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A Short History Of... GIANTS v West Coast

Leigh Meyrick  September 12, 2017 4:50 PM

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Josh Kelly captained the GIANTS when they played the Eagles in Narrandera during the JLT Series.

The short history between the GIANTS and West Coast has got significantly longer in 2017 with the two teams meeting for the fourth time this calendar year at Spotless Stadium in Saturday’s semi-final. 

2017 started for both teams in the regional New South Wales town of Narrandera which hosted the JLT Community series match way back in February.

While there weren't premiership points on the line and with both teams playing young sides, it was the GIANTS who were too strong in Zac Williams’ home town, winning by 33 points.

Every one of the GIANTS’ first year players took to the field in this match which saw Josh Kelly captain the team for the day.

The true test came in round 10 when the GIANTS headed to Perth to try and secure their first ever premiership points against the Eagles. 

It was a severely undermanned GIANTS side that crossed the Nullabor with the club’s injury woes at its peak.

When wingman Tom Scully was withdrawn from the line up, the GIANTS were framed as strong outsiders by the bookmakers but played with grit and belief to secure an eight point win.

Toby Greene was the hero as he kicked two clutch goals in the last quarter to ensure the GIANTS kept pace with ladder leaders Adelaide.

The next time the two sides met was at Spotless Stadium in round 22.  

This was the first clash back at Spotless Stadium between the two teams since the infamous Nic Naitanui match in 2016 which saw the star ruckman kick the match winning goal on the final siren. 

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It was a tight tussle all afternoon before the GIANTS pulled away in the last term to win by 21 points. 

Josh Kelly’s involvement in the match will stay with fans for a long time for two reasons; not only did the young midfield star dominate collecting 43 possessions breaking Toby Greene's club record, but he also showed enormous courage to return to the field after a heavy bump from West Coast star Josh Kennedy in the last quarter.

Saturday will be the first time the GIANTS play in a semi-final, having won directly through to the preliminary final in their only previous finals appearance in 2016.

The Eagles come into the match after one of the most thrilling victories possible - advancing to the semi-final with a goal after the siren in extra time by midfielder Luke Shuey. 

All GIANTS fans will be hoping that their club can advance to a second straight preliminary final by securing a third straight win over the Eagles. 

That would see the Eagles become the first team the GIANTS have managed to beat four times in one season.

The GIANTS take on West Coast in a Semi-Final at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night with the winner to progress to a Preliminary Final.

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