The second annual Gather Round is here as South Australia hosts all 18 sides across a four-day footy bonanza.

Match Details

Gold Coast Suns v GIANTS
Sunday, April 7 at 12:30pm EST/12pm CST
Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills | Peramangk and Ngarrindjeri Country

What it Means for the GIANTS

Following a round three bye, the GIANTS will enter Gather Round refreshed and raring to go as they look to look to cast a shadow over the Suns to continue their best-ever start to a season.

Winning their opening three games for the first time in club history to sit atop the AFL ladder, the GIANTS will now come toe to toe with the AFL’s second youngest side (we don’t count the Devils just yet) in front of a sold-out crowd at Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

Following an impressive 32-point win over reigning premiers Collingwood in Opening Round, the GIANTS backed it up with a 39-point win over the Kangaroos and a 65-point win over the Eagles to sit with an unblemished record heading into Gather Round.

Adding extra intrigue to Sunday’s clash, the match-up will be the first official meeting between former Port Adelaide premiership teammates and now coaches Adam Kingsley and Damien Hardwick who also spent time together at Richmond where Kingsley was an assistant under Hardwick during the Tigers’ 2019 and 2020 flags.

If Kingsley can take down his old pal’s new side on Sunday, then the GIANTS will sit at 4-0 for the first time in the club’s 13-year history.

With several stars starting the season in red-hot form, the GIANTS will be hoping the likes of Lachie Whitfield (36 touches), Tom Green (34 touches, eight clearances), and Stephen Coniglio (31 and six clearances) can continue to fire after strong performances against the Eagles in their last outing in round two before their bye.

The Opposition

The Suns will be out to slay the GIANTS on Sunday as they look to return to the winners’ list and continue their solid start under their new coach.

A first up clash against the side he led to three flags, Hardwick was able to tame his former Tigers with a 39-point win in Opening Round to get his tenure as the Suns’ new coach off to a fairy-tale start.

The Suns were able to make it two from two the following week with a six-point win at home over the Crows before a trip to Ballarat in round two saw them fall to the Dogs by 48 points in Ballarat.

Sitting at 2-1, the Suns have been well served by some of their most experienced players across the first month of the season, with Touk Miller (30 disposals, 10 tackles), Matt Rowell (25 touches, eight tackles) and Noah Anderson (25 touches, five clearances) all strong performers in their recent loss to the Dogs.

Recent History

The GIANTS will enter Sunday’s clash with history firmly on their side, having won four of the last five clashes against the Suns to hold a 12-5 win-loss record against the boys from the Sunshine State.

The last time the Suns claimed victory over the GIANTS was back in round 17, 2021, registering a thrilling one-point win at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

In the only match between the sides last season, the GIANTS claimed a 40-point win at Manuka Oval in round 19 after a six goal to one third term saw them turn a two-point half time lead into a 15.13 (103) to 9.9 (63) win.

Stephen Coniglio (29 touches, one goal), Josh Kelly (28 touches, one goal), Brent Daniels (20 touches, two goals), and Toby Greene (14 touches, three goals) were instrumental in the win.

Key Match-Up: Battle of the Inside Bulls

A mouth-watering match-up in Sunday’s game will be the potential battle of two of the competition’s best inside midfielders in GIANTS star Tom Green and the Suns’ Matt Rowell.

Sitting third and fourth in the AFL’s Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year award respectively after red-hot starts to the season, both Green and Rowell have been instrumental in their side’s early season success.

Named in the All-Australian squad last season for the first time in his career, Green has picked up where he left off in 2024 to sit second in the AFL in average disposals with 33.7 per game to go along with seven tackles and 7.7 clearances, ranking him 13th and equal third in the competition respectively.

Rowell has also been highly influential in the Suns 2-1 start to the season, claiming back-to-back best-on-ground performances across the first two rounds to hold averages of 29 disposals, 7.7 tackles (equal fifth in the AFL), and 11.7 clearances (first).

In the Suns’ Opening Round win over the Tigers, Rowell recorded the second-most clearances ever in an AFL game with 20, sitting only behind Essendon’s Paul Salmon who registered 22 in a game in 1998.

Considered two of the best contested players in the competition, whichever midfielder can give his side first use out of the middle on Sunday will play a huge role in who gets the four points.

GIANTS Player to Watch

Dashing intercept defender Connor Idun continues to establish himself as one of the competition’s elite one-one-one and intercept defenders.

Increasing his disposal tally every year across his first five seasons, Idun has taken his game to another level early in 2024 to up his averages from 17.1 disposals and 5.5 marks per game to 21 and 6.7 as he continues to climb the ranks amongst the competition.

Named the joint winner of the 2023 GIANTS’ Best Finals Player, the strongly built defender has cemented himself as a key cog in the GIANTS’ backline and one of the league’s most damaging and reliable weapons from the back half.

In the GIANTS’ most recent outing, a 65-point win over the Eagles in round two, Idun was at his dynamic best as he tied his career-high with 28 disposals to go along with nine marks, eight intercept possessions and five rebound 50s.

In the Mix

After last week’s bye the GIANTS will enter Gather Round with an increasingly healthy list as several players return to the field or look to continue to stake their claims for a senior call up through the VFL side.

Braydon Preuss, Phoenix Gothard, and Joe Fonti are all expected to return through the club’s VFL practice match this weekend following respective injuries or illness, while young duo Darcy Jones and Cooper Hamilton will continue their returns from injury as they push for senior selection through the VFL.

Veteran Nick Haynes will also be available for selection after sitting out of the club’s round two win over the Eagles for the birth of his daughter.

Team Selection

The GIANTS will name a 26-man squad at 6:20pm on Thursday before naming the final team at 5pm on Friday at

Rehab Report

Get a full injury update ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Suns here.

Where to Watch

Sunday’s match will be shown live on Fox Footy and Kayo nationally from 12:30pm EST/12:00pm CST as well as live and free on Channel 7 from 12:30pm EST in NSW and the ACT.

Social Media

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