Lobb was injured. If the Suns give up that sort of advantage around stoppages on Saturday, they're in for another long day.
The match-up: Jeremy Cameron v Jack Hombsch
The Coleman Medal leader bounced back from two weeks without a goal to kick three against Melbourne and has shown in the past he can sniff a big haul when he's up against lower-ranked teams. Cameron will be a stiff test for his former Giants teammate.
It’s a big week for: Shane Mumford
The aggressive big man was well-beaten by Max Gawn last week and will give up another height advantage to Jarrod Witts in round 11. Mumford is an intense competitor and will set himself for the challenge of taking down the Gold Coast ruckman.
Big call: Cameron has booted 21 goals in his past four outings against the Suns and he'll enjoy another afternoon out this week with a career-best eight majors.
Prediction: GWS by 57 points
From the pen of Land of the Giants
Hmm. Well, what do we make of that?
First, it’s not that hard to win at the MCG after all. You can’t tell me that our poor record there over the years hasn’t largely been about attitude and preparation. How else to explain it? On this occasion, we came to play, at least for the first three quarters anyway. As for the pathetic last quarter, old habits must die hard.
But it was good to come away with four points and no fresh injuries (if the match report is to be believed). Now for Round 11, back home in Sydney - on a Saturday afternoon! What an unusual time slot for footy.
Seriously, it’s been obvious for years there’s been some pretty big problems at the Suns. The first team we ever beat, they seemed to have the wood on us early on, but it’s been one-way traffic in our favour ever since. In fact, their average losing margin in their last three visits to Sydney has been 100 points (they must have borrowed from the preparation manual we’d been using for games at the MCG).
Nonetheless, they were pretty plucky against the Cats until they got blown away in that last quarter, so a little respect on our behalf won’t go astray. Do we “rest” anyone for this match? Perhaps Coniglio and his dodgy finger? Is there anyone else who needs the week off? But that would be being disrespectful, wouldn’t it?
The truth is we’re playing well at the moment, running second on percentage. Our forward line of the two Jeremys and Harry H. is working well. Our midfield has clicked; losing Shiel hasn’t hurt us at all. And the backline is as reliable as ever. We seem to be quite well positioned in the run up to the bye and beyond.
Here’s one interesting and perhaps surprising statistic. When it comes to games between our teams, we’ve never beaten the Suns with home crowds. Whenever they’ve hosted us, their fans have always tuned out in greater numbers than ours, especially when it's been our turn to host in Sydney. Perhaps we should try to remedy that on Saturday.
A call out to all Giants members and supporters in Sydney. Let’s set a new crowd record for a Suns match in Sydney. The target is at least 10,000. I’ll be there with a friend or two, how about you?
Let’s go, Giants, let’s go! And don't take your foot off the accelerator!
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