Where and when: UNSW Canberra Oval, Saturday May 4, 1.45pm
Last time they met: Giants Stadium, round 19, 2018: GWS 13.8 (86) defeated St Kilda 8.13 (61)
Inaccuracy cost the Saints on the road when they kicked 1.6 in the opening quarter and had 3.10 on the board at half-time. At the other end the Giants' forward line clicked with Harry Himmelberg leading the way with four, while Lachie Whitfield's 32 possessions earned him three Brownlow votes.
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What it means for GWS: The Giants got back on track against the Swans last week and must maintain their intensity around the footy to hold onto fourth spot on the ladder. They'll want to re-establish themselves in Canberra after a disappointing outing a fortnight ago against Fremantle.
What it means for St Kilda: A win over the Giants in Canberra would give the Saints their first big scalp of the year and go a long way towards silencing the doubters who don't yet rate them as finals contenders.
How GWS wins: With weapons of all shapes and sizes inside 50, the Giants forward line has been hard to contain this year, and with Toby Greene back from injury, it's even more imposing for the Saints.
How St Kilda wins: Midfield speed and quick ball movement can hurt GWS at times and the Saints have plenty of speedy onballers who will enjoy the deck in Canberra.
The stat: St Kilda racked up 60 inside-50s against the Giants (48) in their loss last year but wasted their opportunities in front of goal, which cost them the match. They must grab their chances this week.
The match-up: Nick Haynes v Matthew Parker
Haynes took 12 marks against the Swans last week and continually chopped off their kicks inside 50, but if he gets Parker as an opponent he'll need to keep his eyes on the West Australian. The mature-age recruit from South Fremantle has a prodigious leap and doesn't need many possessions to hurt the opposition on the scoreboard.
It's a big week for: Jack Steele
The Canberra boy and ex-Giant has done some tagging against GWS before and can take his pick of former teammates to run with this week. Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield are all in outstanding touch this season, so whoever he gets it will be a massive task.
Big call: Jeremy Cameron has kicked seven goals in a game five times in his career and he'll finally better that mark against the Saints. Mark the Coleman Medal leader down for nine.
Prediction: GWS by 31 points
Note: Steele goes to Cogs, Whitfield and Kelly both missing
Land of the Giants Preview
It is just so satisfying to beat the Swans at the SCG.
It got a bit uncomfortable there for a while, but I never sensed we were ever in real trouble last night. More like a temporary lapse in concentration after an easier than expected first quarter, but we got away with it.
Congratulations to Tim Taranto for receiving the Brett Kirk Medal as BOG. His development as a player certainly justifies being pick 2 in the 2016 draft, and he’s always looked like he’d go on with it. He has really stepped up this year with Shiel gone and Ward out injured.
It was another even performance all over the ground, similar to way we beat Geelong. Mummy smashed Callum Sinclair in the hit outs, and Hopper, Kelly, Williams and especially Coniglio were all among best-on-ground. And I said this a couple of weeks ago, but seriously, how good is Nick Haynes with those contested marks? I lost count of the number of times he stopped the Swans momentum under intense pressure. A real unsung hero, every team needs one.
As good a win as it was, we need to take our game up another notch, as we’re back in Canberra on Saturday for what will be an intriguing encounter with the Saints. It’s not just that both teams are sitting on 4-2; St. Kilda have matched up reasonably well on us for a while now and they’ll fancy their chances given our loss to the Dockers at the same venue only a couple of weeks ago.
I think a lot depends on who takes the field. We’ve learned to cope without Ward, and got by without Phil Davis against the Swans in the absence of Buddy, but if Coniglio and Whitfield are out we’re probably cutting it fine with injuries to key players (and if Coniglio’s out, and Davis is out again, who will be captain?).
The Saints started well against the Crows and seemed to switch off a bit after quarter time, which essentially cost them the game. They will be keen to atone, and given they way they ran Fremantle close a few weeks ago, can certainly cause an upset if we're not 100% switched on.
This is going to be a cracker, so I might head down the highway to help rebuild our fortress.
Let’s go Giants, let’s go.
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